ENG 742: Studies in Nineteenth-Century English Literature
Pedagogical Approaches to the Brontës

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Jan 31: Introduction | biographical & historical contexts | INtro to juvenilia

Introductions & Syllabus

Critical Editions

Biographical & Historical Contexts

Harvard Gazette article: “The Genesis of Genius”

The Brontës’ early writings: Combining fact and fantasy

HW: Purchase or borrow books for the semester. (Note: Purchase 4th edition of Norton Critical Jane Eyre. The syllabus listing is wrong!) Letter to the Professor. Readings for February 7 (See below). Choose a presentation week & your preferred Anne Brontë novel.

February 7: the Juvenilia | What is children’s literature? | teaching with DIgital archives

The Brontës, Selected Tales of Glass Town, Gondal, and Angria

Christine Alexander, Introduction to the Juvenilia

HW: Letter to the Professor; research and answer: “What is Children’s Literature?”; bring laptops to class if you can.


Peter Hunt, “The Expanding World of Children’s Literature Studies”

The History of Angria (link)

Earliest known writing of Charlotte Brontë (link)

British Library juvenilia collection (for class)

February 14: Jane Eyre 1 | Teaching feminist texts: madwoman in the attic

Jane Eyre, Chapters 1-20

Virginia Woolf, from “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights” (461-463)

Sandra M. Gilbert, “A Dialogue of Self and Soul: Plain Jane’s Progress” (464-487)

February 28: jane eyre 3 | Disabilities studies: The madwoman and the blindman

Jane Eyre 33-38

Lennard Davis, “Seeing the Object as in Itself it Really Is: Beyond the Metaphor of Disability”

Julia Miele Rodas, Elizabeth J. Donaldson, and David Bolt, “The Madwoman and the Blindman: Introduction”

Presentations: Alyssa, “Jane Eyre & Bluebeard”; Kristina, “Disability Studies: Perception, Theory, and Movement”; and Roxanne, “The Madwoman and the Blindman”

March 7: wide sargasso sea | postcolonial theory: can the subaltern speak?

Wide Sargasso Sea (entire novel)

Quiz in class (review your class notes and key terms)

Gayatri Spivak, “Three Women’s Texts and a Critique of Imperialism”

Gayatri Spivak, Can the Subaltern Speak?

Presentation: Greg

Mar 14: wuthering heights 1 | Affect theory: ugly feelings

Wuthering Heights 1-15

Sianne Ngai, Ugly Feelings

Presentations: Michael and Ramata

Mar 21: Wuthering heights 2 | Ecocriticism

Wuthering Heights 16-25

16 Position Papers answering "What is Ecocriticism?"

Mar 28: Wuthering heights 3 | distant reading

Wuthering Heights 26-34 or Volume III

What is Distant Reading? 

Franco Morretti, Maps, Graphs and Trees 

Presentation: Margaret and Nyoka

April 4: AGNES GREY | special collections & archival research

Presentations: Jocelyn, David & Chris


April 18: Trip to NYPL Berg Collection

We will meet at 6:00 pm at the NYPL Schwartzman Main Library near Bryant park, by the lions.

APril 25: SPRING BREAK | No class 

May 2: Presentations I: Poems & Juvenilia 

May 9: Presentations II: Afterlives & Adaptations

May 16: Final Exam

 Final papers due May 24.