This course examines a period (1680-1750) when a remarkable range of world models were elaborated and debated-in religion, politics, and philosophy. Spurred in part by the rise of skepticism, atheism, and the tribalization of culture, these debates helped shape literary invention in the period and infused it with a utopian sense of possibility. We will study some of the world-makers in philosophy and theology and examine their influence on some canonical (Swift, Pope, Defoe) and less canonical writers (Cavendish, Lennox, Blackmore). Along the way, we will try out some tools to assist our thinking about these materials, from critiques of modernization narratives to the ontological turn and the hermeneutics of hope (Rita Felski, Dipesh Chakrabarty, Ernst Bloch, Eduardo Kohn).
Section 01Seminar: The Eighteenth Century
INSTRUCTOR: SchmidgenView Course Listing