From Milton to /The Monk/: the Genres of the long Enlightenment, their Origins and Destinations

Course Number: ENGL 595GE
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 595AA-ZZ
Quarter: Winter 2014
Instructor: Warner, William
Day(s): F
Time: 10:00 AM – 11:50 AM
Location: SH 2617
Description:

*Early Modern Center Colloquium: "From Milton to /The Monk/: the Genres of the long Enlightenment, their Origins and Destinations" *

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*For the sake of this colloquium, we'll use a very broad definition of "genre." Derived from the French word /genre/, meaning "kind", genre came to denote "a*particular style or category of work or literary composition, characterized by a particular form, style, or purpose." (OED) Although the term 'genre' was most widely applied to imaginative literary works, for analytical purposes we'll apply it to the broad Renaissance and Enlightenment sense of literature, as including all the forms of letters and writing for the sake of learning. *We focus most of our study upon the long 18^th century (1660-1820) because the expansion of print and trade and the institution of literary criticism made this a period when old genres were collected and studied, and new genres and formats of writing were invented and developed.*

*So for our study, we will select from an open set of genres: genres related to the advancement of knowledge, from the journal article reporting experimental findings to dictionaries and encyclopedia; newspapers and magazines; ballads and ballad collections; systems and essays; musical theater; natural histories; and a host of genres of a more literary kind, from epic, mock epic and georgic to the sentimental and gothic novel. We hope that by ranging across this very broad set of genres we will make headway with questions of historical and theoretical interest: what is a 'genre'? what role does it play in networking authors and readers and getting them to share common protocols for reading? Is there a law for each genre? Or is it the role of genre to encourage violations of these implicit laws (pace Derrida)? What is the knowledge or entertainment function of a particular genre? How does it enable new networking and communication? How do they stimulate the formation of new communities of reading?*

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*Topics and discussion leaders (UCSB faculty and grad students and selected visitors)---as of now "topics" listed are possible but not yet firm. The rest is set.
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*Fall 2013*

*·**Warner: on classical literary genres (e.g. Homer or Horace translated by Pope);*

*·**Nov 1: Anne Maurseth, UCSB French, The Genres of Enlightenment Chance in Mathematics, Philosophy and Fiction *

*·**November 15: Arthur Morotti, Wayne State University, Anthologies*

*·**December 6: Elisa Tamarkan, "Relevance and the Newspaper" *

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*Winter 2014*

*·**Warner: on the theory of genre (Derrida and others)*

*·**February 14: Elizabeth Cook, UCSB, English "Natural History and Gilbert White"*

*·**February 28: Jim Kearney, UCSB, English, "On the Romance" *

*·**Topic: Long 18^th century collection, curation and criticism of the Renaissance ballad: Pepys, Addison, Gay, Percy, etc. *

*·**Jim Kearney & team: on the romance *

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*Spring 2014 *

*·**Warner: examples of the morphing and plasticity of genre (e.g. in the 'rise of the novel,' the long history of the newspaper)*

*·**Topic: The invention of the genre of the gothic: from Walpole to Lewis's /The Monk/*

*·**May 9: Deidre Lynch, U. of Toronto, The Commonplace Book (or the Essay)*