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02  MTH2  CAC  18548  ZITIN  SC-114

Culture of the Quarrel

This course introduces the literature of eighteenth-century Britain by zeroing in on one of its characteristic features: the literary debate. As print culture accelerated authors’ awareness of their participation in a modern public sphere, they took issue, publicly, with one another’s works, responding to perceived provocation (intended or not) with both withering parody and impassioned rebuttal. We will read paired texts that cut across genres, including poetry, drama, and narrative fiction, from the 1680s to the 1780s, in order to think critically about what kind of literary culture engenders and thrives on conflict. Requirements include active participation (less quarrelsome, presumably, than the authors we’ll be reading) as well as two essays and occasional shorter writing assignments.

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