Department of English


Advanced Seminars

Fall 2015

ENG 380 The Realist Novel

TR    1105    1220    GRGEN    110
Instructor: S. Rajan
CRN: 80515

Description: This course explores developments in the realist novel over the course of the nineteenth century. We will read and closely examine some of the most exemplary practitioners of the realist novel within the British and Continental tradition, from Jane Austen and Honoré de Balzac to George Eliot and Virginia Woolf. The course will examine the aesthetics of realism and how realist fiction’s promise to show the reader what the world is like assumed a different form among varied novelists. Students will be exposed to theories of realism, past and present, and will thus not only gain a firm understanding of the aesthetics of realism but also deepen their understanding of each novelist.

ENG 380 The "American Renaissance"

TR    1230    1345    LCHAS    143
Instructors: E. Tawil
CRN: 81534

Description: In this seminar, we will read some of the acknowledged literary masterpieces associated with what literary critics starting in the 1940s started to call the “American Renaissance,” a remarkable flowering of imaginative literature in the mid-nineteenth-century U.S. which included prose fiction by Melville and Hawthorne, essayistic prose by Emerson and Thoreau, and poetry by Whitman and Dickinson. As we read these literary works, we will also read some of the magisterial works of literary criticism that first defined and theorized them as part of an American “renaissance.” Why did critics choose describe it in these terms? What authors or works had to be devalued or forgotten in order to produce this kind of tradition?