Section 1: Tuesday and Thursday 2:00-3:15 PM

Professor: Patrick Collier

The major building blocks of the world we now inhabit—modern nation-states, industrial capitalism, media culture, philosophies and political forms emphasizing individual liberty, and more—took shape during the last two hundred or so years. In these same years, Great Britain sought, gained, and fought to maintain its status as the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. Writers responded to and helped to fuel these changes; they imagined, applauded, recorded, advocated, and critiqued them. This semester, we will survey the contributions and responses of British literary writers and literary culture to modernity by reading, commenting on, and writing about a wide variety of texts from the past two-and-a-quarter centuries. The class will give you strategies for reading and analyzing texts in historical context and lots of practice in doing so.  In the process you will be developing your critical thinking and oral and written communication skills.