Fall 2021 - ENGL 330 OL01

The Long Nineteenth Century (4)

What’s In A Name?

Class Number: 6660

Delivery Method: Distance Education


  • Course Times + Location:

    Location: TBA

  • Prerequisites:

    30 units or two 200 division English courses.



Study of literature and culture during the long nineteenth century (c. 1780 – 1920). Selected content may include a variety of forms and genres and may consider different cultural and geographical contexts within local, national, colonial, imperial, global, transnational, and /or planetary frameworks. This course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is taught.


The One and the Many in the Victorian Novel

Why do so many Victorian novels have individual names as their titles?  What were Victorian novelists trying to capture in these stories focussed on individuals?  And how do these individual characters relate to the larger social worlds of which they are a part?  In this course, we'll look at 4 novels from key moments in the nineteenth century in order to trace the development of Victorian theories of identity. We'll pay particular attention to how these novels draw on new models of psychology and offer new ways of thinking about a rapidly industrialising world and the changes that come in its wake.  We'll also consider our own continuing fascination with these novels and their numerous film and musical adaptations.

Topics will include:

  • the role of Doppelgängers, detectives and multiple narratives in the construction of Victorian identity
  • Victorian discourses of psychology, including physiognomy, phrenology, associationism and mesmerism
  • the relationship of outer physical signs to inner mental states and processes
  • the literature of "sensation"
  • empire and identity
  • notions of normality, pathology, insanity, will, self-control, addiction, heredity and degeneration in relation to issues of gender, class and race




Our course leaning goals:

  • develop an understanding of a range of nineteenth-century authors and genres
  • develop an understanding of the relationship between Victorian literature and the period’s historical and social contexts
  • learn to engage with Victorianist criticism and interdisciplinary ways of reading fiction to develop arguments in conversation with scholars
  • develop communication and analytical skills through responding to the course readings in writing
  • hone the ability to write cogent, persuasive essays



  • Reading Responses 20%
  • Discussion Posts 20%
  • Short Essay (1200-1500 words) 25%
  • Final Essay (2000-2500 words) 35%


Please note that this is an OL (online) course, not a remote one.
Please also note that there is NO exam for this course (it is an administrative error that it is listed above).



You will need to order all 4 novels for the course on your own. They have not been ordered from the SFU bookstore. Please order the editions I have listed here:

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre  (Oxford World Classics, ISBN: 978-0198804970)
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (Penguin Classics, ISBN: 978-0141439747)
M.E. Braddon, Lady Audley's Secret (Oxford World Classics, ISBN: 978-0199577033)
Robert Louis Stevenson, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Norton Critical Editions, ISBN: 978-0393679212)

These books can be orderd through a local bookstore (Pulp Fiction, Massy Books, Iron Dog Books) as well as the usual large chains (Amazon, Indigo). If possible, go local!

All other supplementary materials will be available on our Canvas website.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

IMPORTANT NOTE Re 300 and 400 level courses: 75% of spaces in 300 level English courses, and 100% of spaces in 400 level English courses, are reserved for declared English Major, Minor, Extended Minor, Joint Major, and Honours students only, until open enrollment begins.

For all On-Campus Courses, please note the following:
- To receive credit for the course, students must complete all requirements.
- Tutorials/Seminars WILL be held the first week of classes.
- When choosing your schedule, remember to check "Show lab/tutorial sections" to see all Lecture/Seminar/Tutorial times required.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.