English 190

Research Seminar: Literatures of the Ocean

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
8 Spring 2017 Sorensen, Janet

TTh 9:30-11 C57 Hearst Field Annex Pre-1800 Requirement
British 18th-Century
Research Seminars

Book List

See below.


In this seminar we’ll explore literary (and some non-literary) representations of life at sea and of sailors, both offshore and on, primarily but not exclusively during the expansion of Britain’s first empire during the eighteenth century. We’ll explore formal techniques that attempted to bring the faraway spaces of the sea and the distant figure of the sea traveller home to British readers. We’ll read theories of sentiment and sympathy to think about how remote figures become compatriots with whom readers might feel. We’ll consider how print representations of an alien wooden world—the ship at sea—and of globe-travelling sailors constituted them, nonetheless, as British, particularly through depictions of nautical language. Pirates posed a challenge to this image of sailors, and we’ll think too about the significance of the popularity of pirate narratives. Exploring the imaginative possibilities the sea presented, we’ll read aesthetic theory to think about how the sea and sailors’ experiences at sea might function as aesthetic objects and perceptions. Our readings might take us in several alternative but clearly adjacent directions—imperial discourse, slavery, trans-Atlantic studies, literature and science—and other interests students might bring to the table, and students’ interests will shape some of our class discussions and certainly the research writing. We will move between seminar discussions on the readings and, increasingly as the semester moves forward, conversations about research and writing practices in the preparation of a 20-page research paper.  

Provisional Book List:  Daniel Defoe, Captain Singleton; A General History of Pirates; Olaudah Equiano, Interesting Narrative; Tobias Smollett, Roderick Random; Frances Burney, Evelina; Poetry of John Dryden, James Thomson, William Falconer, William Cowper, Samuel Taylor Coleridge; accounts of the voyages of William Dampier, George Anson, and James Cook. Archival research materials might include naval songs, logs and journals of voyages. Philosophical writings of Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and recent scholarship on writing and the sea, including James Bunn, Margaret Cohen and Ian Baucom.

This section of English 190 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial Ellis, Nadia

190/2 Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance Wagner, Bryan

190/3 Research Seminar: Literature and the Linguistic Turn Blevins, Jeffrey

190/4 Research Seminar: Jane Austen and the Theory of the Novel Miller, D.A.

190/5 Research Seminar: Writing a World in Crisis: Medieval and Modern Perry, R. D.

190/6 Research Seminar: Shakespeare: From the Globe to the Global Bahr, Stephanie M

190/7 Research Seminar: Place-Love: Fiction and the Melancholy of Form Xin, Wendy Veronica

190/9 Research Seminar: <em>Beowulf</em> Thornbury, Emily V.

190/10 Research Seminar: Hollywood in the 1930s Knapp, Jeffrey

190/11 Research Seminar: The Literature of Immortality Jones, Donna V.

190/13 Research Seminar: California Literature & Film Since WWI Starr, George A.

Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson Shoptaw, John

190/2 Research Seminar: Slow Seeing / Slow Reading Hejinian, Lyn

190/3 Research Seminar: Moby-Dick, and More Otter, Samuel

190/4 Research Seminar: U.S. Modernism Goble, Mark

190/5 Research Seminar: Alfred Hitchcock Bader, Julia

190/6 Research Seminar: The Medium Is the Message: Reading Poetry in Manuscript & Print, 1300-1600 Bahr, Stephanie M

190/7 Research Seminar: Note new topic: Troy and Tragedy Perry, R. D.

190/8 Research Seminar: James / Baldwin Best, Stephen M.

190/9 Research Seminar: On Style Xin, Wendy Veronica

190/10 Research Seminar: Do I Dare? Indecision and Modernist Literature Blevins, Jeffrey

190/11 Research Seminar: Modern California Literature and Film Starr, George A.

190/12 Research Seminar: Modern Utopian and Dystopian Literature and Film Starr, George A.

Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: The Sixties Goble, Mark

190/2 Research Seminar: Through a Future Darkly: Global Crisis and the Triumph of Dystopia Danner, Mark

190/3 Research Seminar: Late Henry James Breitwieser, Mitchell

190/4 Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial Ellis, Nadia

190/5 Research Seminar: Contemporary British Literature and Culture Falci, Eric

190/6 Research Seminar: Classical and Renaissance Drama Knapp, Jeffrey

190/7 Research Seminar: Materiality: How the Physical World Is Made to Mean Flynn, Catherine

190/8 Research Seminar: Vital Texts: Literature and the Discourse of Life Gaydos, Rebecca

190/9 Research Seminar: Medieval and Renaissance Lyric Crosson, Chad Gregory

190/10 Research Seminar: Purcell and Handel: Their Art in Setting English Texts to Music Hanson, Kristin

190/11 Research Seminar Lee, Steven S.

190/12 Research Seminar: Daniel Defoe and the Rise of the 18th-Century Novel Starr, George A.

190/13 Research Seminar: Keats and Literary Tradition Francois, Anne-Lise

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