English 421.01/504.02, Development of the English Novel: Haywood, Defoe, Richardson, Austen

Fall 2006 2:00-3:15 Tues.-Thurs. Albertson 203

Dr. Stephan Flores (sflores@uidaho.edu)                                                                                         

http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~sflores/                        885-6156; 885-6147

Office hours: TTH 10:00-11:00 a.m. & by appt.                       315 Commons/125 Brink Hall

Prerequisite for undergraduates: English 102 or equivalent, and Engl 175 or 210, or permission of instructor.

Course Schedule/Syllabus

Course description:

This course explores emerging forms of "novel" writing and identity via short fiction by Eliza Haywood (Fantomina and Other Works (1725), and in three highly influential novels: Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (1722); Samuel Richardson, Clarissa (1747-48); Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey (1803, pub. 1818). We shall reconsider the rise of the novel by studying the experimental development of different forms of narration and different conceptions of the (interpreting/interpellated) "self" in public life. The works selected are particularly engaged with cultural changes in social and class relations, and with representations of gender imperatives and the history of sexuality (these figure a femme fatale, a female who thrives and survives, a heroine in distress and under constraint, a tormented/tormenting rake, and the gendered education of novel readers); these novels also are explicitly concerned with reading and writing, including the portrayal of interiority and conscious life in relation to unconscious desires and ideologies.

The class shall engage in substantial reading, emphasis on thoughtful written analyses and research, and much discussion and exchange of views and interests. Formal course work includes brief weekly online WebCt entries, a succinct critical response to Haywood's fiction, exploratory essays on Moll Flanders and Clarissa, and a term essay on a topic and text(s) of your choice—this amounts to steady written work and reading (main texts amount to an average of 134 pages per week for fifteen weeks, the critical response and essays total about the same amount of written pages/words as in English 102). The class may consider several different emphases, with students invited to explore a particular strand of interest.

Note: Engl 421 may be used to satisfy the pre-1800 course requirement in the undergraduate Literature and Creative Writing emphases.

Required texts/editions:

Haywood, Eliza. Fantomina and Other Works. Edited by Alexander Pettit, Margaret Case Croskery & Anna C. Patchias. Broadview Press, 2004. ISBN: 1551115247

Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders. Edited by Paul A. Scanlon. Broadview Press, 2005. ISBN: 1551114518

Richardson, Samuel. Clarissa : Or the History of a Young Lady. Ed. Angus Ross. Penguin Classics, 1986. ISBN: 0140432159 (complete edition, not the abridged edition--helpful advice is to start reading this in summer--also of note, The Guardian recently compiled a list of the 100 greatest novels, with Clarissa listed at #6 with this comment: "One of the longest novels in the English language, but unputdownable. "of course, someone might quip that you can't put it down because it takes so long to read! yet here's another title from a critical essay on the novel: "Before I Read Clarissa I Was Nobody: Aspirational Reading and Samuel Richardson's Great Novel.")

Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey, second edition. Edited by Claire Grogan. Broadview Press, 2002. ISBN: 1551114798

Additional primary and secondary works shall be placed on library reserve, including The Cambridge Companion to the Eighteenth Century Novel (Ed. Richetti, 1996), The Columbia History of the Novel (Ed. Richetti, 1994, also available online from a computer on campus) and related editions, works, and collections of critical essays.


1. Weekly online Journal Entry/Discussion Starter WebCT posts (minimum of fourteen entries in total for the semester): each entry identifies something (in our texts/topics for analysis/discussion) that you find intriguing/important/useful, and starts to explore its significance; your response usually addresses an implied or explicit question that you determine, and should include a reasoned, interpretative claim on some aspect of the novel/issue in question—these are to be posted to the threaded WebCt class discussion site according to your assigned group: Group 1 posts prior to 11:00 p.m. on each Monday (beginning 8/28), with their entries anticipating the next day's (Tues.) material for discussion; Group 2 posts prior to 11:00 p.m. on each Wednesday (beginning 8/30), with their entries also tending to inform the next day's (Thurs.) material for discussion—these deadlines are firm (we'll shift the order of posts roughly at midpoint in the semester, so that Group 2 will then post by the Monday deadline and Group 1 by the Wednesday deadline. Each class meeting also will involve a predetermined student sharing his or her post as a means to furthering class discussion (each student will be scheduled to do this twice during the semester). While these posts follow a structured schedule, the forum and format are intended to be rather flexible to provide for your particular interests and to promote a vital and valuable exchange of perspectives and ideas on our reading and research. In addition, one of the posts will be a summary/response to a critical article (with different articles/essays divvied up among the class), and students will rotate sharing their research in class to summarize the article, to offer a reponse and perspective on its value, and to use this as a means to enriching class discussion and our sense of different scholarship over the course of the semester. WebCt Log-In site WebCT Help Guide

2. The Critical Response assignment (700-800 words, titled) on one or more of Haywood's fictions directs you to explore a significant issue or rhetorical strategy that you identify in relation to specific cultural, historical, or theoretical contexts and concerns. Your topic may be prompted in part by our discussions in class and online, by a recent article, and of course by your reactions and understanding. You might think of the response as a scaled down, sharply focused critical essay, one that contains the kernel of a hypothesis and topic that might serve as the cornerstone or shaping idea for a longer essay. Your analysis can be quite "thesis-driven"—that is, you may find it effective to compose a thesis for your response that maps out for readers the challenging, engaging, important points that you want to develop and discuss—or you may prefer a more reflective, question and problem-posing approach.

3. Thesis-Seeking/Problem-Posing Exploratory Essays: Essay 1 on Moll Flanders or option of Essay 1 on Northanger Abbey (1500-1600 words for body of essayto include at least one citation/reference to a fairly recent, substantial critical article); Essay 2 on Clarissa or Northanger Abbey(1700-1900 words for body of essay; undergraduates to include at least one citation/reference to a fairly recent, substantial critical article; graduate students to include at least two citations/references to recent critical articles). The primary aims of these essay assignments are to engage with each novel and its critical interpretation/reception by identifying problems, developing claims and arguments, and enriching your literary understanding, interests, and commitments. These essays may also serve as trial runs/rough drafts that you have the option of drawing up, revising, incorporating into the Term Essay.

4. Term Essay: 2100-2300 words, body of essay, excluding works cited page for undergraduates; 3100-3300 words, body of essay, excluding works cited page for graduate students--double-spaced, titled. This critical essay develops ideas prompted by our study and discussion of the novels and related scholarship, informed by your perspectives and interests regarding the texts we have considered this semester. I shall attend to the ways that you select, define, and engage questions and contradictions, evaluate the essay's explanatory and analytical value (including strengths of reasoning and evidence), and consider the clarity, imagination, and grace that you demonstrate in presenting your topic, (hypo)thesis, and argument, and the extent to which your work engages with and contributes to the larger "conversation" of scholarship on the topic and novels under analysis. I do not always expect essays to conclude by "solving" such problems or by "proving" your thesis; I hope that you address interesting topics in thoughtful and useful ways. You may draw upon and revise material from Essay 1 or Essay 2 as part of this Term Essay, but note that this Term Essay must be substantially longer and revise or extend the ideas and analysis from previous essays, and/or be different than either Essay 1 or Essay 2. Please feel invited to confer with me during the writing process.

5. Participation in discussions. Please take advantage of opportunities to discuss your reactions, share your insights and understanding, and to listen and reply to others' ideas. Occasional group work will help to facilitate class discussion. I hope such discussion, including the incorporation of highlighted WebCt entries into class discussion, will enable you to move the class in directions that you find most helpful, give you opportunities to develop critical skills through collaboration, and provide for a productive, interesting exchange of perspectives and participation among the class.

6. Due dates: Each of the graded writing assignments is due at the beginning of class on the due datework turned in later will be marked late and graded accordingly. All required graded written work is downgraded one notch (for example, B+ to B, converted to points for each assignment) for each weekday late (not just days classes meet but counting just one day for a weekend). Work submitted more than a week late will not be accepted. I will grant short extensions for medical and family emergenciesbut talk with me as soon as possible to request an extension. ALWAYS KEEP EXTRA COPIES OF YOUR WORK.

7. Attendance is required. If you have no absences by the semester's end (excused or not), you will receive five bonus points; with only one absence you will receive three bonus points. Two absences will not affect your semester grade, but a third absence will lower your semester total by six points, with a six point reduction for each additional absence (for example: four absences=minus 12 points, five absences = minus 18 points); six or more absences will cause you to fail the class, regardless of your semester point total. Almost all absences will be countedexcused or notif something extraordinary occurs, talk to me.

8. Grades: Critical Response (20 pts); Thesis-Seeking/Problem-Posing Exploratory Essays (80 pts. Essay 1; 110 pts. Essay 2); Term Essay (140 pts). These required assignments add up to a maximum of 350 points. Thus 315-350 points equals an A, 280-314 equals a B, 245-279 equals a C, 210-244 equals a D, and anything below 210 merits an F. I shall also reserve bonus points based on my perceptions of the strength of your participation and efforts over the semester (up to a maximum of 8 pts.); in addition, incomplete or missing weekly WebCt journal entries will be counted against your semester grade, with the loss of up to two points for each late or missing entry—evaluated/assessed on a weekly basis, to a maximum loss of 28 points.

9. Office hours. I encourage you to confer with meespecially before assignments are dueto talk about your interests, intentions, and writing strategies. We'll meet at my office in the University Honors Program, 315 Commons. If you cannot make my regular hours, let's arrange another time. I also welcome communicating with you by E-mail via UI Vandalmail addresses (sflores@uidaho.edu).

Haywood bibliography/resources

Defoe/Moll Flanders bibliography

Moll Flanders Selective Page Notes for Broadview Edition

Bill Malgren's Summary/Response to Ellen Pollak's chapter on Moll Flanders

Scott McNeill's Summary/Response to Carol Kay's chapter on Moll Flanders

Adam Yaghi's Summary/Response to Lois Bueler's chapter on Clarissa

Clarissa bibliography/resources

Richardson's Revisions

Some ongoing page notes to Clarissa (keeping track of stuff)

If you must: possibilities for abridged path/guide to Clarissa

Persuasions 20.1 (1999) online/four essays on Northanger Abbey in this issue