ENGL344 - Nineteenth-Century Fiction

Featuring many of the most important British and American fiction writers of the 19th century, this course studies fiction in the context of the intellectual and artistic interests of the century, including women’s rights, science, reading and literacy, class struggle, empire building, the role of the artist in society, radical economic change, homoeroticism, race/ethnicity & the contradictory demands of patriarchy. All these concerns will be addressed vis-à-vis close analyses of significant pieces of 19th-century British and American fiction. In addition, this course will pay particular attention to the persistence of gothic motifs in 19th-century fiction. To introduce this subject matter, we will start with “The Sandman” (1816), a “gothic” short story by the German writer E.T.A. Hoffman, and with Sigmund Freud’s famous engagement with “The Sandman” in his essay, “The Uncanny” (1919). Das Unheimliche – literally, “un-home-ly” – is, according to Freud, “that species of the frightening that goes back to what was once well known and had long been familiar” (124). Two papers, a mid-term, and a final.

Not open to students who have completed ENGL379A in Fall 2005 or Spring 2006


Two lower-level English courses, at least one in literature; or permission of department.