Please note the time for Dr. Lubey’s class has changed and is now 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
ENG 855: Theory of the Novel (75130)
R. 2:00-400 p.m.
Dr. Kathleen Lubey
This course will acquaint students with the “long history” of novel theory and the changing ways in which literary critics have defined the origins, attributes, and socio-political function of the genre. We will read a few novels as test cases for our theoretical readings, probably by Henry Fielding, Virginia Woolf, and J.M. Coetzee. But our discussions will be rooted in understanding the enduring questions that are diversely taken up by literary critics of the novel: what formal and ideological features define the novel? What is the relationship between the novel form and modernity? What politics are mobilized by the genre’s unique ways of formulating subjectivity and the objective world? These and other questions will be pursued as we understand the singularity of each novel theorist as well as the dialogue each critic sustains with the larger field. Our theoretical readings will cover “old” and “new” formalisms (Frye, Booth, Lukacs, Bakhtin; Gallagher, Levine); post-structural challenges to genre theory (Culler, Derrida); theories of the novel’s origins and social politics (Watt, McKeon, Moretti, Jameson, Benjamin); theories of the novel and gender (Sedgwick, Armstrong, Brown), and of its post-colonial context (Attridge, Appiah). Evaluation will be based on participation and papers, equaling 20-25 pages.