2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
    Feb 06, 2023  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog
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ENG 387 - Living Traditions: Jane Austen

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Jane Austen’s novels-despite the “chick lit” reputation film treatments have lent them-are anything but light beach reading. Set against backdrops of war, transgressive sexuality, and venomous rivalries, abiding human desires for money and power compete with more virtuous ideals, where heroines of sincere belief in loving marriage parry with oftentimes Byronic heroes struggling to square morality with the demands of their rank and status. We will read a smattering of her minor writings (poetry, prayers, short stories, and a farcical play) before concentrating on her best novels. After reaching back to classical influences like Aristotle and the Bible, and after looking at more immediate precursors like Richardson’s epistolary novel and Mary Wollstonecraft, we will reach forward to the Romantic era and to her influence on popular romance fiction, and ultimately on the Harry Potter series and modern vampyric heroes.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 200.

Offered Fall 2023 and Fall 2026.
Living Traditions courses illuminate ways in which writers, writing from within their social milieu and in a given form or mode, use art to explore vital questions of human existence. Starting with a representative figure, these courses explore that author’s historical and literary influences as well as the contemporary legacy, examining ways in which literary artists and their ideas continue to transform culture.



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