Engl 206/CWL 257: Enlightenment Literature and Culture

10:00 – 10:50am MWF, 137 Henry Administration Building           
Office hours: 3:00 – 4:00pm MW, 321 English Building (333-7059)

The Enlightenment is often depicted as an era preoccupied with reason, morals, and decorum at the expense of emotions, experience, and pleasure.  In this course, you will learn otherwise.  We will look at 17th and 18th century literature from a global perspective, to understand the broader context of this elite European intellectual movement.  By reading across a variety of literary forms and by closely analyzing a range of works from both Western and non-Western traditions, we will explore how literature responded to this changing and expanding world.  By the end of this course, you will be able to read a wide variety of 18th-century texts with comprehension and enjoyment and you will understand how to connect these remote texts to the concerns of 21st –century life.  

Required Texts

·      Longman Anthology of World Literature, Vol. D. The 17th and 18th Centuries. 
·      David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (not yet available at the bookstore)
·      Other course readings will be available on the blog. You are expected to print these out and bring them to class.

Course Requirements
(explained in greater detail on the following pages)


Course Blog
deadline varies
 Exploration Assignment
deadline varies
First Paper*
part 1 due 2/7, part 2 due 2/21
Second Paper*
proposal due 3/11, paper due 4/1
Third Paper*
mini-draft due 4/11, paper due 4/27
Final Exam*
evaluated 2/18, 4/1, and 5/4
Total Points Possible:


*Failure to hand in the one of these exams or papers is grounds for failing the course.

Attendance: At the start of each of our 43 class meetings, you will hand in the response to a short-answer question posed on the board.  If you are not in the room when the questions are collected, you will be recorded as absent.  There is no distinction between excused and unexcused absences, but if you have ongoing health issues or university commitments that make this requirement a hardship, please discuss the situation with me.  You get an additional 2 attendance points for coming to office hours (or meeting with me at another time if you can’t make my office hours).

Course Blog: Each week I will post questions or observations on the course blog, and students giving presentations will post background information and questions.  The ground rules:
·      You can respond to any posts that are designated “For Credit.” 
·      To respond to a “For Credit” blog post, click on the “0 Responses” (if will have a number other than zero if others have already responded) button at the bottom of the blog post and typing in the window that opens up.
·      You are NOT expected to respond to all blog posts. 
·      No more than three blog responses in any given week will get credit.  
·      Each blog week begins on Saturday at midnight and ends the following Saturday at midnight. 
·      Blog responses posted after a stated deadline will not get credit.
·      Blog responses are graded weekly; each response is generally worth up to 3 points (sometimes more, sometimes less—the post will specify if this is the case).   Generally, posts will get one point if they are intelligible and accurate and two points if they are insightful and supported (where relevant) with evidence.  The vast majority of thoughtful and intelligent posts get two points.  Posts only get a third point if they push the boundaries of the conversation: challenge a previous response, take issue with the question, make unexpected connections to other course readings, and the like.
·      The blog is available to the public, so I encourage you to use a pseudonym (I myself go by “KW” on the blog, so it won’t turn up in Google searches of my name).  Just let me know by e-mail what your pseudonym is so you can get credit for your responses. 
·      New posts are generally available a few hours after class ends and at the beginning of each blogging week.  I try to have at least one post available for responses at any given time, and often there are more.  It’s a good idea to bookmark the blog in your web browser, subscribe to it if you use a web reader, and check the site two or three times a week, preferably right before you do the reading for class.
·      Aimiable disagreement, rhetorically effective profanity, thoughtful rebuttals, well-intentioned error, and irony are all acceptable in a blog response.  Anything unkind, offensive, or uncollegial will be deleted. 

Exploration Assignment: You will have a number of options for this written assignment, which will give you additional opportunities for active and experiential learning about the period. 

Presentation: You will sign up to give a short (>5 minutes) presentation on background  related to a given reading (beyond the information provided in the textbook).  You will also compose a brief blog post about the information you present.  The blog post will include a question for classmates to answer for credit and citations for three sources (other than the textbook, dictionaries, encyclopedias, or Wikipedia).

First Paper: You will have a choice of prompts for a 2- to 3-page paper, which you will write in two parts on readings from the syllabus.  The topics will give you practice in writing accurately and insightfully about the literature of the past. It is scheduled early in the semester, in advance of the drop deadline, to assess your growing mastery of this unfamiliar body of literature.

Second Paper: Your second paper will give you the opportunity to some primary research in eighteenth-century literature, as you locate your own little-known text to write about.

Third Paper: You will devise your own topic for this paper, which you will write in stages, and which will allow you to explore in greater depth some readings from the latter half of the course that interest you.

Midterm: The midterm exam will give you an opportunity to find out how much you have learned thus far about understanding and meeting the challenges presented by eighteenth-century literature.  For this take-home exam, you will apply the critical skills you’ve been developing to a hitherto unseen piece of eighteenth-century literature.

Final Exam: The take-home final exam will consist of a few short essay questions that will allow you to synthesize and critically consider your learning over the entire course (with an emphasis on the last few readings for the course).

Participation: Every class will involve discussion, in a variety of formats.  Your participation will be evaluated at the end of the fifth week, the tenth week, and the final week.  At each interval it will be graded out of ten points according to the following benchmarks:

Weekly contributions to class discussion in all formats that demonstrate a command of the reading and move the conversation forward.
7 pts
Contributions that are either frequent OR consistently move the conversation forward in all formats
4 pts
Occasional contributions to full-class discussions or active participation in small-group discussions
1 pt
Present, but silent.

Extra Credit: You can earn additional points in this course throughout the semester by making more than 45 points worth of blog posts over the course of the semester (up to three posts in any given week). 
Course Policies

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns by e-mail, during office hours (3:00 – 4:00pm MW, 321 English Building), or after class.  You may be informed of syllabus changes, clarification of assignments, and the like via e-mail or the course blog.  You are responsible for information conveyed by either of those means.  

Grades will be posted on Compass in a timely manner.  I cannot disclose grades by e-mail.  Please make an appointment with me or come to office hours to talk about specific grade-related issues.  Your final grade will be based on the total of your points for all the assignments and requirements as follows:

>340 points
326 – 339 points
315 – 325 points
305 – 314 points
291 – 304 points
280 – 290 points
270 – 279 points
256 – 269 points
245 – 255 points
235 – 244 points
221 – 234 points
210 – 220 points
< 209 points

Come to class prepared to talk about the day’s reading.  To focus your attention, please
·                        turn off and put away phones and other devices for the duration of class;
·                        remove earbuds and earphones;
·                        put away laptop computers (unless they serve learning needs documented by DRES);
·                        put away newspapers and other distractions; and
·                        refrain from eating (beverages in spill-proof containers are okay).

Plagiarism is representing someone else’s work as your own.  At a minimum I will fail any assignment that displays evidence of plagiarism and report the incident to the Dean of LAS and the Associate Head of the English department in accordance with university policies.  Stiffer penalties, up to and including a recommendation for expulsion, may apply depending on the nature of the offense.  The University’s policy on plagiarism is here:
No written words (including those in cyberspace) are exempt from the requirement that you document your sources and identify quotations as such.  Ignorance of what constitutes plagiarism or of the university’s policies will not protect you from a charge of plagiarism. If you are unsure about your use of a source, please ask!  A footnote is not always enough.  Footnotes must accurately reflect the source text, direct quotations from your source must also be indicated by quotation marks, and close paraphrases should be avoided altogether.
Plagiarism is often the result of poor choices made under pressure.  If you find yourself tempted to cut corners as a paper deadline approaches, please come talk to me about an extension, or take an extra day or two.  A late penalty is preferable to a charge of plagiarism.
Using work that you have handed in for another course to complete these course requirements is a form of academic dishonesty and will result at least in a failing grade on the assignment.   If you wish to incorporate the research or writing from another course in an assignment for this one, please talk to me about how to do it in an intellectually responsible way.

Special Circumstances
If unusual circumstances arise that keep you from fulfilling the course requirements, please get in touch with me as soon as possible so that we can work out alternative arrangements.  The more initiative you take in confronting such problems, the more willing I am to help.  If you are coping with an ongoing issue that interferes with your work generally, the Dean of Students office can help (300 Turner Student Services Building, 610 E. John St.; 333-0050;  The staff there can help you maintain your privacy while alerting me and your other instructors to your needs. 

Schedule of Readings and Assignments
The schedule may change as circumstance require.  Any changes in reading assignments or paper due dates will be announced in class and posted on the course blog.  

The Power of Literature
Week 1
1/19 (W)
Introduction to the Enlightenment Era

1/21 (F)
Eliza Haywood, Fantomina (Longman, p. 568 – 586)

Week 2
1/24 (M)
Fantomina continued

1/26 (W)
Fantomina continued

1/28 (F)
Interpretation Workshop

Week 3
1/31 (M)
Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard (online)

2/2 (W)
Eloisa to Abelard continued

2/4 (F)
Eloisa to Abelard continued

Week 4
2/7 (M)
First Paper, part I due

2/9 (W)
Chikamatsu Mon’zaemon, The Love Suicides at Amijima (Longman, p. 44 – 68)

2/11 (F)
The Love Suicides at Amijima continued

Week 5
2/14 (M)
Cao Xueqin, excerpts from The Story of the Stone (Longman, p. 71 – 145)

2/16 (W)
The Story of the Stone continued

2/18 (F)
The Story of the Stone continued

What is Enlightenment?
Week 6
2/21 (M)
 First Paper, part II due

2/23 (W)
Richard Steele and Joseph Addison, “Spectator No. 10” and “Spectator No. 69”

2/25 (F)
Immanuel Kant, “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?” (Longman, p. 599 – 604)

Week 7
2/28 (M)
 Midterm due

3/2 (W)
Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

3/4 (F)
Hume, continued

Week 8
3/7 (M)
Hume, continued

3/9 (W)
Matsuo Basho, excerpts from Narrow Road to the Deep North (Longman, p. 412 – 425)

3/11 (F)
Banarasidas, excerpts from Half a Tale (Longman, p. 36 – 43)
 Second Paper Proposal due
Week 9
3/14 (M)
Jonathan Swift, “A Voyage to the Country of the Houyhnhnms” from Gulliver's Travels (Longman, p. 348 – 394)

3/16 (W)
Gulliver's Travels continued.

3/18 (F)
Gulliver's Travels continued.


Cross-Cultural Encounters
Week 10
3/28 (M)
Evliya Celebi, excerpts from The Book of Travels (Longman, p. 396 – 406).

3/30 (W)
The Book of Travels continued

4/1 (F)
 Second Paper due
Week 11
4/4 (M)
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, excerpts from The Turkish Embassy Letters (Longman, p. 172 – 183)

4/6 (W)
Turkish Embassy Letters continued

4/8 (F)
Denis Diderot, excerpts from Supplement to the Voyage of Bougainville (Longman, p. 433-441

Week 12
4/11 (M)

Third paper mini-draft due

4/13 (W)
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (Longman, p. 299 – 341)

4/15 (F)
Oronooko continued

Week 13
4/18 (M)
Oronooko continued

4/20 (W)
Voltaire, Candide (Longman, p. 454 – 513)

4/22 (F)
Candide, continued

Week 14
4/25 (M)
 Third Paper due

4/27 (W)
Candide, continued

4/29 (F)
Candide, continued

Week 15
5/2 (M)
Candide, continued

5/4 (W)
Final Exam Review

5/6 (F)
 Take home final due 11am.