Monday, September 10, 2007

Course Syllabus

Course Syllabus & Information

Reading Schedule

Following this schedule will keep you technically abreast of lecture. The advisable reading schedule is, as always, to have each text read in full before the first lecture upon it. All essays are in the Buckler prose collection.

Week 1: Charles Darwin: Selected Passages (Handout);
Thomas Carlyle: The Everlasting No; Natural Supernaturalism
Week 2: George McDonald, Princess & Curdie
T.H. Huxley, Essays.
Week 3: George McDonald, Princess & Curdie
Week 4: George Eliot, Mill on the Floss
John Stuart Mill: From Autobiography; Nature.
Week 5: George Eliot, Mill on the Floss
Week 6: Charles Dickens, Mystery of Edwin Drood
John Ruskin: The Nature of Gothic
Week 7: Charles Dickens, Mystery of Edwin Drood
Week 8: Charles Kingsley, Water Babies
John Henry, Cardinal Newman: The Idea of a University; Apologia Pro Vita Sua
Week 9: Charles Kingsley, Water Babies
Week 10: Walter Horatio Pater, Essays.
Matthew Arnold, Essays.
Week 11: Marie Corelli, The Sorrows of Satan
Week 12: Marie Corelli, The Sorrows of Satan
Week 13: Recapitulation and miscellany.

The recommended text is A.N. Wilson, God's Funeral, for several reasons. I would say primarily because, I am convinced, it is an indispensable feature of each English scholar's library: permanent furniture that will be perennially beneficial. God's Funeral is a delight and an education: the style and the personal details captivate while the dialectic informs the sweep of the intellectual nineteenth century clear ringingly in your mind. Of course, more immediately, it forms the ideational basis of course lectures.

Schedule of Assignment Due Dates:
Assignment details in "Pertinent & Impertinent" Links.

Nb: There is a four percent per day late penalty for all assignments, documented medical or bereavement leave excepted. For medical exemptions, provide a letter on an MD's letterhead which declares his or her medical judgement that illness or injury prevented work on the essay. The letter must cover the entire period over which the assignment was scheduled and may be verified by telephone. For bereavement leave, simply provide, ex post facto, a copy of the order of service or other published notice of remembrance.

September 21st: Individual Presentation: due date for sign up.
October 15th: Group Polemical Project: proposal.
October 7th: Mid-Term Essay topics posted.
October 22nd: Mid-Term Essay due.
November 5th: Group Polemical Project: peer review.
November 19th: Final Essay draught thesis paragraph due.
November 26th: Group Polemical Project due.
December 3rd: Final Essay due.

Support material available on Library Reserve.

Nb: “Participation requires both attendance and punctuality ."

Instructor Contact:
[Updated] Office Hours: AQ 6094 -- Monday ten o'clock to four thirty, Tuesday & Thursday eleven thirty to twelve twenty (in office or in classroom), and Wednesday ten o'clock to three o'clock. Bring your coffee and discuss course matters freely. E-mail to Use your SFU account for e-mail contact. Other e-Mail accounts are blocked by white-list. Daytime cell phone: 604-250-9432.

Course Approach:

From the direction of the engagement with God. "God's Funeral" is the result of the materialism which produced, and was then strengthened by, Darwinism and Urban Industrialism (each of the pair then strengthening the other; and is then the cause of search for Resurrection: that is, a literary search for a revivified humanism. Giving shape to this is the perhaps paradoxical, perhaps merely natural, double-sided obsession, century long, with both progress and decadence.

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