University of Vermont

UVM Course Directory

ENGS 161 – 20th-Century British Novel

Credits: 3.00

Course Description: British novelists since 1900, including Forster, Conrad, Lawrence, Woolf, and other more recent writers. Pre/co-requisite: Three hours in English courses numbered ENGS 005 - ENGS 096; Sophomore standing.

Section Description: Through close readings of seven novels—Conrad’s The Secret Agent, Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, Ford’s The Good Soldier, Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Forster’s A Passage to India, Greene’s The Heart of the Matter, and Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four—we will explore the development of the English novel in the first half of the twentieth century. We are intentionally restricting our reading list to English novelists (omitting, for instance, the Irish James Joyce and the American Henry James), and our list could easily be doubled or tripled with works by other important modern English novelists. Even so, the seven novels we will be reading come to a round 2,000 pages, and to keep up and meet the class requirement for active participation through class discussion, biweekly journal entries, and written responses to Study Questions members of the class will have to read, on average, 77 pages for each of our class sessions (or 20 pages per day throughout the course of the semester). This is a manageable reading requirement, but it will become a very steep hill for anyone who falls significantly behind. More importantly, not keeping up will erode the quality of class discussion and thus will have a negative effect on everyone’s experience in the course. Although we will ground our readings of the texts in intentional interpretations (trying to make out as best we can the interpretations the authors arguably intended readers to derive from the texts), we will also test intentional readings against symptomatic readings drawing on approaches derived from historicism, cultural theory, feminist theory, post-colonial theory, and queer theory. In addition, we will pay attention to the evolving techniques, narrative forms, and aesthetics of the modern English novel. And, in order to ensure a shared critical vocabulary for the analysis of these challenging works of fiction, we will discuss concomitant readings in H. Porter Abbott’s Cambridge Introduction to Narrative.

CRN: 15749

Section: A

Enrolled/Seats: 34/40

Days Time Location
TR 11:40 - 12:55 LAFAYETTE HALL L200

Instructor(s): Daniel Fogel

Meeting Dates: 19 Jan 2016 - 04 May 2016