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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Nikolai B. Popov
ENGL 329
Seattle Campus

Rise of the English Novel

Study of the development of this major and popular modern literary form in the eighteenth century. Readings of the best of the novelists who founded the form, and some minor ones, from Defoe to Fielding, Richardson, and Sterne, early Austen, and the gothic and other writers.

Class description

For Spring 2011: This course will introduce you to several exemplary early novels (Lazarillo de Tormes; Don Quixote by Cervantes, The Pilgrim’s Progress by Bunyan, Joseph Andrews by Fielding, and Tristram Shandy by Sterne); in addition, you’ll read excerpts from works by Rabelais, Defoe, Richardson, and some criticism. Discussions will focus on the poetics of the novel as a literary genre and the problems associated with its emergence in England. Our main objective is to read the primary texts, understand the main literary issues, and learn the critical vocabulary related to the genre of the novel. 329 is an upper-level English course with a heavy reading load (required novels and course pack add up to more than 2000 pages): you must read Don Quixote and Lazarillo de Tormes before the first meeting (and will be tested). Requirements and grading: brief assignments on each major novel, quizzes, participation, attendance (20% of your course grade), midterm (40%), final examination (40%). Midterm and final will consist of both short-answer questions and an essay, each part having equal weight.

Student learning goals

Read closely several masterpieces of the early novel.

Understand the literary and broader cultural forces that contributed to the emergence of the novel as a genre.

Understand the poetics of the early novel.

Develop some familiarity with the state of critical thinking regarding the emergence of the novel.

General method of instruction

Small lecture; discussion.

Recommended preparation

Before the first meeting, all students must have read Don Quixote and Lazarillo de Tormes.

Class assignments and grading

Brief assignments on each major novel, quizzes, and attendance (30% of your course grade); participation in midterm group presentation (30%); and final examination/paper (40%).

Brief assignments on each major novel, quizzes, participation, attendance (20% of your course grade or one grade unit); midterm (40% or 1.5 grade units), final examination (40% or 1.5 grade units). Midterm and final will consist of both short-answer questions and an essay, each part having equal weight.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional ENGL course descriptions.
Last Update by Nikolai B. Popov
Date: 03/11/2011