English 190

Research Seminar: The Historical Novel


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2017 Puckett, Kent
MW 2-3:30 301 Wheeler British 19th-Century
Novel
Literary Theory
Research Seminars

Book List

Dickens, C.: A Tale of Two Cities; Eliot, G.: Middlemarch; Flaubert, G.: Sentimental Education; Scott, W.: Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since; Tolstoy, L.: War and Peace

Description

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”  Charles Dickens’ famous opening to A Tale of Two Cities (1859) seems to begin with an effort to characterize a portion of the past, the years leading up to and including the French Revolution.  Instead, though, of giving us a clear sense of what the past was really about, Dickens presents both the era and efforts to capture the era in the self-consciously complex terms of contradiction, paradox, and comparison.  For Dickens the represented past is both a historical fact and a conceptual problem.  In this class we’ll look at a number of nineteenth-century historical novels.  Reading works by Sir Walter Scott, Dickens, George Eliot, Leo Tolstoy, and Gustave Flaubert, we’ll ask what it means to try to capture real and often famous events in the form of narrative fiction.  Does a novel about history always imply one or another philosophy of history?  What does it mean to treat real historical figures—like Napoleon—within the context of imaginative prose?  How much time—ten years, sixty years, a hundred years—needs to pass before remembered events become properly historical?  What happens when the political conditions of the past are remembered, revived, or revised in relation to the politics of the present?  What, indeed, does writing about the past have to say about the condition, the needs, the dreams of the present?

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: Britain in the ‘60s Gang, Joshua
190/3 Research Seminar: TBA No instructor assigned yet.
190/4 Research Seminar No instructor assigned yet.
190/5 Research Seminar Otter, Samuel
190/6 Research Seminar: Literature and Revolution Lee, Steven S.
190/7 Research Seminar: TBA No instructor assigned yet.
190/8 Research Seminar: TBA No instructor assigned yet.
190/9 Research Seminar: Historiography and Narrative: Literature and the Interstices of History Jones, Donna V.
190/10 Research Seminar: Suspicious Mind Best, Stephen M.
190/11 Research Seminar: Nonsense Hanson, Kristin
190/12 Research Seminar: TBA No instructor assigned yet.
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial Ellis, Nadia
190/2 Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance Wagner, Bryan
190/3 Research Seminar: Literature and the Linguistic Turn Blevins, Jeffrey
190/4 Research Seminar: Jane Austen and the Theory of the Novel Miller, D.A.
190/5 Research Seminar: Writing a World in Crisis: Medieval and Modern Perry, R. D.
190/6 Research Seminar: Shakespeare: From the Globe to the Global Bahr, Stephanie M
190/7 Research Seminar: Place-Love: Fiction and the Melancholy of Form Xin, Wendy Veronica
190/8 Research Seminar: Literatures of the Ocean Sorensen, Janet
190/9 Research Seminar: Beowulf Thornbury, Emily V.
190/10 Research Seminar: Hollywood in the 1930s Knapp, Jeffrey
190/11 Research Seminar: The Literature of Immortality Jones, Donna V.
190/13 Research Seminar: California Literature & Film Since WWI Starr, George A.
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson Shoptaw, John
190/2 Research Seminar: Slow Seeing / Slow Reading Hejinian, Lyn
190/3 Research Seminar: Moby-Dick, and More Otter, Samuel
190/4 Research Seminar: U.S. Modernism Goble, Mark
190/5 Research Seminar: Alfred Hitchcock Bader, Julia
190/6 Research Seminar: The Medium Is the Message: Reading Poetry in Manuscript & Print, 1300-1600 Bahr, Stephanie M
190/7 Research Seminar: Note new topic: Troy and Tragedy Perry, R. D.
190/8 Research Seminar: James / Baldwin Best, Stephen M.
190/9 Research Seminar: On Style Xin, Wendy Veronica
190/10 Research Seminar: Do I Dare? Indecision and Modernist Literature Blevins, Jeffrey
190/11 Research Seminar: Modern California Literature and Film Starr, George A.
190/12 Research Seminar: Modern Utopian and Dystopian Literature and Film Starr, George A.
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: The Sixties Goble, Mark
190/2 Research Seminar: Through a Future Darkly: Global Crisis and the Triumph of Dystopia Danner, Mark
190/3 Research Seminar: Late Henry James Breitwieser, Mitchell
190/4 Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial Ellis, Nadia
190/5 Research Seminar: Contemporary British Literature and Culture Falci, Eric
190/6 Research Seminar: Classical and Renaissance Drama Knapp, Jeffrey
190/7 Research Seminar: Materiality: How the Physical World Is Made to Mean Flynn, Catherine
190/8 Research Seminar: Vital Texts: Literature and the Discourse of Life Gaydos, Rebecca
190/9 Research Seminar: Medieval and Renaissance Lyric Crosson, Chad Gregory
190/10 Research Seminar: Purcell and Handel: Their Art in Setting English Texts to Music Hanson, Kristin
190/11 Research Seminar Lee, Steven S.
190/12 Research Seminar: Daniel Defoe and the Rise of the 18th-Century Novel Starr, George A.
190/13 Research Seminar: Keats and Literary Tradition Francois, Anne-Lise
Fall, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: Aesthetics and Enlightenment Weiner, Joshua J
T. B. A.
190/2 Research Seminar: Materialism: Ancient and Modern Goldsmith, Steven
190/3 Research Seminar: Henry James and Novelistic Aesthetics Hale, Dorothy J.
190/4 Research Seminar Blanton, C. D.
190/6 Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson Shoptaw, John
190/7 Research Seminar: Ethics and U.S. Fiction Serpell, C. Namwali
190/8 Research Seminar: Reading Walden Breitwieser, Mitchell
190/9 Research Seminar: Ideology Gonzalez, Marcial
190/10 Research Seminar: Contemporary Native American Fiction Wong, Hertha D. Sweet
190/11 Research Seminar: Poetry and Poetics in the Middle Ages T. B. A.
190/13 Research Seminar: Race and Rumors of Race in American Prose Giscombe, Cecil S.
190/14 Research Seminar: Modern Utopian and Dystopian Books and Movies Starr, George A.
190/15 Research Seminar: Film Noir Bader, Julia
Spring, 2015
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: The Temporality of Faulkner's Novels Hale, Dorothy J.
190/2 Research Seminar: Metamorphosis, Monsters, and the Supernatural Everyday Danner, Mark
190/4 Research Seminar Gardezi, Nilofar
190/5 Research Seminar: Materialism--Ancient and Modern Goldsmith, Steven
190/6 Research Seminar: Literature and Revolution Lee, Steven S.
190/7 Research Seminar: Toni Morrison Breitwieser, Mitchell
190/8 Research Seminar: Shakespeare’s Versification Hanson, Kristin
190/9 Research Seminar: Mass Entertainment in Classical Hollywood Film Knapp, Jeffrey
190/10 Research Seminar: Utopian and Dystopian Literature and Film Starr, George A.
190/11 Research Seminar: Alfred Hitchcock Bader, Julia
190/12 Research Seminar: The Oversexed Cinema of Pedro Almodóvar Miller, D.A.

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