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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

ENGL 72.06 Dickens in Context

This class will focus on the work of Charles Dickens in two distinct contexts. First, we will spend the term engaging in an intensive, deliberately slow reading of Dickens’s Bleak House, which was published from March, 1852 to September, 1853, in 20 monthly parts. By spreading our reading of this long, complex novel over the span of the fall term, we will gain access to something like the experience of its first readers, who encountered the text in units of several chapters, separated by time. Second, we will put Dickens and Bleak House in conversation with three other novelists and novels that shared the moment in the marketplace: Elizabeth Gaskell’s Cranford, published serially and edited by Dickens in 1851-52, Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, published in 1853, and Anthony Trollope’s Barchester Towers, published in 1855. Through work in Rauner Library, we will learn about the material history of literary production in the mid-Victorian period, and through engagement with contemporary critical and theoretical texts, we will learn about the implications of the narrative experiments Dickens, Gaskell, Brontë, and Trollope undertook in the 1850s. Though reading for the course will be demanding, keeping up will be rewarded with ample room for lively in-class discussions.

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

Senior Seminar: Course Group II