Spring 2021 - ENGL 206 D100

Nineteenth Century Literatures in English (3)

Class Number: 4152

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 21, 2021
    11:59 PM – 11:59 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    Two 100 division English courses.



The study of nineteenth century North American, British, and/or Post-colonial literatures. May include some writing from North America. Breadth-Humanities.


Transatlantic Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century

The final stanza of Sarah Piatt’s poem, “The Palace-Burner,” opens by asking, “Would I burn palaces?” This poem, which represents a conversation between mother and son about the picture of a female revolutionary in a newspaper, expresses both admiration for and aversion to “this fierce creature of the Commune,” and, by turning this question on herself, its speaker scrutinizes her own destructive impulses.

The ambivalence of “The Palace-Burner” is born out of and responds to a prolonged period of social and political upheaval known as “the Age of Revolution.” During the end of the eighteenth century and first half of the nineteenth century, a series of revolutions rocked Europe and the Americas, overthrowing governments that had seemed unshakeable and spurring debates about race, gender, and religion. How nineteenth-century writers conceived of their national and individual identities within this period and after, and especially how they used these conceptions to position themselves within narratives of progress, modernity, and empire, will frame the discussion for this course, which will survey fiction, non-fiction prose, and poetry from 1790 to 1900, with careful attention to the historical, political, and philosophical events, debates, and movements that surrounded them.

This course will be delivered through a mix of synchronous and asynchronous modes. Each week, I’ll provide a few short, asynchronous lectures that give historical context and outline key concepts. The synchronous component of the course will consist of an hour of lecture as well as your tutorials, both of which will be held at their scheduled times.


  • Tutorial Attendance and Participation 10%
  • Short Essay (750-900 words) 20%
  • Comparative Essay (1200-1500 words) 30%
  • Take-Home Final Exam 30%
  • Discussion Board Posts 10%



Both of the required books should be readily available as print and digital texts. I strongly recommend acquiring print copies, but it is not mandatory. All other readings will be provided via the Canvas website.

I will not be ordering books via the bookstore this semester. While you are welcome to use any edition of Persuasion and Tess of the D'Urbervilles that you have handy, I recommend the Broadview editions for their excellent introductions and contextual material. You can order print or e-book versions of Persuasion and Tess of the D'Urbervilles from the Broadview Press website.


Persuasion, Jane Austen
ISBN: 9781551111315

Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
ISBN: 9781551117515

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 spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).