Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL3400 MCCLUNG, JAMES TR 2 :00 PM 0139


While at first the effects were slow to manifest because the revolutionary nature of the arguments made in the texts was obscured from the understanding of the lay population and the popular culture of the day, the arrival of Charles Darwin’s The Voyage of the Beagle [Journal of Researches (1839)] and On the Origin of Species (1859) marked the beginnings of a major cultural shift. As the implications and reticulations of Darwin’s work came to be appreciated, explored, and extrapolated, the impact on aesthetic theory, social theory, art, literature, and culture soon nearly outpaced the scientific repercussions. We recognize that Darwin’s work – to this day – is still a source of considerable and combative discussion, but by reading works that serve as background to, expressions of, and commentary on the theory of evolution and supporting sciences such as molecular genetics, we may begin to appreciate how Darwin’s work continues to have impact in the literary world as well.


This list subject to alteration:

Erasmus Darwin, The Economy of Vegetation, II (1791), and The Temple of Nature, I (1803) online resource

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus (1818)

Charles Darwin, Evolutionary Writings (Oxford World's Classics edition, 2010)

H. G. Wells, The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896)

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (1932)

William Golding, The Inheritors (1955)

Kurt Vonnegut, Galapagos (1985)

Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations (1985)

Simon Mawer, Mendel’s Dwarf (1997)

Margaret Atwood, Oryx & Crake (2002)

Additional reading, including T. Huxley, Watson, Foucault, Nietzsche, and legal case history will be provided 









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