English 644, Fall 2003

Studies in the Novel

This graduate seminar will address the history, theory, and scholarship of novels and the novel genre. We will be particularly interested in the novel and the construction of modern identity via colonialism, nationhood, racialization, the rise of the middle class, and the gendered development of domestic and public spheres.

All students will write two seminar papers informed by the themes of our course and immersion in current literary scholarship. The papers should set forward a thesis or raise a particular question or questions about the novel that will focus our discussion of the work (5 pages). These papers will be made available in the course computer conference by Monday morning before our Wednesday seminar meeting and be responded to by all seminar participants before class begins. The confer,"engl-novel," can be accessed at http://vms.cc.wmich.edu/www/confer. The confer will also have items for weekly responses to assigned readings from Theory of the Novel. Note that writing on the confer can include hyperlinks to relevant websites. Class participation, including in-class discussion, seminar papers, and the confer will be 50% of the grade.

The final paper will be of a comparative nature, examining at least two or more the works from the course syllabus and drawing on literary scholarship (aprox. 20 pages). (50%).

Class participation is vital in 644; missing classes may lower the grade and missing more than 3 classes may lead to failing.

Dr. Webb's office is 723 Sprau Tower, 387-2605, and his office hours are Wednesday 2-4 and by appointment. (If at any point in the semester if you feel stress, English 644 offers free on-line therapy from Eliza!)


Theory of the Novel: A Historical Approach by Michael McKeon (Editor) (On 2-hour reserve at Waldo Library)

Oroonoko: An Authoritative Text Historical Backgrounds Criticism (Norton Critical Editions) by Aphra Behn, Joanna Lipking (Editor)

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris

Robinson Crusoe: An Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism (Norton Critical Edition) by Daniel Defoe, Michael Shinagel (Editor)

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

Heart of Darkness: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism (Norton Critical Editions) by Joseph Conrad, Robert Kimbrough (Editor)

God's Bits of Wood by Sembene Ousmane

The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes, Alfred J. MacAdam (Translator)

Beloved by Toni Morrison

No Telephone to Heaven by Michelle Cliff

The God of Small Things by Arundati Roy

Provisional Syllabus

Wednesday, Sep. 3 Introduction to the seminar

Wednesday, Sep. 10 Chaps. 1 & 2, A People's History, Oroonoko, Morning Girl, From Anatomy of Criticism by Northrup Frye (Theory of the Novel, p. 5-13), From Origins of the Novel by Marthe Robert (Theory of the Novel, p. 57-70).

Wednesday, Sep. 17: Robinson Crusoe, From The Rise of the Novel by Ian Watt (Theory of the Novel, p. 363-381).

Wednesday, Sep. 24, Wednesday, Oct. 1 David Cooperfield, From Origins of the Novel by Marthe Robert (Theory of the Novel, p. 160-178) & From The Way fo the World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture by Franco Moretti (Theory of the Novel, p. 554-565).

Wednesday, Oct. 8 Jane Eyre, From Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel by Nancy Armstrong (Theory of the Novel, p. 467-475).

Wednesday, Oct. 15 A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, From The Dialogic Imagination by Mikhail Bakhtin (Theory of the Novel, p. 321-331 & 338-351).

Wednesday, Oct. 22 Heart of Darkness, reading tba

Wednesday, Oct. 29 God's Bits of Wood, "Is the Post- in Postmodernnism the Post- in Postcolonial?" by Anthony Appiah (Theory of the Novel, p. 882-899), "Pedagogical and Performative Nationalism" by Allen Webb (handed out in class)

Wednesday, Nov. 5 The Death of Artemio Cruz, "Latin American Literature from the Boom" by Doris Summer and George Yudice (Theory of the Novel, p. 859-881).

Wednesday, Nov. 12 Beloved, reading tba

Wednesday, Nov. 19 No Telephone to Heaven, From Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism by Benedict Anderson (Theory of the Novel, p. 414-434).

Wednesday, Nov. 26 No Class, Thanksgiving Break

Wednesday, Dec. 3 God of Small Things, reading tba

Wednesday, Dec. 10 Final Exam 5-7


created by: allen.webb@wmich.edu
updated: 9/03
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