ENGL 567 A1: NeoVictorianism

E. Kent

This course investigates the curious rise of neo-Victorian culture in the twenty-first century. From the BBC's Sherlock television series to novels like Sarah Waters' Tipping the Velvet and our relentless fascination with vampires, an increasing number of media-from fiction to television to video games-have turned to Victorian culture in order to negotiate contemporary issues surrounding gender, technology, imperialism, sexuality, capitalism, and race. Where once postmodernism was considered the dominant aesthetic response to the disaggregation of society under the pressures of late-twentieth century capitalism, this course explores the potential of the neo-Victorian form for ideology critique in the present. This course will introduce students to the field of neo-Victorian studies, and its major cultural and political coordinates. As we consider a range of neo-Victorian cultural objects, we will also work with theories of adaptation, of remediation, of cultural appropriation, of postcolonialism, and of narrative form.

Primary Material (preliminary)

BBC Sherlock (Moffat, Gatiss, and Thompson, 2010-2017)

Sherlock Holmes (dir. Guy Ritchie, 2009)

Wuthering Heights (dir. Andrea Arnold, 2011)

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill, 1999)

Sea of Poppies (Amitav Ghosh, 2008)

Perdido Street Station (China Miéville, 2000)

Tipping the Velvet (Sarah Waters, 1998)

Victorian Slum House (PBS 2017)

Becoming Jane Eyre (Sheila Kohler, 2009)

Texts From Jane Eyre (Mallory Ortberg, 2014)

Hark, A Vagrant! (Kate Beaton, 2011-2017)

A Humument (Tom Phillips, 1966-2012)