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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 52.18 Netflix and the Victorian Serial Novel

How does the shape of a narrative change the way we experience it? Beginning in 1836 with Charles Dickens’ first novel, Victorian audiences often read texts as weekly and monthly ‘parts’ rather than as literary ‘wholes’. In 2007, Netflix introduced streaming, and in 2013, the company began producing original content. Instead of waiting a week for the next television episode, audiences could binge watch entire seasons (or more). Both the serial and digital streaming have been called revolutionary, but what does this mean? This course pairs Victorian serial novels and Netflix original series in order to think critically about structure and form. How does the play between serial part and whole necessitate new temporalities, strategies of characterization and narration, and types of suspense? How does binge-watching disrupt or reshape narrative time and sequencing? How have both new forms altered cultural discourses on gender, social consciousness, crime, and politics? How do narratives intersect with other types of seriality, including evolution, reproduction and inheritance, election cycles, and the #MeToo movement? This course emphasizes close reading and watching as well as narrative theory and reception and moves between nineteenth-century novels and twenty-first century series.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Course Group II