2023-2024 University Catalog 
    
    Mar 04, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog
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ENGL 349 - Middlemarch and Devoted Readers


FDR: HL Literature Distribution
Credits: 4

Prerequisite: an English course numbered between 201 and 295 and another English course numbered between 222 and 299. This seminar begins with and centers upon George Eliot’s Middlemarch, a novel often regarded as one of the greatest and most ambitious produced in the era of the novel’s securest cultural dominance and famously described by Virginia Woolf as one of the few English novels written for grown-up people. It then problematizes this encounter by setting it in light of Rebecca’s Mead’s critically-acclaimed My Life in Middlemarch, a memoir of her devoted lifelong reading and reading of it, not just for pleasure but for its profound wisdom and insight. The question of such intense admiration verging on fandom is one that has received increasing scholarly attention, particularly in relation to the so-called Janeite phenomenon, that is, the love of Jane Austen fans for her novels, but extends to numerous other novelists, poets, playwrights, fun-makers, and their fans. Students supplement this focus of the course by researching and presenting their own exemplary case studies of such readerly devotion, obsession, or fandom.



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