Laura E. K. Von Wallmenich, Ph.D.
Recent Courses Taught
Transatlantic 18th Century. ENG 360.
Students must use editions specified here.
Charles Brockden Brown, Ormond (Hackett)
Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (Norton Critical)
William Hogarth, Engravings (Dover)
Scott McMillin, Ed. Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Comedy (Norton Critical, second edition)
Samuel Richardson, Clarissa. Abridged. Ed. Sheila Ortiz-Taylor (Signet)
Royall Tyler, The Contrast Ed. Cynthia Kierner (NYU Press)
Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication on the Rights of Women. Ed. Janet Todd (Oxford)
This course examines the importance of seduction plots to the rise of the British novel and considers how these tales use sexual virtue, sexual corruption, and libertinism to respond to ideas of liberty, nature, and freedom that were part of the politics of the Age of Reason. Beginning with the plays from the Restoration stage, we will examine how issues of class and empire are mapped onto the figures of the rake, the coquette, and the virtuous victims of these agents of sexual corruption. Moreover, we will examine how these ideas circulated across the Atlantic, and especially how they influenced literary productions in the post-Revolutionary United States. Throughout the course, we will consider the intersections between sexuality, gender, marriage, property, morality, and ‘Enlightened’ politics.