English 190

Research Seminar: Jane Austen and the Theory of the Novel


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
4 Spring 2017 Miller, D.A.
MW 12:30-2 C57 Hearst Field Annex

Book List

Austen, Jane: Selected Letters; Austen, Jane: The Oxford Illustrated Jane Austen; Miller, D.A.: Jane Austen, or the Secret of Style; Shields, Carol: Jane Austen: A Life

Other Readings and Media

Films: Sleepless in Seattle; Clueless.

Also to be made available to students on B courses is a reader including criticism and theory from Mikhail Bakhtin, Ann Banfield, Roland Barthes, Frances Ferguson, Franco Moretti, and Alex Woloch.

Description

While there is hardly a dearth of criticism on Jane Austen, it is rare to find her used, as Balzac, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, or Proust is used, as the basis for theorizing the Novel as a form.  The gender bias of classic continental novel theory ignores her, and recent feminist historicism tends to do away with her originality as a creator of forms the better to claim her as a congenial sister.  Precisely this formal originality (to which we owe our very norms of impersonal narration, to say nothing of the virtual invention of free indirect style) will be the main object of our consideration in the seminar.  We will also pursue some pertinent minor topics: the curiously popular genre of the Austen biography (so little life, so many lives!) and, on a broader scale, the late-twentieth-century transformation of Austen into that most unwriterly of things: an icon.

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.

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