Jul 16, 2024  
Catalogue 2024-2025 
    
Catalogue 2024-2025
Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)

GNCS 351 - Studies in Nineteenth-Century British Literature

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)


(Same as ENGL 351 ) Study of a major author (e.g., Coleridge, George Eliot, Oscar Wilde) or a group of authors (the Brontes, the Pre-Raphaelite poets and painters) or a topical issue (representations of poverty; literary decadence; domestic angels and fallen women; transformations of myth in Romantic and Victorian literature) or a major genre (elegy, epic, autobiography).

 

Topic for 2024/25a: Dickensian. Very few writers have come to be so closely identified with their era that their name, in adjectival form, can evoke it.  Dickens is one of those writers, and “Dickensian” conjures up the world of Victorian England, with its gruesome disparities between rich and poor, its lost children and fallen women, its slums and social ills. Dickens’s novels are at once rich social documents and brilliantly-plotted page turners. Celebrated in their day for their larger-than-life characters and bravura representations of the urban scene, his novels are by turns satiric and melodramatic. Dickens made his Victorian readers laugh, and he made them cry.  He also made them wait, as he popularized and perfected the serial form of the novel, the forerunner of today’s serialized TV dramas.  A self-made man with a shameful family secret, Dickens possessed an unbounded energy. In addition to writing fifteen novels, he was a journalist, an editor, a philanthropist, a performer, and a global celebrity. In this course, we acquaint ourselves with Dickens in his many guises and ponder what it means when we label something “Dickensian.” We read a several of Dickens’s novels, such as Oliver Twist,  Bleak House, and Great Expectations, his journalistic writings, and the Christmas Stories. We visit Special Collections to explore Dickens in the context of Victorian print culture, and we consider Dickens’s reading tours, Dickens in America and his writings about America, Dickens’s “invention” of Christmas, film and TV adaptations of Dickens’s works, the Dickens cult and Dickens collectables. Susan Zlotnick.

This course satisfies the pre-1900 requirement for the English major.

One 2-hour period.

Course Format: CLS



Add to Portfolio (opens a new window)