The Conversational Eighteenth Century|
Fall 2006 not offered
We often think of reading and writing as serious, solitary activities, and the Enlightenment in particular is commonly associated with cool reason and disengaged observation. In the eighteenth century, however, writing, reading, and talking were much closer than they are today, and the period offers us powerful models for thinking of literary activity as a form of dialogue. This course will examine the eighteenth century's considerable interest in play, ridicule, unruly argument, and sociable pleasure. In reading British, French, and American literature, we will explore the different ways in which satire, correspondence, essays, dialogues, and novels represent and embody conversational exchange.
Ethical Reasoning, Speaking
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Graded|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Periodical essays by Joseph Addison and Richard Steele, dialogues by Benjamin Franklin and Denis Diderot, satire by Alexander Pope and Jonathan Swift, and the correspondence of Ignatius Sancho and Mary Wortley Montagu, among others. Secondary readings will include philosophical debates on the legacy of Enlightenment, cultural histories of conversational spaces, and, of course, literary criticism.
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Frequent short papers leading up to a final paper, as well as individual and collaborative projects.
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