New Course: Oscar Wilde's World

New Course for Fall 2014. Oscar Wilde's World. 2 credits, offered the first half of the semester, meeting MW 4-5:30

This 2-credit course focuses on the works of the great Irish poet, playwright, novelist, and wit, Oscar Wilde. Wilde not only challenged many deeply held conventions of his time, especially with regards to gender and sexuality, he also remains one of the most popular and relevant authors of the nineteenth century today. We will consider Oscar Wilde’s work as a reflection of late Victorian decadence, but also as the threshold to the new era of  modernism. Readings will include Wilde’s poetry and stories, but particular emphasis will be given to Wilde’s period of greatest fame, the 1890s, from his scandalous novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, to his highly successful Society Comedies for St. James’s Theater, including Lady Windermere’s Fan and The Importance of Being Earnest. We will also consider the tragic trials of Wilde for “gross indecency” and Wilde’s letters and works from prison. Since Wilde openly challenged the conventional gender roles and stereotypes of his time, our theoretical approach to Wilde’s life and literature will be informed by readings is gender and sexuality theory and criticism.

Posted by Alex Bove ( on Apr 17, 2014 at 6:16 PM

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