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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: Subjectivity, Modernity and the Novel 1660-1800 (ENLI10374)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is designed to explore the issues surrounding the emergence of 'the novel' as a distinct form in Britain in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We will trace the emergence of the oppositions between the fictive and the historical as two realms with their own distinct claims to 'truth', and between 'realism' and 'romance' as two different types of fiction, as the grounding conditions for the emergence of the novel. We will also be considering the political and religious values at stake in these oppositions, by relating prose fiction to the political and economic developments of the period.
Course description This course will introduce the student to the issues raised by the emergence of 'the novel' as a distinct literary form over the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Each week the student will think through questions about particular texts in three broad areas: the formal aspects of these texts (narrative voice, focalization, plot structure etc); their thematic relation to the economic and intellectual contexts in which they were written and read; and the connections between formal developments and those wider contexts. An introductory seminar will frame the course in terms of the Enlightenment's privileging of individual experience as a source of knowledge (with reference to Locke's Essay); the rise of the 'middling sort' as buyers and readers of books in this period; and the role of the novel in mediating the problems of epistemology and social hierarchy that these developments produced. The student's route through these issues will then fall into three chronological stages. Three weeks will be spent discussing seventeenth-century narratives that, while not 'novels', developed some of the formal strategies that the eighteenth century novel would make its own. The student will then find themselves in a position to understand the canonical early 'realist' novels studied in the following three weeks in relation to the formal resources they draw from earlier writing, as well as in relation to the social and economic context specific to the 1720s-40s.
At this point the student will submit a term essay (2,500 words) on the material covered so far. Research for this essay will consolidate, and expand in a particular direction, the knowledge acquired in preparing for and contributing to seminar discussion.
In the last three weeks the student will explore developments in the novel later in the eighteenth century. The student will subject the versions of 'realism' introduced in the middle three weeks of the course to further scrutiny through Sterne's absurd extrapolations from them in Tristram Shandy, and the course will end by considering the ways in which the history of the novel as surveyed in this course made possible the capture of the form by women writers of domestic fictions of feminine experience.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016)) AND ( English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004))
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA MINIMUM of 4 college/university level literature courses at grade B or above (should include no more than one introductory level literature course). Related courses such as civilisation or other interdisciplinary classes, Freshman Year Seminars or composition/creative writing classes/workshops are not considered for admission to this course. Applicants should also note that, as with other popular courses, meeting the minimum does NOT guarantee admission. In making admissions decisions preference will be given to students who achieve above the minimum requirement with the typical visiting student admitted to this course having 4 literature classes at grade A.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  16
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Other Study Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) one hour per week Autonomous Learning Group
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 10 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Course Essay (2,500 words) 30%;
class participation assessment 10%;
Sit-down Exam (2 hours) 60%
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. By the end of the course a student will be able to demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of English Literature: essay-writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning.
  2. By the end of the course a student will be able to demonstrate competence in core skills in the study of English Literature: essay-writing, independent reading, group discussion, oral presentation, small-group autonomous learning.
  3. By the end of the course the student will be able to distinguish the genres and modes of fiction published in this period, such as realism, and discuss the relations between them.
  4. By the end of the course the student will be able to demonstrate the ability to analyse the ways in which early novels engage with their social contexts.
  5. By the end of the course a student will be able to demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on a variety of critical and methodological approaches to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century prose fiction.
Reading List

The Swindler and Lazarillo de Tormes: Two Spanish Picaresque Novels. Trans. Michael Alpert. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003.
Behn, Aphra. Oroonoko and Other Writings. Ed. Paul Salzman. Oxford: World's Classics, 2009.
Bunyan, John. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners. Ed. W. Owens. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1987.
Burney, Frances. Evelina. Ed. Edward A. Bloom. Oxford: World's Classics, 1982.
Defoe, Daniel. Moll Flanders. Ed. David Blewett. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1989.
Fielding, Henry. Joseph Andrews. Ed. Douglas Brooks-Davies. Oxford: World's Classics, 1980.
Sterne, Lawrence. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy. Ed. Ian Campbell Ross. Oxford: World's Classics, 1983.
Richardson, Samuel. Pamela. Ed. Thomas Keymer. Oxford: World's Classics, 2001.


Aristotle. Poetics. Trans. Malcolm Heath. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1996.
Armstrong, Nancy. Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel. O.U.P. 1987
Backscheider, Paula R. A Being More Intense: a study of the prose works of Bunyan, Swift, and Defoe.
New York: AMS Press, 1984
Ballaster, Ros. Seductive Forms: Woman's Amatory Fiction from 1684 to 1740. Oxford: OUP, 1992
Bell, Ian. Defoe's Fiction. London: Croom Helm, 1985
Bender, John. Imagining the Penitentiary: Fiction and the Architecture of Mind in Eighteenth-Century
England. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987
Boardman, Michael. Defoe and the Uses of Narrative. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1983
Castle, Terry. Masquerade and Civilization. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1986
Davis, Lennard. Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel. New York: Columbia University Press, 1983
Hatfield, Glen. Henry Fielding and the Language of Irony. Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
Hunter, J. Paul. The Reluctant Pilgrim: Defoe's Emblematic Method. Baltimore, 1966.
---. Before Novels: The Cultural Contexts of Eighteenth-Century English Fiction. New York and London: W. W. Norton, 1990
Kahn, Madelaine. Narrative Transvestism: Rhetoric and Gender in the Eighteenth-Century English
Novel. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.
Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Ed. Roger Woolhouse. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1997.
McKeon, Michael. The Origins of the English Novel, 1600 - 1740. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1987.
Richetti, John. Popular Fiction before Richardson: Narrative Patterns 1700-1739. Oxford: OUP,
---. Daniel Defoe. Boston: Twayne, 1987
---. The English Novel in History, 1700'1780. London: Routledge, 1999.
Sim, Stewart. Negotiations with Paradox: narrative practice and narrative form in Bunyan and Defoe.
Spacks, Patricia Meyer. Imagining A Self: Autobiography and Novel in Eighteenth-Century England.
Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel. London: Chatto and Windus, 1957.
Wright, Andrew. Henry Fielding: Mask and Feast. London: Chatto and Windus, 1965.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information one two-hour Seminar per week; plus attendance at Autonomous Learn Group for one hour each week - at time to be arranged.
KeywordsNovel,subjectivity,modernity,eighteenth century,fiction,realism,romance,picaresque
Course organiserDr Robert Irvine
Tel: (0131 6)50 3605
Course secretaryMs June Haigh
Tel: (0131 6)50 3620
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