Modern Urban Novel
Instructor: Nigel Alderman
Course Dates: May 27 – June 29, 2014
Class Meeting Times: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
As London and the British novel enter the new millennium, both are sites of competing histories, traditions, and agendas. This course will chart the city’s progress from the center of an empire to a node in the global world’s economy, and the novel’s movement from realism to postmodernism and beyond. Beginning by contrasting the realist London of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories with Virginia Woolf’s modernist version in Mrs. Dalloway, we will go on to focus on recent developments in the British novel. We will finish in the multicultural and multiethnic London of Zadie Smith, the city in which, according to a recent UNESCO report, there are more first languages spoken at home than in any other. By so doing, we will examine the history and tradition of the novel and investigate its various theories, genres, and styles.