English 314

Restoration and Eighteenth-Century

Satire, Scandal, and the Birth of Social Media

In this course we'll examine genres of the eighteenth-century and create multimodal projects to research those genres. Write a criminal biography and a novel, contribute to an online journal, perform plays, read newspapers in coffee houses.

TR 1:15 - 2:30

A group of people sit in a coffee-house, sipping the latest blend and spreading the latest gossip. The newspapers on the table are full of the scandalous court case of a young woman who claims to have been kidnapped, but who might actually be a lying prostitute. Nearby someone reads a travel narrative describing Turkish baths full of naked women, while across the room someone else reads a best-selling novel by a man who spent time in prison.

Welcome to the Eighteenth-Century

The 18th century in England was an age of rational philosophies, of free thought on sex and the “woman question,” of censorship and satire, of logic and silliness. We date the modern world from the 18th century, and we owe to that time the stock market, the novel, the coffee house, and the middle class. It was a fascinating time and, at least for the first half of the century, a culture much like our own. It was an Age of Reason but Alexander Pope could assert that “whatever is, is right.” It was an Age of Revolution – the Civil Wars begun in 1649 ended with the Restoration in 1660; Locke’s social contract was victorious in the 1688 Glorious Revolution; the colonies became a country in the American Revolution (1775-1783); the seeming triumph of humanist ideals in the French Revolution became a bloody Reign of Terror and a new era began. It was an Age of Satire – Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels and “A Modest Proposal,” Delarivier Manley’s scandal chronicles, Eliza Haywood’s Anti-Pamela, Love in Excess, Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, Henry Fielding’s Joseph Andrews and Tom Jones. The British Empire began in the eighteenth-century, and the monetary and mercantile gains are tempered with the real problems of colonialism and the shame of institutional slavery.

The literature of the eighteenth-century reflects this varied and provocative social period. Aphra Behn, Eliza Haywood, Daniel Defoe and Samuel Richardson “invent” the novel, and journalism and professional authorship replace the patron system. Journalists and authors often find themselves in jail on libel or slander charges. The majority of novels are written by women, but a “great forgetting” occurs and only Jane Austen survives into the nineteenth-century.

The eighteenth-century is best known for its “invention” of the novel, but many other genres were created during the period. Criminal biography was extremely popular as was scandal fiction. The Beggar’s Opera began musical comedy, and poetry and plays were always favorites. In this course, we will examine the various genres that originated in the eighteenth-century in England and explore the reasons why these genres have endured into the twenty-first century. How has our culture adapted criminal biography, for instance? How did the novel overtake poetry as the epitome of literature? How does popular culture become high art?

Some Past Projects

Undergraduate panel on sociability at Southeastern Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies in Knoxville, TN
Criminal Biography Blog -- http://criminalbioproject.weebly.com/

NaNoWriMo -- nanowrimo.org

Clarissa twovel -- http://storify.com/drbookwyrm/clarissa-the-twovel

Prerequisite(s): English 102


1. To develop an appreciation for significant texts in literature.

2. To become familiar with major ideas, concepts, and themes in British


3. To contextualize British literature socially, culturally, and historically.

4. To improve critical and analytical ability in thinking and writing about


5. To practice writing and speaking clearly and cogently about British


General Education Competencies for Division of Humanities

A. Students will develop skills in formulating well organized thoughts for the purpose of effective communication.

B. Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze written, oral, or visual forms of communication and create appropriate responses.

C. Students will compare and contrast intra- and intercultural realities to cultivate attributes necessary for adapting to and functioning in a globalized world.

D. Students will develop skills in effective research using traditional and technology-based research methods.

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Texts and Supplies

Course packet (mainly through Blackboard)

Twitter account (follow at twitter.com/drbookwyrm)

Ning account (you'll get an invitation email)

Composition notebook for daybook

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Three unit projects 40%

Final Conference presentation 20%

Conference proposal 10%

Ning posts (once a week write a post; once a week respond to a post) 20%

Critical article abstract 10%

Grading Scale:

“Students must achieve a minimum final grade of ‘C’ (2.00) in order to be released from required enrollment in the course(s). This means that students may not drop these courses once they have been enrolled in them. Students receiving a ‘C-’, ‘D+’, “D”, “D-” or an “F” must repeat the course(s) every successive semester of enrollment at GWU, until they earn at least a grade of ‘C’ (2.00). Students who fail to achieve at least a grade of ‘C’ (2.00) in this course after a maximum of four attempts will be dismissed from the University.” (Undergraduate Catalog, p.92)

Manuscript requirements:

All final papers will be submitted to turnitin and to your portfolio webpage on weebly. PAPER NOT SUBMITTED = O

Attendance Policy:
The attendance policy for this class indicates that students must be present 86% of the times that we meet (class and labs). This means that you can miss up to seven classes total in our course. Exceeding these absences (missing 8 or more classes and/or labs), excused or unexcused, will result in a failure of the course. Excused absences include missing class because of sports travel, sickness, family emergency, etc. Although these are unavoidable, they still count as absences from class. Please, speak with me prior to any foreseeable absences, so you will not return “behind.” When possible, I will provide you ahead of time with any assignments or resources to supplement your time away from class. If you are absent of your own choosing, then you are responsible for getting caught up. Use our course site and your classmates as resources.

Continued tardiness is also not tolerated; as a rule, three times tardy will constitute an unexcused absence. Should you at any time come to class after I take attendance it is your responsibility at the end of that class to see that “absence” is changed to “tardy” in your professor’s record.

Late work:

No paper will be accepted if it is more than one week late.

Academic Dishonesty:

Using someone else's words or ideas without giving credit with documentation and quotation marks when appropriate is plagiarism. Plagiarism will be prosecuted enthusiastically.

It is English department policy that a grade of F for the course will be assigned any time a student submits any draft of a paper of which a substantial portion has been falsely represented as the student’s own. Resubmitting work you have done for another class without getting prior permission from your professor will be considered academic dishonesty.

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The Learning Enrichment and Assistance Program (LEAP) provides peer tutoring for Gardner-Webb students. Peer tutors will work with students to refine study skills and clarify course content. Our tutoring is offered on campus the Tucker Student Center. While we try to meet the needs of our students, we do not have resources available to offer tutoring in every course/subject. Should tutoring for certain course/subjects not be available, the student may contact the LEAP program to determine if other campus resources are available. Students can make an appointment with a peer tutor in WebConnect by choosing “Peer Tutoring Appointment Scheduler” under “Student Services.” Prior to requesting a tutor, LEAP recommends that an interested student speak first with his/her professor about concerns in a particular class; professors can provide insight into which areas need attention or which strategies might be helpful in specific courses. Please contact LEAP by emailing leap@gardner-webb.edu.

University Writing Center “at the center of the Center”
Location: Tucker Student Center Rm 237

The Writing Center is a resource for all students, regardless of major or level of study. Writing Center consultants are fellow students who have a solid grasp of the English language and writing who also enjoy assisting others. They will help you with developing and revising your ideas as well as polishing your final draft. You can make an appointment for a consultation in Webb Connect or walk in to see if there's an available appointment. Visit gardner-webb.edu/writingcenter for important information like semester hours of operation.

The Final Exam:

The final exam time is listed on the syllabus. The final exam schedule is set in stone and cannot be changed unless you have a truly serious (and, generally, unexpected) emergency such as a death in the family, a serious illness requiring hospitalization, or an obligation to be away on University business (e.g., you are an athlete and have a scheduled game).

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Other policies:

If your learning or participation in this class might be affected in any way by a disability recognized under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), you will need to do the following: (1) register with the Noel Program for the Disabled at Gardner‑Webb University ‑‑ (704) 406‑4270; and (2) educate me about your disability so that I can work with you and the Noel Program to arrange necessary accommodations. It is important that you take both of these steps no later than the first week of the semester.

This classroom is a safe haven, free from discrimination based on sexual orientation, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation. If anyone feels they have been discriminated against in this classroom or on campus, please speak with me in my office.

Emergency Plans: In case of an on-campus emergency that requires evacuation of the building, please assemble as quickly as possible at the following location to check in with your professor: Christmas tree.

Assignments as public documents: All work in this class will be public. In other words, other people may be allowed to read it.