English 456/540: Desire for Exchange in Restoration and 18th-Century Literature                     Fall 2010                             
Dr. Stephan Flores (sflores@uidaho.edu)                                                       www.uidaho.edu/~sflores
12:30-1:45 pm TR TLC 045                                                                           
http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~sflores/                                                    885-6156; 885-6147
MW 1:00-2:00 p.m. & by appt.                                                                      315 Commons

This course explores prominent and also lesser-known plays, fiction, and poetry that engage with social intersections among desire, sexuality, cultural identities, and commerce: over the course of the late seventeenth-century to mid-eighteenth century, figures of prostitution and of courtship/marriage relations in literature shift, in general, from being portrayed in terms of sexual desire/pleasure (and in terms of class alliances with limited degrees of class mobility) to forms/representations of commercial and contractual exchange.  Laura Rosenthal writes, as prostitution undermined a developing separation of public and private spheres, it could “evoke both the disturbing and potentially liberating ways in which early capitalist relations were dislodging traditional forms of status and power” (Infamous Commerce).  Selected texts include sex/libertine comedies and marriage plays, such as the following: William Wycherley's The Country Wife (1675), Aphra Behn's The Rover (1677), John Vanbrugh's The Relapse (1696), William Congreve's The Way of the World (1700), George Farquhar's The Beaux' Stratagem (1707), John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), and George Lillo's The London Merchant (1731)--these plays and others are included in The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama, Concise Edition; Eliza Haywood's short fiction Fantomina (1725 online here and see course Blackboard site); five short fiction "prostitution" narratives in Rosenthal's anthology Nightwalkers (ranging from 1720s to 1780s), and one novel, Daniel Defoe's Roxana (1724). This course also satisfies the department's undergraduate pre-1800 course requirement for the literature and creative writing emphases. Assignments will include some differences (different expectations too) between the 400-level coursework and the 500-level work required of graduate students.

Required texts:

The Broadview Anthology of Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century Drama, Concise Edition
Edited by: J. Douglas Canfield & Maja-Lisa von Sneidern (Assistant to the Editor)
Paperback (2003) ISBN: 9781551115818

Nightwalkers: Prostitute Narratives from the Eighteenth Century Edited by: Laura J. Rosenthal
Paperback (2008) ISBN: 9781551114699

Defoe, Daniel. Ed. Melissa Mowry. Roxana or, The Fortunate Mistress (Broadview P, 2009)
Paperback ISBN: 9781551118079

Additional essays/articles and related resources online via the class Blackboard site and also via links further below.


1. Nine written Discussion Starters: a thesis/problem-driven, question-posing response (approximately 150-200 words each) to some aspect of the text and at times also responding to/drawing upon critical commentary (articles that I've made available in Blackboard resource folders). Discussion Starters present a means for you and the class to share enthusiasms and doubts as you delve into the text’s significance, methods, and effects, occurring as well in the context of one or more others' particular comments on the work in question (a version of Graff's "They Say, I Say" exchange). No late entries —Discussion Starters are due in class (hard copy that you have copied/pasted/printed from Blackboard), with DS entries also posted on Blackboard before class (by noon/12:00 p.m. that day). Come to class prepared to share/exchange your DSs first in an assigned group, and then we’ll rotate responsibility for putting a spotlight on individual DSs, using the document cam to introduce the DSs to facilitate discussion. Missing discussion-starter entries (including any missing DS entries on Blackboard, regardless of whether you turned in a hard copy) will be counted against your semester grade (see below).

2. Three Critical Analyses (CA) assignments: CA#1 on a play (850-1000 words, single-spaced, titled, on either The Country Wife, or The Rover, or The Relapse, or The Way of the World); CA#2 on Roxana (1000 words); CA#3 on one of the main short narratives from Nightwalkers or Haywood's Fantomina (600 words). These assignments direct you to explore a significant issue and rhetorical strategy that you identify in relation to cultural, historical, or theoretical contexts and concerns, with some support/citation--at minimum--from instructor-specified scholarhip/critical articles. Your topic may be prompted in part by our discussions, by published scholarship/criticism (from a select/provided list), and of course by your reactions and understanding. A sharply focused analysis may contain the kernel of a hypothesis and topic that could serve as the cornerstone or shaping idea for a longer essay, such as the Term 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 engaging, important points that you want to develop—or you may prefer a more reflective, question and problem-posing approach.

3. Term Essay: 2200+ words for undergraduates for main body of essay (approximately 8 pp, excluding Works Cited page) and 3200+ words for graduate students for body of essay (approximately 12+ pp, excluding Works Cited page), double-spaced, 12 pt, Times New Roman, 1-inch margins, MLA format, with significant reference to at least two secondary works of criticism, such as recent instructor-recommended articles or book chapters. This critical essay develops ideas prompted by our study, discussion, by recent scholarship, and by your perspectives. I shall attend to the ways that you select, define, and engage questions and contradictions, and to 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, explains, and contributes to the larger 'conversation' of scholarship on the topic and text or question 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 (questions for debate, interpretation, and analysis) in thoughtful and useful ways. Note: You may draw upon and revise material from prior written work to form part of this Term Essay; but you may not, for example, cobble together two or three assignments to form this larger assignment. The Term Essay must embody and represent additional work to a substantial degree. This assignment also requires that you submit an ungraded exploratory abstract/prospectus for the term essay. Please feel invited to confer with me during the writing process.

4. Participation: Please take advantage of opportunities to share your insights and to listen and reply to others' ideas. I hope that questions and discussions will enable you to move the class in directions you find most helpful, give you opportunities to develop critical skills through collaboration, and provide for a productive, interesting exchange of perspectives among the class. I’ll form small groups, primarily for sharing Discussion-Starters (as noted above). Graduate students shall also prepare in advance to lead off and facilitate discussion at least once during the semester. On these days graduate students may choose to lead off our discussion by presenting positions on the material (with some brief summary, focus on key points in the reading, perhaps some incorporation of secondary criticism or historical research or interpretation), and by suggesting further issues the class might consider.

5. All required work is due at the beginning of class on the due date—work turned in late will be graded accordingly. Required graded written work will be 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 emergencies—but talk with me as soon as possible to request an extension. Always keep copies of your work.

6. Attendance: If you have no absences by the semester's end (excused or not), you will receive four bonus points; with only one absence you will receive three bonus points. Two absences will not affect your semester grade; a third absence will lower your semester total by five points, with a five-point reduction for each additional absence (four absences=minus 10 points, five absences = minus 15 points); six or more absences is sufficient cause for you to receive a failing grade for the course, regardless of your semester point total. All absences will be counted—excused or not—if something extraordinary occurs, talk to me.

7. Grades: Critical Analysis #1 (40 pts); Critical Analysis #2 (50 pts); Critical Analysis #3 (30 pts); Term Essay (130 pts). These required assignments add up to a maximum of 250 points. Thus 225-250 points equals an A, 200-224 equals a B, 175-199 equals a C, 150-274 equals a D, and anything below 150 merits an F. I shall also reserve a potential five bonus points based on my perceptions of the strength of your participation and efforts over the semester; in addition, incomplete or insufficient Discussion-Starter entries will be counted against your semester grade, with the loss of five points for each missing/late, or incomplete entry, to a maximum loss of 45 points.

8. Office hours. I encourage you to confer with me—especially before assignments are due—to talk about your interests, intentions, and writing strategies. If you cannot make my regular hours (in 315 Commons), we’ll arrange another time. I also welcome communicating with you by E-mail (sflores@uidaho.edu).

9. Use of laptops and cell phones during class is prohibited; occasional use of laptops—typically for group work and to access the online components of the class—may be permitted with instructor’s approval.

10. Do not submit work for this class that you have submitted or intend to submit for a grade in another course; as always, be careful to cite anyone else's work that you draw upon. See highlighted link on the class website to a useful guide to avoiding plagiarism, and a link to information on the university's policies regarding plagiarism.

Additional reference sources for further study/research: I have retrieved/placed quite a few articles and book chapter excerpts in folders on Blackboard, and will put some resources on library reserve. Do not rely upon or incorporate research from non-refereed, non-“scholarly” sources or publications.

English 456/540 Semester Schedule Fall 2010 (subject to tweaking/revision as we go along, and additional secondary criticism to be added/assigned)





Behn and Rochester: poems, esp. Rochester's "The Imperfect Enjoyment" and Behn's "The Disappointment" --see PDF on Blackboard

Wycherley, The Country Wife


Wycherley, The Country Wife Discussion Starter 1 due, on The Country Wife ; Owen, chapter on The Country Wife (PDF via Blackboard)

Wycherley, The Country Wife; recommended via Blackboard Wycherley folder: see various essays on the play and excerpts on class handout from Tues.


Behn, The Rover; introd. to Broadview P, second ed. of the play (9-42, via PDF on Blackboard)

Behn, The Rover; Discussion Starter 2 due, on The Rover


Behn, The Rover; perhaps return a bit to Rochester's and Behn's poems; recommended: Behn resource folder (on Blackboard)

Vanbrugh, The Relapse; Discussion Starter 3 due, on The Relapse


Congreve, The Way of the World

Congreve, The Way of the World; Discussion Starter 4 due, on The Way of the World


Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem; Critical Analysis #1 due

Farquhar, The Beaux' Stratagem; Discussion Starter 5 due, on The Beaux' Stratagem


Defoe, Roxana, Introduction (9-27) and pp. 43-81

Defoe, Roxana (82-138)


Defoe, Roxana (139-185); Discussion Starter 6 due (group 1), on Roxana

Defoe, Roxana (186-233); Discussion Starter 6 due (group 2), on Roxana


Defoe, Roxana (234-299); Discussion Starter 6 due (group 3), on Roxana

Defoe, Roxana (300-326); Discussion Starter 6 due (group 4), on Roxana; also pp.327-340


Defoe, Roxana (critical essays in resource folder on Blackboard)

Critical Analysis #2 due


Haywood, Fantomina; Discussion Starter 7 due

Nightwalkers Introduction (ix-xxxxii) and Ch. 1 ( 1-68); Discussion Starter 8 due (group 4)


continued: Nightwalkers Introduction (ix-xxxxii) and Ch. 1 ( 1-68); also read Laura Rosenthal's introduction to her book Infamous Commerce (pp.1-16)

Nightwalkers Ch. 2 ( 69-151); Discussion Starter 8 due (group 3)


continued: Nightwalkers Ch. 2 ( 69-151); Discussion Starter 8 due (group 2)

Nightwalkers Ch. 3 ( 152-190); Critical Analysis #3 due


Nightwalkers Ch. 4 ( 191-96) and Ch. 5 (197-223); Discussion Starter 8 due (group 1)

Gay, The Beggar's Opera


Gay, The Beggar's Opera; Discussion Starter 9 due

Lillo, The London Merchant

12/13 Term Essay due