The full syllabus is available here: syllabus.pdf.


Readings are to be completed by the day they are listed under. The schedule may change as term goes on. The most up-to-date syllabus will always be available via Unless otherwise noted, readings are required and should be completed before class. You are expected to have the reading, in print form, with you in class. If a reading is distributed digitally, you may either print it out or bring your written notes on it instead.

Thursday, January 18. Introduction.

  • Readings for discussion distributed in class:
    • Aesop, “The Ant and the Cricket” and “The Fox and the Grapes.”
    • Franz Kafka, “A Little Fable” and “Before the Law.”

Monday, January 22. Plot.

  • Conan Doyle, “A Scandal in Bohemia.”
  • Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.”
  • Bal, Narratology, 75–98.

(Tuesday, January 23.)

  • Last day to drop the course without a “W.”

Thursday, January 25. Genre.

  • Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle,” continued.
  • Conan Doyle, “The Adventure of the Speckled Band.”
  • Pirkis, “The Redhill Sisterhood.”
  • Frow, Genre, 6–19, 134–41.

Monday, January 29. Narrative discourse.

  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice, vol. 1.
  • Bal, Narratology, 15–29.

Thursday, February 1.

  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice, through vol. 2, chap. 11.

Monday, February 5. Character.

  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice, through vol. 3, chap. 5.
  • Exercise due. “Ironic.”

Thursday, February 8.

  • Austen, Pride and Prejudice, complete.
  • Woloch, The One vs. the Many, 56–58, 62–82. The rest of chap. 1 is highly recommended but optional.

Monday, February 12. Frames.

  • Shelley, Frankenstein, 3–68.
  • Bal, Narratology, 56–71.

Thursday, February 15.

  • Shelley, Frankenstein, 3–118.

Monday, February 19. Textuality.

  • Shelley, Frankenstein, complete, and appendices A and B.
  • Exercise due. The principled essay introduction.

Thursday, February 22.

  • Shelley, Frankenstein, continued.
  • Mellor, “Choosing a Text of Frankenstein to Teach.”
  • Poovey, “My Hideous Progeny.”

(Saturday, February 24.)

  • Paper 1 due.

Monday, February 26. Adaptation and medium.

  • Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

Thursday, March 1.

  • Dickens, A Christmas Carol.
  • Davis, The Lives and Times of Ebenezer Scrooge, chap. 1.

Monday, March 5. Point of view.

  • James, What Maisie Knew, chaps. 1–8.
  • Exercise due. The medium of prose.

Thursday, March 8. Theory of mind.

  • James, What Maisie Knew, chaps. 1–15.
  • Zunshine, Why We Read Fiction, 6–12, 16–36.

(March 10–18. Spring recess.)

Monday, March 19.

  • James, What Maisie Knew, complete.
  • Last day to withdraw from the course with a “W.”

Thursday, March 22. Contradictions and resolutions.

  • James, What Maisie Knew.
  • Rowe, The Other Henry James.

Monday, March 26.

  • Midterm exam in class.

Thursday, March 29. Stream of consciousness.

  • Woolf, To the Lighthouse, pt. 1, chaps. 1–8.
  • Auerbach, “The Brown Stocking,” excerpt.

Monday, April 2. Fiction in history.

  • Woolf, To the Lighthouse, pts. 1–2.
  • Flint, “Virginia Woolf and the General Strike.”

Thursday, April 5.

  • Woolf, To the Lighthouse, complete.

(Sunday, April 8.)

  • Exercise due, 5 p.m. Responding to scholarship.

Monday, April 9.

  • Woolf, To the Lighthouse.

Thursday, April 12. Memory, story, history.

  • Morrison, Beloved, 3–75.

Monday, April 16.

  • Morrison, Beloved, 3–124.

Thursday, April 19. Genre and history.

  • Morrison, Beloved, 3–195.
  • Watkins, “The Slave Mother.”
  • May, Fugitive Slave Law, 37–45.

Monday, April 23.

  • Morrison, Beloved, 3–235.
  • Exercise due. Paper 2 draft page.

Thursday, April 26. Literary politics, past and present.

  • Morrison, Beloved, complete.
  • Alexandre, “From the Same Tree.”

(Saturday, April 28.)

  • Paper 2 due.

Monday, April 30.

  • Morrison, Beloved.
  • Berger, “Ghosts of Liberalism.”
  • Love, “Close but not Deep,” 383–87 (the rest is optional).

Monday, May 7, 8–11 am.

  • Final exam.


  • Alexandre, Sandy. “From the Same Tree: Gender and Iconography in Representations of Violence in Beloved.” Signs 36, no. 4 (Summer 2011): 915–40. Online via the libraries.

  • Auerbach, Erich. “The Brown Stocking.” In Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature, translated by Willard R. Trask. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953. Online on Sakai.

  • Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Edited by James Kinsley. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008. isbn: 9780199535569.

  • Bal, Mieke. Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative. 3rd ed. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2009. Excerpts on Sakai.

  • Berger, James. “Ghosts of Liberalism: Morrison’s Beloved and the Moynihan Report.” PMLA 111, no. 3 (May 1996): 409–20. Online via the libraries.

  • Conan Doyle, Arthur. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. New York: Dover, 2009. isbn: 9780486474915.

  • Davis, Paul. The Lives and Times of Ebenezer Scrooge. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990. Excerpt available on Sakai.

  • Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol. New York: Dover, 1991. isbn: 9780486268651.

  • Flint, Kate. “Virginia Woolf and the General Strike.” Essays in Criticism 36, no. 4 (October 1986): 319–34. Online on Sakai.

  • Frow, John. Genre. 2nd ed. London: Routledge, 2015. Excerpt on Sakai.

  • James, Henry. What Maisie Knew. Edited by Adrian Poole. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. isbn: 9780199538591.

  • Love, Heather. “Close but not Deep: Literary Ethics and the Descriptive Turn.” New Literary History 41, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 371–91.

  • May, Samuel. The Fugitive Slave Law, and Its Victims. New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1856. Internet Archive.

  • Mellor, Anne K. “Choosing a Text of Frankenstein to Teach.” In Approaches to Teaching Shelley’s Frankenstein, edited by Stephen C. Behrendt, 31–37. New York: Modern Language Association, 1990. Online on Sakai.

  • Morrison, Toni. Beloved. New York: Vintage, 2004. isbn: 9781400033416.

  • Pirkis, C.L. “The Redhill Sisterhood.” Ludgate Monthly 4 (1893). Online on Sakai.

  • Poovey, Mary. “My Hideous Progeny: Mary Shelley and the Feminization of Romanticism.” PMLA 95, no. 3 (May 1980): 332–47. Online via the libraries.

  • Rowe, John Carlos. The Other Henry James. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998. Excerpt available on Sakai.

  • Shelley, Mary. Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus: The 1818 Text. Edited by Marilyn Butler. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993. isbn: 9780199537150. It is essential that you work from an edition of the 1818 text.

  • Watkins, Francis Ellen [Francis Ellen Watkins Harper]. “The Slave Mother: A Tale of the Ohio.” In Poems on Miscellaneous Subjects, 40–42. Philadephia: Merrihew & Thompson, 1857. Internet Archive.

  • Woloch, Alex. The One vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. Online via the libraries.

  • Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. Edited by Mark Hussey. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005. isbn: 9780156030472. Please acquire this edition, which has good annotations.

  • Zunshine, Lisa. Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2006. Excerpt on Sakai.