English 190

Research Seminar: Sixty Years Since: The Historical Novel


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
6 Spring 2018 Kolb, Margaret
TTh 9:30-11 225 Dwinelle

Book List

Dickens, Charles : A Tale of Two Cities; Eliot, George: Adam Bede; Hardy, Thomas: The Mayor of Casterbridge; McEwan, Ian: Atonement; Thackeray, William: Vanity Fair

Description

“Sixty Years Since” takes up Waverley’s audacious claim that sixty years is the ideal distance for fictional representations of history. Grounded in theories of the novel in relation to history, we’ll ask how (and at what distance) the novel might represent history, chronicle social change, and portray historical places and persons. We’ll track questions about the relationship between history and fiction by analyzing novels written sixty years since by Charles Dickens, William Thackeray, George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, and Ian McEwan. Informed by theoretical and critical readings drawn from Walter Scott, M.M. Bakhtin, Georg Lukács, Walter Benjamin, and others, we’ll ask how each novel structures historical distance, imagines the powers and purposes of fiction, and explores the relationship between fiction and history. As the semester progresses, we’ll turn to the contemporary moment to think about the strategies of historical representation in a recently concluded fiction set sixty years since: Mad Men. 

Books for this class will be available at University Press Books, located on Bancroft.

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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