Dec 14, 2019  
2018-2019 Catalogue 
2018-2019 Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

ENGL 21030 - Class, Gender, Criminality 18th Cent Lit

Course Credit: 1
Class, Gender, Criminality in 18th Century Literature In this course, we will survey British literature of the eighteenth century by examining themes of class, criminality, and gender in novels, poetry, and memoir. The eighteenth century loved narratives of crime: stories of hangings and transportations (being sent against one’s will to a colony abroad), seduction and repentance. These texts also demonstrate a profound uncertainty about the shifting landscape of class and privilege, often linked to concerns about appropriate behavior for women in newly public spaces. Could a maid marry her employer and become a respectable woman? Should a penniless poet who claimed to be a nobleman’s bastard son be forgiven for killing a man, on the basis of his talent? We will discuss the historical contexts of these texts and examine how they grapple, both in content in form, with questions of how to define virtue and morality and how to punish crime. [Before 1800] [AH]