The Novel: Form, History, Theory
This graduate seminar will serve as an introduction to the history and theory of the novel. Half of our time will be spent reading works of fiction, and the other half will be devoted to theoretical accounts of the genre. We will ask what competing forms have shaped the novel as well as what historical and ideological conditions brought those forms into being. Since the novel is often understood as narrating the transition to modernity, we will consider the relationship between its form and what might be called a process of becoming. Readings in fiction will span the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries, and may include novels by Defoe, Goethe, Radcliffe, Austen, Scott, Dickens, Flaubert, and Woolf, along with theory and criticism by Lukács, Bakhtin, Auerbach, Watt, Barthes, Jameson, Moretti, Lynch, Armstrong, Gallagher, Woloch, and more.