Spring 2020

ENG-L 553, Studies in Literature: The Rhetoric of Love and Marriage in Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde

Course Dates: 1/13/2020 - 5/8/2020

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Course Description

In this course, we will examine the rhetorical strategies that Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde use to try and shape their culture through their literary work. Specifically, we will investigate how they use writing as a socio-political tool in an effort to resist their respective societies' norms about love and marriage. We will look at how Austen and Wilde use rhetorical strategies to develop their characters as well as their methods of persuasion and the power dynamics between their characters.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

Learning Materials

The Essential Guide to Rhetoric. William M. Keith, Christian O. Lundberg. Bedford/St. Martin's; First Edition (February 22, 2008). ISBN-13: 978-0312472399

Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction. Jonathan Culler. Oxford University Press, USA (June 15, 2000). ISBN-13: 978-0192853837

Northanger Abbey: A Longman Cultural Edition (Unabridged). Jane Austen. Pearson Education, Inc./Longman; 1st Longman edition (September 12, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0321202086

Persuasion (Norton Critical Editions). Jane Austen. W. W. Norton & Company (December 17, 1994). ISBN-13: 978-0393960181

Pride and Prejudice, A Longman Cultural Edition. Jane Austen. Longman (December 14, 2002). ISBN-13: 978-0321105073.

Oscar Wilde - The Major Works (Oxford World's Classics). Oscar Wilde. Oxford University Press, USA (June 15, 2008). ISBN-13: 978-0199540761

Students will also have access to various online resourses.


Weekly Reading Discussions responses: 40%
Paper proposals: 20%
Austen paper: 20%
Wilde paper: 20%