Literature and Society [DOCX 15.54KB]

Literature & Society, 1770-1900
(MLitt Option Module)
Module Overview:
‘Literature & Society, 1770-1900’ explores the interplay between the nationwide perspectives of social
philosophy and the more individualistic concerns of literary culture in the late eighteenth and nineteenth
centuries. It offers students a chance to make broad connections across the period, at the same time as providing
them with in-depth knowledge of principal theoreticians of culture in these decades and their major works.
Emphasis will be placed on the manner in which literary works can be read in conversation with, and in
opposition to, social theory, with each seminar structured around close readings of an example of each style of
Seminar Programme:
Week 1:
The Nation and the Individual
Adam Smith, An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations; William
Wordsworth, The Prelude; William Cowper, The Task (extracts of all three to be provided).
Week 2:
Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman (extracts); Lord Byron, Sardanapalus
(to be provided).
Week 3:
Jeremy Bentham, Chrestomathia (extracts); Hannah More, Strictures on Female Education
(extracts); Jane Austen, Mansfield Park.
Week 4:
The Poet and Society
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, On the Constitution of Church and State (extracts), ‘The Eolian
Week 5:
John Stuart Mill, ‘On the Probable Futurity of the Labouring Classes’ (to be provided); Charles
Kingsley, Alton Locke, Tailor and Poet: An Autobiography.
Week 6:
[Reading Week]
Week 7:
Ruskin, ‘On the Nature of Gothic’ (to be provided); Sheridan Le Fanu, ‘Carmilla’ (to be
Week 8:
Matthew Arnold, Culture and Anarchy, Chapters 1 & 2 (to be provided), ‘The Strayed Reveller’,
‘The Scholar-Gipsy’.
Week 9:
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto; Dante Gabriel Rossetti, ‘Jenny’;
Christina Rossetti, ‘Goblin Market’.
Week 10:
Aesthetic Withdrawal
Walter Pater, ‘Conclusion’ to The Renaissance (to be provided), Oscar Wilde, The Picture of
Dorian Gray, ‘The Soul of Man Under Socialism’ (extracts).