ENG 356: Special Topics in Literature II / LSP 351: Honors Seminar in the Humanities 

"Exploring the ARchives: SEminar on Rare Books and Special Collections" 



February 9: The Pre-Raphaelites

Christina Rossetti, Goblin Market (bring hard copy to class)

Metropolitan Museum of Art: The Pre-Raphaelite Legacy: British Art & Design

Knightlab, Prezi, & Powerpoint  presentations due

Silly memes for Pre-Raphaelite paintings

February 16: Aestheticism & DECADENCE

Readings: (Read, print out, and bring to class)

Walter Pater, from The Renaissance

William Morris, "The Defence of Guenevere"


Critical Research Guides due (1 page, PDF'd and emailed to me by Friday 11:00 am) 

Send a photo of your "research stack"

February 23: Activism in Academia

Important: Class meets at the CUNY Graduate Center on 5th Ave between 34th and 35th St! (Take the BDF/NQR/6 trains).

Read Oscar Wilde, Preface and first 5 chapters of The Picture of Dorian Gray (Norton Critical Edition)

Attend the 4 pm panel on Activist Archives and take note of how the scholars deal with archival material in their research. Please support your classmates speaking at the 2pm panel if you can as well! Click the poster below for more details.

Complete and bring your quiz from last week and hand it in to me at the Symposium.

HW: (1) Email your "Letter to the Librarian" to me as a Word doc. by Saturday, 2/24. (Details for this are on the class plan from our last class)

(2) Write a 3-4 paragraph summary of any panel you attended at the symposium (a blog-style report for those who could not attend). Nicholas and Zoe are exempted from this assignment! Due via email Thursday, 3/1 at noon.

(3) Update your profile picture and bio on CUNY Academic Commons under the "Members" page. Our librarians will be looking at it this week! 

March 2-4: DC-Virginia-Delaware Trip

We are departing at 9 am from 2790 Goulden Ave, the back entrance of Carman Hall facing the reservoir & parking lot. Pack for 3 days and 2 nights!

Friday, March 2: Georgetown University Library: Booth Family Collection & Swinburne papers

Saturday, March 3: Rare Book School, Charlottesville, VA

Sunday, March 4: University of Delaware Library: Mark Samuels Lasner Collection


HW: Prepare for our Georgetown library session by reading our amazing agenda here, prepared by Lisette Matano.

Read Robert Buchanan's rude review, "The Fleshly School of Poetry: Mr. D.G. Rossetti" (link here).

Finish reading The Picture of Dorian Gray during the trip

March 9: New York Antiquarian Book Fair


Guest lecture by Prof. Jane Cleland, former antiquarian bookseller

Class meets inside the lobby of Hunter College (68th Street and Lexington) at 11:50 a.m.

March 16: Eric Holzenberg Visit

Meet outside the Fordham Rd 4 train subway at 12 noon.

Read http://www.printmag.com/daily-heller/aesthetic-movement-eric-holzenberg/ and https://www.ilab.org/events/grolier-club-ny-arts-sake-aesthetic-movement-print-beyond-collection-eric-holzenberg in preparation for our visit.

March 23: NYU Fales Collection VIsit

We'll meet under Washington Square Arch at 12 noon.

Read the Riverdale Press article linked here: "Local student revives, repairs rare books"

A list of everything we saw is here, prepared by Charlotte Priddle: Fales Book List

March 30 & April 6 (Spring Break)

April 9 & 10: individual conferences on Mon & Tues

See schedule here. Meet in Carman 392. Please bring drafts of Assignments C & D to your conference (Field Report and Digital Essay) in hard copy.

No regular class on April 13 - use this time to revise your writing based on my suggestions.

April 20 - 19-c. & Contemporary Correspondences

Regular class (finally!) at Lehman College Carman Hall 302

Social media & digital writing updates

Wax-sealed letter writing!

April 27 - Michael Field Diary Project

HW: Please have access to all your past writing assignments, either on a flash drive or in a Dropbox/Google drive online

Classwork: Victorian Lives and Letters Consortium 

Start at "Michael Field Notebook 25"

Transcription Guidelines

Links to diary entries

Sunday, April 29 - Hudson River Museum in Yonkers at 2 p.m.

Dr. Mararet Stetz, "Neo-Victorian Girls"

Dr. Margaret Stetz, Mae and Robert Carter Professor of Women’s Studies and Professor of Humanities at the University of Delaware, discusses memorable Victorian girls from fiction-- young Jane Eyre, Lewis Carroll's Alice, and Kate Greenaway's little girls in fancy dress, and how in recent years makers of neo-Victorian literature, film, art, and even fashion have been recreating and reshaping images of 19-century girlhood.

May 4 - no regular class

Everyone should have posted to our Commons Page. Everything is a "Post" except the last one, which is "Media":
Due by 5/4 at 9pm:

  • Antiquarian Book Fair report (category: Field Report Antiquarian Book Fair)
  • Field Report (category: Field Report Spotlight Profile OR Field Report Special collections)
  • Manuscript Analysis (category: Student Research Manuscript Analysis)
  • Upload your Critical Guide under Media -> Gallery as a .PNG file (title the file appropriately)

Use this time to work on transcriptions & complete Research Paper Rough Drafts.

May 11 - Class at Lehman

Bring your Norton Critical edition of The Picture of Dorian Gray to class.

Rough drafts of the final paper are due in hard copy for those who wish to receive feedback. Drafts must be complete with a full bibliography.

Lesson on Michael Field.

Course evaluations & Letter to Monticello.

May 18 - Class at Lehman

Research papers due in hard copy today in class.

Transcription Assignments (3 versions due 5/30):

Sharon & Ivy: 10-19
Rofiat & Calandra: 20-30
Anthony & Deirdre: 31-40
Hossam & Hardik: 41-50
Abi & Nicholas: 51-60
Gabby & Talia: 61-71
Zoe & Beth: 72-81

June 9 - pre-auction viewing of christie's books & Manuscripts auction