Studies in Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature : The Novel in the History of Mediation: 1740 – 1840

Course Number: ENGL 232
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 232
Quarter: Spring 2011
Instructor: Warner, William
Day(s): R
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:50 PM
Location: SH 2714

Content of the course will vary from quarter to quarter and these courses may be repeated for credit with consent of the chair of the departmental graduate committee.
This course will explore the rise of the novel into importance that is both popular (as a form of entertainment) and aesthetic (as a form of literature). We will read influential theories and histories of the novel (Bakhtin, Benjamin, Watt) as well as more recent reinterpretations of the novel through gender (Armstrong), world literature (Moretti), narrative form (Dorrit Kohn), the material text, and new cognitive approaches (Zunshine). What makes this course different: rather than assuming that we know what the novel genre “is”—for example, a literary genre to be put along side lyric and drama—we will approach the novel through the history of mediation that gave it a habitation and a form. My understanding of “mediation” is very capacious: it includes infrastructure (post, coach, railroad), formats (familiar letters, newspapers, magazines), genres (critical reviews, ‘histories,’ gothic, science fiction, etc.), associational practices (circulating libraries, reading circles, schools, public readings), and the protocols (of publicity, access, copyright, etc) that inflect these other mediations. To test the various ways of understanding the novel, we will read a very wide range of novels written by Haywood, Richardson, Fielding, Burney, Austen, Shelly and Dickens.

Offered concurrently with C LIT 236.