Summer 2014 Graduate Course Descriptions

AML 6305: Philip Roth
Professor Furman

The winner of two National Book Awards, two National Book Critics' Circle Awards, three PEN/Faulkner awards and the Pulitzer Prize, among other literary awards and prizes, Philip Roth is arguably the most important American novelist of the past fifty years.  In 2006, The New York Times Book Review surveyed prominent writers and critics to ask them to identify "the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years."  Of the 22 books selected, 6 of them were written by Philip Roth.  In our graduate seminar, we will read most of these important works of fiction, and others, including Goodbye, Columbus, Portnoy's Complaint, The Counterlife, The Ghost Writer, Operation Shylock:  A Confession, The Plot Against America, and American Pastoral.  We will also explore important criticism on Roth.  Assignments will include an annotated bibliography and a short paper.

[This course counts within the area of specialization, post-1900, of the American Literature Area of Concentration.]

ENL 6934: Victorian Regional Fiction
Professor Buckton

While the huge success of London-based novelists such as Charles Dickens and William Thackeray brought global literary attention to England's capital, a number of major Victorian novelists were busy exploring and representing other, in some cases remote, regions of the British Isles. Influenced by Maria Edgeworth and Walter Scott, Victorian novelists such as the Brontë sisters, Elizabeth Gaskell, Thomas Hardy, and Robert Louis Stevenson created a vogue for fiction set in regions such as the Yorkshire moors, the Industrial north of England, Wessex (Hardy's name for the West Country of England), and the Scottish Highlands. This course will investigate the causes and study major literary examples of the Victorian enthusiasm for regional fiction, and explore its connections with the historical romance and the "condition of England" novel. Novels to be studied may include Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, Elizabeth Gaskell's Mary Barton, Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native, and Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped. Course requirements include an in-class presentation and a research paper that engages with primary works and with critical discourse about regional fiction.

[This course counts within the area of specialization, post-1800, of the British Literature Area of Concentration.]