Undergraduate Course: The Novel and the Modern Self, 1688--1790 (ENLI10406)
|School||School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course explores the issues surrounding the emergence of 'the novel' as a distinct form in Britain from the late seventeenth to the late eighteenth centuries. It examines the interrelation of formal developments in prose fiction (for example first-person retrospective and epistolary narration, and 'formal realism') both with older narrative modes in 'romance' and the drama, and with social developments in the period, in particular the rising value attached to the autonomous individual as both the subject and the object of knowledge (empirical science and history) and as economic agent (capitalism and colonial expansion). The gender politics of these developments will remain a central concern throughout.
An introductory seminar will sketch some of the important precursors of 'the novel', such as sixteenth-century Spanish picaresque and seventeenth-century English Puritan spiritual autobiography. Two weeks will then be devoted to the fiction of Aphra Behn and Eliza Haywood, writers often associated with third-person 'romance' narratives of aristocratic passion and feminine agency. This prepares students for their encounter with the middle-class antagonist discourse often identified with 'the rise of the novel' as such: the fictions of Defoe and Richardson, with their lower-class heroines exercising self-determination both narrative and either economic (/Moll Flanders/) or moral (/Pamela/). In the second half of the course students will have the chance to give sustained attention to two texts in which this version of the novel, and the autonomous 'modern self' which it dramatises and celebrates, is subject to critique: Henry Fielding's third-person masterpiece /Tom Jones/ and the self-scrutinising first-person narration of Lawrence Sterne's /Tristram Shandy/. The course ends with the reestablishment of the domestic novel with a renewed focus on the woman author (and the female narrator) in Frances Burney's /Evelina/.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites|| A 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?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Other Study Hours 10,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Additional Information (Learning and Teaching)
one hour autonomous learning group
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||2500 word coursework essay (40%) submitted mid-semester;
plus 3000 word final essay submitted during exam period (60%).
||Students will be given written feedback on their essays via Turnitin, in the standard way. More basic feedback on exam performance will be available on request.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Formulate arguments based on academic literature and source material.
- Tailor their arguments and findings for particular audiences through oral presentation and writing.
- Identify and characterise the modes of prose fiction in English in this period.
- Understand the relation of prose fiction in English in this period to its social and intellectual context.
- Relate prose fiction in English in this period to conceptions of modernity and selfhood.
Behn, Aphra. /Oroonoko and Other Writings/. Ed. Paul Salzman. Oxford: World's Classics, 2009.
Burney, Frances. /Evelina/. Ed. Edward A. Bloom and Vivien Jones. Oxford: World's Classics, 2008.
Defoe, Daniel. /Moll Flanders/. Ed. G.A. Starr and Linda Bree. Oxford: World's Classics, 2011.
Fielding, Henry. /The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling/. Ed. Thomas Keymer and Alice Wakely. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2005.
Haywood, Eliza. /Love in Excess/. Ed. David Oakleaf. Peterborough, ON: Broadview, 2000.
Richardson, Samuel. /Pamela/. Oxford: World's Classics, 2008.
Sterne, Lawrence. /The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy/. Ed. Ian Campbell Ross. Oxford: World's Classics, 2009.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||This course provides practice in critical and historical thinking, and in forming and articulating critical judgement (generic cognitive skills); and in the explanation and exchange of critical judgements in the context of constructive debate (communication skills). Those who complete the course will be better at presenting evidence and arguing for their ideas, and at listening to others' arguments for different ideas, in a calm, respectful and rational manner (autonomy, accountability and working with others).
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||one two-hour Seminar per week for 10 weeks; plus attendance at Autonomous Learning Group for one hour each week - at time to be arranged.
|Keywords||Novel,Fiction,Eighteenth Century,Modernity,Selfhood,the Individual
|Course organiser||Dr Robert Irvine
Tel: (0131 6)50 3605
|Course secretary||Ms Sheila Strathdee
Tel: (0131 6)50 3619