Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

20th Century British Novel

ENGL 065.001
instructor(s):
MWF 12-1

This course seeks to introduce students to the modern British novel by considering several works in the context of major aesthetic and political movements of the twentieth century. We will trace the fate of modernism across the century, considering formal innovations in the novel against the background of British colonialism, the World Wars, class conflict, and shifts in the meaning of gender and sexuality. The course focuses in particular on the relationship between violence and subjectivity: we will read these novels as responses to a set of disorienting and disturbing historical events. Works by Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, Samuel Beckett, Doris Lessing, V.S. Naipaul, J.M. Coetzee, Jackie Kay, and W.G. Sebald. Work for the course will include several short response papers, a longer final paper, and a final exam.