1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Nineteenth Century British Literature

  • ENNC 8500 Austen in Print and Film

    1100-1215 TR - CABELL B026

    Instructor: Alison Booth

    We will aim to enhance critical understanding of each of Jane Austen's six novels, juvenilia, and associated materials, and to gain familiarity with Austen’s life and times as well as the reception history of her works. What is the shape of her career, and how has the acclaim of Austen modified across the generations? What significant cultural issues do her novels confront and temporarily resolve? What have been the rewards of biographical, historical, narratological, feminist and queer, or other approaches to Austen?  Why is Austen such ripe material for film in the later twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries? From the level of the sentence on out to the myriad of paperbacks and generations of film adaptations, we will cultivate an acute perspective on Austen’s works, scholarly and general responses to them, and adaptations of them. While our course will include concentrated viewing of several films, we also will browse through the Austeniana of tourism, “sequels” in print, and Web sites.

  • ENNC 8500 Brontë and Gaskell

    0930-1045 TR - BRYAN 233

    Instructor: Karen Chase

    This course will explore the works, the friendship, and the times of these two outstanding Victorian woman novelists. Although their friendship was to last only a few short years before Charlotte Bronte died (still in her thirties), Elizabeth Gaskell’s notorious biography of Charlotte Bronte became the means through which the Victorians came to ‘know’ the cherished author of Jane Eyre. Gaskell never possessed the stature that Bronte achieved, but her fiction enjoyed massive popularity and she was as familiar with the literary world as she was with the great reformers of the period.  We will alternate books by each of these writers so as to create the effect of a conversational exchange between them, in which we also will participate as generous readers of the novels and critics of the age. One of our goals will be to sustain an interdisciplinary focus, wide enough to include interests in life writing, gender roles, social reform, and generic hybridity.  You bring an open mind, an eagerness to work hard and participate vigorously, and recent (re-)readings of Jane Eyre and North and South. The course will provide the rest. Requirements include lively participation, a presentation, one long essay and a final exam.

  • ENNC 9500 Experiment and Innovation in English Victorian Poetry

    1230-1345 TR - CABELL 130

    Instructor: Jerome McGann

    Although obscured by High Modernism’s programmatic self-representations, the Victorian Period in England was distinguished for its innovative and experimental poetry and poetics.  The course will track the highlights of this work from its emergence in Tennyson’s Poems, Chiefly Lyrical (1830) through Hardy’s first book of poetry, Wessex Poems (1898).  We will examine the varieties of the dramatic monologue, the mid-century Arnoldian crisis, the decisive moment of Pre-Raphaelitism, Nonsense writing, and finally, the new expressive forms introduced by Wilde and Hardy.