ENGL4864: Hist Theory Novel (17194)

Romero, Channette

MW 10:20 AM

Park Hall 136

In this class, we will deal with the novel as a historical force. It happened alongside many other modern things, and we will ask big questions about the novel's relationship to a lot of them: the birth of the private individual, the division of knowledge and of labor, the emergence of new gender identities and new categories of sexuality, the rise of the nation-state, the development of the middle class, the transformation of religious beliefs and institutions, and others. We will discuss the dynamics of the novel as a genre, especially its persistent concern with individuality, its energetic reinvention of its own form, and its weirdly self-reflexive relationship to us as readers.

Our central concern is the novel genre. We will consider the development of the novel form, starting with the emergence of realism in England and then moving forward and backward along a discontinuous timeline.

This is a theory course, and theoretical readings will occupy most of our attention. We will also read a few novels; each has been chosen for its particular usefulness in understanding aspects of the novel as a genre.  But, the course's central text will be Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach, a collection of key readings in novel theory edited by Michael McKeon. This will be supplemented by a few other short pieces.  

Required Texts

Michael McKeon, Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach (ISBN:  9780801863974)

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (ISBN:  9780141439518)

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (ISBN:  9780156628709)

Michael Cunningham, The Hours (ISBN:  9780312243029)

Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony (ISBN:  9780143104919)

Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (ISBN:  9781594483295)