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English 303: English Literature II—Romantic through Modern

Section XH81, Fall 2018

3 Credits / 3 Hours

Thurs., 6:00-8:40pm

Welcome to English 303: English Literature II—Romantic through Modern. The course description is as follows:

English literature from 1815 to 1940, emphasizing major writers in poetry, drama, and prose.

We will begin our semester with Jane Austen’s domestic fiction and the rise of Romanticism and conclude a little over a century later with the modernist experimentation that culminated in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.

Throughout this period, the British reading public was exposed to an avalanche of new ideas that frequently unsettled old beliefs about rank, religion, and morality.  The writings of Marx, Darwin, and Freud (not to mention Nietzsche) were all published and feverishly debated.  Slavery was abolished throughout most of the empire, and suffragettes won the right to vote.  The devastation of World War I—a first glimpse at the indiscriminate killing that would plague the twentieth century—seemed to vindicate many of the challenges these thinkers had issued against powerful, old institutions.

This is a rich and endlessly fascinating era, and I very much look forward to analyzing these texts with you.

Course Goals and Objective

  • Assess these texts in light of dominant historical, cultural, and aesthetic trends

  • Hone skills of close reading, literary analysis, and critical argumentation

  • Develop an original and compelling writing voice

  • Discover the pleasure of reading these texts

Required Materials

All books are available at the Lehman College Bookstore.

  • Jane Austen, Mansfield Park. ISBN-13: 978-0199535538

  • Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre. ISBN-13: 978-0199535590

  • Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Tales. ISBN-13: 978-0199536221

  • Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier. ISBN-13: 978-0199585946

  • Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse. ISBN-13: 978-0156030472

Recommended Materials and Resources

  • Purdue University Online Writing Lab (MLA Style Guide):

  • Google Scholar:

  • William Strunk and E.B. White, The Elements of Style (Fourth Edition). ISBN-13: 978-0205309023


You may bring laptops in order to take notes but no cell phones, headphones, or portable music players.

Attendance and Punctuality

Attendance is mandatory.  Only two absences and two times arriving late (more than ten minutes) will be excused.  Each additional unexcused absence will result in half a letter grade dropped. (Two lates equal one unexcused absence).  Six unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.  If you know you will be late or absent, please email me.

Policy on Plagiarism

You must do your own work and be sure to cite sources for any ideas, words and phrases, or thought that are not your own and not common knowledge.  Plagiarism often occurs because students do not allow enough time to complete their assignments or because they feel their work will not be good enough.  If you are having trouble finishing an assignment by the due date, please speak with me instead of cheating.  And in this class, if you challenge yourself and make a solid effort, you will be fine: your own work is good enough.  If you turn in work that is not your own, you will fail the assignment and possibly the entire course.  All instances of plagiarism will be reported to the English Department Chair and Office of Student Affairs.  Note that college penalties for this can be as severe as expulsion from the college.  Please use common sense and if you are ever in doubt, ask me first and before your assignment is due.

CUNY defines plagiarism as follows:

Plagiarism is the act of presenting another person’s ideas, research or writings as your own.  The following are some examples of plagiarism, but by no means is it an exhaustive list:

Copying another person’s actual words without the use of quotation marks and footnotes attributing the words to their sourcePresenting another person’s ideas or theories in your own words without acknowledging the sourceUsing information that is not common knowledge without acknowledging the sourceFailing to acknowledge collaborators on homework and laboratory assignments

Internet Plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.

Internet plagiarism includes submitting downloaded term papers or parts of term papers, paraphrasing or copying information from the internet without citing the source, and “cutting & pasting” from various sources without proper attribution.


Assignments must be emailed to by 11:59pm on the day on which they are due.  Assignments not handed in at all will be given failing grades.  Talk to me if you are having a serious problem completing the work, and we will work out a plan that is agreeable to us both.  Incomplete or late assignments will lose half a letter grade per day.  This means that if you submit an A paper that is due on Monday on Wednesday, you will receive a B.

In-Class Writing: 20 points

Archival Object: 20 points

Multi-Media Essay: 20 points

Comments: 10 points

Participation: 30 points

Total: 100 points

Grading Scale: 94-100 = A; 90-93 = A-; 87-89 = B+; 83-86 = B; 80-82 = B-; 77-79 = C+; 73-76 = C

Classroom Participation

This is a discussion-based course, not a lecture-based one.  I strongly believe that learning is a social practice, and by voicing your reading of these texts to your peers, you are helping to educate the entire classroom, yourself and myself included.  However, I am aware that some people are more comfortable speaking than others—in fact, public speaking regularly tops polls of Americans’ greatest fears—and your participation grade will also include active listening.  However, there will also be no toleration of deliberately racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, or ableist language.  I use the word deliberately because we all have gaps in knowledge and experience and part of the purpose of a college education is assisting each other in filling in those gaps.  Therefore, I encourage respectful debate when your peers or I have said something that is hurtful, insensitive, or ignorant.


In-Class Writing: At the beginning of every class, I will ask you to write for twenty minutes in response to a prompt on the day’s readings.  This will serve both as a reading check and as a means of formalizing your thoughts on the page before turning to class discussion.

Archival Object: For your first assignment, I will ask that you search through a selection of online archives for a historical object that has a significant relationship to one of the texts we have discussed in class and then write a 1000-word essay on that relationship.  By placing both object and text in an historical context, my hope is that you will have a richer understanding of both the novels we are reading and the historical moments they are depicting.

Multi-Media Essay: For your final, 1500-word essay, I will ask you to once again return to the archives, this time using multiple objects and multiple texts to make a larger argument about British literature between 1815 and 1940.

Accommodating Disabilities

Lehman College is committed to providing access to all programs and curricula to all students.  Students with disabilities who may need classroom accommodations are encouraged to register with the Office of Student Disability Services.  For more information, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services, Shuster Hall, Room 238, phone number (718) 960-8441.

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in any educational program receiving federal financial assistance.  Sexual harassment, which includes acts of sexual violence, is a form of sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX, and is considered a Civil Rights offense.  Lehman College encourages anyone experiencing harassment, discrimination or sexual misconduct to talk to a faculty member, counselor, or staff; confidential resources are available through the Lehman Counseling Center at (718) 960-8761.

Instructional Support Services (ISSP)

Lehman College’s Instructional Support Services Program (ISSP) is home of the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) and Science Learning Center (SLC).  Both offer students an array of activities and services designed to support classroom learning.  Open to students at any level, there are individual, small group, and/or workshop sessions designed to improve “proficiency in writing, reading, research, and particular academic subject areas.  Computer-assisted writing/language tutorial programs are also available,” as well as individual tutors, workshops and tutors.

To obtain more information about the ACE and the SLC, please visit Old Gym, Room 205 or or call ACE at 718-960-8175, and SLC at 718-960-7707.

Regular tutoring hours for fall & spring semesters are: M—T 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Library Tutors are also available in the Library.  These tutors offer help with Library resources and computers.

Classmate Contacts


Phone Number:




Phone Number:


Reading and Assignment Schedule


Thursday, 8/30: Richard Price, from A Discourse on the Love of Our Country (1789); Edmund Burke, from Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790); Mary Wollstonecraft, from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792); Hannah More, from Strictures on the Modern System of Female Education (1799)


Thursday, 9/6: Jane Austen, Mansfield Park (1814); Dorothy Wordsworth, from The Grasmere Journals (1800-3); William Wordsworth, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” (1807)

Thursday, 9/13: Austen, Mansfield Park (cont'd); William Blake, "The Little Black Boy" (1789), "The Garden of Love" (1794), and "And did those feet in ancient time" (c.1804-10)

Thursday, 9/20: Austen, Mansfield Park (cont’d); Lord Byron, “She Walks in Beauty” (1813); John Keats, “Ode to a Nightingale” (1819)

Thursday, 9/27: Austen, Mansfield Park (cont’d); Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan” (1816); Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ozymandias” (1818); Edward Said, from Culture and Imperialism (1993)


Thursday, 10/4: Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847); Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, from The Communist Manifesto (1848); Engels, from The Great Towns (1845)

Thursday, 10/11: Brontë, Jane Eyre (cont’d); Sarah Stickney Ellis, from The Women of England (1839); Coventry Patmore, from The Angel in the House (1854/62); Anonymous, “The Great Social Evil” (1858); Sandra Gilbert and Susan Guber, from The Madwoman in the Attic (1979)

Thursday, 10/18: Brontë, Jane Eyre (cont’d); Charles Darwin, from On the Origin of Species (1859); Darwin, from The Descent of Man (1871)

Thursday, 10/25: Brontë, Jane Eyre (cont’d); Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Opening of the Indian and Colonial Exhibition by the Queen” (1886); Joseph Chamberlain, from “The True Conception of Empire” (1897); Sri Aurobindo, “The Object of Passive Resistance” (1907)

Sunday, 10/28: First Draft of Archival Object Essay Due

Thursday, 11/1: Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886); Sigmund Freud, “The Uncanny” (1919); Valdine Clemens, from The Return of the Repressed (1999)

Sunday, 11/4: Final Draft of Archival Object Essay Due


Thursday, 11/8: Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1915); Rupert Brooke, “The Soldier” (1915); Siegfried Sassoon, “They” (1917); Wilfred Owen, “Dulce Et Decorum Est” (1920)

Thursday, 11/15: Ford, The Good Soldier (cont’d); W.B. Yeats, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death” (1919), “The Second Coming” (1920), and “Easter, 1916” (1921)

Sunday, 11/18: Annotated Bibliography of Multi-Media Essay Due

Thursday, 11/29: Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927); T.S. Eliot, “The Waste Land” (1922); Eliot, “The Hollow Men” (1925)

Sunday, 12/2: First Draft of Multi-Media Essay Due

Thursday, 12/6: Woolf, To the Lighthouse (cont’d); D.H. Lawrence, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?” (1915); Lawrence, “The Ship of Death” (1933)

Sunday, 12/9: Final Draft of Multi-Media Essay Due