Class Days/Time: MWF 10:35-11:30
Instructor: Dr. Rebecca Nesvet (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Office and Hours: TH358, M 2-3; W 2-4
What do we imagine when we hear the word “Victorian?” Children working in factories, perhaps, or oppressive moral dogmas, billowing smokestacks, and railroads; an empire on which the “sun never set.” However, the Victorian era was also a time of great social, political, industrial, and aesthetic change, and the imperial project provoked criticism as well as praise. In this course, we will study Victorian poetry, prose fiction (including fiction serials), journalism, and drama. We will reconstruct vital cultural contexts by examining the visual and material culture of the Victorian era, some of which was embedded in its literature. We will also contribute to the digital and public humanities by contributing to a digital scholarly edition of one work of serial fiction, the “penny dreadful” The String of Pearls, or the Barber of Fleet Street, which introduced readers to the urban mythical villain Sweeney Todd.
Objective: By the end of the course, you will not only possess a broad understanding of Victorian texts, genres, topics, and controversies, you will also hone your critical thinking, close-reading, and context-building skills, develop a portfolio of writing and media that showcases these skills, and help to make a key Victorian text accessible to the public.
Learning Outcomes of the English Department (taken from the website)
1. Courses in English develop students’ understanding of important works of American and English literature by providing awareness of — and appreciation for — our literary heritage.
2. English as a discipline works to contextualize literature using a historical perspective from which to evaluate works written in their own time, and deepen their insight into their own experience.
3. Inherent in achieving these aims is the development of students’ ability to express their ideas orally and in writing.
4. Although some study English primarily for personal growth and enrichment, the program is intended to prepare students for graduate work, teaching and the professions, as well as for a variety of occupations.
Graduates in English have found careers in personnel work, public relations, business management, journalism, politics, free-lance writing, publishing, and other fields requiring communication skills. Besides an emphasis in literature, the English program also offers an emphasis in creative writing as well as an emphasis in English education.
Learning Outcomes for Humanistic Studies (taken from the website)
1. Students will acquire an understanding of what it means to be human by studying and analyzing important works and ideas in literature, philosophy, language, and history.
2. Students will acquire essential life skills, including the ability to reflect critically on texts and artifacts, to recognize and appreciate nuance and complexity of meaning, and to express themselves in a clear, organized, and well-reasoned manner.
3. Students will be transformed and given greater self-awareness by understanding the historical and cultural context for human values through the study of literature, philosophy, language, and history.
4. Study of the Humanities imparts a fundamental understanding of:
• the significance and chronology of major events and movements in World civilization;
• a range of literature, representative of different literary forms and historical contexts;
• the role of the humanities in identifying and clarifying individual and social values in a culture and understanding the implications of decisions made on the basis of those values.
Edwin A. Abbott, Flatland (Dover, $3)
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Dover, $3.50)
Moises Kaufman, Gross Indecency (Samuel French, $8)
The Keepsake for 1829, ed. Paula R. Feldman (Broadview, $29)
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Dover, $3.50)
(Total = $51.50)
You will be allowed three unexcused absences, for any reason. You don’t need to let me know the reason. After you have used your three absences, your grade will drop by one-third of a letter grade (from B to B-, for example) for each additional absence. Therefore, please save up your allowed absences. If you have used them all, have an emergency, and need to miss class again, you will not be excused without penalty. In this sense, absences are like money in a bank account: if you spend money when you don’t need to, and then have a genuine need for more, the bank might not give it to you. Being disruptively late or leaving early counts as being absent, as does being present without homework, book(s), notes, or equipment. All assignments must be turned in on the due date; any assignments not turned in on time will be penalized one full letter grade per day.
There are 100 possible points available. Once a percentage of the points earned is determined, I will assign final grades based on the following scale (100 pts equals 100 percent, etc.):
92-100 A 89-91 A/B
82-88 B 79-81 B/C
72-78 C 69-71 C/D
60-68 D F is below 60
Quizzes: Pop quizzes might take place if it seems as if reading is not being completed on time for class. Therefore, be certain that you have read the reading.
UWGB Commons for the Digital and Public Humanities
You will all be receiving an email invite to the UWGB Commons for the Digital and Public Humanities. You are to create a username and password that you will use for the remainder of the semester. I will create a private group for this class and show you how to use all relevant aspects of the site.
There is a D2L site for this course. We will use D2L for tasks that we find difficult to accomplish in the site for the digital commons.
A Note on Public Work/FERPA:
In this course, you will conduct original research, blog, and annotate text for readers outside the university. By taking this class, you implicitly agree to the publication of your work. You may choose a byline: either your name or your initials.
Office Hours: Please attend office hours. You are required to attend once in the term. Not doing so will compromise your participation grade. Why should you attend? To talk through your brainstorming phase, get suggestions of useful secondary sources, test your ideas, ask questions about the syllabus or content, share work intended for publication, get clarification of material or assignment prompts, or just say hello. By attending office hours, you can tailor your education to your interests, aspirations, and goals.
For our veteran, active-duty, and military family students:
Veterans and active duty military personnel with special circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployment, drill requirements, and disabilities) and their partners and children are welcome and encouraged to communicate these circumstances to the instructor, as far in advance as possible. This way, adjustments and accommodations can be made.