2008 AM Historical Novels
- Time: Tuesdays 10-12 am
The historical novel is one of the classical subgenres of the modern novel. This course will introduce students to the beginnings and the early history of the genre. In the first half of the semester, we will read Walter Scott's Waverley (1814) and become familiar with the main characteristics of a genre which invites its readers to reflect on the relation in which their romantic past stands towards their current modernity. In the second half of term, we will encounter a set of shorter eighteenth-century texts which were also called 'historical novels', although they were not at all concerned with 'history' in the modern sense. We will analyse a selection of these texts, attempt to identify their generic features and examine their differences to the modern form. In doing so, we will also seek to understand the developments that led from one type of historical novel to the next. By the beginning of term, students should have purchased and read Walter Scott, Waverley; or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since, ed. Claire Lamont, Oxford World's Classics, Oxford University Press, 1998. As introductory reading please consult the essays by Borgmeier and Trevor-Roper (cf. below, reading materials)
Course Requirements for credits as a Aufbaumodul:
- Regular attendance and active participation (you may miss up to two meetings, whatever the reasons).
- An oral presentation of ca. 20 minutes that will form the basis for your subsequent term paper (you present information and develop an argument that must allow you to formulate research questions concerning a particular text and topic, which will then be discussed by the seminar).
- A term paper (generally dealing with one or several of the issues raised in your oral contribution; length ca. 10 pages; deadline September 1, 2008).
- Fulfilling all three requirements successfully will earn you a total of six credit points towards your module (6 KP)
- Fulfilling only the first two requirements will earn you a total of three credit points towards your module (3 KP).
Trevor-Roper, Hugh. "The Invention of Tradition: The Highland Tradition of Scotland." The Invention of Tradition ed. Eric Hobsbawm, Terence Ranger, Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1st. ed. 1983, repr. 2003. 15-42.
Bann, Stephen. "The Sense of the Past: Image, Text, and Object in the Formation of Historical Consciousness in Nineteenth-Century Britain." The New Historicism. Ed. Aram Veeser. New York: Routledge, 1989, 102-115.
Some 'Historical Novels':