2016-2017 University Catalog 
    Apr 15, 2024  
2016-2017 University Catalog archived

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ENGL 335 - 18th-Century Novels

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: ENGL 299. A study of prose fiction up to about 1800, focusing on the 18th-century literary and social developments that have been called “the rise of the novel.” Authors likely include Behn, Haywood, Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Sterne, Burney, and/or Austen.

Winter 2017, ENGL 335-01: 18th-Century Novels: Jane Austen: Radical Jane: The Politics of Class, Gender, and Race in Austen’s “Polite” Fiction (3). Among 21st-century audiences, Jane Austen’s novels are often considered romantic comedies—celebrations of love, companionate marriage, and happy endings. Austen, however, is much more socially-aware and historically-engaged than that reputation allows, and her work contends with a wide range of late 18th- and early 19th-century issues, including the shifting British class structure, women’s rights, and slavery. By situating Austen within her historical and literary context, this class seeks to reclaim Austen from the realm of romantic comedy. Over the course of the term, students read Austen’s novels in combination with works by late 18th-century authors, such as Burney, Equiano, Radcliffe, Sterne, and Wollstonecraft. Through these pairings students not only encounter a variety of novelistic forms (including the sentimental, the gothic, the novel of manners, and the slave narrative), but also engage with the discourses of class, gender, and race that simmer beneath the glossy surface of Austen’s popular novels. (HL) Walle.

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