English 43 -- British Literature II

Dr. Eric Sonstroem
Office: WPC 137 Phone: 946-2619 
Office Hours: M, W 1:00-2:30, or by appointment. 

Spring 2018 -- 4 Units
M, W, F 9:30 - 10:45
Art Center 209


We will be studying and enjoying British literature from 1800 to the present day, a very exciting span of time that challenged what both "British" and "literature" fundamentally mean.  This period saw the continued rise and the dramatic fall of Britain as an imperial power.  It saw Napoleonic revolution and two world wars.  Britain got smaller as its imperial boundaries eroded, but also larger as it accepted the postcolonial influx of a global population into England.  This forced a continual reevaluation of not only national identity, but personal identity, identity of the family, and gender identity as well.  We will be studying great works of 19th and 20th century fiction and poetry against this historical backdrop of radical change.  We will be reading some of the richest and most innovative literature ever produced by human beings.  Your life will be changed for the better.

Catalog Description: This course begins with Blake and ends with Pinter, and includes such authors as Wordsworth, Byron, Keats, Tennyson, Browning and Hardy, Yeats, Thomas, Joyce, Eliot, Lawrence, and Lessing. The approach is historical, with a focus on the distinctive qualities of the Romantic, Victorian, Modern and Contemporary traditions. This course connects with ENGL 041, but that course is not a prerequisite. (GE2A)

Required Texts:

The books should all be available at the bookstore, except the last one which is online.  If not, you can use the ISBN numbers to purchase them online at your favorite discount book dealer. 

You might notice that we have no anthology for this class.  Instead of a very expensive anthology, the shorter readings for this class are available in a file on our Canvas site.  You will be required to print out these readings and bring them with you to class.

Learning Objectives:

Students will leave this class with:


Policies include teaching methodologies, behavior expectations, and evaluation methodology.

Course Policies:

You will notice that there is a web page for the class, which you are reading now.  You will be required to access this web page throughout the semester, for readings, assignments and other material.  Some reading assignments have been placed in a pdf of materials to be printed, avaliable on the Canvas site. Computer access, internet access, and access to a reliable printer are therefore vital to the class.

Written work will mostly be turned in through Turn-It-In on Canvas.   Hard-copy assignments should be printed on white paper, in a standard 12-point font, with one inch margins. Your papers should be double spaced, and should contain my name, your name, the course number, the date, and a title.  Note that student work may be retained for assessment and other purposes.

Late papers will be marked down 1/3 of a letter grade for each calendar day they are late.  I will consider giving short extensions on assignments if you contact me ahead of the due date and you have a good reason for wanting the extension.  All assigned work must be completed to pass the course.

Attendance is required.  You may miss three "personal days" for any reason (and I don't need to know the reason).  After that, your final grade will drop 1/3 of a letter grade for each additional day missed.

You need to show up for class on time.  I may count excessive lateness as absences.  Reading quizzes are given at the beginning of class, and cannot be made up.

No phones.  No text messaging, etc.  Phone use may be counted towards absences.

No open computers in class, unless we are doing an activity that requires them.

Plagiarism is the attempt to pass off someone else's text or ideas as your own. If you copy or paraphrase from any outside source, even another student, and fail to formally acknowledge this in your text, you are guilty of plagiarism. If someone else writes a paper for you, or even part of a paper for you, you are guilty of plagiarism. If you are at all uncertain whether something is plagiarism or not, please ask me!  If you are found guilty of plagiarism, you will receive an F for the assignment, an F for the course, and a letter will be sent to your dean. There are no exceptions.  In such cases, the student will be prevented from dropping or withdrawing from the course, even if the deadline to do so has not expired. Further disciplinary action may also be taken by the Office of Judicial Affairs. The full text of the University's Academic Honesty Policy can be found here.

Grading Policy:

Most of your grade will be determined by two papers and two exams, a mid-term and a final.  The final is non-cumulative.   There will also be a number of unannounced reading quizzes, which will be no problem if you have kept up with the reading. 

Since discussion will be an important part of class, it will also be an important part of your grade.  We are here to read these works as a community--that's the reason people take literature classes instead of just reading things on their own.  It's your responsibility to be an active part of this community.  Students who contribute thoughtfully to discussion, and who listen respectfully to their classmates, will be rewarded.  Students who don't contribute, or who attempt to dominate discussions at the expense of their classmates, will not be rewarded.  Here's how to prepare for discussion:

To help get the discussions started, students will be divided into five sets of "discussion instigators" at the beginning of the semester.  On a rotating basis, members of these sets will individually prepare a short (one paragraph) response to that day's reading, which raises some kind of question or discussion issue about the reading.  You will be responsible for six short discussion instigations throughout the course of the semester.  Print these out and be prepared to read them (and turn them in) on your instigation day.

Students with Disabilities:

If you are a student with a disability who requires accommodations, please contact the Director of the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) for information on how to obtain an Accommodations Request Letter.

3-Step Accommodation Process

1. Student meets with the SSD Director and provides documentation and completes registration forms.

2. Student requests accommodation(s) each semester by completing the Request for Accommodations Form.

3. Student arranges to meet with his/her professors to discuss the accommodation(s) and to sign the Accommodation Request Letter

To ensure timeliness of services, it is preferable that you obtain the accommodation letter(s) from the Office of SSD as early as possible in each term. After the instructor receives the accommodation letter, please schedule a meeting with the instructor during office hours or some other mutually convenient time to arrange the accommodation(s). The Office of Services for Students with Disabilities is located in the McCaffrey Center, Rm. 137. Phone: 209-946-3221. Email: ssd@pacific.edu. Online: www.pacific.edu/disabilities


Grade Calculation Chart

Participation (In-Class Discussion, Instigations) 20%
Paper 1 15%
Final Paper 20%
Mid-Term Exam 15%
Final Exam 20%
Reading Quizzes 10%
Total: 100%

Grade Scale: A 100 93 ; A- 92.9 90 ; B+ 89.9 87 ; B 86.9 83 ; B- 82.9 80 ; C+ 79.9 77 ; C 76.9 73 ; C- 72.9 70 ; D+ 69.9 67 ; D 66.9 63 ; D- 62.9 60 ; F 59.9-0. 
Copies of student work may be retained to assess how the learning objectives of the course are being met.

Schedule of Classes:

Discussion instigation group numbers are in the gray squares.

This schedule isn't entirely set in stone.  I may change around the readings somewhat to better meet the needs of the class.

  Week 1 Begins 1-15
M   MLK Holiday.  No Class.
W   Welcome to class.  Course policies and introductions.  History of the British Empire.
Blake, Marriage of Heaven and Hell. Click here for the version to print.  

Also take some time to look at Blake's original illustrated text here.   No need to print anything from the illustrated edition.


  Week 2 Begins 1-22
M British slave trade: For background, read this wikipedia entry (no need to print it).

 Readings: History of Mary Prince, Bellamy "Benevolent Planters", and Hannah More "The Sorrows of Yamba".  

To see what More's poem looked like when originally published, click here. (no need to print it)
W 2 Wordsworth From the 1805 Prelude(Book I, lines 1-115), "Ode", "Resolution and Independence".
F 3
Coleridge "Kubla Kahn", "Cristabel".


  Week 3 Begins 1-29
M 4 Coleridge "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
W 5 Byron from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, Canto 4, Joanna Baillie "London" & "Thunder", Felicia Hemans "The Homes of England"  
F 1 Barbauld "Inscription for an Ice-House", Shelley "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty", "Ode to West Wind", Keats "Ode to the Nightingale".  


  Week 4 Begins 2-05
M 2 Shelley Frankenstein Volume 1 (3-60), and also read the 1831 "Introduction" beginning on p. 165.
W 3 Shelley Frankenstein Volume  2 (61-105)
F 4 Shelley Frankenstein Volume 3 (107-161)


  Week 5 Begins 2-12
M Mary Poovey. "'My Hideous Progeny': The Lady and the Monster", begins page 251 (or 344) in our Frankenstein book.

Draft of first paper for peer review and feedback. Paper assignment here.

F   First Paper Due. In class:  Intro to the Victorian Era.


  Week 6 Begins 2-19
  No Class.  Presidents' Day.
W 1
Arnold "Dover Beach" and "The Buried Life"   (note: You might want to look at some detailed notes and commentary on "Dover Beach" available here.)
Arnold From Culture and Anarchy: "Sweetness and Light"
F 2
Mill from Autobiography Chapter 5
"Testimony" of Hannah Goode and Ann and Elizabeth Eggley, from Parliamentary Papers ("Blue Books") 


  Week 7 Begins 2-26
Christina Rossetti "Goblin Market"
W 3 Elizabeth Barrett Browning from Sonnets from the Portuguese, Robert Browning "Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister", "My Last Duchess".  
F   Mid-Term Exam (in class)


  Week 8 Begins 3-05
M 4 Jane Eyre Preface through chapter 8
W 5 Jane Eyre chapters 9-14
F 1 Jane Eyre chapters 15-19


Spring Break!


  Week 9 Begins 3-19
M 2 Jane Eyre chapters 20-26
W 3

Jane Eyre chapters 27-31

F   Jane Eyre chapters 32-end


  Week 10 Begins 3-26
M   Hardy "The Withered Arm"
W Doyle "The Sussex Vampire"
Elliot "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock".  Also see here for a hypertext version of this poem with notes.
Pater excerpt from The Renaissance, "Leonardo da Vinci"


  Week 11 Begins 4-02
M 5 Conrad "The Heart of Darkness" (3-31)
W 1 Conrad "The Heart of Darkness" (31-54)
F 2
Conrad "The Heart of Darkness" (54-77)


  Week 12 Begins 4-09
M   Achebe, "An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrad's Heart of Darkness" (336-349)
W   Brantlinger, "Imperialism, Impressionism, and the Politics of Style" (386-395)
F 3
Joyce "Araby" and "Eveline"


  Week 13 Begins 4-16
M 4
Woolf "The Mark on the Wall"
W 5
BLAST, "Vorticist Manifesto", Yeats "The Second Coming" , "Sailing to Byzantium"
F 1
Orwell, "Shooting an Elephant"


  Week 14 Begins 4-23
M 2
Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea p. 3-45
W 3
Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea p. 45-82
F 4
Rhys Wide Sargasso Sea p. 82-112


  Week 15 Begins 4-30
M 5
Reading TBA
W Final Paper Due
Email your final paper to me by this date.



Final Exam
Our Final Exam scheduled time is 8am-11am, Wednesday, May 9.

This syllabus and accompanying material is copyright 2018 by Eric Sonstroem.