ENGL 3731K: Development of the Novel I
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What, exactly, is a novel? Although this literary genre is quite well-established today, it came into being as an upstart contender, a new or “novel” mode of writing that lacked established conventions, critical respect and even a name. However, by the end of the eighteenth century the novel was an exceedingly popular literary form, one which created and dramatized new ways of thinking about human nature and identity. Our primary goal this semester is to figure out what critics mean when they talk about the “rise” of the novel. We will attempt this by reading works like Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews, Frances Burney's Evelina, and Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey as well as a shorter pieces by a few of their contemporaries. In addition, we will look at sentimentalism, the Gothic novel, the romance, and literary criticism from both the eighteenth century and the twentieth. In doing so, we hope to accomplish two specific objectives. The first is to understand the emergence, development, power and popularity of this new literary form; the second is to communicate this knowledge through in-class discussions and in our writing. Requirements: a semester-length research project with a creative component, short writing assignments, a presentation and two essays. This course is a “Traditions” course in English designed to pose questions about how texts, interpretive communities and reading practices generate histories. This is an ADVANCED level English course. All students enrolled must have received either a flat “A” in ENGL 1100 or 1200H (and must show me their transcript) or have taken at least one introductory-level literature course in order to enroll. It fulfills a II B Adv. requirement for the English Major. It fulfills a requirement in the SCW core curriculum, “Interpreting Literature and the Arts.”
Nachumi, Nora. (2021, Fall), Syllabus, ENGL3731K: Development of the Novel I, Stern College for Women, Yeshiva University.