Spring 2009

Literary History and/as Media History

Listed in: English, as ENGL-04


Andrew C. Parker (Section 01)


Living today in an era of rapid technological innovation, we tend to forget that print itself was once a new medium. The history of English and American literature since the Renaissance has been as much a response to the development of new material formats (scribal copying, printed play scripts, newspaper and serial publication, broadsides and ballads, “little magazines,” radio, film, TV) as it has been a succession of ideal literary forms (poems, plays, and novels). This course will survey literary works from the sixteenth to the twentieth century in relation to the history of emerging media. Texts may include Renaissance sonnet sequences, Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair, Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, selections from Johnson’s The Rambler, Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers, Poe’s Selected Tales, Chesnutt’s The Conjure Woman, Wilde’s Salomé, selections from Pound’s The Cantos, Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, Kushner’s Angels in America. Preference given to sophomores. Spring semester. Professor Parker.