ENGL 3352: 001

Tim Morris

History of British Literature II Fall 2001

930-1050 AM Tues / Thurs 307 Preston Hall

office hours: by appointment only

office phone: metro 817-272-2692

office mailbox 203 Carlisle Hall

mailing address Box 19035, UTA 76019

to the schedule of readings and assignments

course prerequisites: ENGL 1301, 1302, six ENGL hours at the 2000 level, or equivalent, or approval of department

required texts: Wain, ed., The Oxford Anthology of English Poetry BLAKE TO HEANEY; Byatt, ed., The Oxford Book of English Short Stories. Two short stories on handouts. In addition, each student will read and report on one substantial novel: these will be common texts that can be found in libraries and used-book stores.

syllabus: This syllabus may be updated as the semester goes on. I may post updated versions that indicate readings, discussion plans, and reference materials. However, every component of your grade is shown here at the beginning. Please refer to the date and time of printing (at the bottom of each page) to see when the version you are holding was printed. For continuous updates look on line at http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/courses/3352f01/3352index.html

website: This is a web-assisted course. Though it's taught in a conventional classroom, the course site (again, http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/courses/3352f01/3352index.html) will provide sketchy lecture notes and lists of useful links. As you study, you must use the sites to supplement your class notes.

course description: This is a reading / lecture course in the literary history of England and Ireland from 1798 to 2001.

course objectives: Students who successfully complete this course will know something about major writers and literary movements of the past two centuries in England and Ireland. They will have been exposed to a range of readings in three genres: poetry, short fiction, and long fiction.

attendance is optional except for seminar meetings. Each seminar absence will cost you four grade points (see below), the only exceptions being absences formally excused by the University. Much of the course material will be covered in lecture and seminar meetings, and you will be distinctly lost if you don't come to class. If anything--work, family, illness, whatever--prevents you from coming to class and keeping up, you've simply had your semester affected negatively by bad things--or by good personal commitments that you've chosen to place ahead of coursework.

drop policy: UTA instructors may not drop students for any reason. You may choose to drop with a W until 16 November.

assignments: two midterms, a 25-minute seminar report, a 10-page seminar paper, and a comprehensive final exam; grading system and due dates are indicated below. The seminar paper must be typed, must use MLA style, and must cite all sources used in its preparation.

grading: Grading is on a point system. Here are the point values for each assignment:

(Remember that you can also lose points, at a cost of four for each missed seminar meeting.)

That makes a total of 250 possible points for the semester. Your final grade is determined on the following scale:

I think that a B is a good grade for an undergraduate course, and that a C grade is quite acceptable. The grade of A should indicate excellence rather than mere completion of the course.

academic dishonesty policy: It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." [Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter Vi, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22]

disability policy: The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 93112--The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act - (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.

library: Noel Anderson is the Librarian for the English Department. He can be reached at 817 272 3000, ext. 4984, and by email at anderson@library.uta.edu You will find online databases for English among the Arts & Humanities databases at http://www.uta.edu/library/mavinfo/arts.html

writing center: located on the fourth floor of the Central Library, and at http://www.uta.edu/owl/ , the Writing Center provides free tutoring for UTA students. Tutors will not write your papers for you, but will help you understand and use strategies for effective writing.

schedule of assignments and readings

Tues 28 Aug: syllabus, initial "orientation" in-class writing

Thurs 30 Aug: Chronology: British History 1798-1901

Tues 4 Sept: Chronology: British History 1901-2001

we will then study the literary history of the last two centuries in several passes: the first pass will take us through poetry from 1798 to the present, the second through short fiction, and the third through long fiction. Your best dictionary for this course is the OED.


In England in 1798, poetry was the most elite and culturally significant form of verbal art. In 2001, poetry is both a coterie art appreciated by very few and a democratic craft practiced by millions--at once more and less accessible to the public, but without the great cultural prestige of fiction, film, and television. To give a thumbnail sketch: in the first half of the 1800s, poets like Wordsworth and Byron were widely read and had great cultural authority. In the second half of the 1800s, poets like Tennyson and Browning wrote bestsellers, but had ceded the cultural center to novelists. In the first half of the 1900s, poets like Eliot and Yeats were respected celebrities (both won the Nobel Prize), but they were less and less read. In the second half of the 1900s, poets like Larkin and Hughes were notorious, but were rarely read at all. (Both are now dead, and if you come to this course knowing the name of a single living English poet, you are an unusual English major.)

Page numbers for poetry are from Wain, Oxford Anthology

Thurs 6 Sept: Romantic poetry. Readings: Blake, Auguries of Innocence (10-13); Wordsworth, Lines [Tintern Abbey] (38-42); Scott, Patriotism (94-95); Coleridge, Kubla Khan (128-29); Southey, After Blenheim (132-34); Landor, Rose Aylmer (142); Moore, The Minstrel Boy (147); Elliott, When Wilt Thou Save the People? (151); Hunt, Jenny Kissed Me (154); Peacock, Three Men of Gotham (156); Byron, Prometheus (168-70); PB Shelley, One Word is Too Often Profaned (245)

Tues 11 Sept: Major Author: John Keats. Readings: Odes (Nightingale, Grecian Urn, Psyche, [Bards], To Autumn, Melancholy), 265-74; La Belle Dame Sans Merci (288-89)

Thurs 13 Sept: Victorian poetry. Readings: Thomas Hood, I Remember, I Remember (300); EB Browning, "Go from me. Yet I feel that I shall stand . . . " (349); Tennyson, Ulysses (374-75); Lear, all selections (400-04); R Browning, Two in the Campagna (414-16); E Brontë, Last Lines (428-29); Arnold, Dover Beach (455-56); Calverley, Ballad (482-83); Hopkins, Spring and Fall (535); Wilde, Ballad of Reading Gaol (545-62)

Tues 18 Sept: Major Author: Christina Rossetti. Readings: all selections (466-81)

Thurs 20 Sept: Modernist poetry. Readings: WB Yeats, The Second Coming, Sailing to Byzantium (576-78), Among School Children (handout); Mew, The Trees Are Down (589-90) The Farmer's Bride (handout); Thomas, The Owl (602); Sassoon, Lamentations (614); Eliot, The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock (615-18); Owen, Anthem for Doomed Youth (648); Graves, Parent to Children (655)

Tues 25 Sept: Major Author: Thomas Hardy. Readings: all selections (507-20)

Thurs 27 Sept: Poetry Since Modernism. Readings: Ackerley, After the Blitz, 1941 (handout); Smith, Not Waving But Drowning (659); Kavanagh, Canal Bank Walk (handout); Betjeman, Slough (666-67); MacNeice, Snow (670), The Sunlight on the Garden (671-72); Auden, Edward Lear (688), Lullaby (689-90), Musée des Beaux Arts (690-91); Spender, "What I expected was" (708); Barker, untitled piece and To My Mother (711-12); Hughes, View of a Pig (741-42); Stevenson, Himalayan Balsam (747); Heaney, Punishment (749-50)

Tues 2 Oct: Major Author: Philip Larkin. Readings: all selections (724-34)

Thurs 4 Oct: First Midterm Exam, in class, no books or notes


The Short Story

Short stories have been around since the dawn of language, certainly; Chaucer's Canterbury Tales is a short-fiction collection. Many novels are built out of collections of short narratives (think of Cervantes, Don Quixote). The classic English short story, however, flourished in the age of newspapers and magazines: the 1800s and the first half of the 1900s. The genre is still going strong, but lost ground first to radio and later to TV as the medium of choice for short-form story-telling. The stories we'll read this semester are from a wide range of modes in English and Irish short fiction. Very generally, we will move chronologically, and the five days of study will look at five general categories: "dark" Victorian stories, arch or fabulous Edwardian stories, modernism, mid-1900s realism, and postmodernism. But these five categories share more things than not.

Page numbers for short stories are from Byatt, Oxford Book

Tues 9 Oct: Major Text: Thomas Hardy, A Mere Interlude (63-92); other readings: Mary Mann, Little Brother (93-96); Arthur Morrison, Behind the Shade (105-109)

Thurs 11 Oct: Major Text: Saki, The Toys of Peace (155-159); other readings: Charlotte Mew, A White Night (139-154); A.E. Coppard, Some Talk of Alexander (180-187)

Tues 16 Oct: Major Text: Virginia Woolf, Solid Objects (204-209); other readings: Rosamond Lehmann, A Dream of Winter (286-294); Bryan McMahon, The Ring (handout)

Thurs 18 Oct: Major Text: Graham Greene, The Destructors (311-324); other readings: Malachi Whitaker, Landlord of the Crystal Fountain (264-269); Frank O'Connor, Guests of the Nation (handout)

Tues 23 Oct: Major Text: Penelope Fitzgerald, At Hiruharama (362-368); other readings: Elizabeth Taylor, The Blush (355-361); Alan Sillitoe, Enoch's Two Letters (372-380)

Thurs 25 Oct: Second Midterm Exam, in class, no books or notes


The Novel

Novels have flourished in England since the late 1600s. A rise in literacy rates, the explosion of the publishing industry, the rise of newspapers and magazines (and hence outlets for serial publication) and the coming of electric light (the means) and train travel (often the opportunity) made novels a dominant form of popular entertainment in the mid-1800s, a position they hold, with increasing highbrow respect, still today. We will read selections from the whole great range of English and Irish fiction from 1798 to the present.

Each student will read a different major novel for this section of the course. The course will be taught in seminar, with three students presenting papers each day. (Note that roll will be taken, and you'll lose four grade points for each seminar meeting you miss.)

Your seminar report will be about 25 minutes long; you'll present: 1) a plot summary of the novel you've read (this will be difficult to make interesting, so try your best); 2) some sense of how the novel fits into the author's career; 3) some sense of the novel's place in British literary history; 4) some commentary on interesting formal or stylistic features of the novel; 5) some appraisal of the novel. Your seminar paper will focus on #s 3, 4 and 5 in the above list (assume that your audience [me] knows the plot of the novel and its place in the author's career reasonably well). The seminar paper is due on 6 Dec. no matter when you do your report.

The novels assigned are of slightly different lengths, and that's inevitable. As far as possible, I have tried to balance length against density; the longer your novel, the easier and lighter the read.

Novel seminar meetings begin Tues 30 Oct and continue through Thurs 6 Dec. We will not meet on Thurs 1 Nov or Thurs 22 Nov.

Course evaluations will be done in class on Tues 4 Dec. and Thurs 6 Dec. Seminar paper due Thurs 6 Dec.

Thursday 13 Dec., 8-10:30am: Final Exam, in regular classroom, no books or notes


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