ENG321 201801 Undergraduate

Term: 
Fall 2018
Course: 
ENG 321
Applies To: 
Undergraduate
Sections: 
Title: 
English Novel: Subject, Object, and Abject
Instructors: 

Katherine Brundan

Katherine Brundan profile picture
  • Title: Senior Instructor I
  • Phone: 541-346-0528
  • Office: 218 Villard Hall
Department Section Description: 

This course circulates through the world of the novel by taking a slightly unusual perspective: that of subjects and objects. When the novel emerged in eighteenth-century England, “novels increased more than tea,” as Franco Moretti explains. Novels were the product of a commercial and leisured society and represented the new “distracted reading” of the age. By the century’s end, some people were concerned at the sheer number of novels published and the effect on young, female readers who read such frivolous texts. We will read three very different and highly influential novels that deal with gendered subjects and objects in complex ways. We begin with the most famous novel of the eighteenth century, an abridged version of Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa, using critical texts to help steer us through this surprisingly compelling and immersive novel. We will turn our attention to Horace Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, a Gothic novel that leads us into the realm of the unconscious through its strange collection of objects. We end with Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, where objects interact with the heroine in unusual ways, encouraging us to consider our own relationship with the novel as a commodity. This course will introduce students to concepts of literary theory, as well as an understanding of the early English novel.

Fulfills: 

Major I: B-Literature 1500-1789

Literature, 1500-1789 courses focus on writings during the period of European exploration and colonization -- from the early English Renaissance to the late eighteenth-century -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history.  Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them.  The study of early periods in particular sensitizes readers to historical transformations of the language itself.

Major II: B-Literature 1500-1789

Literature, 1500-1789 courses focus on writings during the period of European exploration and colonization -- from the early English Renaissance to the late eighteenth-century -- in order to foster familiarity with key works in British and American literary history.  Literary history illustrates how literary works reflect, address, and resist the social and political environments in which they are produced as well as other works that have preceded them.  The study of early periods in particular sensitizes readers to historical transformations of the language itself.