Literature in English 1660-1900

This course covers representative works written in the English language between the late 17th Century and the end of the 19th Century, “representative” referring (as in the course title) to the use of the English language by the author, which will be a focus of our approach to (as it was a factor in the authorship of) the course readings.

While neither a British nor American literature survey course, assigned readings include those by British and American writers students may well recognize, and some works they have read. However, we will also cover less canonical literature by writers from  countries, peoples and cultures colonized by Britain and/or America during the span of these two significant centuries, as well as works by those who emigrated to countries where English was the LINGUA FRANCA during the time period concerned.

Experiencing works written by authors who willingly or unwillingly ended up speaking and expressing themselves in the English language will enhance students’ experience of the language most of them speak and read today–whether it be their original language, one they learned to communicate in outside their home environment, or the “official language” of the country where they were born.  It will also suggest connections between the language we “think”in, the one(s) we speak or read, and the English language in which the works we read were written; from such connections questions should arise for students about how thinking, speaking, reading and writing are linked, and why the literature that people keep reading may be important for students who elect to take this course to read and study.

Course Text(s):

To be announced
(Ordered through Revolution Books)


There will be two essays (4 pages) assigned, with the possibility to rewrite one for a higher grade; a Midterm (partially in-class w/ a take-home essay portion) and a Final (taken in class during the designated Final Exam day).  Participation and attendance will be factored into students’grades, and miscellaneous casual writing assignments and/or quizzes may be counted toward the grade (though not more than 10%).