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Aestheticism in Victorian Britain: Art for Art's Sake among the Pre-Raphaelites and the Wilde Circle
ENGL 261
Spring 2007 not offered

This course focuses on two groups of artists and intellectuals whose ideas about art and society were deliberately and self-consciously dissident and experimental: the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, formed at Oxford in 1848 and active in London until the early 1870s; and the "decadent" circle centered around Oscar Wilde in the 1890s. We will examine a variety of literary and non-literary texts, from poetry and novels to aesthetic theory and sociologial investigations, as well as painting, drawing, architecture, textiles, and interior design. Issues to be addressed include: theories of art for art's sake and their political valences; experimental and avant garde ideas and practices of art; the social and cultural space occupied by well-educated and often well-off artists--an "elite margin"; the interaction among various modes of artistic expression, most especially painting and poetry; the relation between "high" art and the aesthetic way of life, which by turns embraced artisanal crafts, popular culture, industrial production, and the decorative arts; and the sexual, gender, class, and (inter-)national dynamics of artistic production and consumption during these years.

Essential Capabilities: Writing
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: ENGL201
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None

Last Updated on APR-21-2024
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