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ENG222 - Seventeenth-Century Literature: Animal and Political Lives


Subject code


Course Number




M. Wright

Course Long Title

Seventeenth-Century Literature: Animal and Political Lives


This survey of seventeenth-century British writing conceives of human activities as natural, animal phenomena. Students compare the early moderns’ growing interest in natural history with their efforts to describe human society, becoming familiar with the major events of the century: the ascension of James and the plot against his life, the voyages of British people to a “new world,” the English Civil Wars and establishment of a protectorate under Oliver Cromwell, the Restoration of the monarchy, the Great Plague and Great Fire of the 1660s, and the Glorious Revolution of 1688. They trace the evolution of scientific thought from Francis Bacon to Isaac Newton. How was the world made? Does our species have dominion over all others? What happens to our souls and bodies after death? And how should people be governed? These questions blur the line between the animal and the political. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit

No writing credit

Departmental Course Attributes - Major/Minor Requirements

(English: Pre-1800)

GEC This Course Belongs To


Class Restriction

Exclude First Years