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Victorian Literature 325 TTH 12:30–1:45
Fall 2021
Log into CANVAS

Log into COVE [(Collaborative Organization for Virtual Education) - for Scholarly Annotated Edition Group Project]

This is a "real time" syllabus that will be regularly updated to reflect our progress throughout the semester. You can easily check it from a mobile device or from any computer.

The syllabus consists of the Reading Schedule and Course Policies. You are responsible for understanding and following the reading schedule and the course policies, which are in effect from the first day of class. Please read them carefully (and review them throughout the semester). Please see me if you have any questions.

Think of the syllabus as a flexible guide. It will structure our semester, but we will adjust it to fit our needs as the semester progresses. Not all assignments and quizzes are listed at the beginning of the semester; some will be added throughout the semester. It may also be necessary to finish some readings the following class period, in which case I will update the syllabus after each class.  Again, be sure to check the syllabus regularly.  The course is organized by themes:  Empire; Education; Individual, Society, and Society; Play & Games, and Victorian Medievalism.

Our main vehicle this semester for course content will be the Course Website, but it is linked to Canvas, which we will use for some things, such as discussion posts or for accessing video. We will not use the Canvas Gradebook; instead, the Grade Sheet on our Course Notes page (on the course website) will help you track assignments and grades.

All readings are from The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Victorian Age (NA) unless otherwise noted as a handout.  It will be useful to read the introductions for each author we study. Helpful information and context for readings that are on the Course Notes page (Course Website) will be noted on the syllabus, e.g., "The Man Who Would Be King" (Course Notes).  This means you should read the Course Notes along with the assigned story.  You may find it helpful to preview the Course Notes material first, then read it again after you read the story. (Be careful of any spoiler info.)  Our novella, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, should be read (finished) on the day we begin discussing it.

Reading should be finished for the day assigned, e.g., Introduction to the Victorian Age should be completed for class on September 9. Please bring the required books for each class meeting and be sure to use the Course Notes pages to prepare for class and to study outside of class. 

Tuesday Thursday

02 Course Introduction

Course Website/Canvas

Annotated Text Group Project (sign up to access COVE)

07 Course Website/Canvas

Annotated Text Group Project (Watch video about COVE Studio: "How To" menu.  Also, explore COVE Website)

Due: Annotated Text Group Project information Card
Sign Up to Access COVE Studio (Should be completed)

Begin NA: Intro — Victorian Age, 2-29/PPt Slides

Watch Queen Victoria's Enpire (video) outside of class
Just Part 1: Watch only the first 53:20 (Access on Canvas)
09 NA: Intro — Victorian Age, 2-29/PPt Slides

Watch Queen Victoria's Enpire (video) outside of class
Just Part 1: Watch only the first 53:20 (Access on Canvas)

Annotated Text Group Project (using COVE)

14 Finish Intro to Victorian Age (see 9/9)

(NA: 682 -86; 10-12, 14-16)

Kipling - "The Man Who Would Be King" (See Course Notes)

16 Kipling - Empire theme

Russell — from My Diary in India

Annotated Text Group Project (using COVE)
**Sit in your groups for today's class
**Discuss text choices
**Begin discussing collaboration

**Each group will email me its text choice and brief explanation of why by Mon, 9/20, by 5pm (5pts)
21 Kipling - Empire theme and connection to Russell — from My Diary in India… (see Course Notes)/
Final thoughts

Arthur Conan Doyle - "The Speckled Band" (See Course Notes)

23 Conan Doyle
**Story's ending
**Holmes & Watson
**Connection to the theme of empire

Selections from William Watson's The Purple East: A Series of Sonnets on England's Desertion of Armenia (Handout/See Course Notes).  Read introduction + three sonnets

Bring planning timeline (Gnatt) chart

28 Selections from William Watson's The Purple East: A Series of Sonnets on England's Desertion of Armenia (Handout/See Course Notes).  Read introduction + three sonnets

**Have notes on your assigned sonnet.  Also, be sure to read Watson's introduction and be clear about historical context

In-class group assignment - card (5pts)

Quiz 1: "TMWWBK"; "TSB"; "TPE"

**Complete draft of Gantt timeline chart this week--by TH.  Both partners should have the "same" chart
30 Watson's The Purple East

Empire - Final Thoughts

(NA: 713 - 18; Dickens bio - 261-63)

Dickens - From Hard Times

As time allows, discuss Gnatt timeline planning chart.
Bring completed draft of chart to class

Tuesday Thursday
05 Dickens - Hard Times (NA: 713 - 18; Dickens bio - 261-63)

Thompson - From Lark Rise (Your brief observations & ideas; no formal lecture)

Newman - The Idea of a University
07 Newman

Education - Final Thoughts

Individualism, Society, and Democracy

Stevension - Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde - Introduction
(NA - 758-61; 765-67/Penguin edition critical introduction)

*Quotations handout

**Each group should have intial annotations posted (interpretive/some historical/biographical) for its text
12 Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde (Have your quotation sheet: Qs 1, 3)
**Finish introduction (NA - 758-61; 765-67/Penguin edition critical introduction)

Annotated Text Group Project: Each group will give a five-min Progress Report (5pts).  You will discuss your progress using your Gnatt planning charts & briefly explain your initial annotations (COVE)
14 Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde (Have your quotation sheet: Qs 1, 3)
**Henry Jekyll's Full Statement, Ch 10
**Psychological reading: Freud (father/sons; id--ego--superego)

Quiz 2: HT, The Idea of a University, DJ & MH (Jekyll's narrative)

19 Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde (Have your quotation sheet: Qs 1, 3, 4)
**Henry Jekyll's Full Statement, Ch 10

Review for the midterm as time allows
21 Midterm (No early exams, please)
26  Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde (Have your quotation sheet: Qs 2, 5, 3, 4)
**Narrative structure
**Male homosocial---homoerotic/sexual relationships

28 Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde (Quotation Sheet)- Final Thoughts
**Descriptions of the City--Urban Gothic
**Narrative structure
**Science Fiction/Horror

Arnold - "Dover Beach"
**Lyell's Principles of Geology (handout)
**Darwin's Origin (NA, pp 606-08 - Struggle for Existence)

Tuesday Thursday
02 Arnold - "Dover Beach" (Lyell & Darwin selections)

Tennyson - from In Memoriam (not the whole poem; only the section below)

Prologue (lines 1-44) & Sections:
34, 35, 39; 47, 48; 50, 54, 55-57, 58, 59;
118, 120, 131, Epilogue

In-class group assignment - card (5pts)

This week: Conferences with each group - grp project

04 Tennyson - from In Memoriam (not the whole poem; only the section below)

Prologue (lines 1-44) & Sections:
34, 35, 39; 47, 48; 50, 54, 55-57, 58, 59;
118, 120, 131, Epilogue

In-class group assignment - card (from 11/2)
09 Finish Tennyson - In Memoriam
Focus on Verses 118 - Epilogue/Review

In-class grp cards due (from 11/4)

Browning - "Andrea del Sarto" (See Course Notes--Browning)
11 Browning - "Andrea del Sarto" (Course Notes)

C. Rossetti - "Goblin Market" (See Course Notes; COVE edition of "Goblin Market" )

The Woman Question (NA: 17-20; 653 - 56)

16 Rossetti - "Goblin Market" (Course Notes)

Engels - from The Great Towns (635-43).
Also, Industrialism: Progress or Decline? NA: 626-27

Paintings: Martin and Turner (See Course Notes); Work, Ford Madox Brown: NA - C4

Quiz 3: "Dover Beach," In Memoriam, "Andrea del Sarto"

18 1. Finish Rossetti - "Goblin Market"
**economic reading/gender/sexuality reading: Course Notes/COVE edition of the poem
See Nov 11 & 16

2. Engels - from The Great Towns
Paintings (See 11/16)
**page references I put on the board Tues
See Nov 16

Play and Games

3. Begin this theme

Play theory lecture (Course Notes:  The Victorian Gospel of Play)

Dickens - From The Pickwick Papers (handout)

23 "Goblin Market" - Final Thoughts

The Great Towns
**Ruskin handout from The Stones of Venice
Paintings (see 11/16)

Individualism, Society, and Democracy - Final Thoughts

Play theory lecture (Course Notes:  The Victorian Gospel of Play)
Dickens - From The Pickwick Papers (handout)/(Dickens bio - 261-63)
25 Thanksgiving Break
30 Dickens - From From The Pickwick Papers (handout)

Carroll - from Alice in Wonderland, Ch 8, "The Queen's Croquet-Ground" (handout)

Play and Games - Final Thoughts
02 DECEMBER - Look Down
Tuesday Thursday
30 NOVEMBER - Look Up

02 Carroll - from Alice in Wonderland, Ch 8, "The Queen's Croquet-Ground" (handout)
**Role of the Queen of Hearts (commands vs freedom in the game)
**Role of Alice (curiosity/rules/self-confidence--deciding to not play?)
**Final page: Nonsense as play?

NA, pp 724-26 (Carroll bio)

Victorian Medievalism
(NA, pp 509-10)

Morris - "The Defense of Guinevere"

Quiz 4: Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde; "GM"; PP

07 Morris - "The Defense of Guinevere"
**Victorian Medievalism (see NA, pp 509-10)

Tennyson - From The Idylls of the King ("The Passing of Arthur")
**Be sure to read the headnote to the Idylls

In-class assignment (5pts)  (No makeup for this assignment)

09 Final Thoughts - Alice in Wonderland
NA, pp 724-26 (Carroll bio)

 Play and Games - Final Thoughts

Morris - "The Defense of Guinevere"
**Victorian Medievalism (see NA, pp 509-10)

Final Thoughts: Tennyson - The Idylls of the King ("The Passing of Arthur")

Final Exam Review as time allows
**Bring midterm exams

Course Wrap Up

Annotated Text Group Project Due on Friday, Dec 10, 5pm | You can take Tues and
Wed to make final revisions and edits

Finals week: Dec. 13-17

Final exam: Mon, Dec 13, 2:45-4:45, in our usual classroom.  No early exams, please.

Finals week office hrs: See website home page and page footers

Course Grades posted online: Dec 27-28, in the afternoon

Face Covering Policy

Because of the rise coronavirus cases, at all UW-Stevens Point campus locations the wearing of face coverings is mandatory in all buildings, including classrooms, laboratories, studios, and other instructional spaces. Any student with a condition that impacts his or her use of a face covering must contact the Disability and Assistive Technology Center to discuss accommodations in classes.  Any exemptions from the mask policy must be granted by the DATC.  This is university policy and not up to the discretion of individual instructors. Failure to adhere to this requirement could result in formal withdrawal from the course.  The UWSP website has information pertaining to the mandatory mask policy and Covid-19.

Note: There are no online or Zoom options of any kind for this course.  See the attendance policy for information about class absences.

The General Education Program Humanities Learning Outcomes

The humanities explore the fundamental ideas and values shaping cultures and civilization, in life and as represented in the written word, using scholarly approaches that are primarily analytical, critical, or interpretive. By introducing students to concepts and beliefs within and outside their own perspectives, courses in the humanities help students to understand and critically engage a variety of worldviews and the ideas that give them meaning.

Upon completing this requirement, students will be able to:

  • Read closely, think critically, and write effectively about texts or cultural artifacts that
    reflect on perennial questions concerning the human condition (such as the search for truth
    and meaning, the confrontation with suffering and mortality, or the struggle for justice,
    equality, and human dignity).
  • Investigate and thoughtfully respond to a variety of ideas, beliefs or values held by persons
    in situations other than one’s own.
Course Description and learning Outcomes

In this course we will read and discuss poetry, prose, drama, and fiction from the British Victorian period. This literature will be read not only to study each work's artistic value but also to understand the social, cultural, historical, and political contexts that define this literature and the period in which it was written. In addition, we will examine theory and criticism as a way of reading, thinking, and writing about literature.

Although there are specific works assigned under a topic or theme, works can address multiple themes. We will want to keep this in mind as we move through the semester. In addition, each main topic or theme invokes numerous subthemes we can discuss as time allows.

As you read this semester, I hope you come to see the amazing parallels between the Victorian Age and our own society.

During the semester, we will work to:

  • Analyze literature critically in writing to demonstrate an understanding of key themes, of the conventions/language of literature, and of key literary concepts/theories.
  • Comprehend how individual responses to literary texts, orally and in writing, using technology, are a form of knowledge
  • Explain the reciprocal relationship between literature and culture – how literature and culture interact to reinforce and challenge social attitudes and values.
  • Evaluate and engage literature as an imaginative expression of the human condition.

 Text Rental

Stephen Greenblatt., gen. ed, et al. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. 10th ed. Vol. E. (The Victorian Age).

Purchase at Bookstore (or from another vendor)

Stevenson, Robert Louis.  Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.  Penguin Books, 2002. (ISBN: 9780141439730)  Note:  Although the NA contains the novella, we are using the Penguin edition because of its helpful critical introduction and notes, which are more detailed than those in the anthology.  If you do not use the Penguin edition, you will not have access to these resources and will have difficulty following class discussions since page numbers will be different.

Scholarly annotated text group project - COVE (Collaborative Organization for Virtural Education) one-year subscription: $10.00.  Pay using COVE website.


This is a reading-intensive course. Students should be prepared to discuss all of the reading assignments for the days they are scheduled. Success in the course will require that students establish set (and consistent) reading times outside of class when reading and thinking can occur. To prepare for class discussions, it will be helpful to take notes. Mark key passages or language that points to central concerns or ideas in the works, and write out key themes as well as questions that you have. There will be quizzes, (announced and possibly unannounced), some assignments, a course project, and two examinations (a midterm and a final).

Our class discussions will focus on the assigned readings, but we will not read everyone work line by line. In keeping with the course learning outcomes, students will be able to use our class discussions to study sections of works we do not have time to cover fully in class on their own. Office hours are also designed to help you with questions about the readings. Quizzes and exams will measure how students read and think to formulate their own interpretations (not just repeat interpretations from class), which will certainly incorporate ideas from class discussions. However, effective written responses require more than personal opinion; they should articulate a thesis and support it with evidence as space and time allow.

The course grade will be determined mathematically using the percentages below. Please remember that your course grade will be based on the work that you submit, not simply the effort you make or just my subjective opinion.

Course Grade %
Assigns/Quizzes** 10%
Midterm Exam 30%
Scholarly Text Edition Annotation Grp Project 25%
Final Exam 35%
**Will be determined by point values (Approx Grades): 5pt Assignments: A/A-=5-4.5; B- =4; C- =3.5; D- =3; F=2.5-0
10pt Assignments
: A/A- =10-9; B/B- =8.5-8; C/C- =7.5-7; D/D- =6.5-6; F=5-0

All work must be completed on time. It is your responsibility to keep copies of all of your essays and assignments. Some assignments maybe submitted via email, and email communication will be required throughout the semester.

Late Assignment Policy: Assignments due on a given day must be submitted at the beginning of the class period. An assignment that is finished but not printed out and ready to hand in is late. Late assignments will be accepted one day after the original due date (not the next class meeting), but will lose one letter grade or a minimum of one full point. After that, they will not be accepted. (Assignments due on Friday that are late must be turned in by 5pm.  They will not be accepted on Monday.) Assignments due electronically must be received by the day and time specified. Late email assignments will be accepted 24hrs from the original due date. For any special circumstances, please contact me ahead of time. No incompletes will given in the course.

Essays submitted late will lose 1/3 of a letter grade each day they are late, including weekends (e.g., original grade B. Two days late, C+). For any special circumstances, please contact me ahead of time. It may not be possible to make up some quizzes or assignments.


Regular attendance is your responsibility and is essential for success in the course. As stated in the online UWSP Course Catalog (UWSP Course Catalog pgs 25-26), you cannot "cut" classes.

There are no excused or unexcused absences.  The only relevant factor is your number of absences.  You have personal days to use and manage as needed: For three-days-a-week classes: 5.  For two-days-a-week classes: 3.

If you miss a total of two weeks of class (six class meetings for classes meeting three times a week; four class meetings for classes meeting twice a week), you may fail the course.  However, if you have to quarrantine, are a member of a university sporting team, or have an extraordinary situation, then we will adjust your absence limit.  The attendance policy begins with the second class meeting. 

It may be possible to make up missed assignments/quizzes with my approval; therefore, it is your responsibility to contact me to determine work that needs to be completed and to follow up with all logistical requirements.  However, it may not be possible to make up some assignments or quizzes.

If you are absent and have not exceeded your absence limit, you do not need to email me to explain your absence. If you would like to find out about missed information or assignments, it is best to stop by during office hours or make an appointment to see me. You can also email me, but I may not be able to respond before our next class meeting. However, you should email about an absence ahead of the due date if an assignment is due.

For an extended absence, do the following:  Follow the syllabus and keep up with readings/assignments; Stay in contact with me for information/resources/help; Look into getting notes from classmates (I can help with this); See me during office hours when you return to class.

Classroom Etiquette

During class meetings, we will discuss and debate issues about writing and literature.  It is fine to express your views passionately and debate others in class, but do so in a civil, constructive manner.  Please do not use phones and mobile devices during class, even if you believe you are doing so quietly.  Not only is this rude, but also it distracts other students as well as your ablity to focus on and follow class instruction and discussion.  Also, please do not wear headphones. It is English Department policy that students cannot and should not record class lectures and discussion without permission from the intstructor. Also, please get drinks of water or use the washroom before or after class, not during class, so that our classroom does not become a bus station. Please see me if you need special accomodations.

Plagiarism (from the Latin "to Kidnap")

You will be expected to do your own work throughout the course. Intentionally or unintentionally passing off the ideas, words, or sentences of others (e.g., published authors, website authors, other students) as your own is plagiarism, which will result in failing the plagiarized assignment and possibly the course. Please review the University policy regarding plagiarism.