An Inclusive Cultural History of Early Eighteenth-Century British Literature.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
James E. Evans, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: During the late twentieth century the recovery of texts by women authors was an important scholarly project in English studies, which also led to paperback editions and, more recently, hypertexts for instructional use. At my university, which is probably typical, this availability contributed to two types of courses—those focused on early women authors, found in Women's Studies programs as well as English departments, and those still centered on male authors, with added novels, plays, or poems by women. Introducing their anthology Popular Fiction by Women 1660-1730, which could facilitate either type of course, Paula R. Backscheider and John J. Richetti ask this question about the selections: "Do they constitute, taken together and separately, a counter-tradition or a rival and competing set of narrative choices to the male novel of the mid-century?" While recognizing that the answer is complicated, they set me thinking about an undergraduate course that would ask their question more generally about various kinds of literature early in the eighteenth century through systematic juxtaposition of texts by previously canonical male authors with works by "recovered" female authors. Juxtaposing The Rover with The Man of Mode or The Female Quixote with Tristram Shandy, for example, invigorated my teaching during the past decade; so I hoped that a course designed on this principle would be rigorous and interesting to students.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2001
women authors, cultural history, inclusive cultural history, literature, British literature, 18th century

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