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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Cultural Sensibility in the Age of Richardson's Clarissa (PGHC11352)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryDue in part to its social currency among eighteenth-century consumers of literary culture, Clarissa stimulated pan-European adaptations in painting, music, and critical dispute, in moral exhortation and in popular protest - some of which remains in manuscript and printed documents of the period. Clarissa comprises the focus of dozens of studies in cultural history, from print culture to reading salons, from literary stylistics to choreographies of the duel. Academic conferences and special issues of journals are leading up to the release, in 2012, of the first volumes in The Cambridge Edition of the Correspondence and Works of Samuel Richardson, which is projected to reach 24 volumes by 2017. Unlike other graduate seminars on Clarissa, which tend to focus on questions of aesthetics, or of Richardson's place in "the rise of the novel," this course will ask students to consider the wide range of social reference and moral impact occasioned by this masterpiece of midcentury literary culture.
Course description This course will introduce first-year graduate students to the historical discourses that shaped the composition and reception of Richardson's novel, and which produced "the age of sensibility" as an abiding topic of major scholarly concern. It has been designed to meet the SCQF's Level-11 guidelines (2007).

It will do this by achieving two primary aims: first, it will train students in comparative approaches to examining and interpreting literary, critical, and visual materials that document the cultural history of mid-eighteenth century Britain. Second, by immersing students in this lengthy and compelling novel (of over one million words, read in weekly instalments), and by orienting their reading through studies in the social, legal, artistic, medical, and moral discourse that informed eighteenth-century responses to it, students will generate a meaningful appreciation of the complex social concerns that defined the culture of sensibility.


First Instalment (vols. 1-2), published 1 December 1747
Letters 1-93
1. Introduction to Sensibility: Clarissa and Her Readers
- Maxine Berg, "Men and Women of the Middling Classes: Acquisitiveness and Self-Respect," Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Oxford: Oxford UP, 119-46;
- John Mullan, "Sensibility and Literary Criticism," The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, ed. H. B. Nisbet and C. Rawson, vol. 4 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997) 419-33;
- James Grantham Turner, "Richardson and His Circle," in The Columbia History of the British Novel, ed. John Richetti (New York: Columbia UP, 1994) 73-101.

2. Courtship, Space, and the Sexual Politics of Property
- Florian Stuber, "On Fathers and Authority in Clarissa," SEL 25 (Summer 1985): 557-74;
- Christopher Hill, "Clarissa Harlowe and Her Times," Essays in Criticism 5 (1955): 315-40;
- Klein, Lawrence E. "Gender and the Public/Private Distinction in the Eighteenth Century," Eighteenth Century Studies 29 (1995): 97-109.

3. The Progress of the Novel: Sentiment and the Self
- John A. Dussinger, "Clarissa: The Curse of Intellect," in The Discourse of the Mind in Eighteenth-Century Fiction (The Hague: Mouton, 1974) 77-126.
- Paul Gordon Scott, "Disinterested Selves: Clarissa and the Tactics of Sentiment," ELH 64 (1997): 473-502.

Second Instalment (vols. 3-4), published 28 April 1748
Letters 94-231
4. Seduction and Romantic Love
- Nicholas Hudson, "Arts of Seduction and the Rhetoric of Clarissa," Modern Language Quarterly 51 (1990): 25-43.
- J. G. Turner, "Lovelace and the Paradoxes of Libertinism," in Margaret Anne Doody and Peter Sabor, eds., Samuel Richardson: Tercentenary Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) 70-88.

5. Marriage, Prostitution, and the Law
- Dan Cruickshank, The Secret History of Georgian London, London: Random House, 2009. 56-77; 215-244.
- Mary Vermillion, "Clarissa and the Marriage Act," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 10 (1997): 395-412.

6. Rape and Medical Discourse: Clarissa's Nerves
- Robert A. Erickson, The Language of the Heart, 1600-1750, London: Pennsylvania UP, 1997. 185-228;
- George S. Rousseau, "Nerves, Spirits and Fibres: Towards Defining the Origins of Sensibility," Nervous Acts: Essays on Literature and Sensibility. London: Palgrave, 2004. 160-184.
- Antony Simpson, "The 'Blackmail Myth' and the Prosecution of Rape and its Attempt in the Eighteenth Century," The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 77 (1973): 105-50.

Third Instalment (vols. 5-8), published 6 December 1748
Letters 232-537
7. Visual Representations: Francis Hayman and the Tragic Set-Piece
- Lynn Shepherd, "Portraiture and Representation in Clarissa," Clarissa's Painter: Portraiture, Illustration, and Representation in the Novels of Samuel Richardson (Oxford: OUP, 2009) 112-174.

8. Sensibility, Society, and Male Friendship: Belford as Editor
- Adam Budd, "Why Clarissa Must Die: Richardson's Tragedy and Editorial Heroism," Eighteenth-Century Life 31 (Fall 2007): 1-28.

9. Religion and Representation
- Margaret Anne Doody, "Disguise and Personality in Richardson's Clarissa," Eighteenth-Century Life n.s. 12, no. 2 (1988): 18-39.
- John A. Dussinger,. "Conscience and the Pattern of Christian Perfection in Clarissa." PMLA, 81 (1966): 236-245.

10. Tragedy and the Material World
- Alan Wendt, "Clarissa's Coffin," Philological Quarterly 39 (1960): 481-95.
- John A. Dussinger, "Conscience and the Pattern of Christian Perfection in Clarissa," PMLA 81 (1966): 236-45.
- David Hensley, "Thomas Edwards and the Dialectics of Clarissa's Death Scene," Eighteenth-Century Life 16, no. 3 (1992): 130-52

11. Conclusions: Clarissa and Contemporary Print Culture
- Tom Keymer, "Clarissa's Death, Clarissa's Sale, and the Text of the Second Edition," Review of English Studies 45 (Aug. 1994): 389-96;
- Mark Kinkead-Weekes, "Clarissa Restored?" Review of English Studies 10 (1959): 156-71
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Upon successful completion of this course, students will have generated an advanced knowledge and understanding of the historical materials and scholarly resources that define the culture of sensibility in Britain during the mid-eighteenth century. In particular, the course will achieve the following learning outcomes:
    * The knowledge to appreciate the historical reasons for the emergence and flourishing of sensibility in Britain, with specific reference to literary, religious, legal, economic, and aesthetic developments unique to this period;
    * The interpretive abilities to evaluate and analyse the recent historiography of sensibility, as it has developed among literary critics and cultural historians;
    * The practical skills to orient their research questions and strategies amongst the masses of secondary criticism and historical studies that inform "the age of sensibility";
    * The oral and written skills necessary to present an effective analytical argument that refers to related documentary and secondary research materials;

    Academic Outcomes
    Students will participate in weekly discussion of primary and secondary readings, and each will consult with the course organiser to define a related topic for a 20-minute presentation, in addition to preparing an independent research paper of 3000 words.

    In sum, students will demonstrate the following SCQF Level-11 academic skills:
    * To provide ongoing and sustained critical analysis of a major and challenging work of eighteenth-century literature, relating this to contemporary social and cultural contexts;
    * To locate, access, and evaluate primary eighteenth-century sources, clarifying their significance with direct relation to the main themes of this course (see Course Content, below);
    * To generate, through consultation with the course director, a compelling topic for a 20-minute presentation, that refers both to a self-selected primary document and to the thematic concerns of the given weekly seminar;
    * To design a course-related research project at the MSc level;
    * To make effective use of interactive electronic materials and related technology, including bibliographical software and databases.
    * To engage in active and productive group discussion.
Reading List
First Instalment (vols. 1-2), published 1 December 1747
Letters 1-93
1. Introduction to Sensibility: Clarissa and Her Readers
- Maxine Berg, "Men and Women of the Middling Classes: Acquisitiveness and Self-Respect," Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Oxford: Oxford UP, 119-46;
- John Mullan, "Sensibility and Literary Criticism," The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, ed. H. B. Nisbet and C. Rawson, vol. 4 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997) 419-33;
- James Grantham Turner, "Richardson and His Circle," in The Columbia History of the British Novel, ed. John Richetti (New York: Columbia UP, 1994) 73-101.


2. Courtship, Space, and the Sexual Politics of Property
- Florian Stuber, "On Fathers and Authority in Clarissa," SEL 25 (Summer 1985): 557-74;
- Christopher Hill, "Clarissa Harlowe and Her Times," Essays in Criticism 5 (1955): 315-40;
- Klein, Lawrence E. "Gender and the Public/Private Distinction in the Eighteenth Century," Eighteenth Century Studies 29 (1995): 97-109.

3. The Progress of the Novel: Sentiment and the Self
- John A. Dussinger, "Clarissa: The Curse of Intellect," in The Discourse of the Mind in Eighteenth-Century Fiction (The Hague: Mouton, 1974) 77-126.
- Paul Gordon Scott, "Disinterested Selves: Clarissa and the Tactics of Sentiment," ELH 64 (1997): 473-502.

Second Instalment (vols. 3-4), published 28 April 1748
Letters 94-231
4. Seduction and Romantic Love
- Nicholas Hudson, "Arts of Seduction and the Rhetoric of Clarissa," Modern Language Quarterly 51 (1990): 25-43.
- J. G. Turner, "Lovelace and the Paradoxes of Libertinism," in Margaret Anne Doody and Peter Sabor, eds., Samuel Richardson: Tercentenary Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989) 70-88.

5. Marriage, Prostitution, and the Law
- Dan Cruickshank, The Secret History of Georgian London, London: Random House, 2009. 56-77; 215-244.
- Mary Vermillion, "Clarissa and the Marriage Act," Eighteenth-Century Fiction 10 (1997): 395-412.

6. Rape and Medical Discourse: Clarissa's Nerves
- Robert A. Erickson, The Language of the Heart, 1600-1750, London: Pennsylvania UP, 1997. 185-228;
- George S. Rousseau, "Nerves, Spirits and Fibres: Towards Defining the Origins of Sensibility," Nervous Acts: Essays on Literature and Sensibility. London: Palgrave, 2004. 160-184.
- Antony Simpson, "The 'Blackmail Myth' and the Prosecution of Rape and its Attempt in the Eighteenth Century," The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 77 (1973): 105-50.

Third Instalment (vols. 5-8), published 6 December 1748
Letters 232-537
7. Visual Representations: Francis Hayman and the Tragic Set-Piece
- Lynn Shepherd, "Portraiture and Representation in Clarissa," Clarissa's Painter: Portraiture, Illustration, and Representation in the Novels of Samuel Richardson (Oxford: OUP, 2009) 112-174.

8. Sensibility, Society, and Male Friendship: Belford as Editor
- Adam Budd, "Why Clarissa Must Die: Richardson's Tragedy and Editorial Heroism," Eighteenth-Century Life 31 (Fall 2007): 1-28.

9. Religion and Representation
- Margaret Anne Doody, "Disguise and Personality in Richardson's Clarissa," Eighteenth-Century Life n.s. 12, no. 2 (1988): 18-39.
- John A. Dussinger,. "Conscience and the Pattern of Christian Perfection in Clarissa." PMLA, 81 (1966): 236-245.

10. Tragedy and the Material World
- Alan Wendt, "Clarissa's Coffin," Philological Quarterly 39 (1960): 481-95.
- John A. Dussinger, "Conscience and the Pattern of Christian Perfection in Clarissa," PMLA 81 (1966): 236-45.
- David Hensley, "Thomas Edwards and the Dialectics of Clarissa's Death Scene," Eighteenth-Century Life 16, no. 3 (1992): 130-52

11. Conclusions: Clarissa and Contemporary Print Culture
- Tom Keymer, "Clarissa's Death, Clarissa's Sale, and the Text of the Second Edition," Review of English Studies 45 (Aug. 1994): 389-96;
- Mark Kinkead-Weekes, "Clarissa Restored?" Review of English Studies 10 (1959): 156-71
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills In sum, students will demonstrate the following SCQF Level-11 academic skills:
- To provide ongoing and sustained critical analysis of a major and challenging work of eighteenth-century literature, relating this to contemporary social and cultural contexts;
- To locate, access, and evaluate primary eighteenth-century sources, clarifying their significance with direct relation to the main themes of this course (see Course Content, below);
- To generate, through consultation with the course director, a compelling topic for a 20-minute presentation, that refers both to a self-selected primary document and to the thematic concerns of the given weekly seminar;
- To design a course-related research project at the MSc level;
- To make effective use of interactive electronic materials and related technology, including bibliographical software and databases.
- To engage in active and productive group discussion.
KeywordsClarissa Cultural Sensibility Richardson's Clarissa
Contacts
Course organiserDr Adam Budd
Tel: (0131 6)51 3761
Email: adam.budd@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMrs Lindsay Scott
Tel: (0131 6)50 9948
Email: Lindsay.Scott@ed.ac.uk
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