Hl 3017: The Rise of the Novel this is a provisional syllabus. Please refer to the syllabus uploaded to ntulearn once the semester begins

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HL 3017: The Rise of the Novel
Fall 2017

Instructor: Sam Cahill

Meeting Time: TBA

Office: HSS-03-73

Office Hours: TBA

(and by appointment)

Contact number: 6592 1534

Email: sacahill@ntu.edu.sg

Curriculum Requirements

This course fulfills Elective Category F (Specific Interest Subjects)

Co-requisites: HL101

Format: Seminar (39 hours/semester)

Course Description

Eighteenth-century English readers recognized the “novel” as a new literary form that borrowed from previous narrative traditions such as the spiritual autobiography, romance, the picaresque tale, criminal biography, and travel literature. As a genre the “novel” raises questions of authority, tradition, convention, and innovation: What distinguishes creation from bastardization? What types of “mixing” are acceptable and which are not? How is something recognized as genuinely new and how is it incorporated into an existing tradition? The genre enabled authors and readers to explore the subjectivity of the individual self, the constitution of identity within a specific environment, and the relationship between “self” and “other.”

The course will cover the development of the eighteenth-century English novel as a narrative form while analyzing the different literary choices and innovations used to represent identity and its response to novelty. We will study how novelists used and adapted their narrative form to negotiate conflicts of class, nation, gender, family, religion, and literary tradition. By the end of the course, students will have a sound familiarity with the history and development of the eighteenth-century English novel and will have acquired the vocabulary and analytical tools to think critically about the form and function of the novel.
Student Assessment

  • Participation: 10% (this includes writing exercises and group activities; we will have in-class exercises using the databases EEBO, ECCO, and SABIN)

  • Midterm assignment - Evaluating the “scholarly conversation” (750 words): 10%.

You do NOT have to have read the primary text yet—you are evaluating what other people have said ABOUT it. Choose one primary text (a full (not excerpted) text on the syllabus that was published between 1660 and 1820; so, NOT Atonement). Select three works of scholarship (at least ONE of which must have been published in the last TEN YEARS (2007 or later) that focus on your primary text. Summarize the argument of each scholarly work (at least a paragraph for each source) and then briefly evaluate this miniature “scholarly conversation” on your text. (Evaluation might include answering questions such as: Where do the scholars agree/disagree? What gaps are there in the conversation? How might you intervene in the discussion? Do you see any weaknesses in any of the arguments? Does the discussion raise any particularly important points about the novel that you would like to explore further?) The assignment must include a Works Cited page and be formatted according to MLA conventions.

  • Final Essay (2000-2500 words): 30%. Essays must focus on at least one primary text (you may use Atonement) and utilize three texts of modern scholarship (at least ONE of which must have been published in the last TEN YEARS (2007 or later). You *may* but are *not required* to write your final essay on the same primary text as your midterm assignment. Essays will be evaluated according to the following criteria: proper use of standard English (spelling, punctuation, grammar, style); use of primary and secondary (scholarly) texts (quotes; specific concrete details; analysis); organization and clarity (identifiable thesis; logical argument and transitions; sufficient evidence to support thesis; a succinct and accurate conclusion); proper page layout and documentation (margins, spacing, MLA citation format).

  • Final Exam: 50% (Essay Questions)

* Hard copies of all papers must be turned in to me directly by 5pm on the due date. Late essays will be docked (AA-; B+B) for every day late except in cases of documented family or medical emergency.

-- NTULearn: selected excerpts; “Introduction,” Making the Novel (2006); Shamela; Preface to Joseph Andrews

-- Robinson Crusoe (1719), Daniel Defoe

-- Pamela (1740-1), Samuel Richardson; Oxford World’s Classics (2001), eds. Thomas Keymer and Alice Wakely

-- The Castle of Otranto (1764), Horace Walpole

-- A Sentimental Journey (1768), Laurence Sterne

-- Northanger Abbey (1818), Jane Austen

-- Atonement (2001), Ian McEwan
Course Outline

The Development of the English Novel, 1660-1740

* Introduction

Historical overview, discussion of fanfiction, major theorists of the novel
* Literary Traditions before the Novel

Reading: “Novel Precursors” (selections from Don Quixote and Clelia); “Introduction” to Making the Novel; “Important Critics” (NTULearn)

* “Father of the Novel”?

Reading: Robinson Crusoe (first half)

* Colonialism and the Canon

Reading: Robinson Crusoe (second half)

The 1740s – Richardson and Fielding

*Class and Sentiment: The Power of Epistolary Fiction

Reading: Pamela, first half of the novel

*Class and Sentiment: The Power of Epistolary Fiction

Reading: Pamela, second half of the novel

**Midterms Due (hard copy in my office by 5pm): TBA**
*Class and Satire: Problems of Authenticity, Legitimacy, and Hierarchy

Reading: Shamela; Preface to Joseph Andrews (NTULearn)

Pushing Boundaries

*The Gothic

Reading: The Castle of Otranto
*Sentiment and Community: Tears, Sympathy, and the Abject

Reading: A Sentimental Journey

*Defending the Novel

Reading: Northanger Abbey (first half)

* Defending the Novel

Reading: Northanger Abbey (second half)

Novel Directions

*Fact or Fiction?: Problems of Reading and Interpretation

Reading: Atonement (first half)
*Fact or Fiction?: Problems of Reading and Interpretation, continued

Reading: Atonement (second half)

**Final Essays Due (hard copy in my office by 5pm): TBA**

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