This course will delve deeply into George Eliot’s last multi-plot novel, Daniel Deronda (1876). On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of her birth, the course will foreground one of the most distinguishing features of Eliot’s life and work: her interest in rebellion. Published serially and set in 1865 during the final years of the U.S. Civil War and the horrific Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica, Daniel Deronda explores what it means for individuals to act out or revolt against oppressive social forces. This novel offers one of the best examples of Victorian realism, as it points directly and uncomfortably to global forms of racism and anti-Semitism. Our study will engage in a contrapuntal reading—that is, a reading in which we study the relations between the English setting and the global contexts from which Eliot draws critical force. Class discussions will consider difficult subject matter as we focus on Victorian realism and its aesthetics of racial, gender, and sexual violence in colonial and metropolitan spaces.