Crocheting the Classics: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford (LIT2512.01)

Jenny Boully

The Great Exhibition of 1851 was meant to showcase the greatest inventions and industries of the Victorian age. Included among the various treasures from around the world, such as machinery, paintings, and gems, were samples of crochet, an art that became increasingly popular during the Victorian age. The idea of domestic handcrafts seemed to be counter to the industrial revolution, which could turn out fabricated items through machinery and at a much quicker pace. Through reading works on art and social thought by John Ruskin and William Morris as well as studying and replicating Victorian crochet, we’ll gain an understanding of Victorian sentiments and values. We’ll read Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel Cranford in order to glimpse into the ordinary, everydayness of domesticity that was at odds with industrialism. In order to fully appreciate and understand the process of making rather than quick consumption, we will try our hand at replicating crochet patterns from the period. You need not know how to crochet to take this course. All levels are welcomed.


Learning Outcomes:
o To interpret literature through historical, social, cultural, and literary considerations as well as independently through one’s own critical discoveries and curiosities;
o To gain an overview of the Victorian culture, literature, and art as applicable to historical and cultural considerations;
o To gain an awareness of domestic handcrafts alongside high art and the impacts of industrialism on these in the Victorian age;
o To eloquently discourse on literature, both verbally and written, while retaining one’s individual interpretation of a text.



Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 4
T/F 10:30AM - 12:20PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 20
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Literature , Fully In-Person
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