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

Fall 2009

E 314L • Literary Contests and Contexts

Unique Days Time Location Instructor


Course Description

Please refer to the course schedule for course days, time, room location, prerequisites and possible cross-listings:

Restricted to Plan I Honors and English Honors Students. Rewritings, Rereadings— Designed for potential English majors who are already in the Honors I program, this course is directed toward developing and honing critical reading, writing, and research skills while also giving an overview of the critical "toolbox" available to students of literature in the field of English. We will focus on three major fictions written between 1700 and 1850 (by Defoe, Swift, and Bronte) that have not only inspired each other but generated clusters of later fictional rewritings by writers almost as famous (Coetzee, du Maurier, Ryss, and Perkins-Gilman). In our study of intertextuality, our reading will loosely track the development of the novel genre over several centuries as well as the compounding influence(s) of early writers upon later ones. We will also consider several key film “adaptations,” including Hitchcock's Rebecca, since these, too, constitute critical and cultural interpretations of a sort. For each central work that we study, we will examine its formalist elements (there will be visits to the HRC to work with original editions), historical contexts, and the cultural contests it has inspired, particularly in the form of rewritings. Students will be introduced to research tools such as the OED, MLA Bibliography, and the DNB, as well as primary text databases such as ECCO, 19-C, and LION. Secondary criticism will feature a range of approaches, likely including Marxist, Feminist, Psychoanalytic, and Textual Studies.

Grading Policy

Three close-reading essays (3 pages each; 1 rewrite): 50%; One long essay (6 pages): 20%; Class presentation/written movie review (2 pages): 10%; Class presentation/annotated bibliography (5 items): 10%; Participation/quizzes: 10%


Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe, ed. Schinagel 1719; J. M. Coetzee, Foe 1986; Jonathan Swift, Gulliver's Travels, ed. Rivero 1726; Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre 1847; Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca 1938; Jean Ryss, Wide Sargasso Sea, ed. Raiskin 1993; Film: Rebecca, directed by Alfred Hitchcock 1940; Short story: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Yellow Wallpaper" 1892


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