After more than three centuries, Alexander Pope's poetic bestseller, "The Rape of the Lock," is still widely read and discussed. Based on a real incident, which may be viewed in the context of the MeToo movement today, it has invited, and continues to invite, a broad spectrum of critical approaches, such as Feminisim, Neo-Marxism, Psychoanalysis, postcolonial studies and more recent critical practices, such as trauma and disability studies, to name but a few. In this course, we are going first to read Pope's poem as well as selected other texts and then critically engage with readings of them. In doing so, we will not only reflect on the limits and potentialities of particular approaches but also on the dynamics of literary theory in general. Moreover, this course will enable you to consolidate and enhance your own analytical skills.
Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock, ed. Cynthia Wall (Boston and New York: Bedford, 1998). (Since this edition is out of print, extracts as well as further material will be made available via Learnweb).
Sophie Gee, The Scandal of the Season (2007). (Any edition is fine.)