Assignment for 8/29: Davys Reading etc

1. Hi folks, here’s the reading assignment for next week, with the same link that I provided in the email, Mary Davys’s Reform’d Coquet:

2. To give you an idea of the theoretical agenda of the class, take a look at Suzanne Conklin Akbari’s “Introduction” to this open access volume, which we’ll be using and referring to throughout the semester. For now, I’d urge you to poke around the Akbari/Heller volume to see if anything interests.

3. I’ll post some more explicit guidelines for the reading journals tomorrow, but just try to put your in-class/outside of class journal entries into a single, dated, scrollable document or notebook. Individual entries should have a date and heading.

The Akbari/Heller volume has a variety of examples where the writers describe their own process of reading, the conditions that influenced their process, and how it affected their understandings of what they read. The examples are there to encourage you to find your own way of describing your process.

4. Finally, I’m including my own notes from the board from Thursday, to suggest a few points.


Thursday’s examples showed some of the different speeds and intensities of our modes of uptake, but they also revealed how our intellectual formation helps us cultivate new forms of reading along with new things to read. There is “early reading” and “school reading” and “fun reading” and “theory reading,” all of which seem distinct though not exactly separable from one another.

5. If you’d like to use a prompt for the reading journal, you could consider the relation between Haywood and Davys’s fiction and stage comedies (both were playwrights as well as fiction writers).  You could also consider why reading, and indeed any exercise of the female imagination, is treated as risky, even in imaginative fictions written by women.

Watch for more posts as we proceed, follow as well as subscribe to the blog, and let me know if you run into any problems.




Author: Dave Mazella

I am an Associate Professor of English at the University of Houston, Department of English, specializing in 18th-century British literature.

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