ProfessorDr. Leeann Hunter
Office HoursAvery 475
(509) 335-2627
MW 2:15-3:15 or by appointment
Class MeetingsMWF 1:10-2:00 Sloan 233

Catalog Description

Exploration of the diverse themes, social contexts, and intellectual backgrounds of the novel and novel reading in Britain to 1900.

Course Description

Students will read novels by key writers of the Victorian period, including Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, and Thomas Hardy. These novels will introduce students to major historical and cultural themes in nineteenth-century England, including social protocols, industrialism, crime and sensation, women’s issues, and economic issues. The novels will be supplemented by historical and cultural texts that define the period. In practice, students will develop their methodological approach to literary study, by engaging in regular discussion and debate about the novels, producing close reading and interpretation of the literature, developing their knowledge of and access to cultural and historical contexts, and implementing more rigorous research methods.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

This course aims to meet several of the university’s Learning Goals of the Baccalaureate. Below are the specific learning goals that will be emphasized.

Critical and Creative Thinking

  • Integrate and synthesize knowledge from multiple sources.
  • Understand how one thinks, reasons, and makes value judgments, including ethical and aesthetical judgments.
  • Understand diverse viewpoints, including different philosophical and cultural perspectives.

Information Literacy

  • Access information effectively and efficiently from multiple sources.
  • Implement well-designed search strategies.
  • Determine the extent and type of information needed.


  • Recognize how circumstances, background, values, interests and needs shape communication sent and received.
  • Express concepts, propositions, and beliefs in coherent, concise and technically correct form.
  • Follow social norms for individual and small group interactions, which includes listening actively.

Inquiry in the Humanities

  • Introduce students to basic theories of interpretation or theoretical models in the humanities.
  • Introduce students to key texts, monuments, artifacts or episodes within humanistic traditions or disciplines.
  • Help students develop the ability to construct their own artistic, literary, philosophical, religious, linguistic, or historical interpretations according to the standards of a humanistic discipline.

Evidence of student progress toward learning goals will be assessed in the major projects assigned over the course of the semester.

Required Materials

  1. Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford (1853), Broadview Edition ISBN: 9781551115993 (Available in print, PDF, or ebook format)
  2. Charles Dickens, Hard Times (1854), Broadview Edition ISBN: 9781551110752 (Available in print, PDF, or ebook format)
  3. George Eliot (Marian Evans), Mill on the Floss (1860), Penguin Edition ISBN: 978-0141439624
  4. Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Lady Audley’s Secret (1862), Broadview Edition ISBN: 9781551113579 (Available in print, PDF, or ebook format)
  5. Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1892); Broadview Edition ISBN: 9780141439594 (Available in print, PDF, or ebook format)