Architecture & Design in Victorian Literature

Unit I: A Personal History of the Home

In this unit, we will write creative nonfiction essays on memories of home. You will draw upon a memory from one of your childhood homes that captures the essence of your identity. Detail the structure of the space, as well as the design, feel, and smell. How does one aspect of your identity emerge from that space? The purpose of this project is for you to reflect firsthand on relationships between space and identity, so that you can identify these qualities in the literature and art we examine.

Jan 14 Introduction
F Introduction

William Holman Hunt, The Awakening Conscience (1853)

Augustus Leopold Egg, Past and Present, No. 1 (1858)

Jan 17-21 Introduction
M Holiday – No class meeting
W Identify your home for the next fifteen weeks. Notice how you have made your imprint on that space. Take a photo and post it on T-Square Forums. Prepare a mini one-minute presentation on your space as a reflection of your identity.
F Introduce Unit 1 projectIn-class writing
Additional Reading
  • Mezei, Kathy, and Chiara Briganti. “Reading the House: A Literary Perspective. Signs 27.3 (Spring 2002): 837-46.
  • WOVENText 21: Exploring, Planning, and Drafting
Jan 24-28 Memories of Home
M Read: Gaston Bachelard, Ch. 1: “The House. From Cellar to Garret. The Significance of the Hut,” The Poetics of Space, 1958.
W Due on T-Square Forum 6am: Submit first draft of your essay.Discuss strategies for performing effective peer reviews.
F Due on T-Square Forum 6am: Complete peer reviews.Discuss strategies for revision.
Additional Reading §  Walter Pater, “The Child in the House” (1878)
Resources §  WOVENText 25: Reviewing, Revising, and Editing
Jan 31-Feb 4 Charles Dickens
M Read: Bachelard, The Poetics of Space, Ch. 4: “Nests,” 90-104.
W Due on T-Square Blog 6am: Submit revised essay for a grade.
F Reading DickensRead: Book 1, Ch 1-5, Charles Dickens, Hard Times (1851)

Unit II: A Social History of Domestic Architecture

In this unit, groups of experts will conduct research on one aspect of social history pertaining to Dickens’s Hard Times. These historical contexts are designed to guide readers in their understanding of the social issues that mediate relationships in the novel. The final project for this unit will be an electronic poster, in which you will use Prezi to symbolically map out a home presented in Hard Times. From there, you will embed an essay that details the identities and social relationships of the characters who inhabit or visit that space.

Feb 7-11 Design Reform
M Morality & Ethics: Design Reform Read: Henry Morley, “A House Full of Horrors” (1852)Read: Charles Eastlake, Ch. 4: “The Floor and the Wall,” Hints on Household Taste (1868)
W Introduce Unit 2 project Read: Book 1, Ch. 6-9, Hard Times
F Optional Meeting – Details TBD
Additional Reading §  Yasuko, Suga. “Designing the Morality of Consumption: ‘Chamber of Horrors’ at the Museum of Ornamental Art, 1852-53.” Design Issues 20.4 (Autumn 2004): 43-56.§  “Design Reform,” Victoria and Albert Museum§  John Ruskin, “The Lamp of Truth,” The Seven Lamps of Architecture (1849)
Resources §  Prezi Tutorials
Feb 14-18 Disciplinary Space
M No class – Read Hard Times and comment in the Chat Room
W Read: Book 1, Ch. 10-16, Hard TimesDiscuss ideas for Project 2 and experiment with Prezi
F Education & Knowledge: The SchoolhouseRead: Ch. 12: “Paul’s Education,” from Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son (1848)Skim: Ch. 3: “Drawers, Chests, and Wardrobes” (74-89) from Poetics of Space 

Georgia Tech Progress Report Deadline: Midterm Grades Submitted

Additional Reading §  Foucault, Michel. “Panopticism.”  Discipline and Punish.§  Sonstroem, David. “Fettered Fancy in Hard Times. PMLA 84.3 (May 1969): 520-29.
Feb 21-25 Factories and the Working Class
M Science & Technology: The FactoryRead: Ch. 8 from Frances Trollope, Michael Armstrong (1840)Read: Ruskin, John. “The Nature of the Gothic.” The Stones of Venice (1851). 1-14 (online)
W Due on T-Square Blog 6am: Select an architectural space in Hard Times and list the characters you have thus far witnessed in this space and what social issues are emerging.
F Read: Book 2, Ch 1-6, Hard Times
Additional Reading §  Fielding, K. J., and Anne Smith. “Hard Times and the Factory Controversy: Dickens vs. Harriet Martineau.” Nineteenth-Century Fiction 24.4 (March 1970): 404-27.§  Gaskell, Peter. “Domestic Manufactures.” Artisans and Machinery. 1836.
Feb 28-Mar 4 Poor Laws and the Workhouse
M Labor & Society: The WorkhouseRead: Charles Dickens, “A Walk in the Workhouse” (1850)Read: Ch. 2 from Dickens, Oliver Twist (1838)
W Read: Book 2, Ch 7-12, Hard Times
F Due on T-Square Forum 6am: Submit first draft of electronic poster.Away at conference – No Class MeetingLast day to drop with a “W”
Additional Reading §  Higginbotham, Peter. The Workhouse§  Stokes, Peter. “Bentham, Dickens, and the Uses of the Workhouse.” Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 41.4 (Autumn 2001): 711-27.
Mar 7-11 Poster Revisions
M Due on T-Square Forum 6am: Complete peer reviews of posters.
W Read: Book 3, Ch 1-9, Hard Times (End)
F Optional Conferences – No Class Meeting

Mar 14-18 Poster Presentations
M Due on T-Square Assignments 6am: Submit poster for a gradeElectronic Poster Presentations
W Electronic Poster Presentations
F Begin reading Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret (1862)No Class Meeting
Mar 21-25 Spring Break
MWF Spring Break – Continue reading Lady Audley’s Secret

Unit 3: Secrets of the Home

Throughout the century, Victorians became increasingly invested in privacy. Servants were separated from the rest of the family, wives from husbands, children from mothers. Within these small, segmented rooms of the Victorian home, the individual was born. And this individual had secrets, secret identities, secret histories, secret vices. The Victorian sensation novel builds and unlocks the secrets of its characters, tucking them away in desks, boudoirs, and attics. In this unit we will observe how and why secrets are contained and released in nineteenth-century literature. For your final project, you will dissect the architecture of a secret and design a new community of space where secrets are released.

Mar 28-Apr 1 Country Estates
M Land & Property: The Country EstateRead: William Gilpin, “On Picturesque Beauty” (1794)Read: Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Book 1, Aurora Leigh (1859)
W Introduce Project 3
F Read: Lady Audley’s Secret, Vol 1
§  Langland, Elizabeth. “Enclosure Acts: Framing Women’s Bodies in Braddon’s Lady Audley’s Secret.” Beyond Sensation: Mary Elizabeth Braddon in Context. Ed. Marlene Tromp, et al. Suny P, 2000.
Apr 4-8 The Haunted House
M Beliefs & Superstitions: The Haunted HouseRead: Sheridan Le Fanu, “Strange Disturbances on Aungier Street”Read: Freud, “The Uncanny”
W Due on T-Square Forum 6am: Submit first draft.
F Lady Audley’s Secret, Vol 2
Additional Reading §  Smajic, Srdjan. “The Trouble with Ghost-Seeing: Vision, Ideology, and Genre in the Victorian Ghost Story.” ELH 70. 4 (Winter 2003): 1107-35.
Apr 11-15 Gendered Spaces
M Gender & Madness: Community SpacesRead: Mary Gillies, “Associated Homes for the Middle Classes.” Howitt’s. 1847.Read: TBA
W Due on T-Square Forum 6am: Submit peer review.
F Lady Audley’s Secret, Vol 3
Additional Reading §  Vicinus, Martha. “‘Helpless and Unfriended’: Nineteenth-Century Domestic Melodrama.” New Literary History 13.1 (Autumn 1981): 127-43.§  Easley, Alexis. “Rooms of the Past: Victorian Women Writers, History, and the Reconstruction of Domestic Space.” Clio’s Daughters: British Women Making History, 1790-1899. 235-57. (Preview on GoogleBooks)
Apr 18-22 Family Secrets
M Families & Servants: The ManorRead: Elizabeth Gaskell, “The Old Nurse’s Story,” Victorian Ghost StoriesRead: TBA 

W Optional conferences – no class meeting
F Due on T-Square Assignments 6am: Submit final draft.
§  McCuskey, Brian W. “The Kitchen Police: Servant Surveillance and Middle-Class Transgression.” Victorian Literature and Culture 28. 2 (2000): 359-75.§  Davidoff, Leonore. “Class and Gender in Victorian England: The Diaries of Arthur J. Munby and Hannah Cullwick.” Feminist Studies 5.1 (Spring 1979): 86-141.
Apr 25-29 Review Week
M Complete teaching evaluations in class
W Workshop Portfolios
F Optional Conferences – No Class Meeting
May 4 Final Reflection
W Due on T-Square Assignments 6am: WOVEN Portfolio

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