November 23, 2015
Courses and Syllabi
Dr. Laura L. Runge
Office: CPR 360 D
ENL 6236 Eighteenth-century Women Authors
Room: CPR 257
This course surveys the “Age of the Emerging Female Writer” and includes the best female authors between the years 1660-1789.
Updated with a 2015 twist, the course has the added experience of digging in the digital archive. Almost all the course
readings, including lyric poetry and satire, experiments in the early novel, essays, popular plays, letters and memoirs,
can be found either online or in digital databases, and we will learn about book history and editing by attending to works
in digital forms. In addition to collections such as EEBO and ECCO, the Burney Newspaper Database, Hathi Trust and Google
Books, we will engage new digital archives and tools such as the Digital Miscellanies Index, the Ann Finch Digital Archive,
ABO Public, and the 18thCentury Common. We will even do some feminist Wikipedia intervention.
What was the eighteenth-century woman like? The literature foregrounds the figure of “woman” in an historical context that assumed
she was inferior to “man” and that engendered some of the earliest feminist discourse. Women expressed public and private concerns
in their writing, such as about courtship and marriage, sexuality, children, economics, slavery, empire and travel, education,
literary authority and publication. Remarkably resonant with contemporary cultural issues, the class will examine representations
of rape culture, slut shaming, gender performance, celebrity, scandal, nerds, healthy lifestyles, developing a following, and the like.
The course is grounded in feminist historiography and literary criticism, making questions of how
we constitute the category of literature and why we read and study it central to our purpose.
The field of early women’s writing offers many opportunities for substantial new research; class
members will become conversant in current critical conversations on the subject, practicing critical
reading skills on secondary resources, and producing digital writing in public and professional genres.
Through weekly scaffolded assignments, students will build a fully researched author summary project,
and through similarly scaffolded weekly assignments, students will learn to edit Wikipedia and contribute
new biographical and literary history on eighteenth-century women writers. Students will engage in
weekly writing, hands-on in-class research and creative activities, and develop an independent research
essay of conference presentation length.
This course fulfills an 18th Century distribution and cultural-critical studies requirements
and students may produce an MA pre-1900 portfolio paper. The course reading list is available on request.
To understand the literary history of eighteenth-century women authors;
To write literary history based in archival research, including biography, print and performance history and reception, manuscripts;
To practice skills of digital literacy, including evaluation of resources, navigating and searching, analyzing architectures, digital research and production;
To produce original scholarly writing in several genres;
To produce public writing on Wikipedia related to eighteenth-century women authors;
To produce a body of original work, critical and creative in nature, that furthers
the student's own intellectual and personal goals.
Margaret J. Ezell, Writing Women’s Literary History, Johns Hopkins UP, 1996
Staves, Susan, A Literary History of Women's Writing in Britain, 1660-1789, Cambridge, 2006
British Women Poets of the Long Eighteenth Century, [BWPLEC] ed. Paula R. Backscheider & Catherine E. Ingrassia, Johns Hopkins UP, 2009, ISBN: 13: 978-0-8018-9278-3 or 10: 8018-9278-3
Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko, The Rover and Other Works, ed. Janet Todd, Penguin 1992, ISBN 014 043338 4
Finberg, Melinda, Eighteenth-century Women Dramatists, Oxford 2001, ISBN 0 19 282729 4
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Selected Letters, ed. Isobel Grundy, Penguin Classics, 1997 ISBN: 978-0-140-43490-3
Scott, Sarah, Millenium Hall, ed. Gary Kelly, Broadview 1995, ISBN 1 55111 015 6
[You will have the option of reading this 200 page novel in digital form if you prefer.]
Ballaster, Ros (ed.), The History of British Women's Writing volume 4, 1690-1750, Houndsmill, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 2013. Print.
Labbe, Jacqueline M. (ed.), The History of British Women's Writing volume 5, 1750-1830. Houndsmill, England: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 2013. Print.
There are four important course sites you should bookmark:
The course homepage on my website [You are here.]
There are many digital resources that we will be using in this class. A list can be found here.
The Canvas course page: ENL6236.901F15, where documents, assignments and modules will be posted. This is also where our weekly discussion will be held, and other possible collaborations.
The google share drive: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0BymeDERnNAhbfi1OSWl3dE4tYTVJMFFBRjJIR1A1QUpnWWZRZ2haN2ltVUlQWmNIanBjbmc&usp=sharing
course Wikipedia page: http://dashboard.wikiedu.org/courses/University_of_South_Florida/ENL6236_18thC_Women_Authors_(Fall_2015).
***All students should bring their laptops or tablets to class for work on digital resources and in-class activities.***
Notes for each class will be updated throughout the term
August 25 Class 1: Introductions
Introduce Wikipedia Assignments
Digital Resources for class
Sept 1 Class 2: Literary History
Ezell, Writing Women’s Literary History (Intro, chs 1-4);
September 8 Class 3: 17th C prose
Staves, Literary History of Women’s Writing in Britain, 1660-1789, Introduction;
Judith Phillips Stanton “Statistical Profile of Women Writing in English 1660-1800,” Canvas
Patrick Spedding, “’The New Machine’: Discovering the Limits of ECCO.” Canvas.
Research Workshop with Melanie Griffin
DUE Post #1
Staves, Chapter 1 (27-89);
September 15 Class 4: 17th and early 18th C Poetry
Todd Introduction, Behn’s Oroonoko, The Fair Jilt,
Margaret Fell Fox, “Women’s Speaking Justified,” EEBO.
DUE: Post #2
Wikipedia training complete.
Wiki assignment: Start talk page – visit someone’s talk page.
Join one of the Wiki communities/projects.
Staves chapter 2 (90-121)
September 22 Class 5: Feminist Resistance
BWPLEC “How to Read Eighteenth Century Poetry,” Introduction
See Author biographies in the back and the alternative table of contents
for list of poems for each author.
Behn (BWPLEC and Todd) all poems;
Finch (BWPLEC and Finch Archive http://library.uncg.edu/dp/annefinch/) all poems
Barker (BWPLEC) all poems;
We will review Digital Miscellanies Index
DUE: Post #3
Wiki Assign: Correct or fix a line or two in one of the articles for class.
Upload an image to one of the articles for class.
Meet in Grace Allen Room of USF Library (4th Floor) for class on 17th and 18th c books with
September 29 Class 6: Restoration and Early 18th C Drama
Staves Chapter 3
Astell’s Serious Proposal to the Ladies, part I (Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/seriousproposalt00aste);
Poems by Chudleigh, (To the Ladies BWPLEC)
Egerton (The Emulation BWPLEC);
DUE: Post #4
Wiki Assign: Generate a list of article suggestions and /or corrections to your
author article in your sandbox. Visit two other class members’ sandbox
and add comments
Finberg, Introduction, Note on the Texts, Restoration and Eighteenth-century Stages,
Bibliography and Chronology;
October 6 Class 7: Early Novels
Behn, The Rover (Todd);
Pix, The Innocent Mistress (Finberg);
Centlivre The Busy Body (Finberg, also ECCO for comparison);
The London Stage Part 1
(HathiTrust: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015020696632) [Read Critical Introduction
(189 pages) for skimming; We will conduct a research assignment on specific plays in class.]
DUE: Post #5
Wiki Assign: Present briefly your article decision (collaborate, trade authors, brainstorm)
and list it on course wiki site
Staves chapter 4 (165-227)
October 13 Class 8: Poetry on Friendship
Eliza Haywood, Fantomina (found in Haywood, Eliza Fowler. Secret histories, novels and poems.
In four volumes. Written by Mrs. Eliza Haywood. Vol. Volume 3.The second edition.
London, M.DCC.XXV. . Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Gale.
University of South Florida.)
Rowe, Elizabeth Singer. Friendship in death.
In twenty letters from the dead to the living.
London, MDCCXXVIII. . (found in Eighteenth Century Collections Online.
Gale. University of South Florida)
DUE: Midterm evaluation (Canvas)
Wiki Assign: Research and write article bibliography (5-10 sources)
Staves, Chapter 5
October 20 Class 9: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
On Women’s Friendship (BWPLEC 291-331) (Phillips, Egerton, Finch,
Chandler, Wright, Brereton Lennox, Leapor, Carter,etc.)
DUE: Post #7
Wiki Assign: Research and write article bibliography (5-10 sources)
October 27 Class 10: Bluestockings
November 3 Class 11: Work day
November 4 is ABO/ABS Wikipedia editathon – extra credit for participation
November 10 Class 12: Millenium Hall
Class will not meet; students will have the opportunity to work on research projects.
Wiki Assign: Post final edits to article page, remove from sandbox.
Sarah Scott Millenium Hall;
(Available on Internet Archive https://archive.org/details/descriptionofmil00scot)
November 17 Class 13: Anna Aikin Barbauld's Poems
DUE: Post #11
Staves Chapter 7
Anna Letiticia (Aikin) Barbauld (Aikin’s 1772 Poems in ECCO).
Burney Newspaper Database assignment in class
November 24 Class 14: Late Century Drama
Due: Post #12
Frances Burney Witlings
(HTML version by Ray Davis http://www.pseudopodium.org/repress/witlings/index.html)
December 1 Class 15: Conclusions
Elizabeth Griffith’s The Times (Finberg)
Hannah Cowley Belle Strategem (Finberg)
DUE: Post #13
DUE DECEMBER 8: Final papers with cover letter
** Students who anticipate the necessity of being absent from class due to the
observation of a major religious observance must provide notice of the date(s)
to the instructor, in writing, by the second class meeting.
** In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations.
During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that
include but are not limited to: Canvas, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or
an alternate schedule. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor the Canvas site for
each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department
websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.
Attendance/Participation in all class activities 10%
Weekly Posts (14) 15%
Scholarly Article Presentation 10%
Author Summary Project/weekly assignments 20%
Wikipedia article / weekly assignments 20%
Conference paper (3000 words / 10 page min) and cover letter 25%
Description of graded assignments
Attendance and Participation in all class activities
This class is designed to give students hands-on guided experience in conducting archival, digital
research, and there will be weekly assignments for homework as well as in-class.
Otherwise, the class is
based on discussion and participation, and so attendance is mandatory. Please see my class
policies link (sidebar) for details on how the grading will be done. I expect everyone to engage
in the in-class activities to gain the fullest benefit of the course. There is often a
significant reading assignment for class, and I expect you to be prepared. If you need to
read ahead on light weeks or otherwise plan ahead for getting the reading done, please do so.
If at any point you feel
overwhelmed by the pressures of graduate school or the expectations of the class, please talk to
me about it rather than go AWOL.
Weekly writings to discussion board:
For each class students will be expected to post an
informal writing on the week's reading to the class discussion board on Canvas. Notes and discussion
questions will be posted on the syllabus, linked to the date of the class. Students should read
and respond to one of the questions. These will be open ended and reflective in nature. The posts
should be a minimum of 300 words in length. They will be evaluated on a 3-point scale for the
effort put into the writing. Full effort will be recognized by the timely submission of a writing
meeting the minimal length and engaged in the subject of the class for that week. If you do not
hear any response from me, you have received full credit for the post. I will only contact you
regarding a post if it falls short of expectations. Students are expected to read the posts of
their fellow students before posting so as to avoid repeating the same information and to engage
in a conversation that builds on shared knowledge. These are informal in nature and therefore can
be explorative, inquisitive, risk-taking. The idea is not to look for the single correct answer but
to expand your understanding of the subjects.
These posts will form the
beginning point for our class work, and so I expect students to take the
assignment seriously. For more information on the ways in which this assignment
facilitates learning, please see my general description on
Posts are due by 9 pm the night before class, so that all students will have an
opportunity to read the posts before me meet at 3:30.
Scholarly Article Presentation:
To gain practice in understanding the methods and structure of scholarly argument, and to
participate in the scholarly conversation on eighteenth-century women's writing, we will review
one scholarly essay each class in detail. Each student is expected to lead a discussion (though
to be honest, I tend to jump in a lot). I will provide recommendations for selecting an appropriate essay
as part of your training in conducting scholarly research. Students should get approval for the selected
essay a week in advance of the class presentation, and a PDF of the article should be sent to me so I can
post it in Canvas.
You will sign up for a class (one essay
per class only) early in the semester. We will evaluate the essay according to the following
standards for excellent scholarship:
Evaluate the article’s placement in a disciplinary or interdisciplinary discussion (what existing argument(s) is it arguing for, against, supplementing?)
Evaluate the success of the introduction (engages, grounds, provides purpose, argument and significance)
Evaluate the purpose for this article (what does it set out to do? What informational needs does it meet? Why is it necessary?)
Evaluate the thesis – is it defensible? Clear? Relevant? Original?
Evaluate the significance – what is the pay off or take away from this article?
Evaluate the methodology – what information does the article use (Primary and secondary)? How does the article use this information (theoretical/disciplinary constructs)? Are the sources accurate, legitimate, most relevant? Are the sources used responsibly, clearly? If not, are the problems stylistic or substantive?
Evaluate the argumentation – how does the article prove its claims? Is it persuasive? Is it logical? Is it otherwise sound (ethical, up-to-date, relevant)? Is it complete?
Evaluate the conclusion / whole – does the article achieve what it sets out to do? (Do not evaluate whether it does what you WANT it to do, but rather evaluate the soundness based on the terms of its construction). Does it hold interest? Why or why not? What are its significant achievements? Where does it seem weakest?
All students are expected to read each essay. The student presenter
should prepare an article summary based on the key elements above to demonstrate
your understanding of the article and the raise questions about the content, thesis, methods,
conclusions, etc. The article summary and evaluation should be between 750 and 1000 words, due
on the day of the discussion. Please submit all written material via Canvas assignments. Your
presentation should be no longer than 10 minutes, though discussion may range further. Visuals
Author Summary Project / weekly assignments:
At the beginning of class, I will assign you one of the class authors for which you will build
an exhaustive author summary based on archival research. (You will have one opportunity to change
or trade authors.) Your author will be the example you use for in-class research activities, and all
the weekly assignments and in-class activities will become part of your summary project. Some
research activities will begin in class and need to be concluded on your own time. I have
scaffolded the assignments into nine steps to be conducted over the course of the semester:
1) Compare and contrast the three biographical articles (Wikipedia, Blackwell and ODNB)
This project lays the foundation for a research paper and the Wikipedia article project, and
it trains you in conducting archival research in literature. Students will have the
opportunity to present on their topic during the last class. For more information see the Canvas course page.
2) Create bibliography of biographical references (extensive) based on biographical references listed in the 18thC Resource Guide;
write a life summary
3) Choose a full-length biography of your author (if available) and
verify its reliability. Read and annotate for your author profile.
4) Conduct searches for scholarly references based on training and resource guide
and create full list of citations of scholarship on your author in chronological order,
oldest to most recent (if this has already been done for your author, eg. Behn or Haywood,
review this bibliography and excerpt a list of most significant scholarship by decade.)
5) Research author in EEBO and ECCO for list of titles by the author (compare to Worldcat);
generate bibliography of authored works (if this has been done for your author, e.g. Behn,
Haywood, add the published bibliography to your bibliography and write the list of
major titles with dates of publication).
6) Choose the most popular work of your author (most reprints or productions)
and write a print and/or production history (include adaptations or modern editions)
7) Locate the manuscripts of your author in current repositories (see locators in resource guide).
Draft a rationale for visiting one of the repositories to research the manuscripts
8) Using advanced Google searches and other internet resources, create a list of databases,
website, digital texts for your author (your author’s digital presence)
9) Based on your author summary, create a list of areas 1) of trends in scholarship
and 2) needing further research
Wikipedia Article / weekly assignments:
The class focuses on writing literary history, in particular for eighteenth-century women. Our
contemporary moment provides us the opportunity to write literary history for the broadest
audience possible in Wikipedia. After introducing the rationale for the Wikipedia interventions
on feminist topics, and setting you up with your training, all students will perform scaffolded
weekly tasks to train you to edit Wikipedia. This project will dovetail with the Author Summary
project. As you become an expert on one author and experienced in evaluating scholarly versus
encyclopedic writing forms, you will practice writing literary history by editing an article
on your author or her works. The weekly assignments are described on the syllabus and in the course
wiki page. This course is supported by the Wiki Education Foundation and has course
mentors assigned to guide us. Ultimately, students will be expected to add or create a minimum of
1000 words content on your author to be evaluated by an assignment
rubric. This assignment is intended to improve public knowledge of women authors through your contribution,
to train more feminist wikipedia editors, and to advance your digital literacy.
For more information, see the Wikipedia Course page.
Conference Paper and Cover letter:
To advance your scholarly practice, you will write an original scholarly analysis based on
the content from the course. During the semester we will evaluate and attempt a variety of
scholarly, analytical methods designed to prompt your further practice. You will develop a scholarly
argument in a conference-length paper of a minimum of 3000 words / ten pages. All students should
meet with me before the Thanksgiving break to get approval of your argument/idea. Naturally the
research you conduct on your author summary project and wikipedia article situate you to write
a scholarly article on that topic; however, you are not constrained by that. All topics need
to be approved. We will have the opportunty to do some peer-review on the last class; the
cover letter should be a statement of your intent with reflection on your methods; you should
also use the cover letter to assess your learning in the course and your plans for future
work in the area. For example, if you intend to use the paper for a Master's Portfolio, you
should reflect this in your letter with some ideas for developing the paper to full length.
PhD Seminar Credit
Students completing a PHD seminar credit will be expected to take on additional challenges
in the Author Summary Project (to be determined) and annotate the bibliography.
Depending on the amount of material to be annotated, this work should be a minimum
of ten double-spaced pages in length. You will also be required to extend the length
of the final written project to 25 pages.
This syllabus is subject to change.
Margaret Fell Fox
Sarah Fyge Egerton
Mary, Lady Chudleigh
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu
Anna Leticia Barbauld
Please see this list of Digital Resources in 18th-Century Studies.
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