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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2008

E 376L • English Voyages- Honors

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35300 MWF
10:00 AM-11:00 AM
CAL 323

Course Description

The course will address English literary responses to new world environments as news of discoveries and travels bursts upon the public during the eighteenth century. Voyages of discovery and reconnaissance had been carried out since the Renaissance, but it was the eighteenth-century newspaper, the periodical, and the popular press that spread their influence to the general reading public. In magazines, novels, satires, travel letters, plays, and official histories, as well as in the columns of daily newspapers, printed information about other cultures-true, false, parodic, twisted, and adapted-fascinated the English people and provided material for some of the great literary works of the period. We will read some of these great works within a context provided by the lesser and more fugitive pieces available on ECCO, microfilm, and at the Humanities Research Center. Our approach will draw upon the best traditional historical/critical work and more recent work informed by the insights of post-colonial studies. The research component of the course will seek to give students hands-on experience with rare primary materials and practice in integrating such materials into the study of canonical texts. Preliminary writing and research assignments will used to prepare students for the writing of a significant research paper at the end of the term.

The course will conclude with a work that falls outside the eighteenth century: a modern rendition of the adventures of a British naval vessel during the Napoleonic wars. We will examine how Patrick O'Brian uses primary source research to recreate fictionally a voyage of the period.

Grading Policy

Three 2 page papers, 10% each; Short research exercise, 10%; Research report, 20%; 10 page research paper, 40%.


Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe and continuations
Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Turkish Embassy Letters
The Gentleman's Magazine
Samuel Johnson, Rasselas
James Cook and James King, Journals
Various texts addressing the visit of Omai
James Cook and James King, A Voyage to the Pacific Ocean
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Patrick O'Brian, H.M.S. Surprise
Steele's Navy List
Excerpts from various secondary works


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