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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Carol H MacKay

Professor Ph.D., 1979, University of California Los Angeles

University Distinguished Teaching Professor
Carol H MacKay

Contact

  • Phone: 512-471-8970
  • Office: PAR 221
  • Office Hours: MW 12-1:00 p.m. and by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: B5000

Biography


Research interests:
Victorian fiction; women's autobiographies; Friends of the Dickens Project (organizational affiliation)

Courses taught:
WGS 345 Women's Autobiographical Writing-W

E316K British Women Writers

E328 The Novel in the Nineteenth Century

E379HA The Brontes: Self and Society

Interests

Victorian novel; women's studies; autobiography; authors: William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens, Julia Margaret Cameron, Anne Thackeray Ritchie, Annie Besant, Elizabeth Robins, Virginia Woolf.

E 370W • Women's Autobiographcl Wrtg

35935 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 204
(also listed as WGS 345 )
show description

Instructor:  MacKay, C

Unique #:  35935

Semester:  Fall 2014

Cross-lists:  WGS 345

Flags:  Cultural Diversity; Writing

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Writers have always employed an ingenious array of narrative strategies to construct and project their sense of an autobiographical self, but historically that task has entailed an additional cultural challenge--if not an outright psychological impossibility--for women writers worldwide. Although the male autobiographical impulse did not fully begin to manifest itself in Western culture until Rousseau (notwithstanding the anomaly of St. Augustine), women still tended to confine themselves to the less overt (and egoistic) modes of the diary, letter, memoir (often purporting to be about another subject), and fiction. It is the goal of this course to examine the autobiographical impulse in women's writing by exploring the concept of the individualistic self vs. the sense of self as a part of community (and duty)--and the ways in which that communal self can both partake of humankind and participate in self-actualization.

We will begin by reading excerpts from Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life (1988) and conclude with Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929). In between, we will be tracing women's autobiographical writings from Sappho to Tillie Olsen, encompassing as well the recorded experience of the African American, the Chinese American, and the Chicana. Although members of the class may have read individual titles from the course list before, they will now have the opportunity to read them critically within the context of other women's writing--itself likely to be a first-time experience. Finally, each student will be responsible for introducing to the rest of the class a single work not on the reading list and "outside" its cultural curve; these titles will constitute a multicultural list for future (and I hope immediate!) reading.

Texts:

Selected poetry (oral reports): Sappho, Bradstreet, Wheatley, E. Brontë, E.B. Browning, Rossetti, Dickinson, H.D., Moore, Brooks, Bishop, Plath, Rich, Sexton, Giovanni, Levertov, Lorde.

Selections (handouts): Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (1373); Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe (1436-38); St. Teresa, The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1562-65); Wollstonecraft, Travels in Norway and Sweden (1796); A. James, Diary (1892); Olsen, Silences (1978).

Books (to be purchased): C. Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847); H.E. Wilson, Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859); Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1899); Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own (1929); Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969); Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973); Kingston, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1975); Cisneros, House on Mango Street (1983).

Requirements & Grading: Writing and class discussion will constitute the primary activities of this course. Students will write three papers--the first two of approximately 4-5 pp. each, the last a more extended paper of 10 pp.--and deliver two brief oral reports. All papers will receive extensive critical commentary and will be discussed in office-hour consultation; 75% of course grade will be based on these papers. (N.B. This course fulfills the substantial writing component requirement.) The remaining percentage points will be satisfied by the oral reports and regular class participation/attendance.

E 349S • Charles Dickens

36020 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 103
show description

Instructor:  MacKay, C

Unique #:  36020

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  n/a

Prerequisites: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in English.

Description: This course will critically examine some of the key writings of Charles Dickens. The popularity of Dickens and his novels worldwide, both in his own and in our time, is phenomenal: at the middle of the nineteenth century in Britain, he was considered "at the top of the tree," and his work continues to flourish in myriad translations and film adaptations today. Early on, the tale of the beleaguered orphan child in a Dickens novel drew from sympathetic readers cries for reform in crowded urban environments and the workplace, whether or not the author stipulated a specific plan of action. With each new novel, he gained new adherents, and his novels were regularly reprinted in America without any copyright payments to their author as well as freely adapted for the stage--sometimes even before they were finished (most of his work appeared in serial installments). We will start with one of those orphan tales, namely Oliver Twist, from which Dickens performed the infamous oral reading of "Sikes and Nancy," and then proceed to one of his most challenging monthly serials, Bleak House. Along the way, will read some of his shorter pieces, such as excerpts from his London scenes in Sketches by Boz, one or two of his Christmas books, and articles from the first journal he edited, Household Words. But there is a darker side to the Dickens biography, both with respect to his own experience as a child laborer and his latter-day efforts to conceal the fact of having a mistress, and these elements reverberate in his most artistically-taut novel--Great Expectations--published in weekly "numbers" in his now-renamed journal, All the Year Round. We will conclude the semester with a close study of his last--but incomplete--novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Besides critical and biographical readings to contextualize our reading of Dickens's primary works, we will view the BBC mini-series of Bleak House and the award-winning post-World War II David Lean films of Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. (Note: this course will satisfy the University Writing Flag requirements.)

Primary Texts (to purchase): Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Great Expectations, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Requirements & Grading: 2 short papers (4-5 pp. apiece) Oral report Prospectus/bibliography Semester paper (8-10 pp.) Class participation/attendance.

E 370W • Women's Autobiographcl Writing

36160 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 302
(also listed as WGS 345 )
show description

Instructor:  MacKay, C

Unique #:  36160

Semester:  Spring 2014

Cross-lists:  WGS 345

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Writers have always employed an ingenious array of narrative strategies to construct and project their sense of an autobiographical self, but historically that task has entailed an additional cultural challenge--if not an outright psychological impossibility--for women writers worldwide. Although the male autobiographical impulse did not fully begin to manifest itself in Western culture until Rousseau (notwithstanding the anomaly of St. Augustine), women still tended to confine themselves to the less overt (and egoistic) modes of the diary, letter, memoir (often purporting to be about another subject), and fiction. It is the goal of this course to examine the autobiographical impulse in women's writing by exploring the concept of the individualistic self vs. the sense of self as a part of community (and duty)--and the ways in which that communal self can both partake of humankind and participate in self-actualization.

We will begin by reading excerpts from Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life (1988) and conclude with Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929). In between, we will be tracing women's autobiographical writings from Sappho to Tillie Olsen, encompassing as well the recorded experience of the African American, the Chinese American, and the Chicana. Although members of the class may have read individual titles from the course list before, they will now have the opportunity to read them critically within the context of other women's writing--itself likely to be a first-time experience. Finally, each student will be responsible for introducing to the rest of the class a single work not on the reading list and "outside" its cultural curve; these titles will constitute a multicultural list for future (and I hope immediate!) reading.

Texts:

Selected poetry (oral reports): Sappho, Bradstreet, Wheatley, E. Brontë, E.B. Browning, Rossetti, Dickinson, H.D., Moore, Brooks, Bishop, Plath, Rich, Sexton, Giovanni, Levertov, Lorde.

Selections (handouts): Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (1373); Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe (1436-38); St. Teresa, The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1562-65); Wollstonecraft, Travels in Norway and Sweden (1796); A. James, Diary (1892); Olsen, Silences (1978).

Books (to be purchased): C. Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847); H.E. Wilson, Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859); Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1899); Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969); Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973); Kingston, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1975); Cisneros, House on Mango Street (1983).

Requirements & Grading: Writing and class discussion will constitute the primary activities of this course. Students will write three papers--the first two of approximately 4-5 pp. each, the last a more extended paper of 10 pp.--and deliver two brief oral reports. All papers will receive extensive critical commentary and will be discussed in office-hour consultation; 75% of course grade will be based on these papers. (N.B. This course fulfills the substantial writing component requirement.) The remaining percentage points will be satisfied by the oral reports and regular class participation/attendance.

E 392M • Melodram Impulse Victorian Lit

36165 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm CAL 221
show description

Melodrama was immensely popular in the Victorian era--more than 30,000 plays were written and produced in Victorian England alone. And many of the period's novelists, most notably Dickens, were fascinated by the stage. Yet twenty-first-century literary critics continue to be puzzled by the emotional appeal and function of melodrama in the imagination and literature of the period. Why was melodrama so popular as a genre? Why were overtly theatrical techniques so integral to nineteenth-century fiction, and why was drama such a crucial element in the creative and personal lives of the major novelists? Equally important, how did some of the women novelists use melodrama to dramatize self-actualization and concurrently meet their readers' demand for the more sensational forms of melodrama? It is the goal of this course to examine the melodramatic impulses underlying the fiction and drama of nineteenth-century Britain in an attempt to answer these and other questions related to race and class in terms of theperiod's historical-cultural mindset.

Against the backdrop of several texts detailing the social, moral, and intellectual climate of the times, we will read and discuss five novels that can be variously termed classic and popular. Then we will take up assorted plays of the period--including dramatizations of novels and one of Dickens's own adaptations for his public reading tours. Collins will provide us with an interesting case study, for he was successful as both a novelist and a dramatist. Midway through the course, students will visit several of UT's special library collections, which provide a rich source of material--primarily in the Theatre Arts Library and the Wolff Collection of Popular Fiction.

FICTION:

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby

Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White

Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley's Secret

Mrs. Henry Wood, East Lynne

PLAYS:

John Buckstone, Luke the Labourer; or, The Lost Son

Douglas Jerrold, The Rent Day

Dion Boucicault, The Octoroon

Leopold Lewis, The Bells

Arthur Pinero, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray

CONTEXT:

James Eli Adams, A History of Victorian Literature

Michael Booth, Prefaces to English 19th-Century Theatre

Peter Brooks, The Melodramatic Imagination

Ann Cvetkovich, Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism

Elaine Hadley, Melodramatic Tactics: Theatricalized Dissent in The English Marketplace, 1800-1885

E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class

Carolyn Williams, Aesthetics of Melodramatic Form (in draft)

REQUIREMENTS:

Students will be expected to read, discuss, and debate the assigned reading. Each student will also write two papers and make two oral presentations. The first paper will be relatively short (5-6 pp.) and should focus on melodramatic elements in one of the works of fiction. The longer paper (15-20 pp.) will constitute the term project and will also be the subject of the last oral report (5-10 minutes); it should probably involve some examination of primary documentation and posit an original thesis. The grading for the course breaks down as follows: class participation, 10-15%; paper #1, 25%; oral reports, 10-15%; final paper, 50%. Regular class attendance is also required.

E 349S • Charles Dickens

35490 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 103
show description

Instructor:  MacKay, C            Areas:  I / H

Unique #:  35490            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  n/a            Computer Instruction:  n/a

Prerequisites: Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in English.

Description: This course will critically examine some of the key writings of Charles Dickens. The popularity of Dickens and his novels worldwide, both in his own and in our time, is phenomenal: at the middle of the nineteenth century in Britain, he was considered "at the top of the tree," and his work continues to flourish in myriad translations and film adaptations today. Early on, the tale of the beleaguered orphan child in a Dickens novel drew from sympathetic readers cries for reform in crowded urban environments and the workplace, whether or not the author stipulated a specific plan of action. With each new novel, he gained new adherents, and his novels were regularly reprinted in America without any copyright payments to their author as well as freely adapted for the stage--sometimes even before they were finished (most of his work appeared in serial installments). We will start with one of those orphan tales, namely Oliver Twist, from which Dickens performed the infamous oral reading of "Sikes and Nancy," and then proceed to one of his most challenging monthly serials, Bleak House. Along the way, will read some of his shorter pieces, such as excerpts from his London scenes in Sketches by Boz, one or two of his Christmas books, and articles from the first journal he edited, Household Words. But there is a darker side to the Dickens biography, both with respect to his own experience as a child laborer and his latter-day efforts to conceal the fact of having a mistress, and these elements reverberate in his most artistically-taut novel--Great Expectations--published in weekly "numbers" in his now-renamed journal, All the Year Round. We will conclude the semester with a close study of his last--but incomplete--novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Besides critical and biographical readings to contextualize our reading of Dickens's primary works, we will view the BBC mini-series of Bleak House and the award-winning post-World War II David Lean films of Oliver Twist and Great Expectations. (Note: this course will satisfy the University Writing Flag requirements.)

Primary Texts (to purchase): Oliver Twist, Bleak House, Great Expectations, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Requirements & Grading: 2 short papers (4-5 pp. apiece) Oral report Prospectus/bibliography Semester paper (8-10 pp.) Class participation/attendance.

E 350R • Melodr Impulse 19th-C Vict Lit

35540 • Spring 2013
Meets MW 930am-1100am CRD 007A
(also listed as LAH 350 )
show description

Instructor:  MacKay, C            Areas:  III / F

Unique #:  35540            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Spring 2013            Restrictions:  English Honors

Cross-lists:  LAH 350            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Melodrama was immensely popular in the Victorian era--more than 30,000 plays were written and produced in Victorian England alone. And many of the period's novelists, most notably Dickens, were fascinated by the stage. Yet twentieth-century literary critics continue to be puzzled by the emotional appeal and function of melodrama in the imagination and literature of the period.

Why was melodrama so popular as a genre? Why were overtly theatrical techniques so integral to nineteenth-century fiction, and why was drama such a crucial element in the creative and personal lives of the major novelists? Equally important, how did some of the women novelists use melodrama to dramatize self-actualization and concurrently meet their readers' demand for the more sensational forms of melodrama? It is the goal of this course to examine the melodramatic impulses underlying the fiction and drama of nineteenth-century Britain and America in an attempt to answer these and other questions related to race and class in terms of the period's "frame of mind."

Against the backdrop of several texts detailing the social, moral, and intellectual climate of the times, we will read and discuss six novels/novellas that can be variously termed classic and popular. Always looking ahead to parallels in our own century, we will concurrently view cinematic adaptations of all the works of fiction on our reading list. Then we will take up assorted plays of the period--including dramatizations of novels and one of Dickens's own adaptations for his public reading tours. Midway through the course, students will visit several of UT's special library collections, which provide a rich source of material--primarily in the Theatre Arts Library and the Wolff Collection of Popular Fiction.

FICTION: (purchase) Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Charles Dickens, Bleak House; Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White; Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley's Secret; Henry James, The Turn of the Screw.

PLAYS: (packet) John Buckstone, Luke the Labourer or The Lost Son; Douglas Jerrold, The Rent Day; Dion Boucicault, The Octoroon; Leopold Lewis, The Bells; Arthur Pinero, The Second Mrs. Tanqueray.

CULTURAL CONTEXT: (selections on PCL reserve) Michael Booth, Prefaces to English 19th-Century Theatre; Peter Brooks, The Melodramatic Imagination; Ann Cvetkovich, Mixed Feelings: Feminism, Mass Culture, and Victorian Sensationalism; Elaine Hadley, Melodramatic Tactics: Theatricalized Dissent in the English Marketplace, 1800-1885; Walter E. Houghton, The Victorian Frame of Mind, 1830-1870; E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class.

Requirements & Grading: Students will be expected to read, discuss, and debate the assigned reading. Each student will also write two papers and make two oral presentations. The first paper will be relatively short (5-6 pp.) and should focus on melodramatic elements in one of the works of fiction. The longer paper (10-12 pp.) will constitute the term project and will also be the subject of the last oral report (5-10 minutes); it should probably involve some examination of primary documentation and posit an original thesis. The grading for the course breaks down as follows: class participation, 10-15%; paper #1, 25%; oral reports, 10-15%; final paper, 50%. Regular class attendance is also required. The seminar is offered as a substantial writing component course.

E 392M • Victorian Triple Decker

35875 • Fall 2012
Meets MW 330pm-500pm CAL 221
(also listed as WGS 393 )
show description

Victorian novels are notorious for their magnitude--Henry James even called them "loose, baggy monsters," and people today sometimes erroneously refer to their authors as having been paid by the page. Widespread practice of serial publication certainly encouraged this tendency toward epic length, and then the circulating libraries discovered the profits of lending out the reprinted three-volume novels one at a time. Well into the nineteenth century, publishers, editors, and readers alike treated the three-decker as the conventional mode of novel publication.  Against this publishing history and making considerable use of the Humanities Research Center, we will read four such novels by major Victorian novelists, in each case seeing how the novelist turned publication constraints into exploration and demonstration of his or her art and social critique. At mid-century, Thackeray and Dickens were considered "at the top of the tree," their distinctive styles setting them up as competitors by many of the reading public. Thackeray distinguished himself in part by illustrating his own novels, preeminently Vanity Fair, while Dickens created an intriguing challenge to readers of Bleak House by switching back and forth between a semi-omniscient narrative voice and that of a female character-narrator. In fact, Brontë had Dickens's Esther Summerson very much in mind when she created her own problematic character-narrator Lucy Snowe in Villette, composed while Bleak House was appearing in monthly installments but published (unserialized) before Dickens reached his conclusion. And finally, turning to Eliot's Middlemarch, we encounter a singular method of publication; by insisting on eight bi-monthly installments, she ensured the structural integrity of her work. By century's end, George Moore and Thomas Hardy had successfully led the fight to break the lockhold of the three-decker, but in its heyday it produced some of the greatest examples of the novelistic form.

 

Texts:

William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero (serial subtitle: "Pen and Pencil Sketches of English Society") (1847-48)

Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1852-53)

Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë), Villette (1853)

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (1871-72)

N.N. Feltes, Modes of Production of the Victorian Novel (1986)

Assorted critical articles and chapters (Altick, Buckley, Gilbert & Gubar, Moers, Showalter, Somervell, Wheeler, etc.)

 

Requirements:

Annotated bibliography/oral report

Short paper (5-6 pp.)

Seminar paper (15-20 pp.)/in-progress oral report

Class participation/attendance

E 349S • The Brontes

35340 • Spring 2012
Meets MW 330pm-500pm PAR 204
(also listed as WGS 345 )
show description

Instructor:  MacKay, C            Areas:  I / H

Unique #:  35340            Flags:  Writing

Semester:  Spring 2012            Restrictions:  n/a

Cross-lists:  WGS 345            Computer Instruction:  No

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: This course will critically examine the literary outpourings of the Brontë sisters, comparing and contrasting their works from a variety of different viewpoints. We will begin by studying the two most popular novels, Emily's Wuthering Heights and Charlotte's Jane Eyre (we will see film versions of these two classics as well). Then we will move on to Anne's Tennant of Wildfell Hall, which should illustrate some of the strengths and weaknesses of the story-telling impulse. Finally, we will read Villette, adjudged by many modern critics as Charlotte's masterpiece, and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. At each point, we will try on different readings of the novels, primarliy psychological (sometimes auto-biographical and hence likely to be family systems oriented), Marxist, and feminist.

The course will conclude with a series of oral reports based on independent reading: each student will select for study a complete work or collection by or about the Brontës and relate it to the overall concerns of the course. Representative "works" include:  primary readings—poetry by Emily, Charlotte, and/or Anne; reprinted juvenilia (many of the originals are here at UT's Humanities Research Center); Anne's Agnes Grey; Charlotte's Professor or the unfinished Emma (both published posthumously) or her "historical" novel, Shirley; the poetry and/or sermons of their father, the Reverend Patrick Brontë; possible sources in the Romantic poets and journals such as Blackwood's and Fraser's; secondary readings—the controversy surrounding Elizabeth Gaskell's "life" of Charlotte; various other biographical accountings of the sisters and their unpublished (in his lifetime) brother, Branwell; critical/theoretical studies, such as Helene Moglen's Charlotte Brontë: The Self Conceived, Terry Eagleton's Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the Brontës, Robert Keefe's Charlotte Brontës World of Death, Cynthia A. Linder's Romantic Imagery in the Novels of Charlotte Brontë, and Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's Madwoman in the Attic.

N.B. The Brontës and their creations have acquired an almost mythical status in the Anglo-American literary tradition. As a result, they can also be studied through a fascinating array of works for which they apparently served as "models." Our extended reading list may well include another title such as May Sinclair's The Three Sisters, Rachel Ferguson's The Brontës Went to Woolworths, Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca, and Robert Barnard's The Case of the Missting Brontë.

Requirements & Grading: Two short papers (3-5 pages each)—20% each; one seminar paper (10-12 pages)—35%; two oral reports (5-10 minutes), regular attendance, in-class writing, and active participation in class discussion—25%.

E 370W • Women's Autobiographcl Writing

35450 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 204
(also listed as WGS 345 )
show description

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Writers have always employed an ingenious array of narrative strategies to construct and project their sense of an autobiographical self, but historically that task has entailed an additional cultural challenge--if not an outright psychological impossibility--for women writers worldwide. Although the male autobiographical impulse did not fully begin to manifest itself in Western culture until Rousseau (notwithstanding the anomaly of St. Augustine), women still tended to confine themselves to the less overt (and egoistic) modes of the diary, letter, memoir (often purporting to be about another subject), and fiction. It is the goal of this course to examine the autobiographical impulse in women's writing by exploring the concept of the individualistic self vs. the sense of self as a part of community (and duty)--and the ways in which that communal self can both partake of humankind and participate in self-actualization.

We will begin by reading Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life (1988) and conclude with Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929). In between, we will be tracing women's autobiographical writings from Sappho to Tillie Olsen, encompassing as well the recorded experience of the African American, the Chinese American, and the Chicana. Although members of the class may have read individual titles from the course list before, they will now have the opportunity to read them critically within the context of other women's writing--itself likely to be a first-time experience. Finally, each student will be responsible for introducing to the rest of the class a single work not on the reading list and "outside" its cultural curve; these titles will constitute a multicultural list for future (and I hope immediate!) reading. 

Texts:  

Poetry packet: Sappho, Bradstreet, Wheatley, E. Brontë, E.B. Browning, Rossetti, Dickinson, H.D., Moore, Brooks, Bishop, Plath, Rich, Sexton, Giovanni, Levertov, Lorde.

Selections: Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (1373); Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe (1436-38); St. Teresa, The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1562-65); Wollstonecraft, Travels in Norway and Sweden (1796); A. James, Diary (1892); Olsen, Silences (1978).

C. Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847); H.E. Wilson, Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859); Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1899); J. Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House (1910); Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969); Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973); Kingston, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1975); Cisneros, House on Mango Street (1983).

Requirements & Grading: Writing and class discussion will constitute the primary activities of this course. Students will write three papers--the first two of approximately 4-5 pp. each, the last a more extended paper of 10 pp.--and deliver two brief oral reports. All papers will receive extensive critical commentary and will be discussed in office-hour consultation; 75% of course grade will be based on these papers. (N.B. This course fulfills the substantial writing component requirement.) The remaining percentage points will be satisfied by the oral reports and regular class participation/attendance.

E 328 • English Novel In 19th Century

35480 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am PAR 204
show description

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Victorian novels intrigue us for both literary and cultural reasons. We will be reading a wide range of these novels, including today's classics and yesterday's best sellers. For each novel, we will entertain formal questions about the novel's structure and point of view, as well as how it fits into its cultural and social context. Various themes will emerge--creeping industrialism, survival of the fittest, the decline of the hero, the imprisoned woman, the disappearance of God--all concerns that continue to dominate our thinking in the twentieth century. And so, among other considerations, we will constantly be looking to the past to understand our present.

Texts: Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre; Charles Dickens, Great Expectations; Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone; George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans), The Mill on the Floss; Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure.

Requirements & Grading: Two analytic papers (each 4-5 typewritten pages) as well as a take-home essay exam are required for the course. The two papers should deal with one or two of the works discussed preceding the due date; topics will be provided but any significant changes or substitutions should be cleared with the professor. There will be peer-review sessions for each of the two papers that will serve as pre-submission opportunities for revision; one of the two papers will be chosen for revision after evaluation by and conference discussion with the professor. The final will examine the range of required works in light of overall concerns and techniques illuminated by the course.

Each paper will be worth approximately 25% of the semester grade, with the final paper/exam (5-6 pp. typewritten) weighted about 35%. Class participation, in-class writing, and attendance will account for the remaining percentage points.

E 370W • Women's Autobiographcl Writing

35745 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm PAR 304
(also listed as WGS 345 )
show description

Prerequisites: Nine semester hours of coursework in English or rhetoric and writing.

Description: Writers have always employed an ingenious array of narrative strategies to construct and project their sense of an autobiographical self, but historically that task has entailed an additional cultural challenge--if not an outright psychological impossibility--for women writers worldwide. Although the male autobiographical impulse did not fully begin to manifest itself in Western culture until Rousseau (notwithstanding the anomaly of St. Augustine), women still tended to confine themselves to the less overt (and egoistic) modes of the diary, letter, memoir (often purporting to be about another subject), and fiction. It is the goal of this course to examine the autobiographical impulse in women's writing by exploring the concept of the individualistic self vs. the sense of self as a part of community (and duty)--and the ways in which that communal self can both partake of humankind and participate in self-actualization.

We will begin by reading Carolyn Heilbrun's Writing a Woman's Life (1988) and conclude with Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929). In between, we will be tracing women's autobiographical writings from Sappho to Tillie Olsen, encompassing as well the recorded experience of the African American, the Chinese American, and the Chicana. Although members of the class may have read individual titles from the course list before, they will now have the opportunity to read them critically within the context of other women's writing--itself likely to be a first-time experience. Finally, each student will be responsible for introducing to the rest of the class a single work not on the reading list and "outside" its cultural curve; these titles will constitute a multicultural list for future (and I hope immediate!) reading.

Texts: (changes pending)

Poetry packet: Sappho, Bradstreet, Wheatley, E. Brontë, E.B. Browning, Rossetti, Dickinson, H.D., Moore, Brooks, Bishop, Plath, Rich, Sexton, Giovanni, Levertov, Lorde.

Selections: Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (1373); Kempe, The Book of Margery Kempe (1436-38); St. Teresa, The Life of Teresa of Jesus (1562-65); Wollstonecraft, Travels in Norway and Sweden (1796); A. James, Diary (1892); Olsen, Silences (1978).

C. Brontë, Jane Eyre (1847); H.E. Wilson, Our Nig; or Sketches from the Life of a Free Black (1859);

Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper (1899); J. Addams, Twenty Years at Hull House (1910); Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969); Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973); Kingston, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1975); Cisneros, House on Mango Street (1983).

Requirements & Grading: Writing and class discussion will constitute the primary activities of this course. Students will write three papers--the first two of approximately 4-5 pp. each, the last a more extended paper of 10 pp.--and deliver two brief oral reports. All papers will receive extensive critical commentary and will be discussed in office-hour consultation; 75% of course grade will be based on these papers. (N.B. This course fulfills the substantial writing component requirement.) The remaining percentage points will be satisfied by the oral reports and regular class participation/attendance.

E 392M • Victorian Fiction

35070 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 330pm-500pm CAL 323
(also listed as WGS 393 )
show description

Victorian novels are notorious for their magnitude (Henry James called them "loose, baggy monsters"), and people today sometimes erroneously refer to their authors as having been paid by the word. Serial publication certainly encouraged this tendency toward epic length, and circulating libraries discovered the profits of lending three-decker novels one volume at a time. Looking at the roles of publishers, editors, and readers alike, and making considerable use of the Humanities Research Center, we will read six novels from the period, in each case seeing how the novelist turned publication mode into exploration of his or her art and social critique. At mid-century, Thackeray and Dickens were considered "at the top of the tree," their distinctive styles setting them up as competitors by many of the reading public. Brontë's eponymous narrator Jane Eyre supplies an intriguing counterpoint on the question of gendered narration to Dickens's Esther Summerson (whom Brontë had very much in mind when she created her character-narrator Lucy Snowe in Villette, composed while Bleak House was appearing in monthly installments but published in three-volume format before Dickens reached his conclusion). Thackeray's historical novel Esmond adjudged his masterpiece by many critics, is the exception to his usual habit of writing to serial deadline, this time publishing all at once in three-decker fashion. Meanwhile, we have the example of Gaskell's North and South, appearing in weekly installments in Household Words under the controlling editorship of Dickens. As for Eliot, who experimented with the widest range of publication modes of any Victorian novelist, we find in The Mill on the Floss one more instance of her practice of extensive revision, including evidence at various stages of page proofs on file here at the HRC. By century's end, George Moore and Thomas Hardy had successfully led the fight to break the lockhold of the three-decker, and hence we have the much shorter, single-volume novel Jude the Obscure.

Requirements

One short papers (5-6 pp.)
One seminar paper (15-20 pp.)
Two oral reports
Class participation/attendance

Readings

Currer Bell (Charlotte Brontë), Jane Eyre (1847)
Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1852-53)
William Makepeace Thackeray, The History of Henry Esmond (1852)
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (1854-55)
George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Mill on the Floss (1860)
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure (1895)
N.N. Feltes, Modes of Production of the Victorian Novel (1986)
Assorted critical articles and chapters (John Kucich, D.A. Miller, John Bowen, Hilary Schor, Deirdre David, Hilary Fraser, etc.)

E 379S • Senior Seminar-W

35175 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CAL 200
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E379S  The Brontes: Self and Society (35175)

Professor Carol MacKay <mackay@mail.utexas.edu>  /  Spring 2009: MWF 1-2 (Calhoun 200)
Office Hours: MW 2-3:30 (Parlin 221)  /  Office: 471-8970; messages: 471-4991

Course Description

This course will critically examine the literary outpourings of the Brontë sisters, comparing and contrasting their works from a variety of different viewpoints. We will begin by studying the two most popular novels, Emily's Wuthering Heights and Charlotte's Jane Eyre (we will see film versions of these two classics as well). Then we will move on to Anne's Tennant of Wildfell Hall, which should illustrate some of the strengths and weaknesses of the story-telling impulse. Finally, we will read Villette, adjudged by many modern critics as Charlotte's masterpiece, and Jean Rhys's Wide Sargasso Sea. At each point, we will try on different readings of the novels, primarliy psychological (sometimes auto-biographical and hence likely to be family systems oriented), Marxist, and feminist.

The course will conclude with a series of oral reports based on independent reading: each student will select for study a complete work or collection by or about the Brontës and relate it to the overall concerns of the course. Representative "works" include: primary readings; poetry by Emily, Charlotte, and/or Anne; reprinted juvenilia (many of the originals are here at UT's Humanities Research Center); Anne's Agnes Grey; Charlotte's Professor or the unfinished Emma (both published posthumously) or her "historical" novel, Shirley; the poetry and/or sermons of their father, the Reverend Patrick Brontë; possible sources in the Romantic poets and journals such as Blackwood's and Fraser's; secondary readings; the controversy surrounding Elizabeth Gaskell's "life" of Charlotte; various other biographical accountings of the sisters and their unpublished (in his lifetime) brother, Branwell; critical/theoretical studies, such as Helene Moglen's Charlotte Brontë: The Self Conceived, Terry Eagleton's Myths of Power: A Marxist Study of the Brontës, Robert Keefe's Charlotte Brontës World of Death, Cynthia A. Linder's Romantic Imagery in the Novels of Charlotte Brontë, and Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's Madwoman in the Attic.

N.B. The Brontës and their creations have acquired an almost mythical status in the Anglo-American literary tradition. As a result, they can also be studied through a fascinating array of works for which they apparently served as "models." Our extended reading list may well include another title such as May Sinclair's The Three Sisters, Rachel Ferguson's The Brontës Went to Woolworths, Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca, and Robert Barnard's The Case of the Missting Brontë. Texts: Francis Bacon, The New Atlantis and selected essays; Margaret Cavendish, The Blazing World; Lucy Hutchinson, Order and Disorder, selections; John Milton, Paradise Lost, selections; Thomas More, Utopia; William Shakespeare, The Tempest; Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, selections; Selected poems: Sidney, Donne, Bradstreet, Marvell; Selected prose: Columbus, Hakluyt, Ralegh

Grading Policy

Two short papers (3-5 pages each): 20% each; one seminar paper (10-12 pages): 35%; two oral reports (5-10 minutes), regular attendance, in-class writing, and active participation in class discussion: 25%

For more information, please download the full syllabus.

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