skip to content
  • Calendar
  • Maps

Victorian Literature & Culture



This reading and oral report schedule is meant to be suggestive, not prescriptive, chronological, or inclusive. In the event we find that we need to spend more time on a text/section than originally allocated (or allow more time for oral reports), we can adjust our syllabus accordingly. You should also know that one of the signs of a good class discussion is that we will not have time to address all the reading that has been assigned for a certain day. Let's proceed with the understanding that this class, like life, is a set of contingencies. Formally, the class will proceed through discussion, group workshops, and occasional lecturing. Commonly, I will announce at the end of each class the assignment for the next session.

Please consult our text for the pagination of our readings and read the headnotes in advance. Take a plunge when you sign up for your oral reports!


Week 1–3 General Introduction: Victorian Cluster I, The Condition of England
Week 4–6 Cluster II: Caught Between Two Worlds--Culture and the Crisis of Faith
  • Alfred, Lord Tennyson
    • The Medieval Revival ________________________
  • Robert Browning
    • Victorian Caricature ________________________
  • Fra Lippo Lippi – Discussion Questions
  • Matthew Arnold
    • The Oxford Movement ________________________

*** Week 4, Notebook (1) due ***

Week 7–8 Cluster III: The Challenge of Evolution
  • Charles Darwin, and Darwin online (selections)
  • The Gender of Evolution ________________________
  • "Religion and Science"
    • Contemporary Responses ________________________

*** Week 8, Notebook (2) due***

Week 9–12 Cluster IV: The Construction of Victorian Womanhood
  • Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake - Focus Questions (TBP)
  • Namesake I ______________________
  • Namesake II _____________________________
  • Of Topical Interest:
    • "Victorian Ladies and Gentlemen"
      • VWM ____________________________________
    • Victorian Women's Legal Status
    • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
      • Preraphaelites __________________________________
    • John Stuart Mill
      • Victorian Art __________________________________
    • Suggested Reading: John Ruskin

*** Week 12, Notebook (3) due ***

Week 13–14 Cluster V: Popular Short Fiction
  • Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (film, time permitting), Rudyard Kipling
  • Economics of Publishing _________________________
  • Victorian Soundscapes _________________________
Week 15–16 The Usual Suspects, or, the Artificial Roundup
  • G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who was Thursday
    • TBA _________________________
  • Oscar Wilde
    • Aestheticism & Decadence _____________________________
  • Final Exam Review
  • Final Exam

*** Final essay due, Monday, 29 November 2010 (post-Turkey) ***

Concluding Note


The only dumb question is the one you don't ask. My door is always open, and if it is not open, please knock; I will answer if I am there. Please don't hesitate to stop by.

Let's Connect!

mwutz@weber.eduPhone  801-626-7011
Skype  michaelwutz007

LebenslaufCurriculum Vitae
Weber – The Contemporary West
Follow Me On Facebook Follow Me On Twitter

Mailing Address


Michael Wutz, Brady Presidential Distinguished Professor
Editor, Weber - The Contemporary West
Department of English, 1404 University Circle
Weber State University
Ogden, UT 84404-1404 USA