English 24

Freshman Seminar: Nineteenth Century Fiction and the Boundaries of the Human

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
3 Spring 2021 Christ, Carol T.
Mondays 2-3


Dramatic advances in science in the 19th century transformed English understanding of the nature of man and his place in the universe. Theories of evolution, discoveries in the fossil record, advances in electrochemistry, new theories of the mind all challenged the traditional conception of humankind as special, unique, separate in its very nature from the nature of other living beings. Scientific theories, and the anxieties they occasioned, had a notable effect on popular fiction, visible in works reflecting new ideas of the monstrous.

In this freshman seminar, we will read a number of works of nineteenth-century fiction that explore the boundaries of the human including Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, H. G. Wells's The Island of Dr. Moreau and The Time Machine, Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, and Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.  

This 1-unit course may not be counted as one of the twelve courses required to complete the English major.

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