Georgia Southern University -- College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences

ENGL 3122-A -- British Literature II (crn 81946)

Survey of English Literature from the Romantic Movement to the Modern Period

This course is a requirement for the B.A. in English.

Fall 2005, TTh 5-6:15 p.m., Newton 1113

Contact Information:

Instructor: Dr. David W. Robinson
Instructor's Homepage:
Course Page:
On-line Forum:
Class-Related E-Mail:
Office Hours: MW 1-2, 3:30-5


Required Textbook:

The Norton Anthology of English Literature (3 volume set)

Course Description:

From the Romantic Movement to the Modern Period: that means something like from 1798 to 1939, according to tradition. The former date marks the publication of Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge; the latter date marks the publication of Joyce's Finnegans Wake and the death of William Butler Yeats. (The two events were notconnected.) These literary events, and the ones falling in between, occur against a backdrop of political dates which were momentous for Britain: 1648 (the execution of Charles I), 1688 (the Glorious Revolution), 1789 (the French Revolution), 1799-1815 (Napoleon's empire), 1801 (the Act of Union), 1837-1901 (the reign of Victoria), 1838 (the People's Charter), 1832, 1867, 1884-85 (the Reform Bills), 1899-1902 (the Boer War), 1914-1918 (WW I), 1939-45 (WW II). Another and equally important historical backdrop for our reading could be termed British intellectual or social history: the Enlightment, particularly Locke; the rise of industrialism and capitalism; technological revolutions ushered in by the steam ship, the railroad, the telegraph, the airplane, and modern machines of war; the expansion of political and economic empire; the decline of religious sentiment; the institution of universal public education; the debate of the Woman Question; the broadening of the franchise; the rise of nationalism and ideology; and the confrontation between British and non-Western cultures. I will try to draw connections with these backgrounds while we undertake our main task: reading the literature.

Procedures & Provisos:

1. The reading load will be quite heavy at times, so do not fall behind.

2. Participation in the on-line forum is expected on a weekly basis or better. I will post a topic or question several days prior to the class disussion, and you must respond no later than noon Tuesday, after which time the topic will by locked and accessible only for reading, not writing. I reserve the right to assign additional optional or required work to supplement the forum participation grade.

3. There will be a weekly graded quiz on the reading. The quiz will be accessible on-line, and you will submit your answers through a Web browser. Quizzes will be evaluated within five school days of submission. Grading is pass/fail, with a pass consisting of ALL questions being correctly answered. You will have the freedom to retake quizzes over the course of a three week period.

4. There will be two exams, a midterm and a final, each administered through the same Web application as the quizzes. There are no retakes for exams. The midterm will be graded (in the usual A to F fashion) within ten school days of submission.

5. A four-to-six-page research essay on an assigned topic will be due shortly after the midterm.

6. Attendance will be recorded. Four absences for any reason will result in a full one-grade penalty regardless of other work done. Five absences result in a two-grade penalty. Six absences will result in failure of the course. Georgia Southern does not recognize the concept of "excused absences." Please do not show me your court summonses or hospital bills, as these concern personal matters having no bearing on the class.

7. Repeated lateness to class, causing disruption to the proceedings of class, will result in earned absences being recorded at the instructor's discretion.

8. The procedure for registering with my on-line software has nothing to do with WebCT. Except for the course evaluation at the end of the term, I don't use WebCT. I will provide instructions near the end of the term to assist you in submitting a confidential course evaluation.

9. Late assignments will not be accepted. Turn things in early if you plan to be away.

10. Please note that Inquisition (the testing software we are using) and my backup regime make it pointless to claim that materials have been somehow "lost" after being delivered to me. It is your responsibility to make sure that they get to me in the first place. If they do, they won't get "lost." But since transmission problems are common on the Internet, you would be wise to make backups of your quiz and exam answers, or to write them in a word processor and cut-and-paste them into Inquisition.

11. You are also responsible for reading and following the directions provided through Inquisition for safe and secure test-taking. If you follow these directions, you will avoid network timeouts, security breaches, and other unpleasant outcomes yet to be discovered.

12. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY. Although you are welcome to form study groups, students may not share answers with one another when responding to the on-line quizzes or exams. Sharing of answers on Inquisition is readily detectable. Such conduct constitutes cheating and will be referred to University authorities for disciplinary action. Plagiarism in the research paper will also be automatically referred and, at the discretion of the instructor, may result in failure of the class.


All of the introductions in the anthology sections and to the assigned authors and works are required reading; you will be responsible for that material on tests. The grade will be based on the following measures:

Quizzes ------- 20%
Midterm ------- 20%
Essay --------- 25%
Final --------- 35%

Note: The final grade may be adjusted in accordance with attendance and punctuality requirements listed above.

Tentative Schedule of Assignments:

This schedule is subject to change. You are responsible for being in class to learn of such changes if they occur. This online syllabus is definitive at all times of the current schedule, and I do not issue a printed version of the syllabus. If you miss a class, check back here to make sure nothing has changed. Note: Students are responsible for all of the reading assigned for a given day; I may indicate particular poems, for example, which we will concentrate on, but I will assume that you have read the rest.

Tuesday 8/16 -------- Introductory remarks; introduction to Romanticism (via the Enlightenment). 
Thursday 8/18 ------- Blake, Songs of Innocence : "The Lamb" (45), "The Little Black Boy" (45), 
                      "The Chimney Sweeper" (46), "Holy Thursday" (47); Songs of Experience : 
                      "Holy Thursday" (51), "The Chimney Sweeper" (52), "The Tyger" (54), 
                      "London" (56)

Tuesday  8/23 ------- Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (72)
Thursday 8/25 ------- Wordsworth, "Preface" to Lyrical Ballads (238)

Tuesday 8/30 -------- Wordsworth, "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" (235) and 
                      "Intimations of Immortality" (286)
Thursday 9/1 -------- Coleridge, "Kubla Khan" (439) and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (422)

Tuesday 9/6 --------- Byron, Manfred (588)
Thursday 9/8 -------- Percy Shelley, "Mont Blanc" (720), "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty" (723), 
                      "Ode to the West Wind" (730), "Ozymandias" (725)

Tuesday 9/13 -------- Keats:  "On First Looking into Champman's Homer" (826), "On Seeing the 
                      Elgin Marbles" (828), "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (851)
Thursday 9/15 ------- Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (905)

Tuesday 9/20 -------- Mary Shelley continued
Thursday 9/22 ------- Introduction to the Victorians; Carlyle: excerpt from Sartor 
                      Resartus (1077)

Tuesday 9/27 -------- Arnold: excerpts from "Culture and Anarchy" (1528) and "The Function of 
                      Criticism at the Present Time" (1514); "Dover Beach" (1492)
Thursday 9/29 ------- Tennyson:  "The Kraken" (1201), "The Lady of Shalott" (1204),
                      "Ulysses" (1213), "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1280).

*** MIDTERM EXAM -- Open Thursday 9/29 at 6 p.m., closed Friday 9:30 at 6 p.m. ***

Tuesday 10/4 -------- Tennyson:  "The Kraken" (1201), "The Lady of Shalott" (1204), 
                      "Ulysses" (1213), "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1280). 
Thursday 10/6 ------- Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H. (1230)


Tuesday 10/11 ------- Tennyson continued. Browning: "My Last Duchess" (1352), "Fra Lippo Lippi" 
                      (1373), "Andrea del Sarto" (1385).
Thursday 10/15 ------ Browning continued.

*** Research Paper Due by 6 p.m. Friday 10/16. ***

Tuesday 10/18 ------- Introduction to Modernism. Hopkins, poems (1648)
Thursday 10/20 ------ Hopkins, continued. Hardy, poems (1916)

Tuesday 10/25 ------- Conrad, Heart of Darkness (1957)
Thursday 10/27 ------ Conrad continued

Tuesday 11/1 -------- "The Rose of the World" (2092), "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" (2092), 
                      "Who Goes with Fergus" (2094), "No Second Troy" (2098), "The Fascination 
                      of What's Difficult" (2098), "September 1913" (2099), "Easter 1916" (2104), 
                      "The Second Coming" (2106), "Sailing to Byzantium" (2109), "Leda and the 
                      Swan" (2110), "Among School Childrem" (2111), "Byzantium" (2115), "Crazy 
                      Jane Talks with the Bishop" (2116), "The Circus Animals' Desertion" (2120), 
                      "Under Ben Bulben" (2121)
Thursday 11/3 ------- Yeats continued.
Tuesday 11/8 -------- Eliot, "Prufrock" (2364) and "The Waste Land" (2368)
Thursday 11/10 ------ Eliot continued
Tuesday 11/15 ------- Joyce, "Araby" (2236)
Thursday 11/17 ------ Joyce, excerpts from Ulysses (2269) and Finnegans Wake (2309)

Tuesday 11/22 ------- Auden, poems (2500)
Thursday 11/24 ------ THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY

Tuesday 11/29 ------- Beckett, Endgame (2472)
Thursday 12/1 ------- Beckett continued
Final Exam: Accessible on-line from 7:30 pm on Monday 12-5 to 7:30 on Tuesday 12-6.