|Module Title||LITERATURE AND THE BODY 1700-1775|
|Co-ordinator||Dr David Shuttleton|
|Course delivery||Seminar||20 Hours 10 x 2 hr|
|Assessment||Continuous assessment||2 essays (2,500 words each)||100%|
|Resit assessment||Resubmit any failed elements and/or make good any missing elements.|
The 'body' is an important topic in contemporary literary criticism and theory concerned with the relationship between subjectivity, social being, cultural meanings and political regulation. Such a concern has been particularly fuitful in 18th-century literary studies, where attention to historically situated texts allows us to contest a reductive notion of 'the body' as something essential and unchanging .The set-texts, representing a range of genres (journalism, poetry, pamphlets, satires and novels), prompt workshop discussions of a lively range of topics reflecting the shift from religious to more secular, Enlightenment concepts of embodiment. Tehse include the regulation of the city as the site of disease, 'the spirit made flesh', scataolgical humour and satire, concepts of beauty and deformity, 'the grotesque', sexual commodification, nervous sensibility, illness as metaphor and the body politic. You will also be encouraged to engage with recent criticism and introduced to some relevant theoretical ideas.
Set Texts to purchase:
Daniel Defoe, Journal of the Plague Year (Norton) and Roxana (Oxford World's Classics); Sarah Scott, Millenium Hall (Broadview); Frances Sheridan, The Memoirs of Miss Sidney Bidulph (Oxford World's Classics); Henry Fielding, A Journey from This World to the Next; Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon (Oxford World's Classics); Tobias Smollett, Humphry Clinker (Penguin); Jonathan Swift, Selected Poems (Everyman).
Module objectives / Learning outcomes
This module aims to:
introduce students to a range of literary texts from this historical period - usually associated with the emergence of Enlightenment modernity;
familiarise students with a range of historical-cultural contexts within which they might usefully read the role of 'the body' as a signifier within these texts;
introduce students to issues of representation concerning 'the body' as a diverse and contested literary/cultural trope; and thus encourage an engagement with historical literature as being both ideologically constituted and active within a specific historically distant culture;
encourage an ability to engage with and apply some recent theoretical ideas concerning 'embodiment' as a trope which brings into play a range of issues such as religion, class, consumption, gender and sexuality.
On completion of the module students should be able to:
demonstrate that they have acquired a knowledge and understanding of the primary texts on the module and a critical awareness of the broader issues raised by the module;
disucss the texts and their various contexts coherently;
write about them in a well-structured and well-argued way.
** Recommended Background
Paul Langford. (1989) A Polite and Commercial People.
Peter Gay. (1967) The Enlightenment: an Interpretation. 2 vols.
John Sekora. (1977) Luxury: The Concept in Western Thought.
Marie Mulvey Roberts and Roy Porter (eds.). (1993) Literature and Medicine during the Eighteenth-Century. Routledge
Ian McCormick. (1997) Secret Sexualities: A Sourcebook of 17th and 18th Century Writing. Routledge
G.S. Rousseau and R. Porter. (1987) Sexual Underworlds of the Enlightenment. Manchester University Press
Carol Houlihan Flynn. (1987) The Body in Swift and Defoe.
John Mullan. (1988) Sentiment and Sociability: the Language of Feeling in the Eighteenth Century.
Veronica Kelley and Dorothea E. Von Mucke (eds.). (1994) Body and Text in the Eighteenth Century. Stanford
Simon Dentith (ed.). (1995) Bakhtinain Thought: an Introductory Reader. Routledge