English 640
Spring 2002

Charles Knight
W6030, 287-6723
Office Hours: MWF 2:30-3:30; M 5:30-6:30

Tentative Syllabus

January 28. Introductions. Defining the novel. Did the novel rise, and if so, when? The novel and the eighteenth century. The requirements and procedures for the course.
        Some Generally Useful Studies
        A List of Eighteenth-Century Novels
        Continuing Themes and Topics

February 4. Aphra Behn, Oroonoko and "The Fair Jilt." In Aphra Behn, Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works, ed. Janet Todd (Penguin).
        An Aphra Behn Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

February 11. Daniel Defoe, The Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, ed. J. Donald Crowley (Oxford)
        A Defoe Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

February 18. Holiday

February 25. Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, ed. Angus Ross (Penguin). See "The Busy Person's Guide to Clarissa." Paper 1 due.
        A Richardson Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

March 4. Finish Clarissa ("LET THIS EXPIATE").

March 11. Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, ed. Sheridan Baker. Norton Critical Edition, 2nd edition (Norton). Books 1-6.
        A Fielding Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

March 18. Vacation

March 25. Finish Tom Jones

April 1. Laurence Sterne, The Life and Surprising Adventures of Tristram Shandy, ed. Melvyn New (Penguin). Books 1-4
        Rules for reading Tristram Shandy (not entirely serious)
        A Sterne Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

April 8. Finish Tristram Shandy
        A Shandean Chronology

April 15. Holiday

April 22. Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, ed. James L. Thorson, Norton Critical Editions (Norton). Paper 2 due.
        A Smollett Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

April 29. Francis Burney, Evelina (Penguin)
        A Burney Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

May 6. Ann Radcliffe, The Romance of the Forest (Oxford World's Classics)
        A Radcliffe Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

May 13. Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (Broadview)
        An Austen Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

May 20. Walter Scott, Redgauntlet (Oxford World's Classics)
        A Scott Bibliography
        Topics and Questions

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Papers and Reports

Paper 1, Report 1
    Half of the students in the course should prepare brief (five-minute) reports on a brief passage of no more than a page in Behn's Oroonoko or "The Fair Jilt." These reports should explain how the passage is significant and in some ways typical of Behn's approach, style, and concerns in the novel as a whole. The other half should prepare a similar report on Defoe's Robinson Crusoe. These reports should form the basis of the first paper (4-7 pages), due February 25.

Report 2
    At some point in the course, each student should give a 10 minute report that is designed to illuminate the novel discussed in the week the report is given. That report can (like the first report) concentrate on a close analysis of a significant passage, or it can be a response to one of the study questions for that novel, or it can be a discussion of one of the secondary sources listed on web site or in the text we use.

Report 3
    Each student should give a 10 minute report on one eighteenth-century novel not read in this course but listed among the "Eighteenth-Century Novels" included on this web site. The purpose of this report is to introduce other members of the seminar to the novel and to show how it contributes to the emergence of the novel, how it relates to other novels we have read or will read, or how it exemplifies a distinct kind of novel.

Paper 2
    Either one of these reports should be the basis on Paper 2 (5-10 pages), which is due April 22. Please note that the number of the report distinguishes the kind of report it is, not the order in which it needs to be given. (Thus report 3, for example, might be given on Defoe's Roxana weeks before report 2 on Burney's Evelina.)

Paper 3
    The final paper may be an expanded version of the report not used for Paper 2, a critical study of one of the works read in the course (using relevant secondary material), a comparison of several novels, especially using one of the "continuing themes and topics," or otherwise negotiated with me. It is due on May 24. It should be 10-20 pages in length; it should use at least three secondary sources (preferably five or more); it should use the MLA format for notes and citations.


I will hold a half-hour conference with each of you during the week of February 25. We will talk about your first paper and your plans for at least one other report. I will hold a second conference with you during the week of April 22, at which we will discuss your second paper, your plans for a second report (if you have not given one already), and the topic for your final paper. In addition, my office hours for this class are 5:30 to 6:50 on Monday, but I am also around after 2:30 on Wednesday and Friday afternoons. Please see me about any matter, however trivial it may seem to you, on which I might be helpful.

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