Intro to Lit: Literary History (Historical Fiction)

For this course,
we will be reading, explicating, and analyzing prose fiction, focusing on the HISTORICAL
NOVEL, in which the setting is real, drawn from actual past events, and
the story features historical personages who interact with characters that come
from the author’s imagination. We will explore the implications of such
interactivity, the reasons for such, and their impact on our understanding of
history. We will also analyze these
stories through time-honored elements such as PLOT, POINT OF VIEW, CHARACTER,
and VOICE, and THEME, and look at the various ways in which NARRATIVE is

The course
objectives include the following:
make history come to life; foster
critical thinking, via the intersection of readings, class discussions, and formal/informal
writing; expose
the student to the possibility that some of the best thinking comes from
writing, from exploring one’s thought on paper—or on the computer screen;
make use of research resources.

To accomplish
these goals, students will be writing response papers for every novel. These
responses will serve as a way to explore ideas that can be expanded on
in formal essays. There will be two formal essays, and students will get to
revise one of them.

In addition,
there will be quizzes, a midterm and a final. Both exams will be part-essay, part short answer. This is
a discussion-based class, so attendance and participation are important

Required Texts

(available through Revolution Books, 2626
S. King Street)

Dickens, Charles, A Tale Of Two Cities

Doctorow, E.L. Ragtime

Ishiguro, Kazuo, The Remains Of The Day

Scott, Walter, Ivanhoe

There will also be a course reader (available from Professional Image, 2633 S.
King Street), featuring novel
excerpts/short stories by Margaret Atwood, Don DeLillo, Lisa See, James Ellroy,
Joyce Carol Oates, John Fowles, and Thomas Pynchon.