Spring 2017 Undergraduate English Courses: Special Topics
358:206 Introduction to Literary Studies
Section 01 MTH2 9:50AM-11:10AM GILDEA CAC 17069 SC-114 (Course meets 3/6/17-5/1/17)
Section 02 MW6 6:10PM-7:30PM SIVARAM CAC 17097 CA-A3 (Course meets 3/6/17-5/1/17)
Section 03 TF3 11:30AM-12:50PM SIGERMAN CAC 17098 SC-204 (Course meets 3/7/17-5/1/17)
“Ghosts, Monsters, and Criminals in Victorian Literature”
Just as the nineteenth-century saw new advancements in scientific thought and modes of criminal investigation, so did it see a new fascination with the dark side of science and with the seemingly unexplainable. In this course we’ll consider how literature represented these things, looking at some iconic stories of monsters (Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), criminal activity and the lengths went to solve it (most notably by the indefatigable Sherlock Holmes), and ghosts (some of the most famous such stories coming from Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, and of course, Charles Dickens). These stories document the very Victorian desire to categorize, organize, and explain, and how that desire reacted when faced with phenomena that defied explanation. We’ll discuss the social trends that fostered this kind of fiction, and that made it so very entertaining to the Victorian reader.