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

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”

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

Wide Sargasso Sea

Gayatri Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?”

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

Wuthering Heights 1-15

Sianne Ngai, Ugly Feelings

Mar 21: Wuthering heights 2 | secondary sources & database research

Wuthering Heights 16-25

Mar 28: Wuthering heights 3 | special collections & archival research

Wuthering Heights 26-34

April 4: Tenant of Wildfell Hall |  Agnes Grey

Tenant of Wildfell Hall  or Agnes Grey

april 11: conferences & Film Screening

April 18: Trip to NYPL Berg Collection

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.