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

Postgraduate Course: Kinship and Authority (ENLI11197)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will explore how marriage plots, primogeniture, orphanhood, questions of inheritance, as well as caste and clan, operate in assigned texts, bringing in relevant historical contexts where appropriate. The concepts of 'kinship' and 'authority' will be approached from anthropological and psychoanalytic perspectives, but these concepts will also be used more broadly to explore formal questions, such as: what narrative elements is the novel 'heir to' (romance, epic, etc.) and how do different novelists approach this 'inheritance' (as something to be adopted, modified, and/or resisted) and to what effect? Questions of 'canonical kinship' will also be studied, as we grapple with how certain novels might be perceived as 'akin' to others and whether such critical perceptions affect a work's canonical status. Particular emphasis will be placed on trans-Atlantic 'kinship' and how American novelists engage with European literary traditions and/or cultural authority.
Course description WEEK 1: Jane Austen, Mansfield Park
WEEK 2: Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
WEEK 3: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter; excerpts from Walter Scott's The Bride of Lammermoor
WEEK 4: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House for the Seven Gables; excerpts from Henry James's Hawthorne
WEEK 5: Henry James, Portrait of a Lady
WEEK 6: Edith Wharton, Summer and Madame de Treymes
WEEK 7: Edith Wharton, The Custom of the Country
WEEK 8: Edith Wharton, The Age of Innocence
WEEK 9: Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
WEEK 10: Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Students will acquire knowledge of a range of literary texts and be able to demonstrate familiarity with some of the relevant critical debates surrounding them. Students will acquire knowledge of certain anthropological and psychoanalytic theories on kinship structures. They will be able to recognise some of the narrative elements (realism, romance, etc) that characterise the novel as a form. They will have been encouraged to consider other ways that 'kinship' and 'authority' might operate in literary texts.
Reading List
Additional secondary readings will be assigned each week and can be found on LEARN. These readings will generally be drawn from Marcel Mauss's The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies, Levi Strauss's The Elementary Structures of Kinship, Sigmund Freud's Totem and Taboo as well as other critical texts listed below.

Armstrong, Nancy. Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel. OUP, 1987.
Brodhead, Richard H. The School of Hawthorne. OUP, 1986.
Brodhead, Richard H. Hawthorne, Melville, and the Novel. Midway, U of CP, 1982.
Freud, Sigmund. Totem and Taboo. Routledge Classics, 2001.
James, Henry. The Letters of Henry James. Percy Lubbock, Ed. BiblioBazaar, 2009.
James, Henry. Hawthorne. Cornell UP, 1966.
Laplanche, John. Essays on Otherness. Ed. John Fletcher. Routledge, 1999.
LÚvi-Strauss, Claude. The Elementary Structures of Kinship. Beacon Press, 1969.
Mauss, Marcel. The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Ancient Societies, 1954.
Scholes, Robert and Robert Kellogg. The Nature of Narrative. OUP, 1966.
Stevick, Philip, Editor. The Theory of the Novel. Macmillan, 1967.
Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel. California UP, 1957.
Wharton, Edith. The Writing of Fiction. Scribner, 1924.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills To be able to analyse literary texts and situate them within a wider critical context. To be able to mobilise theoretical concepts effectively. To demonstrate an understanding of relevant scholarly debates surrounding these works, their authors, and the novel as a form.
Course organiserDr Allyson Stack
Tel: (0131 6)50 4290
Course secretaryMs Natalie Lankester-Carthy
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