|This is a shelf course. A shelf course comprises a number of modules related to this broad area of study. Each module is a separate semester of study in this area and is offered in rotation. You can study TWO modules but you cannot study the same module twice.|
Subject Area: English
Module: "Henry James: Art, Travel and Boundless Desire" (Semester 1, 2011)
Henry James is famous for bringing the English novel to an unprecedented pitch of technical sophistication and for creating some of the most vivid and enduring characters in our literature. The novel, however, was only one aspect of James’s astonishingly versatile achievement. This sustained author study will take in the full spectrum of James’s writing: alongside James the canonical novelist, we will read James the pathbreaking literary critic and theorist, James the master of the short story, and James the acute travel writer. We will situate James’s career in time and space, exploring a transitional period in the history of English literature and charting the profound impact of European places on the imagination of this expatriate American.
Module: "Jane Austen in Context"
Jane Austen currently enjoys a cultural popularity rivalling that of Shakespeare. This module aims to take account of the abiding relevance of Austen’s work in the early 21st century in two distinct but related ways. On the one hand, it focuses on Austen’s juvenilia and novels as social and cultural products of their time. It examines how her works interact self-consciously with contemporary romantic, gothic and sentimental fiction as well as ‘converse’ with each other to form a dynamic and intellectually challenging body of work. On a more theoretical level, it explores the various components of Austen’s literary style that allow her to speak to present-day readers: her use of irony, her ability to illuminate the subtle transformation of character over time, and her unique intermingling of romance and realism. Through these two lenses, the module demonstrates the continuing relevance of Austen's literary and moral worldview.