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English 205: Core III: 1660-1789

18th Century British and American Literature


Dr. Rummell
Office: 47-32D
Office Hours: TR 1-2; and by appointment

Office phone: 756-2142


krummell@calpoly.edu

Texts:
The Norton Anthology of British Literature, Vol. C (9th edition)
Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (Penguin Classics)
M. H. Abrams A Glossary of Literary Terms (available on PolyLearn)
Printouts of course readings (available on PolyLearn)
Course Description: As the third course in the English major core curriculum, we will continue
our voyage through British and American literature. In this leg of the journey, we will see
representations of America and her inhabitants through the eyes of British, French, and American
writers. As we watch this new country form, we will also cast an eye toward British Enlightenment
culture and its literary productions. During this exciting period in literary history, we will witness
the proliferation of genres (especially the "rise" of the novel) in England, and the concurrent
emergence of a new, American literary tradition.
Student Learning Outcomes: At the end of the course, students will be able to
Understand the historical progression/development of the Neoclassical literary period;
Understand the relationship between 18th century American and British literary traditions;
Define several literary terms common to 18th century literature;
Define and explain several literary genres common to 18 th century literature;
Perform sophisticated close readings of primary texts;
Write coherent, articulate, and well-organized essays.
Grading:
Short Paper:
Paper:
Creative Project:
Midterm Exam:
Final Exam:
Participation:

15%
20%
10%
20%
25%
10%

Course Policies
*All work must be completed on time in order to receive a passing grade in the course. The
papers will be assigned in writing at a later date and are due on the dates that appear on the
syllabus. Under no circumstances am I obligated to accept late papers.
*This course will be run as a lecture/discussion class. In other words, while I will lecture for part
of most class periods, we will also have lively discussions that will rely heavily on everyones
input. I expect you to attend every class on time and to complete the assigned reading before
class time. We may have unannounced quizzes to ensure you keep up with the reading; you
may not make up these quizzes. I also expect you to participate in class discussions; you should
be prepared to answer questions orally.
*Absences and tardies: Research supports the theory that attending class greatly enhances your
learning. I subscribe to this theory. You are expected to attend class every day, and I will take roll
every day. You may miss one class without penalty. If you miss 2 classes, your participation
grade will suffer. If you miss 3 or more classes, you will fail the participation portion of the grade.
Obviously, you cannot contribute to discussions if you are not in class, nor can you make up
quizzes if you are absent. Being consistently tardy is one of the few things you can do to truly
irritate me. If you have a legitimate problem getting to class on time, come talk to me about it.

Otherwise, I consider tardies rude and intrusive, and they will affect your final grade. If you are
late to class, you should check with me immediately after class to see that I havent marked you
absent.
*If you are absent, you will need to get class notes from another student in the course, including
any assignments that were given. If you have questions after reviewing these notes, please
come to office hours; however, please recognize that I cannot repeat lectures/discussions for
every student who is absent. It is your responsibility to get the information you missed (another
reason not to miss class!).
*Bring your text(s) in hard copy to class. As youre reading, mark them upwrite questions,
underline parts you dont understand, transcribe definitions of words that are new to you, interact
with the text as if its a living thing because, Im here to tell you, literature is a living thing. It has a
pulse and a heartbeat and if you approach the readings this way you will get so much more out of
this class than you would otherwise.
*Electronic Etiquette Policy:
*Just like youll be interacting with your readings, our class will be productive only if we
interact with each other. This course will expand our understanding of literature, of humanity, of
ourselves, but only if we take the time to listen, think, and respond to each other. We cant really
do that if we hide behind a laptop screen. Additionally, its nearly impossible for anyone to resist
the urge to glance at email or a social media site when doing so means a quick click of a button,
and moving your attention away from class discussioneven for a minutemakes it likely that
youll lose the thread of the conversation and have a tough time re-entering it. And though you
might think that your laptop habits only distract yourself, studies show that others near the laptop
user are also distracted by the screen and therefore also suffer. For these reasons, unless you
have an accessibility reason to need to use a laptop or tablet, I will ask you to leave your
electronics in your backpack. If you do have an accessibility reason, please talk to me after class
on the first day.
*There are other good reasons to take notes the old-fashioned way (or at least the 20thcentury old-fashioned way). According to various studies, taking notes by hand rather than by
typing increases our understanding of the material and helps us focus more clearly.
*Finally, please turn off all cell phones during class. If you have a legitimate reason for
needing your cell phone on, please let me know in advance of the class period.
*Accessibility Statement: It is University policy to provide, on a flexible and individualized basis,
reasonable accommodations to students who have disabilities that may affect their ability to
participate in course activities or to meet course requirements. Students with disabilities are
encouraged to contact me to discuss their individual needs for accommodations.
*Plagiarism is a serious offense. I expect that you understand what constitutes plagiarism and
how to correctly use and cite information in your papers. In its most basic definition, plagiarism
means taking ideas or words from others without properly citing them. If you are unsure of how to
avoid plagiarism in your papers, you should talk to me before you turn in the paper. If you are
caught plagiarizing in this course, you will fail the course, and may be expelled from the university
as well. Additionally, you may not turn in a paper you completed for another class for credit in this
class. And, you cannot turn in the paper you complete in this class for credit in any other class
without obtaining express permission from that professor. It should go without saying (but it
doesnt always, so Im saying it) that you cant turn in someone elses paper for credit. For further
information about plagiarism, see the universitys policy at:
http://www.calpoly.edu/~acadsen/Cheating&Plagiarism.html
*By remaining enrolled in this course, you are implicitly agreeing to abide by the guidelines and
standards set forth in this syllabus.

Some advice for reading 18th-century literature:


First, be sure to read the complete assignment before you come to class.
Coming to class without having done your reading will be a tedious waste of time for you
it would be like touring a great art museum with the lights out, listening to a guide tell
you what you would see if you could view the painting.
Second, most of these works are quite challenging, especially given the topical
nature of most 18th-century literature. To help you understand the historical references,
read all the footnotes as well as the headpieces for each author.
Finally, be an active reader (take notes, underline key passages, ask questions in
the margins); doing so will greatly help you with your in-class responses and exam
preparation.
****************************************************************************************
*The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus as needed. Selections are to
be read in their entirety by the due date. Some pieces are longer than others, so plan
accordingly.
*Underlined words are literary terms you need to look up in M. H. Abrams A Glossary of
Literary Terms. I will expect you to have used this particular text for the definitions and
explanations of these words, and you will be tested on them. You should look up the
words before the class period for which they are assigned.

9/26

Introduction to course
Everything you always wanted to know about 17th and 18th century
British Royalty (download and print from PolyLearn) Postpone
because likely will miss this class??
Satire's Sword
W
9/28 Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (lines 1-540)
Neoclassicism; Allegory; Heroic Couplet; Satire
M

10/3

M
W

10/10 Oroonoko (complete Reading Questions handout)


10/12 No Class: Instructor at Conference

Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (lines 682-810; 933-1031)


Writing Workshop
New Genres: Novels and Periodicals
W
10/5 Behn, Oroonoko (all)
Bring to class Reading Questions handout (with first three questions
completed)
Begin reading Moll Flanders

Introduction to the Novel


Defoe, Moll Flanders (1-182)
M
W

10/17 Addison and Steele, Spectator Numbers 2, 11 and 69


10/19 Defoe, Moll Flanders (183-427)

10/

Short Papers due (My office by noon)

Return to Satire
M
10/24 Swift, A Modest Proposal, The Ladys Dressing Room
Montagu, The Reasons that Induced Dr. Swift. . .
Persona; Tone; Voice
W
10/26 Midterm Exam
M
W

10/31 Swift, Gullivers Travels part IV


11/2 Pope, The Rape of the Lock
Pastoral; Epic; Mock Epic (under Burlesque); Zeugma (under
Rhetorical Styles)

Pope and Johnson explain how humankind should live


M
11/7 Pope: Essay on Man
Essay; Great Chain of Being; Theodicy
W
11/9 Johnson, Preface to the Dictionary, Rasselas (Read all chapter titles;
read chapters 1-11; 18; 21; 31-32; 40-44; 48-49)
Across the Pond: What is America?
M
11/14 Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer (Letter 3)
Franklin, Autobiography Part 2; "Information to Those Who Would
Remove to America"
Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Query 6)
Encounters with Others: Native Americans
W
11/16 Franklin "Remarks Concerning the Savages of North America"
Encounters with Others: Africans and Slaves
M
11/28 Crevecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer (Letter 9)
Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia (Query 14)
In Their Own Words
W
11/30 Wheatley, "On Being Brought from Africa to America," "To the Rt. Hon.
William, Earl of Dartmouth"
A Look Forward
M
12/5 Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
W
12/7
T

11/24 Papers due (My office by noon)

Id like to read The Contrast again.


Creative projects due to PolyLearn
Final Exam: Wednesday, December 14, 7-10 am

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