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9082 Haley Center
(334) 844-9091

Current Courses

There are no current courses.

Upcoming Courses

Graduate Courses

ENGL 7800 - Feminist Contributions to the Rise of Mass Popular Culture


This seminar employs brief introductions to theories in the fields of performance studies and popular culture theory to study contributions made by women writers and actresses to the creation of mass popular culture. We will work with two times and examples. In each, creators broke with accepted and admired literary and dramatic practices in times of national, social crises. Each has resonances with our own time and offers opportunities for literary genre studies. The first uses the early career shapes of Anne Finch and Eliza Haywood to trace the path to attaining the status of mass popular culture (1720-1750). Among these are subversive art, marketing, and especially branding. The second is built on methodologies from the first and intersects with the abolition movement in the 1780s and 90s. In many ways, literary writing was a popular sport. For example, playwrights had set a standard for comedy and all ambitious poets had to write competitive sonnets. The seminar examples in late century come from, first, the performances of a delightful, comic actress who began bringing humanity and pathos to characters performed as a Black woman or servant boy. Second, in the same years, the most established and “classical”women poets turned their fame and skill to producing propaganda poems for the cause.

Representative readings: The British Recluse, The Mercenary Lover, The Rash Resolve, The Critic and the Writer of Fables, An Epilogue to the Tragedy of Jane Shore, Inkle and Yarico, Sappho and Phaon, The Black Man’s Lament or, How to Make Sugar, Plymouth in an Uproar, The Negro Girl, and The Surrender of Trinidad.

The seminar is primarily discussion. Members will write and present a contextual report, a short paper on two works by the same actress or writer, and an incrementally developed final paper on a theme of their choice in the seminar. It will satisfy the theory requirement; it may also be used to satisfy one of the following requirements: Diversity; Pre-1800; Genre. 

Previous Courses

Graduate Courses

British Literature

ENGL 7170 - Performance and the Making of the Modern World (Spring 2012)

ENGL 7870 - Writers: Their World and Their Performances of "Writer" (Spring 2009)

ENGL 7170 - British Literature 1660-1800 (Spring 2006)

ENGL 7670 - The Novel and Narrative Theory

ENGL 7670 - The Eighteenth-Century English Novel (Spring 2008)


ENGL 7800 - The Work of Feminist Critics (Fall 2020)

ENGL7790 - Literary Theory: Issues & Approaches (Spring 2016)

ENGL 7800 - Feminist Approaches to Literature (Fall 2012)

ENGL 7740 - Feminist Approaches to Eighteenth-Century Literature (Spring 2005)

Critical Theory

ENGL7790 - Literary Theory: Issues and Approaches: Interventions (Fall 2021)

ENGL 7800 - Introduction to Cultural Studies (Spring 2020)

ENGL 7580 - Studies in Genre (Contested Genres) (Fall 2018)

ENGL 7780 - Studies in Race, Gender, and Sexualities (Fall 2017)

ENGL 7800 - Introduction to Cultural Studies (Spring 2015)

ENGL 7780 - Studies in Race, Gender, and Sexuality (Spring 2014)

ENGL 7800 - Introduction to Cultural Studies (Spring 2011)

Undergraduate Courses

British Literature

ENGL 4320 - Sampling the Eighteenth Century (Spring 2019)

ENGL 4330 - The Age of Revolution (Fall 2017)

ENGL 4320 - Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature (Fall 2015)

ENGL 4320 - Restoration and Eighteenth Century Literature (Spring 2014)

ENGL 4370 - Restoration and Early Eighteenth-Century British Literature (Spring 2009)

ENGL 0464 - The Age of Johnson, 1745-1798 (Spring 2000)

ENGL 4380 - The Late Eighteenth Century (Spring 2005)


ENGL 3750 - Topics in Cultural Studies: "What Does Culture Make/Let Us Do?"

ENGL 4540 and THEA 4950 - Performance Studies (Spring 2017)

ENGL 4540 and THEA 4950 - Performance Studies (Spring 2015)

ENGL 4710 - Topics in Gender and Literature: Romance (Spring 2013)

ENGL 4320 - Conflict, Conquest and Rise of Popular Culture (Spring 2012)

ENGL 4800 - Senior Seminar (Spring 2011)

ENGL 4710 - Popular Genres: The Romance (Spring 2010)

ENGL 3190 - Studies in Children's Literature (Spring 2006)