Semester 1

English 740 Fall 1992 / T-Th 10:30-12 / HH 1603
Ellison / 3028 Angell / 763-4639 / @UM weekdays
Office Hours: T-Th 3-4, W 1:30-2:30 and by appointment
** special proseminar office hours W 2:30-4 **


Th Sept 10 Introduction I
Tues Sept 15 Introduction II

Due in class: a nonacademic nonfiction piece of any length up to 5 pp. You may choose any model: editorial, satire, review, letter, memoir, essay, travel account, and so on. Bring one copy of the whole thing to hand in. Be prepared to read the paragraph that interests you the most aloud in class and to discuss it for five minutes. Make 14 copies of the paragraph you plan to discuss in class.


Th Sept 17 Pepys: Accounting for Time and Power

CP includes selections from the unabridged edition of Pepys's diary to give an idea of what the full annotation of each entry looks like. Strongly recommended in conjunction with this first assignment, which deals with the minutiae of the King's return, are the last sections of Hill's A Century of Revolution

CP: 1-15, The Diary of...Pepys; The Diary of John Evelyn ("Kalendarium"); Boyle's Meditation VIII (on clocks); selection from The Journal...of a Thankful Christian. Shorter Pepys: Introduction; Preliminary Note; pp. 7-53

**Sign up for "Sponsor" talks**

Tu Sept 22 Pepys's Desire

CP: Locke, "On Identity and Diversity"; Rosenwald, "Prolegomena"

Shorter Pepys: 830-1023 passim., focusing on the affair with Deborah Willet

glance ahead to Addison and Steele: Selections, The Spectator no. 94, where Addison quotes Locke on time

Improvs A Group

By this date you should have gone on one of the guided tours designed to introduce you to the Graduate Library and acquired an MTS account.


Th Sept 24 What counts as news?

CP: Sutherland, "Origins and Developments"; selections from six newspapers; Graham, "Periodical Literature Before the Days of Queen Anne"

Tu Sept 29 News and entertainment

CP: John Dunton, Athenian Gazette; Defoe's Review; Ward's The London-Spy; Shevelow on Dunton; Hunter, from Before Novels

Improvs B Group


Th Oct 1 Social Science

CP: section III, complete, including Michael Hunter, "Significance of the Royal Society" and "Scientific Community"; Sprat, selection from The History of the Royal Society; Hunter's chapter on "Corporate Enterprise" containing committee reports; selections from Philosophical Transactions, and Terry Castle's article

**Bibliography Workshop**

Most of today's class will be given over to a bibliography workshop. Do the assigned reading, focusing on Sprat, but be prepared to postpone discussion until the next class.

Tu Oct 6 Social Science II: Pepys and the Royal Society

Shorter Pepys: entries pertaining to the Royal Society, 113, 431, 474-87, 575-88, 692-97, 780-81, 849-52, 887-900, 935, 950

Improvs A Group **"Sponsor" presentations start today**


Th Oct 8 Prose and pathos

Addison and Steele: Selections, Steele's The Tatler: nos. 1, 21, 25, 107, 132, 164, 167, 181, 271

**Bibliographies due in class today**

Tu Oct 13 Addison on empire and the fair sex

Addison and Steele: Selections, Addison's The Spectator nos. 1, 2, 10, 11, 15, 34, 37, 41, 46, 50 58, 69, 81, 88, 94, 159, 370, 555

CP: Hulme on "Inkle and Yarico"; Blair, "Critical Examinations of the Style in no 412 of The Spectator" (skim!)

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, pp. 11-12

Improvs B Group

Th Oct 15 Jenny Distaff's Revenge

CP: Adburgham, Women in Print, chs. III and VI; selections from The Tatling Harlot, The Whisperer, and The Tea-Table


Tu Oct 20 "The Converse of the Pen"

CP: from The Selected Letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu; Anne Herrmann, "Introduction," "The Female Dialogic," and "The Epistolary Essay"

Improvs A Group

**paper due in class today**

**informal course evaluation**

Th Oct 22 Anonymity, Gender, and Political Commentary

CP: Spacks, "Borderlands"; Selections from Common Sense; Wortley Montagu, Nonsense of Common Sense; Adburgham, Women in Print, ch. V


Tu Oct 27 Autobiography and Gender Ambiguity

CP: Charke, A Narrative of the Life, to CP p. 736

Improvs B Group

Th Oct 29 Autobiography and Gender Ambiguity II

CP: Charke, A Narrative of the Life, to end; Moore, "`She was to Fond of Her Mistaken Bargain': The Scandalous Relations of Gender and Sexuality in Feminist Theory"

Tu Nov 3 "The Body of B. Franklin, Printer"

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography pp. 1-76; also look at the material on pp. 169-211

CP: Charvat, "Publishing Centers"; Granger, from American Essay Serials

Improvs A Group

Th Nov 5 "The Body of B. Franklin, Printer" II

Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography, to end, and "Contemporary Opinions," pp. 231-48

CP: See the "Theory" section for Lejeune's "The Autobiographical Pact"

[recommended, but not in CP, Michael Warner, "Franklin and the Letters of the Republic," in Representations 16 Fall 1986]

Tu Nov 10 Slavery/Mobility

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African, in The Classic Slave Narratives to p. 96; also Gates's Introduction

[recommended in CP theory section: Jay, "American Literature and the New Historicism: The Example of Frederick Douglass"]

Improvs B Group

**No more improvs due after today!**

Th Nov 12 Slavery/Mobility II

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, to end

[recommended in CP theory section: Homi Bhabha's "Signs Taken for Wonders: Questions of Ambivalence and Authority under a Tree Outside Delhi"


Tu Nov 17 Moral authority and the essay serial

Samuel Johnson: The Oxford Authors all selections from The Rambler and The Idler; pay close attention to Johnson's sentences. **Hand in topic for second paper**

Th Nov 19 Didacticism and the politics of language

Samuel Johnson: on the Harleian Library, pp. 117-27; Preface and entries from the Dictionary, pp. 307-34

CP: Smith, "The Problem"; Selections from Piozzi's British Synonymy


Tu Nov 24 Sex and self-promotion

CP: Boswell's London Journal

Thanksgiving Break

Tu Dec 1 The body in pain

CP: Fanny Burney on her masectomy

from Piozzi's Thraliana (forthcoming)

Samuel Johnson: Diaries and letters, pp. 771-92


Th Dec 3 Teaching class

CP: More, from Cheap Repository Tracts; Barbauld, from Evenings at Home and A Legacy for Young Ladies


Tu Dec 8 Poststructuralist genre theory

CP: Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy; Godzich and Kittay; Derrida "The Law of Genre"

**Second paper due today in class**

Th Dec 10 Theorizing the social

CP: Bakhtin; Eagleton; Darnton

Deleuze and Guattari, "What is a Minor Literature?" (forthcoming)


The first paper should be a close reading of a text, or some portion of a text, that has not been the subject of class discussion. There are two options for the second paper. Either you can propose an essay topic and pursue it, or you can attend four scholarly lectures--hopefully with some common thread--and reflect on these presentations or on issues raised by them. In addition to visiting scholars sponsored by the Institute for the Humanities, the Center for African and Afro-American Studies (CAAS), the Women's Studies Program, the American Culture Program, and the various humanities departments, there are campus groups like the Critical Theory Colloquium, the Comparative Literature Brown Bag series, and the program in the Comparative Study of Social Transformations (CSST) which present lectures by U/M faculty. This would be a very useful exercise given the direction of the Proseminar in the Winter Term, when we will be working towards the proseminar mini-conference (see below, "A Brief Synopsis of the Winter Term"). Please note that the second paper is due on December 8, before the end of the term. This will free you up for other seminar papers, believe it or not.

Improvs: 2-page typed or printed double-spaced response papers will be due every other Tuesday through November 19. The class will be divided into "A" and "B" groups which will hand in improvs on alternate Tuesdays [see syllabus]. The topic is always open but must pertain to that day's reading assignment. Furthermore, you must comment on at least one specific passage from that reading assignment in the course of your discussion. You must write at least one improv that deals entirely with the sentence structure of a particular text (See the "Style" entry of M.H. Abrams A Glossary of Literary Terms, 5th ed.). All improvs will be graded. No credit for late improvs--not accepted after class unless this has been negotiated in advance.

The improvs allow for a lot of freedom and experimentation. Your style can be informal, even freewheeling, and personal, but it must be coherent. I like to see energetic questioning and insightful pressure brought to bear on the texts. Always feel free to compare the assigned material to works we have read earlier in the course or that you have read for other courses. The improvs are an excellent source of ideas for papers.

Class Presentations: Each student will "sponsor" some portion of the assigned reading for a given class. Each sponsor will give a 10-15 minute oral presentation. The goal of these presentations is to stimulate discussion and formulate critical issues. Sponsors are encouraged to relate the 18th- and 19th-century material to the 20th-century critical and theoretical texts assigned periodically. Be warned, however, that in some of the assignments, there is only a suggestive relationship between the nonfiction selections and the critical readings.


Semester 2

English 741 Winter 1993 / T-Th 1:30-3:00 / HH 2601
Ellison / 3028 Angell / 763-4639 / @UM weekdays
Office Hours: open W 2-4, by appointment Th 3-5, and by appointment at other times if needed


Course Pack at Michigan Document Services

**All course books available at Shaman Drum only**

Cobbett, Rural Rides, Penguin (out of print; we'll use a handout)

The Portable Emerson, Viking-Penguin (more can be ordered quickly if needed)

Emerson in His Journals, ed. Joel Porte, Harvard

The Essential Margaret Fuller, ed. Jeffrey Steele, Rutgers


January Th 7 Introduction

I. Sensation

T 12 Affective Aesthetics: Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry into...the Sublime and the Beautiful, Parts I and II. Concentrate on "society," "the sexes," "sympathy," "power."

Th 14 More Sublimity: Burke, A Philosophical Enquiry, Parts III-V. Focus on the physiological and economic rationales for beauty and the sublime, i.e. the dynamics of effort, labor, and relaxation. And read carefully the final section of Part V, "How Words influence the passions."

T 19 Sensation and Addiction: DeQuincey, entire selection in Woodring. Focus on "The English Mail Coach" and the selections from Confessions of an English Opium-Eater. What is the force of "English" in these titles, and, in the Confessions, of "Asiatic scenery"?

II. Anglo-American Culture: Getting Around

Th 21 Rustic Harangues: Cobbett, Rural Rides (xeroxed handout); also Barrell on the prospect, in Course Pack III. What is function of the "beautiful," as it is lost and found, in Cobbett's texts?

T 26 Surveys and Miscellanies: Edinburgh Review (Oct 1802), North American Review (1815) in Course Pack IV, "The Reviews," along with Jon Klancher's chapter, "Reading the Social Text." What motivates the selection of articles in these periodicals?

Th 28 National Comparison: Martineau, 1837 Society in America in Course Pack V, concentrating on "Economy"; Emerson, English Traits. Chs. I-II and XVII of ET are significant for the way Emerson positions himself relative to British romanticism, but focus on chs. IV, X, XIV-XV, XIX , especially ch. X, "Wealth." Comparing the book to Emerson's account of the trip in his journals, pp. 379-394, is definitely worth doing if you have a strong interest in romanticism.


T 2 Race and Sensibility: Fuller, Summer on the Lakes in The Essential Margaret Fuller, all except chapter IV, which we will read later; concentrate on chs. I, VI-VII. Also selections from Lydia Maria Child on Indians and women, Course Pack VI, focusing on her treatment of Native Americans.

Th 4 Choreographing Masculinity: 19c American conduct manuals for men and Chesterfield's letters, Course Pack VII, plus the critical selections by George Dillon, from Rhetoric as Social Action, on "Gesture and Figuration" and Kasson, from Rudeness and Civility, on "Emotional Control." Experiment with applying Dillon's analysis of "crisis writing" to the selections from conduct manuals.

III. Capturing the Spirit: Modes of Abstraction

T 9 Tendencies: Hazlitt, "The Spirit of the Age," 1825, in Woodring; Carlyle, "The Spirit of the Times" (handout will be provided). Also the first issue of the Transcendentalist periodical, the Dial, edited by Emerson and Fuller, in Course Pack VI. Read "The Editors to the Reader" and the "Essay on Critics" carefully and skim the rest. What is the relationship between "Spirit" and history in these essays? The meaning of "criticism"?

Th 11 Feminism, Transcendentalism, Politics: Fuller, Woman in the Nineteenth Century (skim the long Appendix) in The Essential Margaret Fuller, and, from Course Pack VI, Fuller's Tribune article from the series "Things and Thoughts from Europe" written for the New York Daily Tribune (another, more legible, Tribune piece is in The Essential Margaret Fuller). What motivates Fuller's array of allusions and quotations? Consider also the relationship between feminine intuition and feminine aggression.

IV. Circles, Centers, and Corporate Authorship

T 16 Conversation: Fuller-Emerson letters and Dall's accounts of Fuller's "Conversations," excerpted from Margaret and Her Friends, in Course Pack IX; Emerson's journals, pp. 149, 161, 172, 193, 230, 243-48, 264, 269, 302-303, 396, 409, 412-414, 418, 429, 444-45, 540, 548. (Fuller's allegorical autobiography, "Mariana" from Summer on the Lakes, ch. IV, in The Essential Margaret Fuller, is fascinating but optional.) Read the two pieces by Christina Zwarg, and focus on the Emerson-Fuller dialogue.

Th 18 Mourning/Writing: Emerson, "Experience" plus Emerson's journals, "Experience" pp. 273-360 in Porte. An essay that numerous critics, including Sharon Cameron, Stanley Cavell, and Mark Edmundsen, have been drawn to in recent years. I would like to focus on the transformations of bereaved fatherhood, and the domestic economy of the writer working at home, as these affect the essay.


V. March-April

After vacation the format of the course will change. We will convene once a week rather than twice. This second half of the term will fall into three parts, all related to your research/critical projects: prospectus presentations, our "conference," and a couple of subsequent workshops.

Proseminar members will work toward a scholarly essay (25-30 pages), proceding from a brief presentation of their research plan, accompanied by a 2-page prospectus, through a major oral presentation of 20 minutes, modelled on the typical conference paper. We will stage a miniconference, meeting in reserved conference rooms in Rackham for three weeks. Several presentations will be given as "conference papers" at each session. Conference papers typically run about 12 pages, so the oral presentation should be regarded as an early, sociable version of the final paper. We will dress up and serve refreshments. Each presentation will be followed by 20 minutes of discussion during which every seminar member will be expected to ask a question. The proseminar will constructthe sessions after the prospectus presentations so that related papers are grouped together. The three final weeks of the course will primarily be given over to revision and completion of the essay, helped along by open workshop sessions.


This list is in lieu of an immense reserve list. It is only a convenience, not a definitive collection of the pertinent scholarship. (See also below, "Missing Authors and Genres")

  • Robert Adolph, The Rise of Modern Prose Style, 1968
  • Percy Adams, Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel, 1983
  • Armstrong and Tennenhouse, eds. The Ideology of Conduct
  • Bernard Bailyn, The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution, 1967
  • John Barrell, The Idea of Landscape and the Sense of Place; and The Infection of Thomas de Quincey
  • Reda Bensmaia, The Barthes Effect: The Essay as Reflective Text, 1987
  • John Berger, Ways of Seeing
  • Wayne Booth, Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent, 1974
  • James Boulton, The Language of Politics in the Age of Wilkes and Burke, 1963
  • Brodzki and Schenck, eds. Life/Lines: Theorizing Women's Autobiography
  • David Bromwich, Hazlitt: The Mind of a Critic, 1983
  • Brooks and Warren, Modern Rhetoric, 1949
  • Richard D. Brown, Knowledge is Power: The Diffusion of Information in Early America, 1700-1865
  • Brownley, Clarendon and the Rhetoric of Historical Form
  • Lawrence Buell, Literary Transcendentalism, 1973; New England Literary Culture, 1986
  • Kenneth Burke, A Grammar of Motives, 1969, and Counter-statement, 1931
  • Ross Chambers, Room for Maneuver: Reading the Oppositional in Narrative
  • Jerome Christensen, Coleridge's Blessed Machine of Language
  • John Clive, Scotch Reviewers: The Edinburgh Review 1802-15, 1957
  • Kenneth Cmiel, Democratic Eloquence: The Fight over Popular Speech in Nineteenth-Century America
  • David Cressy, Literacy and the Social Order: Tudor and Stuart England
  • Kenneth Dauber, The Idea of Authorship in America: Democratic Poetics from Franklin to Melville
  • Julie Ellison, Emerson's Romantic Style, 1984; Delicate Subjects: Romanticism, Gender, and the Ethics of Understanding, 1990
  • Epstein and Staub, eds. Body Guards: The Cultural Politics of Gender Ambiguity, 1991
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr., "Race," Writing, and Difference
  • Glyph 7, Johns Hopkins Textual Studies, special issue on genre theory, 1980
  • Clarence Gohdes, The Periodicals of American Transcendentalism, 1970
  • Claudio Guillen, Literature as System, 1971
  • Hernadi, Beyond Genre: New Directions in Literary Classification, 1972
  • Mary Jacobus, "The Art of Managing Books: Romantic Prose and the Writing of the Past" in Romanticism and Language, ed. Reed, 1984
  • Cora Kaplan, Sea Changes: Culture and Feminism
  • Krapp, The Rise of English Literary Prose, 1915
  • Berel Lang, ed. The Concept of Style, 1987
  • Lanham, Style: An Anti-Textbook
  • Pierre Machery, A Theory of Literary Production
  • Perry Miller, The Raven and the Whale [the literary world of Melville's New York]
  • Jonathan Monroe, A Poverty of Objects: The Prose Poem and the Politics of Genre, 1987
  • Morgan, ed. Victorian Sages and Cultural Discourse: Renegotiating Gender and Power
  • Walter J. Ong, Ramus, Method, and the Decay of Dialogue, 1983; and Rhetoric, Renaissance, and Technology, 1971
  • Patrides, ed. Approaches to Sir Thomas Browne, 1982
  • Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation
  • Pritchard, Literary Wise Men of Gotham: Criticism in New York, 1815-60, 1963
  • Pocock, Virtue, Commerce, and History
  • Derek Roper, Reviewing Before the Edinburgh, 1978
  • Anne Rose, Transcendentalism as a Social Movement, 1830-50, 1981
  • Saxton, The Rise and Fall of the White Republic: Class Politics and Mass Culture in Nineteenth-Century America
  • Richard Sennett, The Fall of Public Man
  • David Simpson, The Politics of American English, 1776-1850, 1986
  • Alice Snyder, S.T. Coleridge's Treatise on Method, 1934
  • Herbert Spenser, The Philosophy of Style
  • Stalleybrass and White, The Politics and Poetics of Transgression
  • Domna Stanton, "Autogynography: Is the Subject Different?" in The Female Autograph, 1984
  • Starobinski, Montaigne in Motion, 1985
  • Carolyn Steedman, Landscape for a Good Woman: A Story of Two Lives
  • Wendy Steiner, The Colors of Rhetoric
  • Martha Vicinus, The Industrial Muse, 1974
  • Hayden White, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe, 1973
  • Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature
  • Williamson, The Senecan Amble: Prose Form from Bacon to Collier
  • Wimsatt, The Prose Style of Samuel Johnson, 1941

Missing Authors and Genres, Or, What Didn't Fit in English 740

Missing Genres:

biography; sermons; religious pamphlets and polemics; spiritual autobiography; medical writing; government documents; cookbooks; horticultural and agricultural writing.

Missing Authors:

  • Bancroft
  • Berkeley
  • Burnet
  • Byron (letters)
  • Chesterfield
  • Crevecoeur
  • de Sevigny
  • de Stael
  • Dickens(travel)
  • Federalist Papers (Hamilton, Madison, Jay)
  • Gibbon
  • Hume
  • Leigh Hunt
  • Irving
  • Jefferson
  • "Junius"
  • Lamb
  • Lincoln
  • Catherine Macauley
  • Mandeville
  • Mill
  • Newman
  • Parkman
  • Pater
  • Priestley
  • Ruskin
  • Shaftesbury
  • Shelley (essays)
  • Swift
  • Toqueville
  • Frances Trolloppe
  • Walpole
  • Mercy Otis Warren
  • Wilde
  • Arthur Young

The Configurations and Dynamics of Nonfiction

The goal of the seminar is to keep all of these in play simultaneously.

  • aesthetics; the poetic; the beautiful and the sublime; imagination and fancy
  • biography; autobiography; the history of subjectivity and intersubjectivity
  • the body; eroticism; sickness and health
  • economy; work; vocation; strenuosity; merit
  • education and pedagogy; the formation of character and manners
  • ethics; behavior; manners, conduct, and civility
  • gender: social roles; invocations of the familial and the domestic; "gender and genre"
  • genre; generic codes, definitions, and "the law of genre"; heterogeneity and intergeneric relationships
  • literary institutions, markets, and the means of production: copyright and intellectual property; periodicals; booksellers, printers, publishers; reviewing; the lecture series; the history of the book; reading audiences
  • method; logic; analysis; invocations of science and the rational; assumptions about argument, evidence, and demonstration
  • periodization: the Age of Sensibility, Neoclassicism; Romanticism--do these categories do us any good?
  • politics and revolution; ideology; hegemonic and minority languages; hybridity, and the languages of resistance or transgression
  • the sacred: evocations of liturgy, theology, or confession; epiphany, revelation, faith
  • satire, parody, irony
  • style and rhetoric: periodic and nonperiodic sentences; paratactic and hypotactic styles; paragraphing and transition; figurative language; diction; allusion, quotation, and intertextuality
  • visual appropriations: travel; descriptive writing; landscape and the picturesque; the body; illustration; design; typography