Instructor: Jeff Nunokawa
Description of Course Goals and CurriculumThis course goes over works of fiction from the 19th century and includes authors like Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, Charles Dickens, and George Eliot (although the reading list has changed a couple times over the past few years). In addition to learning about the literary devices that these authors used, students will also learn about the historical and cultural contexts of the course materials. Professor Nunokawa also discusses the significance of human connection and relationships between characters within these works of literature.
Learning From Classroom InstructionIn the lectures, Professor Nunokawa will give examples of compelling close readings and literary analysis, which the students should consider and use as a template for their own writing and discussions. In precept, students will have the chance to apply this learning in their discussions of the actual texts. Although precepts do discuss Professor Nunokawa’s ideas somewhat, for the most part, students are expected to produce original ideas.
Learning For and From AssignmentsThere are only two essays that students have to write for this course, but there is a great deal of reading that they must complete. The readings get progressively harder over the course of the semester (beginning with books like Emma and Jane Eyre and ending with books like Vanity Fair and Our Mutual Friend, which are much denser). Students will also be expected to produce their own close readings of the text, so they should pay attention to diction, writing style, tone, etc. while reading the books so that they can write effective essays and have interesting discussions in their precepts.
External ResourcesNo external resources are required for this class. Students should just make sure to read all the required readings so that they can use those readings in their essays and in their precept discussions.
What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course SelectionThere is a LOT of reading involved in this course, so students who are not comfortable reading should be somewhat hesitant to enroll. Students uninterested in the topic who are simply trying to fulfill a requirement also probably should not take this course. However, the essays are fairly short, and there were only two in total, so the amount of writing is surprisingly limited. This also means that each essay does count for more, so students should put a great deal of effort into their writing assignments, as there isn’t much of a chance to boost their grades later (ex. Through other, smaller assignments). Additionally, the course requires students to do a lot of critical reading and close analysis, so students should be comfortable with these concepts prior to taking the class. Although Professor Nunokawa does give a lot of examples of how to do close reading, students are expected to do their own analyses for their essays.
19th Century Fiction