ENGL456 - The Nineteenth-Century English Novel

Prerequisite: Two English courses in literature; or permission of ARHU-English department.

Surveys major novels of the period. Attention to narrative form and realism; representations of gender and class; social contexts for reading, writing and publishing. Authors such as Austen, Bronte, Dickens, George Eliot, Trollope.

In particular, this course will view 19th-century England through the lens of 5 of its most significant novels: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818); Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights (1847); Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre (1847); Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations (1861); & Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897). Our goal will be to (a) discuss, (b) identify, & (c) analyze key aspects of the 19th-century English novel by focusing on how gender, sexuality, class, & race intersect with other significant cultural phenomena such as colonialism, capitalism, & the marketplace of reading. To add depth & complexity to our examination, we will be guided by the heuristics of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, & by reading – & reporting on – the work of literary critics such as Peter Brooks, J. Hillis Miller, Sandra Gilbert & Susan Gubar, Gayatri Spivak, Jack Halberstam, & Christopher Craft. Course requirements: vigorous participation, reading quizzes, presentations on critical readings, a research paper, & a final exam.