Commentaries on Prospectus etc

Dear All, I will have some comments on your prospectus proposals for final research/papers going out soon — MyHollins is down this weekend and I am not able to access Blackboard email to distribute them.  The additional Zunshine reading for TU is  available at Blackboard.  If you have trouble accessing Blackboard before TU, you can find a link to a PDF copy of the file through the online library resources (search for Zunshine, Lisa. “Theory of Mind and Experimental Representations of Fictional Consciousness.”  Narrative 2003 (11.3)This link may work as well .YOU WILL NEED YOUR ID  NUMBER FOR ACCESS OFF CAMPUS JB 

Published in: on November 24, 2007 at 5:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wolstonecraft’s Vindication of the Rights of Men

Vindication of the Rights of Men

Published in: on November 13, 2007 at 12:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Powerpoint 11/5&6: Revolution, Terror, Gothic Sublime

Powerpoint pres for 11/5 & 6 here:


Published in: on November 6, 2007 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

TLS Review of History of Coffeehouses

Further down this article is a nicely concise overview of 18th-century coffehouses

Times (UK) Entertainment Supplement

Published in: on November 6, 2007 at 2:15 am  Leave a Comment  

undergrad submissions

Dear all,

I thought the following email request for submissions may be of interest to some…

>>>Dear Hollins University Department Chairs,

?Six years ago, a group of undergraduates at Connecticut College founded
Expose, a journal of interdisciplinary inquiry. Expose is published twice
annually and features outstanding critical and academic work by
undergraduates. To date, twelve issues of Expose have been published. Each
issue addresses a different theme; and each contains a contribution from the
faculty addressing this theme. Expose has an ISSN number and is now
recognized in the library of congress.
In the past, Expose accepted submissions only from Connecticut College
students, but in 2006 the editors decided to review submissions from
undergraduates at other universities. The theme of our most recent issue
was ³Damnation;² we were thrilled with the number of submissions from
outside schools and ultimately published two: ³Ralph Ellison in Purgatory²
by Katherine Diedrick of Grinnell College and ³ŒWhat Matter Where?¹: Epic
Geography and the Defense of Hell in Milton¹s Paradise Lost² by Justin
Tackett of the University of Pennsylvania. The issue also featured work by
Roger Brooks, the Dean of the Faculty at Connecticut College.
In continuation of the overwhelming success of last semester, we are once
again seeking submissions from your institution. The theme of our upcoming
issue is REVOLUTION. We encourage students to submit an academic paper,
written for an undergraduate course, that addresses this subject matter in
anyway way.?
You may visit our website ( for more information
about the journal. And please, feel free to contact us. Our e-mail is
We ask that students submit their work by November 1, 2007.
?Expose is one of only a few journals that publish serious academic work by
undergraduates. We hope you will encourage your students to submit to the
journal. And please, if you would, forward this e-mail to them. If you or
your students have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Also, we would appreciate it if you would pass this e-mail along to other
professors so that they may forward it to their students

Thank you very much.


Taylor Sperry

Connecticut College
270 Mohegan Avenue
New London, CT 06320

Published in: on October 18, 2007 at 3:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Powerpoint images for opening on Defoe


Published in: on October 9, 2007 at 1:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Powerpoint/lecture: unit 2

Copy of the powerpoint for unit 2 available for download here:


Published in: on September 26, 2007 at 2:42 pm  Comments (1)  

Copy of Syllabus below and at links bar at right; new course schedule at links at right

Published in: on June 24, 2007 at 8:42 pm  Leave a Comment  


English 334: The Atlantic Eighteenth Century, FALL 2007
T/TR 8.50-10.20
Professor Jen Boyle
Email (best way to reach me);
Phone: 362-6433 (the only phone number that should be used to contact me by phone)
Office: Swannanoa Hall 203

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko (Norton Critical Editions, 1997) [0393970140] –(THIS EDITION ONLY)

Oladauh Equiano, The Interesting Narrative in the Life of Olaudah Equiano (Norton Critical Editions, 2000) [0393974944] –(THIS EDITION ONLY)

Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (Norton Critical Editions, 1994) [0393964523] –( THIS EDITION ONLY)

Mary Wolstonecraft and Mary Shelley, Mary; Maria; Matilda (Penguin Classics, 1993) [0140433716]

Charles Brockden Brown, Arthur Mervyn (Aegypan, March 1, 2007) [1603121056]

J.M. Coetzee, Foe: A Novel (Penguin (Non-Classics); Reprint edition (January 5, 1988) [014009623X]

Texts available as copies or on reserve:

Edward Said, excerpts (TBA)

Biyi Bandele-Thomas, Aphra Behn’s Oroonoko, an Adaptation (RSC, 1999)

Jacques Derrida, “The Animal that Therefore I Am (More to Follow)”

Bunyan, John, The Pilgrim’s Progress” (excerpts)

Poetry by

Course Web Site: is actually a blog site. All information you need for this course is available at this blog address: (Please record this address in a convenient and accessible location!! Not only does it contain important information about the course, it will also serve as a kind of journal space where I (an members of the course, if they so choose) will record my responses to texts, discussions, and questions as we proceed)

This course will explore the circulation of ideas, forms, material, identities, and texts through trans-Atlantic literary, autobiographical, visual, performative, and philosophical texts. The “Atlantic” focus for the course invokes the importance of the spatial and temporal locales of the Atlantic region in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (be sure to look at the “ATLANTIC” map provided in class and at our course site prior to or on the first day of class!!). The title also calls forth the literal and conceptual significance of space and material form to meaning making, nationally, historically, aesthetically, and ethically. This is an interdisciplinary course: clear separations between historical, affective, literary, and scientific-philosophical articulations from and about the eighteenth century will be suspended in the interest of an expansive and creative approach to the period. Or, to put it a different way, we will experiment with the heretical practice of re-making our own institutional and disciplinary power as we go forth. The production and reproduction of internal and external space serves as a guide for the course. My fervent hope is that a conscious engagement with the spaces that we write and inhabit will inform other possibilities for terroir (Not what you may think. Look it up). Ideally, there will be an interactive and performative aspect to such reflection, which I will talk more about as we go on).

I am a crank about the “new” (though I have used the term myself, and am well-informed and experienced in the devices of the new). My approach to the historical aspects of this course assumes neither the fixity of some original experience or meaning lost in time, nor the blind relativism of a present that insists that the past exists only as an anticipation of the present. That said, I am fairly convinced at this point that we have plunged ourselves into more than a few messes via our WalMartification of life, the features of which all betray a connection to “presentism”:
1) Things that tantalize us and make us feel more comfortable right where we stand are better than things that push us into thoughts, texts, spaces, actions, and feelings that challenge us.
2) Prices, objects, bodies, and identities are falling and climbing at such a rate, better to decide quickly and think later.
3) A clean and well-lit place (body or mind) is all the geography and history you ever need to know.
4) Right now, right here is the very best of all possible worlds.
5) Where is Haiti, anyway? (beyond the label on your Gap t-shirt)

The above correspond to some challenges and reminders I will issue throughout the course:

1) “Liking” a text right off is not nearly as important as learning how to think alongside it long enough to make an informed decision about how it came to be and what makes it live. Be patient with the ‘distant neighbors’ you will be moving in with for the next few months.
2) Be patient and learn to tangle your thoughts. Good versus Bad; Religion versus Society; Colonialists versus Poor-Oppressed Others; Women versus the Patriarchy; Capitalists versus the Rest of the Edenic World; and so on, are all oppositions that may have some valence along the way, and perfectly appropriate for the U.S. news media and the World Wrestling Federation, but are not terribly interesting as approaches to the complexities and possibilities of the texts and spaces we will encounter. Please resist them as places to come to rest. Please don’t use them as the basis for an essay (oh, please).
3) You’d be amazed at what a little transversal thinking can do for a jaded age. But being transversal requires movement and movement requires some sense of a place other than where you are. Look around; look to the side; read the secondary material and pay attention to the maps.
4) We’re here to imagine many other pasts and many other futures.
5) Did I mention the maps and the secondary material?


Assignments (extensive preparation/workshops will be provided re: why we write, and why we should learn what a critique is and how to write critically; how to imagine an audience; how to put on a tire (or, how to format an essay based on style guidelines); how to do research and what an archive is; how to engage others in your writing and to listen to them when they engage you back).

Essay one = 15%
Essay two = 20%
Mid-term exam = 20%
Reading logs = 15%
Final Essay Project (including presentation) = 30%

Attendance: I cannot emphasize enough how important regular attendance is to the success of the course. One of the advantages to attending a funky, creative liberal arts university is that is that you can interact in environments conducive to humanities-based learning. Thus, I expect to see you throughout the term and look forward to what you will bring to the conversation. One of the disadvantages to attending a funky, creative liberal arts university is that I know who everyone is and where they usually sit. If you have an event or circumstance that necessitates your absence, I expect you to notify me in advance. After three absences I drop you a whole letter grade. Medical and University absences require documentation and consultation.

Accommodations: Accommodations for any reason must be worked out with the appropriate offices on campus. You should also consult with me in advance so I can work with you.

Plagiarism: We have an honor code at Hollins that requires you to go before an honor court and risk failing and expulsion if you cheat or undermine (imagine how horrific this would be; it’s like a scene out of The Crucible!!! To be avoided at all costs, for sure). Before I will accept any paper you write, I ask you to fill out a sheet where you confirm in writing that no part of your paper was taken from or written by another party. Now that we have the legalese out of the way, let me say that I think we have to be clearly educated about what counts as legitimate intellectual labor in any given context (individual, collaborative, and so forth). We will talk about as much and make sure that everyone is clear on what is expected for each assignment. (NB: I may not like the “new,” but I am pretty polished when it comes to using our e-universe along with my own experience as a professor to determine who is going Enron on me).

I have things to say in separate documents about the following:

How I approach and grade your writing; individual units and organization of the course; and presentations and discussion.


Published in: on May 17, 2007 at 12:48 am  Leave a Comment