1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

Nineteenth Century British Literature


  • ENNC 3500 - Romanticism and Postromanticism

    1530-1645 TR - MINOR 130

    Instructor: Jerome McGann

    The course will track some of the forms and transforms of Romantic expression from the early nineteenth century in Europe to the present day.  The majority of the readings will be forms of fiction (not necessarily “novels”), but we will also study certain key poetical works – for example, by Byron, Poe, and Blake.   Although the course will proceed  chronologically from the Romantic Period, readings will shift into or away from Romantic forms in arbitrary ways since Romantic forms by no means disappear with the decline of the cultural authority of Romanticism.  Readings will include Charles Maturin, Mikhail Lermontov, Lewis Carroll, Isadore Ducasse, George Meredith, Ford Madox Ford, Jean Genet, Flann O’Brien, Kathy Acker, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and J. M. Coetzee.

  • ENNC 3850 The Fiction of Empire

    1530-1645 MW - CABELL 119

    Instructor: Paul Cantor

    This course deals with the interplay of literature and British imperialism in the late nineteenth century.  Topics covered include orientalism and the representation of the foreign, the ideology of imperialism, literary critiques of imperialism, the impact of imperialism on domestic life in Victorian Britain, the problem of heroism on the imperial frontier, and the intersection between fiction of empire and other genres, such as science fiction, the mystery story, and the Gothic novel.  Authors studied include Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, H. G. Wells, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Joseph Conrad.  Given the reading list, the course explores the relationship between late Victorian popular culture and serious fiction, especially the emergence of literary modernism out of fiction of empire.  Course requirements include a paper, a midterm, and a final examination.

  • ENNC 4500 Brontë and Gaskell

    1230-1345 TR - BRYAN 332

    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 Charlottë Bronte died (still in her thirties), Elizabeth Gaskell’s notorious biography of Charlotte Brontë became the means through which the Victorians came to ‘know’ the cherished author of Jane Eyre. Gaskell never possessed the stature that Brontë 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 a recent reading of Jane Eyre. The course will provide the rest. Requirements include dynamic participation, quizzes, one long essay and a final exam.

  • ENNC 4500 Austen in Print and Film

    0930-1045 TR - NAU 241

    Instructor: Alison Booth

    We will aim to enhance critical understanding of each of Jane Austen's six novels 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? 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.