Print Version

Effective: Summer 2011

Prerequisites: Prerequisite: One of the following: ENGL 1A, 1AH, 1S & 1T or ESLL 26.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Humanities Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • A successful student will be able to read literary texts of various genres and subsequently actively and critically assess those works within 19th and 20th century contexts for denotative and connotative meaning, structure and development, and connections between literal and figurative detail.
  • Students will demonstrate sophisticated application of critical and theoretical criteria to literary analysis.
  • Students will be able to situate and analyze literary texts within their historical and cultural contexts.
Description -
Reading and critical analysis of representative works, emphasizing social and cultural backgrounds, from the Victorian to the Modern Period.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Develop critical thinking skills by:
    1. evaluating, understanding, and interpreting major literary texts (fiction, poetry, drama, biography, autobiography, essays as appropriate).
    2. applying a variety of critical and theoretical criteria to evaluation of the literature.
    3. identifying the historical, literary, and multicultural issues in the literature.
    4. analyzing the literature through interpretations and arguments in written and oral forms.
    5. collaborating in clarifying, explaining, and resolving interpretive issues or problems.
  2. Acquire knowledge of the historical and cultural period, major writers, and key texts and documents of British literature from Victorian Period to the present day by:
    1. studying at least six major authors.
    2. analyzing the influence of British culture and nationalism on writers from this period and their texts.
    3. analyzing the rich and diverse indigenous, colonial, and emerging cultural influences on literature of this period.
    4. analyzing ethical, philosophical, political, religious, and social perspectives in literature of this period.
    5. investigating the portrayal of gender roles in literature of this period.
    6. tracing the development of literary styles, genres, and forms in this period.
    7. applying theories of literary criticism to literature of this period.
    8. demonstrating via discussion and writing an awareness of the way Britain's past has shaped its linguistic and literary present.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Historical changes in British culture
    1. Survey the transition from the Romantic Period to the Victorian Age
    2. Study main currents of Victorian literature including rise of the novel
    3. Study works of Victorian and 20th Century writers
    4. Examine new pluralism in contemporary British and post-colonial literature
  2. Approaches to the literature of the period
    1. Historical analysis showing growth of principal literary genres and forms
    2. Sociological analysis showing contributions of different cultural groups
    3. Aesthetic analysis
    4. Psychological analysis (Freudian or Jungian)
  3. Class activities
    1. Lectures about historical and biographical contexts of works studied
    2. Large and small group discussions of ideas and emotions conveyed in each work
    3. Reading aloud key passages of a text
    4. Written response to works under study
    5. When appropriate, movies, slides, recordings, guest lectures.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Quizzes (at instructor's discretion)
  2. Participation in class discussion
  3. Midterm and final examination
  4. Journals and Portfolios (at instructor's discretion)
  5. Critical essays (at least one formal paper)
  6. Class presentations (at instructor's discretion)
Representative Text(s) -
Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th Edition. Volume E: The Victorian Age. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2006.
Greenblatt, Stephen, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 8th Edition. Volume F: The Twentieth Century and After. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2006.

Additional texts (optional and selected by individual instructor):
Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre.
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.
Dickens, Charles. Hard Times.
Joyce, James. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Rushdie, Salman. Midnight's Children.
Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse or Mrs. Dalloway.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
Reading texts in the British literary canon; lectures on the texts and their historical, social, and theoretical contexts; class discussion regarding those issues and texts; small group projects and presentations; analytical writing projects.
Lab Content -
Not applicable..
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading from representative literary texts as assigned by instructor.
  2. Quizzes on reading comprehension of assigned literary texts.
  3. Individual and small group presentations on the literature and its historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts.
  4. Analytical and reader response journal assignments on readings.
  5. At least one formal literary analysis writing project demonstrating comprehension and critical thinking.