Studies in the novel as it passes from a classic format to formats more experimental. Authors include George Eliot, Thomas Hardy, Joseph Conrad, and others.
The main objective of our course will be to understand the ways in which late nineteenth-century sub-genres of the Victorian novel--including sensation fiction, imperial romance, and detective fiction--grappled with both generic concerns (in large part a response to the realist novel that had come to dominate the literary landscape by the later part of the century), and more general social and political issues of the period. These issues include but are not limited to gender, sexuality, imperialism, liberalism, and race. We will start our inquiry with a realist novel by George Eliot, Adam Bede (1859), followed by M. E. Braddon's sensation novel Lady Audley's Secret (1861-1862), two of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories--"The Final Problem" (1893) and "The Adventures of the Empty House" (1903), and Rudyard Kipling's imperial adventure novel Kim (1901). We will follow Doyle and Kipling with a 1999 novel by Jamyang Norbu, The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes, which tells the story of Sherlock Holmes's "lost years," ostensibly spent (in Norbu's narrative) with one of the most memorable characters from Kipling's Kim. Our last novel will be Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). In addition to these novels, we will also read literary criticism and other contextual material.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Class work will include short papers, group presentations, active and consistent participation, and a final paper.