English 345—Ladies and Gentlemen:  Gender in Victorian Literature
Spring 2017
Meetings:  Tuesday & Thursday, 1-2:15pm – 148 DeMille Hall
Professor Richard Ruppel
Office:  428 N. Glassell, 101
Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, 10:30-11:30am & by appointment
Phone:  (714) 997-6754 (office)
Updated May 11, 2017

Useful Links

Course Description & Objectives:  Though Victorian connotes staid, conventional, and repressed to the popular imagination, the rich, lively, and often irreverent literature of the British Victorian period (1832-1900) contradicts this misperception.  Our semester will be built around its greatest literary form, the novel, but we will also study representative essays and poetry.  We will focus on gender this semester, on Victorian expectations of women and of men. 

This course involves significant reading and writing, both informal (on our discussion board) and formal (essays and essay exams).  Through our reading, discussion, and writing, we will develop a clearer understanding of the period - its tensions, enthusiasms, hopes, fears, sometimes contradictory moral and intellectual principles, and, especially, what it meant to be a man or a woman in the Age of Victoria. 


The Norton Anthology of English Literature:  Volume E, The Victorian Age (9th Edition) 
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (Norton Critical)
George Eliot, Middlemarch (Norton Critical)
Bram Stoker, Dracula (Norton Critical)

Course Requirements: 

Attendance:  Please make every effort to attend class.  Missing more than four sessions will adversely affect your grade, and students who miss seven or more classes will fail the course.

Communication:  Whether online or in class, please be courteous and constructive.  I receive a large number of emails, so when emailing, please identify the course (345), your last name, and the subject in the subject line.  I will respond promptly to your emails; please respond promptly to mine. 

Essays:  We will discuss criteria for the essays, and I will provide an essay description with suggested topics several weeks before the due dates.  These essays should be submitted in hard copy and electronically, sent directly to my email address:  ruppel@chapman.edu  (Please do not use the Blackboard Drop-Box.)  Both essays must include citations to at least two, authoritative secondary sources. 

Late essays will receive reduced grades, and I will not accept papers submitted more than a week late unless you provide a convincing explanation.  To pass ENG 345, you must complete both essays.  If you are having difficulty completing a paper or a Blackboard post, let me know. 

I will accept a revision of one of your essays, but you must schedule a conference with me to discuss that revision before you submit it.  I will average the grade of the original paper and the revision. 


           Participation *:  15%
              Minutes:  10% (Each of you will take class minutes twice, with a partner)
              **Essay 1:  15% (Due April 4)
              **Essay 2:  20% (Due May 9)
              Midterm:  15%
              Final:  25%

**Students who do not submit both essays will fail the course. 

*The “Participation” grade is primarily your grade on responses to the Blackboard Discussion assignments.  Here are my criteria for evaluating your responses:

1. The response should respond as specifically as possible to the prompt (or you should indicate why you’re modifying the prompt).

2. The response should reveal close engagement with the work(s) under discussion.


3. The posting should contribute to the discussion, so later postings should not simply repeat earlier postings, and they should reflect some engagement with earlier postings. 

4. Responses should be substantive. 

Computers in class:  If you use a computer to take class notes, you may use a computer in class.  Computers may only be used for class purposes.  Otherwise, they should stay closed.  Phones should be turned off and put away.  

English Literature Program Learning Objectives:  English 345 is one of the electives you may take to fulfill the English literature, creative writing, or journalism majors.  In the discussion board responses, formal essays, and essay exams, you will have the opportunity to develop and demonstrate the English Literature Program Learning Objectives listed below: 

1.  Skill in critical reading, or the practice of identifying and interpreting the formal, rhetorical, and stylistic features of a text


2.  Ability to identify and compare key literary movements and genres


3.  Ability to explain and apply significant theoretical and critical approaches in the field of English studies


4.  Skill in writing grammatically, coherently, and persuasively


5.  Skill in finding, analyzing, and utilizing secondary sources (including the appropriate methods of citation)


6.  Skill in crafting a compelling thesis-driven essay, with substantiating evidence

Chapman University Academic Integrity Policy

Chapman University is a community of scholars that emphasizes the mutual responsibility of all members to seek knowledge honestly and in good faith.  Students are responsible for doing their own work, and academic dishonesty of any kind will be subject to sanction by the instructor and referral to the university's Academic Integrity Committee, which may impose additional sanctions up to and including dismissal.  (See the "Undergraduate Catalog" for the full policy.)  We will discuss the proper way to incorporate sources into your writing as you prepare the first essay. 

Chapman's Students with Disabilities Policy:

In compliance with ADA guidelines, students who have any condition, either permanent or temporary, that might affect their ability to perform in this class are encouraged to inform the instructor at the beginning of the term. The University, through the Disability Services Office, will work with the appropriate faculty member who is asked to provide the accommodations for a student in determining what accommodations are suitable based on the documentation and the individual student needs. The granting of any accommodation will not be retroactive and cannot jeopardize the academic standards or integrity of the course.

Please see me if you have ANY concerns about completing any of the requirements of this course


Chapman Equity and Diversity Policy:

Chapman University is committed to ensuring equality and valuing diversity.  Students and professors are reminded to show respect at all times as outlined in Chapman’s Harassment and Discrimination Policy.  Any violations of this policy should be discussed with the professor, the Dean of Students and/or otherwise reported in accordance with this policy. 

Course Outline*:

Week 1:  January 31-February 2– Introductions, course business, and period overview. 
Week 2:  February 7-9 – Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus, John Henry Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a University.  John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women
Week 3:  February 14-16 – John Stuart Mill, Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Week 4:  February 21-23 – Jane Eyre
Week 5:  February 28-March 2 – Alfred Tennyson.
Week 6:  March 7-9 – Robert Browning; George Eliot, Middlemarch
Week 7:  March 14-16 – Middlemarch

                                                    Spring Break!

Week 8:  March 28-30 – Midterm (March 30)
Week 9:  April 4-6 – Bram Stoker, Dracula.
Week 10:  April 11-13 – Dracula. [Essay 1 due, April 11.  5-7 pages.]
Week 11:  April 18-20 – Christina Rossetti
Week 12:  April 25-27 – “Michael Field” (Katharine Bradley & Edith Cooper), George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession
Week 13:  May 2-4 – Mrs. Warren’s Profession
.  [No class meeting May 2 for Henley Award ceremony]
Week 14:  May 9-11 – Rudyard Kipling, “The Man Who Would Be King.” Course wrap-up and preparation for the final.  [Essay 2 due, May 11.  5-7 pages.]
Week 15:  Final. 1:30-4pm, Tuesday, May 16. 

*We may decide to alter this schedule.  I will make any changes online and give you plenty of notice. 


For Thursday, February 2:  Read “The Woman Question” in our anthology (1607-36).  Formulate one question and one comment or observation on the Discussion Board in Blackboard by 11am Thursday.

For Tuesday, February 7:  Read the selections in our anthology from Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus (1047-67) and Cardinal Newman’s The Idea of a University (1078-86).  (You should begin reading Jane Eyre.  Our class discussion will begin February 14th.)

For Thursday, February 9:  Respond to the question concerning masculinity in the selections by Carlyle and Newman (due by 11am Thursday). 

For Tuesday, February 14:  Read the selection of John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women, 1105-1115. 

For Thursday, February 16:  Read the first nineteen chapters of Jane Eyre (through page 175 of the Norton).

For Tuesday, February 21:  Finish Jane Eyre and respond to one of the five questions in Blackboard by 10am Tuesday. 

For Thursday, February 23:  Read the Jane Eyre essays in the contents section of Blackboard.  We’ll begin Tennyson February 28.  (We’ll read Tennyson and Browning while you’re reading Middlemarch.)

For Tuesday, February 28:  Read the introduction to the Tennyson section (1156-59), "The Lady of Shalott" (1161), “Ulysses” (1170), and “Tithonus” (1172).  Begin enjoying Middlemarch.

For Thursday, March 2:  Read the Cantos on pages 1186-1235 of Tennyson’s In Memoriam.  Continue luxuriating in Middlemarch.   

For Tuesday, March 7:  Respond to the Blackboard question on Tennyson by 10am Tuesday.  Read the introduction to the Robert Browning section and "Porphyria's Lover," "Soliloquy in a Spanish Cloister" & "My Last Duchess" (1275-83).  Continue reveling in Middlemarch (which we’ll begin discussing next week). 

For Thursday, March 9: Read Browning’s “The Bishop Orders his Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church” (1286-89). Continue reading Middlemarch, and note the first discussion board question, due Tuesday, March 14. 

For Tuesday, March 14: Be sure to have read through to Book VIII of Middlemarch (page 451 of the Norton edition), and respond to the question in Blackboard by 10am Tuesday. 

For Thursday, March 16: Finish Middlemarch, and remember to formulate a midterm essay exam prompt in Blackboard.  Begin thinking about your first paper, which will be due Tuesday, April 4th. 

For Tuesday, March 28:  Continue finishing Middlemarch . . . .  And begin preparing for the midterm March 30th.  I’ll post the essay exam questions in Blackboard on Friday, March 17th. 

For Thursday, March 30:  Midterm.  Bring one page of notes and blank paper or an exam booklet.  Begin reading Dracula, but BE SURE to stop reading by midnight. 

For Tuesday, April 4:  Read through chapter 14 of Dracula. 

For Thursday, April 6:  Finish Dracula and respond to the Blackboard question. Be sure to clear your essay topic with me by the end of the week, either verbally or via email.

For Tuesday, April 11:  Bring hard copies of your essay, and send an electronic copy to me (ruppel@chapman.edu).  (Be sure to send text, not .pdf, and don’t use Google Docs.) 

For Thursday, April 13:  No new assignment. 

For Tuesday, April 18:  Read the introduction to Christina Rossetti and the selected poems, 1489-1509.  Be prepared to read one of her poems to us (not “Goblin Market”). 

For Thursday, April 20:  No new assignment. 

For Tuesday, April 25:  Read the introduction to “Michael Field” (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper) along with the selection of their poems, 1671-1675. 

For Thursday, April 27:  Read the introduction to Bernard Shaw and the first two acts of Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Think of second paper topics, which need to be cleared by the end of next week. 

For Tuesday, May 2:  No class.  Finish Mrs. Warren’s Profession for Thursday. 

For Thursday, May 4:  Remember to bring a laptop, tablet, or phone to submit your course evaluations.  Finish Mrs. Warren’s Profession (1783-1829). Decide on a topic for the second essay.  

For Tuesday, May 9:  Read “The Man Who Would Be King” (1853-77).  Think about what the story suggests about the masculine ideal at the end of the Victorian Age.  And develop one final exam essay question, based on our reading after the midterm (which started with Dracula), and post it on the Discussion board. 


Useful Links

·         UNC Chapel Hill's extended definition of a poetry explication - from the UNC Writing Center.

·         The Victorian Web:  A rich collection of pages devoted to all things Victorian, sponsored by Brown University. 

·         Timeline of Britain’s Industrial Revolution. 

·         British Women’s History Timeline

·         Victorians’ Secret  A celebration of Victorian poems devoted to love and religion, with music and art history. 

·         Representative Poetry Online:  A useful compendium of information on poetry in English, including innumerable poems, a timeline, calendar, criticism, and glossary.  

·         Gresham College Victorian Age lectures:   Gender & Sexuality; Religion and Science; Art and Culture; Life and Death; Empire and Race - Professor Richard J. Evans.

Thomas Carlyle

·         Image of Jane Welsh Carlyle

·         Duke University Carlyle Letter Project

John Henry Cardinal Newman

·         The Idea of a University

·         2010 BBC production on Newman, nearing sainthood. 

John Stuart Mill

·         The Subjection of Women

Charlotte Brontë

·         Rachel Pietka’s PowerPoint on religious references in Jane Eyre. 

·         Elizabeth Gaskell's biography, The Life of Charlotte Brontë (1857).    

·         Jane Eyre:  2006 BBC 2011 trailer.  The first proposal scene from Chapter 23.  The final scene. 

·         The story of Bluebeard, alluded to in Jane Eyre and referenced by Sandra Gilbert in her seminal essay on the novel in The Madwoman in the Attic (1979), excerpted in our Norton edition of the novel. 

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

·         Loreena McKennitt’s musical version of “The Lady of Shalott,” with images from paintings and photos of (presumably) the UK.  

·         Tennyson himself reciting “The Charge of the Light Brigade.”

·         Locksley Hall 60 Years After” (published 1886). 

Robert Browning

·         Reading of "My Last Duchess" by Julian Glover.

·         The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed’s Church,” acted by R P Jones. 

·         Letters to and from Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning.

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)

·         Middlemarch, online.   

·         From the BBC miniseries adaptation of Middlemarch.  Ladislaw takes his second leave of Dorothea.  Dorothea unexpectedly finds Rosamond and Ladislaw together. 

·         Silly Essays by Lady Novelists” (1856)

·         Virginia Woolf’s essay on George Eliot, later compiled in her book of essays, The Common Reader (1925). 

·         George Eliot’s Ugly Beauty,” Rebecca Meade, The New Yorker. 

·         George Eliot, A Scandalous Life.  BBC, 2002.  Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6.  

·         Bernini’s The Ecstasy of St. Theresa. 

Bram Stoker

·         Project Gutenberg, online version. 

·         1931 Dracula adaptation, probably the best.  Trailer. NBC’s series, 2013. What We Do in the Shadows, trailer.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

Christina Rossetti

·         Goblin Market,” read by Elizabeth Klett.  Another version, in 14 parts. 

·         After Death” (1849) can be compared with several poems by Emily Dickinson: “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died,” “I Felt A Funeral in my Brain,” “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.”  (These were composed sometime between 1858 and 1865.)  

George Bernard Shaw

·         Scenes between Kitty and Vivie in Mrs. Warren’s Profession.

·         The whole play, by the Pear Avenue Theatre. 

John Ruskin

·         J. M. W. Turner’s Slave Ship (1840)

Robert Louis Stevenson

·         Interesting essay in the Guardian on Jekyll and Hyde that lists popular adaptations and summarizes various allegorical readings. 

Rudyard Kipling

·         Gutenberg “The Man Who Would Be King.”

·         Trailer for John Huston’s adaptation of The Man Who Would Be King. 

·         Matthew DeCoursey’s pdf on some of the background to the story.

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