ENGL 402
The Historical Novel Spring 2019 Division I; Cross-listed as ENGL402 / COMP406

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Setting a novel in a prior time period risks estranging a reader, yet the genre has roused deep-rooted interest, intense critical debate, and aesthetic daring. In this course, we will explore the complex and layered uses of a historical past in literary works of the seventeenth through twenty-first centuries, by way of novels by Madame de Lafayette, Scott, M. Shelley, Dickens, Eliot, Ford, Woolf, Morrison, Sebald, and Roy. Exploring the uses of gothic and sensational effects, dystopian and utopian possibilities, and fractured time, we will consider the aesthetic and political experiments historical novels have spawned. We will do so in context of the sustained critical engagement with the genre by such thinkers as Lukacs, Benjamin, Adorno, Jameson, McKeon and Moretti.
The Class: Type: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3856
Requirements/Evaluation: class discussion and a 20-page final paper
Prerequisites: a 100-level English course and a 300-level English course or permission of the instructor
Enrollment Preference: English majors
Distributions: Division I;
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses; ENGL Literary Histories B; ENGL Literary Histories C

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