English 714
Student Presentations

Students are expected to give a brief (15-20 minutes) oral presentation on one of the assigned readings for the semester, during which they will examine particular aspects of the text in order to provide a deeper appreciation of the text's meaning.

Possible topics (please feel free to develop a topic of your own): 
 
Jan 26 Course Introduction


A. Feminism and Gender
Feb 2 Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Woman
The Wrongs of Woman, or Maria
  • Wollstonecraft's view of women
  • Female Education
  • Language of Slavery
  • Maria as exemplification of theories in Vindication
  • Role of Godwin as Editor
  • Significance of Class
  • Sexual Identity and Morality
  • Character of Darnford
  • Character of Jemima
  • Portrayal of British Legal System
  • Mother-Daughter Relationships
  • Concept of Confinement

9 Hays, The Victim of Prejudice
  • Sexual Identity and Morality
  • Economic dependence
  • Burke's Benevolent Patrirarch
  • Concept of Confinement
  • Portrayal of British Legal System
  • Mother-Daughter Relationships

16 Lister, I Know My Own Heart
WW, “To the Lady E.B and the Hon. Miss P” (handout)
  • Construction of Identity
  • Personal vs. Public Writing
  • Personal vs. Public Reading
  • Use of (Coded) Language
  • Role of Class
  • Homosocial vs Homosexual Relationships


B. Slavery and Abolition

23 Phillis Wheatley (handouts)
“To S. M., a Young African Painter” 
“To the Right Hon. William, Earl of Dartmouth”
“On Being Brought from Africa to America”
"An Hymn to Morning"
“A Farewell to America. To Mrs. S. W.”
“To His Excellency George Washington”
“On the Death of Gen. Wooster”
  • Use of Language
  • Subversion vs. Submission
  • Religion
  • Intersections: Race, Class, Gender
  • African/American/European Culture
March 2
Equiano, Narrative of the Interesting Life
(Gates 15-247)
  • Use of Language
  • Subversion vs. Submission
  • Religion
  • Intersections: Race, Class, Gender
  • African/American/European Culture
 

9 Equiano, cont.
Prince, History of Mary Prince
(Gates 249-321)
  • Construction of Identity
  • Oral vs. Written Voice
  • Subversion vs. Submission
  • Religion
  • Intersections: Race, Class, Gender

16 Earle, Obi, or, the History of Three-Fingered Jack
Edgeworth, “The Grateful Negro”
  • White portrayals of Black characters
  • African vs. European Religion
  • Relationships between Slaves and Slaves
  • Relationships between Slaves and Masters
  • Slave Rebellion and the French Revolution
  • Abolitionism and Sentimentality

30 Blake,  “The Little Black Boy,” (handout)
“Visions of the Daughters of Albion” (handout)
Coleridge, “Greek Prize Ode on the Slave Trade” (handout)
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”
  • Intersections: Race, Class, Gender
  • African Traditions/Imagery
  • American/British Culture & Society
  • White portrayals of Black characters


C. Colonialism and Orientalism
Apr
6 Southey, from Poems on the Slave Trade (handout)
WW, “To Toussaint L’Ouverture” (handout)
“September 1st, 1802” (“The Banished Negroes”) (handout)
“To Thomas Clarkson” (handout)
“Queen and Negress chaste and fair!”(handout)
  • Private vs. Public Writing/Correspondence
  • Intersections: Race, Class, Gender
  • Images of the Exotic Other
  • White portrayals of Black characters

13
Lewis, Journals of a West Indian Proprietor
  • Amelioration vs. Emancipation
  • Representations of Empire
  • Representations of Power

20
Byron, The Giaour (print pp. 1-36)  (Frank)
The Bride of Abydos
The Corsair (print pp. 1-51)
  • Figure of the Byronic Hero
  • Figure of the Turkish Other
  • Religion and Empire
  • Gender and Power

27 P. Shelley, Hellas
De Quincey, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater
  • English Self vs. Turkish Other
  • Reliability of the Autobiographical Narrator
  • Prostitutes and other Marginalized Figures
  • Dreams
May
4
Mary Shelley,  The Last Man
  • Figure of the Sibyl
  • Figure of the Queen Mother
  • Figure of Evadne
  • Role of  Religion 
  • Orientalism and Ethnocentrism