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Race in Romantic Reformist Fiction: A Course Syllabus

A. A. Markley, Penn State University Brandywine


Week 1: The Story of Oroonoko

Aphra Behn, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave (1688)

selections from Thomas Southerne's Oroonoko (1695)

Week 2: Slavery, the Slave Trade, and the Abolition Movement

Selections from the Mansfield Judgment, Cugoano, Wilberforce, Clarkson, et al.

Thomas Day and John Bicknell, "The Dying Negro" (1773)

William Cowper, "The Negro's Complaint" (1778) and "Pity for Poor Africans" (1788)

Hannah More, "Slavery: A Poem" (1788) and "The Sorrows of Yamba, or the Negro Woman's Lamentation" (1795)

William Blake, "The Little Black Boy" (1789)

Anna Laetitia Barbauld, "Epistle to William Wilberforce, Esq. on the Rejection of the Bill for Abolishing the Slave Trade" (1792)

Robert Southey, "The Sailor Who Had Served in the Slave-Trade" (1798)

Mary Robinson, "The African" (1798) and "The Negro Girl" (1800)

Week 3: Slaves' Lives and Narratives I

selections from Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789)

Mary Prince, The History of Mary Prince (1831)

Week 4: Slaves' Lives and Narratives II

William Earle, Jr., Obi; or, the History of Three-Fingered Jack (1800)

selections from James Fawcett, Obi [pantomime] (1800)

selections from William Murray, Obi [melodrama] (c. 1820s)

Weeks 5-6: The African in England

Anna Maria Mackenzie, Slavery, or, The Times (1792), Letters 1-4 & 14

or Amelia Opie, Adeline Mowbray (1804)

Weeks 7-8: The Creole Stereotype

Richard Cumberland, The West Indian (1771)

Charlotte Smith, "The Story of Henrietta" (1800)

or John Thelwall, The Daughter of Adoption (1801), vol. I, bk. iii, chapters 1-3 & vol. II, bk. iv, chapter 1

Week 9: Ameliorative Treatments of Slavery

Maria Edgeworth, "The Grateful Negro" (1804)

Thomas Holcroft, Memoirs of Bryan Perdue (1805), vol. III, chapters 24-32

Weeks 10-11: The Jew in England

Richard Cumberland, The Jew (1794)

George Walker, Theodore Cyphon; or The Benevolent Jew (1796), vol. I, Chapters 1-6

Week 12-13: Africans and Jews in Maria Edgeworth's Belinda (1801)

Week 14: Edgeworth's Change of Heart in Harrington (1817)

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Published @ RC

August 2008