ENGL 216
Introduction to the Novel Spring 2022
Division I

Class Details

There was a time when novels as we understand them didn’t exist; then there was a time–centuries–when novels were overwhelmingly the dominant storytelling and literary mode in English. This course, part lecture and part seminar, will stage encounters with 7 or 8 novels, each the product of a distinct configuration of subject position, history, form, and ambition. We will move from the English novel’s beginnings through (at least) the late 20th century, when novels competed for cultural space with new storytelling modes. Along the way we will think about what stories are for, generally; why this kind of long-form storytelling was invented; and what cultural work English-language novels do, have done, and may yet do. Possible writers to be studied include Samuel Richardson, Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Dickens, Joseph Conrad, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Vladimir Nabokov, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, and Zadie Smith.
The Class: Format: lecture
Limit: 45
Expected: 45
Class#: 3844
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Midterm and final exams, one critical essay, and some short writing assignments. Quizzes possible.
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: students who have pre-registered for the course; thereafter, seniors, then juniors, sophomores, and first-years
Distributions: Division I
Attributes: ENGL Literary Histories B

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