European Studies


British Studies

Fall Quarter (F18)

Dept/Description Course No., Title  Instructor
Emphasis/Category: British Studies, French Studies, Italian Studies, Modern Europe (1798-)

English 100 has been designed to provide you with a survey of literary theory and criticism from the fifth century B.C.E. to the present day, an ambition that would read like an incredible prank if it were it not so sincerely earned. The University of California, Irvine has a reputation for bleeding-edge approaches to literature and culture that is, frankly, unmatched: ours was the first university in the country to offer a doctoral program in Critical Theory, now an essential component of literary study, and our library houses the most comprehensive Critical Theory Archive in the world, as well as the manuscripts and papers of many of the field’s most significant thinkers. Irvine’s influence on humanistic inquiry is both historic and ongoing, and this course—English 100—represents everything that we are about.

Behind every survey lies a logic of selection, and my choices have been guided by a belief in the prominence and centrality of Worry in the history of literary criticism and theory. Rather than offer a strictly chronological review, I have organized works by their motivating concerns. Each week will feature a mixture of old and new texts that address a common issue, so that you can receive a more discrete and compelling genealogy of critical discourse.

Requirements include a midterm exam, a final exam, and two reading quizzes.
Days: TU TH  11:00-12:20 PM

Emphasis/Category: British Studies

In this course we will read a number of works associated with Aestheticism and the Decadence, a period marked by great social, literary, and philosophical ambivalences, including the paradox of the cosmopolitan subject, the circulation of criticism and the exclusivity of the coterie, the aestheticization of the object and the relation between the useful and the beautiful. We will read philosophies of art and culture by John Ruskin, Walter Pater, Vernon Lee, anthropology by W. T. Stead, sociology by Max Nordau, sexology by Havelock Ellis, and psychical research by William James.  Our literary texts will include prose and poetry by Aubrey Beardsley, Max Beerbohm, George Egerton, Henry James, Arthur Machen, H. G. Wells, and Oscar Wilde. Requirements include a midterm, a final paper of 5-7 pages, and a final exam.
Days: TU TH  12:30-01:50 PM