Approaches to Teaching Behn's Oroonoko

Overview

Once merely a footnote in Restoration and eighteenth-century studies and rarely taught, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave (1688), by Aphra Behn, is now essential reading for scholars and a classroom favorite. It appears in general surveys and in courses on early modern British writers, postcolonial literature, American literature, women's literature, drama, the slave narrative, and autobiography.

Part 1 of this volume, "Materials," provides not only resources for the teacher of ...

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Approaches to Teaching Behn's Oroonoko

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Overview

Once merely a footnote in Restoration and eighteenth-century studies and rarely taught, Oroonoko; or, The Royal Slave (1688), by Aphra Behn, is now essential reading for scholars and a classroom favorite. It appears in general surveys and in courses on early modern British writers, postcolonial literature, American literature, women's literature, drama, the slave narrative, and autobiography.

Part 1 of this volume, "Materials," provides not only resources for the teacher of Oroonoko but also a brief chronology of Behn's life and work. In part 2, "Approaches," essays offer a diversity of perspectives appropriate to a text that challenges student assumptions and contains not one story but many: Oroonoko as a romance, as a travel account, as a heroic tragedy, as a window to seventeenth-century representations of race, as a reflection of Tory-Whig conflict in the time of Charles II.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Oroonoko is an excellent choice for this series because of its popularity in an exceptionally broad range of college and university courses, and this volume does an excellent job presenting the scholarly and pedagogical diversity used in teaching the work."

--Richard Frohock, Oklahoma State University

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Product Details

Table of Contents


Preface xi

PART ONE: MATERIALS

Basic Resources 3

Editions 3

Classroom Texts 3

Online Editions 4

Concordances 4

Bibliographies 5

Biographies 5

Monographs 5

Collected Essays 5

Book Chapters and Articles 6

Discussions of Race and Slavery 7

Historical Approaches 7

Comparative Approaches 8

Surinam 9

Other Approaches 9

Maps and Illustrations 10

Additional Online Resources 10

Chronology 11

PART TWO: APPROACHES

Introduction 19

Formal and Thematic Contexts

What Kind of Story Is This? 27

Credibility and Truth in Oroonoko 34

Oroonoko: Romance to Novel 39

The Language of Oroonoko 43

Oroonoko and the Heroics of Virtue 50

Cultural Contexts

Oroonoko and Blackness 57

Economic Oroonoko 65

The Traffic of Women: Oroonoko in an Atlantic Framework 71

Entering Atlantic History: Oroonoko, Revolution, and Race 78

Writing War in Oroonoko 85

Oroonoko as a Caribbean Text 92

Pedagogical Contexts

How Big Did She Say That Snake Was? Teaching the Contradiction in Oroonoko 99

Teaching Oroonoko in a Literature Survey 1 Course 107

Teaching Oroonoko in a Literature Survey 2 Course 112

Teaching Oroonoko in the Travel Narrative Course 118

Teaching Oroonoko at a Historically Black University 124

Teaching the Teachers: Oroonoko as a Lesson in Critical Self-Consciousness 131

Comparative Contexts

Oroonoko's Cosmopolitans 136

Teaching Oroonoko with Milton and Dryden; or, Behn's Use of the Heroic 143

Teaching Oroonoko with Early Modern Drama 150

Unbearable Theater: Oroonoko's Sentimental Afterlife 156

Two Oroonokos: Behn's and Bandele's 162

Representations of Race, Status, and Slavery in Behn's Oroonoko and Equiano's Interesting Narrative 167

Authorial Contexts

The Early Modern Body in Behn's Poetry and Oroonoko 174

Oroonoko and the Problem of Teaching Novelty 181

Transatlantic Crossing: Teaching Oroonoko with The Widdow Ranter 187

Behn and the Canon 194

Notes on Contributors 201

Survey Participants 205

Works Cited 207

Index 223

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