fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Fall Quarter

Fall Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0

Courses

« Back to Liberal Arts & Sciences

LIT 58 — The Genius of Oscar Wilde

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Thursdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 6 weeks
Date(s): Sep 24—Oct 29
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Sep 26
Unit: 1
Tuition: $360
Instructor(s): Ben Wiebracht
Status: Closed
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Fall
Live Online(About Formats)
Thursdays
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Sep 24—Oct 29
6 weeks
Drop By
Sep 26
1 Unit
Fees
$360
Instructor(s):
Ben Wiebracht
Closed
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
When Oscar Wilde arrived in New York in 1882, a customs official asked him if he had anything to declare. “Only my genius,” he replied. The public persona Wilde crafted is well captured in that riposte: the insouciance, the daring egotism, the perfectly timed wit. His ability to command a room was legendary, and his epigrams left audiences unsure whether to gasp or to laugh. In the often uptight world of late Victorian England, Wilde was flagrantly, brilliantly transgressive. But he was far more than a provocateur. As a playwright, he almost singlehandedly brought the English stage, in decline since the Renaissance, back to life. As a philosopher and a critic, he argued for the importance of beauty in modern life, and as a satirist, he laid bare the hypocrisies of his day. In this course, we will explore these contributions through a selection of his most significant works: The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, and “The Decay of Lying,” to name a few. Through lectures and discussion of these materials, students will develop a deeper appreciation of the life and work of a writer who both defied and defined the culture of his agewhile at the same time discovering his continued relevance to our own.

Ben Wiebracht, English Instructor, Stanford Online High School

Ben Wiebracht received a PhD from Stanford and has taught at the university in a variety of capacities. In 2015, he received the Centennial Teaching Award, the university’s highest award for graduate-student teaching. His scholarship focuses on Victorian literature, with an emphasis on the period’s complicated attitudes toward religious doubt.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest and Four Other Plays (ISBN 9781593080594)
(Required) Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism and Selected Critical Prose (ISBN 0140433872)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)