WesMaps - Wesleyan University Catalog 2011-2012       Home       Archive       Search
Circulating Bodies: Commodities, Prostitutes, and Slaves in 18th-Century England
ENGL 314
Fall 2011
Section: 01  

In the newly booming consumer culture of 18th-century England, people were constantly buying and selling things--bespoke suits and manufactured trinkets as well as prostitutes and slaves. This course will explore the period's circulating bodies as they were passed from hand to hand, valued and revalued, used, abused, and discarded. We will trace processes of circulation in 18th-century novels and poetry and listen as the "things" themselves tell stories: in the period, commodities, prostitutes, and slaves all wrote memoirs (or had ones imagined for them). We will read these texts alongside contemporary debates about economics, abolition, and women's rights, and we will return again and again to fundamental questions about personal identity, individual agency and passivity, commodification, objectification, and the very limits of the human.

Essential Capabilities: Interpretation, Writing
This is a writing-intensive course that will develop students' skills in literary interpretation.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ENGL
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (ENGL)(ENGL-Brit Lit)
Past Enrollment Probability: 90% or above

Last Updated on APR-23-2014
Contact wesmaps@wesleyan.edu to submit comments or suggestions. Please include a url, course title, faculty name or other page reference in your email ? Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, 06459