Fall 2011

The Revolutionary Tradition

Listed in: English, as ENGL-315


Michaela Bronstein (Section 01)


 In this course we will read novels about revolutionaries and about violent responses to oppression.  Most were written for and about particular social problems.  Yet revolutionaries often appeal to novelists precisely because they seem to represent much more than the social problem they seek to reform.  The course examines the extent to which this representative quality can help and hinder a novel’s status as globally lasting art.  Two critical questions among the many we will explore are:  How does the novel reconcile the long aims of literature with the urgent claims of the present?  What happens when historically specific stories are smuggled across national borders, or revisited a century later?  How, for example, does a novelist writing about Kenya, a former British colony, relate to the literary heritage of the British colonizers?  Readings will include novels by Dickens, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Henry James, Conrad, Ngugi, and others.

Limited to 20 students.  Fall semester.  Visiting Lecturer Bronstein.

If Overenrolled: Preference given to English majors.


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2011