Universität Wien FIND

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123251 AR Literature Course - Literature 1/2 (MA) British/Irish/New English & Cultural Studies (2021S)

Pamela & Co: Writing the Self in Epistolary Novels

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung

in preparation
Mo 10.05. 12:15-13:45 Digital



max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch


Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Monday 12:15-13:45 online
Starts on: 08.03.2021

Due to the ongoing public health situation, this course will be taught online.

Montag 08.03. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 15.03. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 22.03. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 12.04. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 19.04. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 26.04. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 03.05. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 17.05. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 31.05. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 07.06. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 14.06. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 21.06. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital
Montag 28.06. 12:15 - 13:45 Digital


Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

Due to the ongoing public health situation, this course will be taught online. All scholarly articles as well as some excerpts from literary texts will be made available on Moodle. The three assignments are to be turned in as .doc files or .pdf files via email (sylvia.mieszkowski@univie.ac.at), which means there is no need for you to come into Department while it may not be safe to do so.

Care to delve into the 18th century for a few months? In this course we are going to look at a literary genre that used to be immensely popular with readers between the 1680s and the 1770s. Not only did epistolary fiction entertain, it also helped to form moral codes and notions of identity for the newly dominant middle classes, as well as its understanding of gender. We are going to start with a few bits and bobs of historical and genre information, and then move on to Samuel Richardson's Pamela or Virtue Rewarded (1740), which created an absolute reading frenzy. While Pamela became celebrated for its enticing first-person narrator and focaliser, the second set text is a multi-perspectival epistolary novel, Tobias Smollett's The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (1771). In the last few lessons of term we'll leave the 18th century behind, and take a look at how the epistolary form has been updated by discussing Cecelia Ahern's Where Rainbows End (2004). As a representative of the renaissance which 'novels written in letter-form' went through in the 21st century, this text will enable us to compare topoi and understand how contemporary discourses of consciousness and intimacy might build on and differ from those that arose 270-odd years ago.

To kick us off, we'll spend some time to establish common ground, as far as general knowledge about the 18th century is concerned, and I'd like to do this interactively. If you wish to participate in this AR, please send to me via email attachment (TWO DAYS before our very first lesson) TWO QUOTES (anything between one and six lines, with FULL bibliographical information) and ONE IMAGE which, according to you, is typical of the 18th century and/or provides useful information about the period, which helped you to personally understand a bit of it better. Please use PowerPoint to send these quotes/image: one slide for each quote, and another for the image (so three ppt slides in total) and please also add your name to each slide. I'll upload a template you can use on Moodle. The FIRST of the two quotes should be taken from an 18th century source - could be literary or journalistic or philosophical. The SECOND quote should be from a late 20th or 21st century scholarly source. I might ask you to comment in class on your reasons for choosing these quotes/this image, so please be prepared to say a sentence or two about each.

Specialist model:
There will be no monological student presentations in this class. Instead you are expected to act as a specialist for one lesson of the term, either alone or as a member of a team, depending on the number of participants. How exactly this works in terms of timing, what will be expected of you and what a 'prep mail', 'the double-feedback-loop' and a 'golden nugget' is, in all of which you are going to participate, I shall explain in detail in the first lesson.

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

A word of warning: This course deals with 18th century texts, and these tend to have quite a few pages, and Ahern's novel isn't exactly slim either… If you don't have time to read these novels in prep for class, we will be unable to discuss them properly. So please plan your term carefully. This is a reading-intense course. If you join us, please start at least on Pamela as soon as you've made your choice to sign up for this course.

Regular attendance; regular preparation of assigned reading material; active participation in class discussion; specialist task (plus ppt); active participation; three written assignments (A1: 1000 words; A2: 1000 words; A3: 1500 words).

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

No more than two lessons may be missed without certified medical reason. If a doctor’s note is produced, a third lesson may be missed but is to be compensated for at the teacher’s discretion. If more than three lessons are missed, this results in failing the course.

Active participation in class discussion: 15%
Specialist task: 35%
Assignment 1 (1000 words): 15%
Assignment 2 (1000 words): 15%
Assignment 3 (1500 words): 20%

Points must be collected in all of these areas to pass. The benchmark for passing this course is at 60%.

Marks in %:
1 (very good): 90-100%
2 (good): 81-89%
3 (satisfactory): 71-80%
4 (pass): 60-70%
5 (fail): 0-59%

The written work in this course will take the shape of three short assignments (A1: 1000 words; A2: 1000 words; A3: 1500 words). You'll receive feedback to A1 before you have to hand in A2; you'll receive feedback on A2 before you have to hand in A3. Each assignment is to be sent (as a .doc file or as a .pdf file) via email to me: sylvia.mieszkowski@univie.ac.at.


There will be no written exam.


Books to buy:
A few copies of the following texts have been ordered for you at Facultas (shop on Campus), in case you are in Vienna. If you already possess another edition, feel free to use that, but please make sure you have a paper copy rather than an ebook. As you know, the medium matters, and talking about epistolary novels without physical turning paper pages would not only mean a problematic contradiction between medium and genre, but it will make it harder to - literally - get on the same page…

- Samuel Richardson, Pamela, Or Virtue Rewarded. Oxford World's Classics [ISBN 9780199536498]
- Tobias Smollett, The Expedition of Humphry Clinker [ISBN: 9780141441429]
- Cecelia Ahern, Where Rainbows End [ISBN: 9780007260829]

Texts on Moodle:
All scholarly articles will be made available to you on Moodle.

Preparatory background reading:
For the first lesson, please brush up your knowledge on eighteenth century Britain. For instance, you could use the following to start you off: Roy Porter, "Culture City: Life under the Georges" in: London: A Social History (2000). This, too, will be available on Moodle.

Other possible sources include: Roy Porter, English Society in the Eighteenth Century (1990); John Richetti, The English novel in history: 1700-1780 (1999); John Richetti (ed), The Cambridge Companion of the eighteenth-century novel (1996); Joe Bray, The epistolary novel: representation of consciousness (2003) and - for those of you who read German - Jürgen Habermas, Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit (1990).

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Studium: MA 844; MA 844(2); MA UF 046/507; UF 344
Code/Modul: MA4, MA6, MA7; MA 3.1, 3.2; M04A; 4.2.4
Lehrinhalt: 12-0317

Letzte Änderung: Mi 21.04.2021 11:26