Europe in the 20th Century through the Novel
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This research seminar will assess the value of modern novels as resources for writing twentieth-century European history. We will commence with a review of the “linguistic turn” in intellectual historiography and some recent responses to it. Having considered new developments in intellectual history, literary theory, and the social sciences of culture, we will commonly read a selection of novels from this period and discuss their usefulness to the historian. Finally students will be asked to produce research papers based on careful consideration of a single text’s various contexts. While prospective Europeanists are encouraged to study novels in their original language, we will concentrate on works in translation.
READING: To provide a basis for class discussion, selections the following books are required reading. Assignments must be read before coming to each session.
DISCUSSIONS: This course will consist of weekly discussion sessions. After introductions to each section of the course, I will ask two or three of you to each briefly introduce a source for discussion. You should explain how they (or some aspect of them) represent basic themes of the day’s topic. These mini-presentations will be prearranged during the first two sessions of the semester. Depending on course enrollment, you will be asked to initiate discussion in this way numerous times during the semester. Performance on these introductions will constitute part of your class participation grade. Those not introducing materials are still responsible for reading them. You are always expected to contribute to discussion, in response to the initial statements. General involvement in class discussions will also determine your class participation grade.
TERM PROJECT: You will write a
You are to complete this project in four stages:
1. By class time Tuesday, February 20, you must select your topic and sources in consultation with me during my office hours. Please submit a written committment to your topic.
2. On Tuesday, March 12, you will turn in a one-page statement of purpose (typed). It should summarize of the subject matter of your work, review the primary source you are studying, announce the general aims of your study, and list the sources you will use (in bibliographical format).
3. On Tuesday, March 26, you will turn in a three-page thematic outline of your paper (typed). This must be more than a “topical” outline. It should include a fully developed thesis statement and subsequent entries should be in the form of full sentences.
4. Oral presentations
5. the finished paper is due.
GRADES: Grades will be determined according to the following scheme.
Class Participation 50%
Term Paper (incl. "stages") 50%
I will be available at my Lakeshore Campus office, Crown Center 513, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30 to 11:30am and Tuesdays from 5:00 to 6:00pm. My telephone number there is 508-2221. If none of these hours are suitable, speak to me to arrange an appointment. If necessary, please leave a message with the Department of History the above number.
READING AND DISCUSSION SCHEDULE