Deprecated: __autoload() is deprecated, use spl_autoload_register() instead in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php on line 17

Warning: ini_set(): Headers already sent. You cannot change the session module's ini settings at this time in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 22

Warning: ini_set(): Headers already sent. You cannot change the session module's ini settings at this time in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 23

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 25

Warning: ini_set(): Headers already sent. You cannot change the session module's ini settings at this time in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 26

Warning: ini_set(): Headers already sent. You cannot change the session module's ini settings at this time in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 27

Warning: ini_set(): Headers already sent. You cannot change the session module's ini settings at this time in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 28

Warning: ini_set(): Headers already sent. You cannot change the session module's ini settings at this time in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 29

Warning: session_set_save_handler(): Cannot change save handler when headers already sent in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Data/AbstractSQL.php on line 86

Warning: session_name(): Cannot change session name when headers already sent in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 45

Warning: session_start(): Cannot start session when headers already sent in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 46

Warning: session_cache_limiter(): Cannot change cache limiter when headers already sent in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Session.php on line 47

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Common/Page.php on line 57

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Common/Page.php on line 58

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Webmention.php on line 376

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/Webmention.php on line 377

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/PubSubHubbub.php on line 41

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Core/PubSubHubbub.php on line 42

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/Idno/Common/Page.php on line 998

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/bonita/includes/Bonita/Templates.php on line 170

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/templates/default/shell.tpl.php on line 5

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/external/htmlpurifier-lite/library/HTMLPurifier.autoload.php:17) in /home/rachelsa/public_html/rise2015/templates/default/shell.tpl.php on line 6
Skip to main content


# English 035: The Rise of the Novel

+ instructor: Rachel Sagner Buurma
+ semester: Fall 2015
+ time: MWF 10:30-11:20
+ location: LPAC 301
+ office: LPAC 302
+ office hours: M 1- 4 and by appointment
+ email:
+ eligible for GSST and INTP credit; eligible for either pre- or post-1830 credit in English major and minor

- - -

In this course we will examine the development of the novel from its origin in a multiplicity of diverse literary genres in the eighteenth century to its Victorian incarnation as a “realist” and middle-class form. We will then go on to examine the appropriation of the novel as high art by Modernist writers and its subsequent return to its multi-genre roots later in the twentieth century. We will trace changes in the novel’s treatment of themes such as publicity and privacy, the role of gender and sexuality in social life, the significance of monetary exchange, and the proper relation between the author and his or her text. We will pay close attention to questions of realism, and will think about how the novel’s form and content work together to create literary meaning. First surveying the main critical narratives of the novel's "rise" or development, we will move on to see how the novel's production, circulation, reception, and materiality – how it was composed, printed, published, bought, sold, borrowed, and read - might offer us a counter-narrative to more conventional interpretations of the novel and its origins. We will do this through a close attention to careful reading of landmark canonical novels and authors, a survey of the main critical and theoretical approaches to the novel, and an investigation of printing and publication history.

In addition to reading canonical novels and watching the core concepts of the genre unfold over the course of three centuries, we will play with early editions of old books in digital and physical form, explore new techniques for the [distant reading of large corpuses of novels](, be critical about all kinds of accounts of [the novel's "rise,"](, and ask questions about the relation between the history of novelistic realism and contemporary speculative genres.

Suggested for readers, writers, critics, and reviewers of fiction, fans of experimental-genre literary criticism, aspiring librarians and information scientists, and students interested in exploring humanities applications of computational techniques.


### Week I: *Robinson Crusoe* (1719)

##### August 31
+ Welcome and Introduction
+ Course overview
+ The rise of the novel in title pages
+ "Rise"? "Novel"?
+ Canon and archive: How does what we are reading in this course [compare]( with other similar courses taught elsewhere? How did you select what we are reading?

##### September 2
+ *Robinson Crusoe*, 1-56
+ RC's republishing history - in title pages
+ Before novels
+ Close Reading a Novel
+ [exercise 1]( assigned

##### September 4
+ *Robinson Crusoe*, continued
+ exercise 1 due, exercise 2 assigned

### Week II: *Robinson Crusoe* (1719)

##### September 7
+ *Robinson Crusoe*, 57-241
+ completely optional: Underwood, Auvil, and Capitano, "Mapping Mutable Genres"

##### September 9
+ *Robinson Crusoe*, continued
+ selection from Watt, *The Rise of the Novel*

##### September 11
+ *Robinson Crusoe* continued (possibly also begin reading *Pamela*)
+ exercise 2 due, exercise 3 assigned
+ short paper assigned

### Week III: *Pamela* (1740)

##### September 14
+ *Pamela*, 11-238

##### September 16
+ *Pamela* chapter summary (pdf)
+ *Pamela* 476-503
+ short close reading paper assigned

##### September 18
+ selection from Armstrong, *Desire and Domestic Fiction*
+ exercise 3 assigned

### Week IV: *Pamela* and *Shamela* (1741)

##### September 21
+ *Shamela*, all

##### September 23
+ *Shamela*, continued
+ exercise 3 due; exercise 4 assigned
+ selection from Ramsay, *Reading Machines*

##### September 25
+ McKeon, "Generic Transformation and Social Change"

### Week V: *Tristram Shandy* (1778)

##### September 28
+ *Tristram Shandy*, first 100 pages

##### September 30
+ *Tristram Shandy*, continued
+ exercise 4 due; exercise 5 assigned

##### October 2
+ from Thomas Keymer, “Sterne and the ‘New Species of Writing’” in *Tristram Shandy: A Casebook* (tentative)

### Week VI: *Evelina* (1778)

##### October 5
+ Evelina, 1-200

##### October 7
+ Evelina, 200-300; bibliographic description assignment assigned
+ exercise 5 due; exercise 6 assigned

##### October 9
+ selection from Habermas, *The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere*
+ short paper due by midnight October 11th
+ descriptive bibliography project assigned

### Week VII: October Holiday – you may wish to read ahead and begin *Northanger Abbey* as well

### Week VIII: *Evelina* (1778)

##### October 19
+ *Evelina*, 300-450

##### October 21
+ *Evelina*, continued
+ exercise 6 due

##### October 23
+ Barthes, "The Reality Effect"

### Week IX: *Northanger Abbey*

##### October 26
+ *Northanger Abbey*, 36-240 (all)
+ selections from Broadview NA appendix
+ totally optional: Algee-Hewitt and Piper, "The Werther Effect I"

##### October 28
+ *Northanger Abbey*, continued
+ narrative monologue handout based on Cohn, *Transparent Minds*
+ exercise 7 assigned

##### October 30
+ selection from Anderson, *Imagined Communities*

### Week X: *The Moonstone* (1868)

##### November 2
+ *The Moonstone*, 3-271
+ final paper/project assigned

##### November 4
+ Early Novels Database students present Summer 2015 projects
+ *The Moonstone*, continued

##### November 6
+ topic modeling open lab replaces class (tentative)

### Week XI: *The Moonstone*

##### November 9
+ *The Moonstone*, 272-472

##### November 11
+ *The Moonstone*, continued
+ exercise 7 due

##### November 13
+ selection from Foucault, *Discipline and Punish*
+ selection from Miller, *The Novel and the Police* (Introduction and ch 2)
+ selection from Said, *Orientalism*

### Week XII: Daisy Miller (1878)

##### November 16
+ *Daisy Miller*, all

##### November 18
+ James, "The Figure in the Carpet"
+ (working on experimental descriptive project)
+ exercise 8 assigned

##### November 20
+ Jameson, “The Realist Floor-plan”
+ house of fiction passage

*Descriptive bibliography project due to Omeka site by midnight, November 22nd*

### Week XIII: *Ulysses* (1922)

##### November 23
+ *Ulysses*, "Nausicaa" chapter

##### November 25
+ no class (begin reading A House for Mr. Biswas)

##### November 27
+ no class – Thanksgiving break

### Week XIV: A House for Mr. Biswas (1961)

##### November 30
+ A House for Mr. Biswas, 5-292
+ final paper plans due; final paper meetings with me this week

##### December 2
+ exercise 8 due
+ [Infinite Ulysses]( (tentative)
+ Homi Bhabha, “The World and the Home”

##### December 4
+ in-class criticism exam

### Week XV: *A House for Mr. Biswas*

##### December 7
+ *A House for Mr. Biswas*, 292-564
+ Conclusions

*Final papers/projects due by midnight, Dec 20*

### Texts and Assignments

#### Course texts: novels and short stories
+ Daniel Defoe, *Robinson Crusoe*. London: Penguin, 2003. ISBN: 0141439823
+ Samuel Richardson, *Pamela*. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISNB: 978-0199536498
+ Eliza Haywood and Henry Fielding, *Anti-Pamela and Shamela*. Toronto: Broadview Press, 2004.
ISNB: 155111383X
+ Laurence Sterne, *Tristram Shandy* Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. 978-0199532896
+ Frances Burney, *Evelina*. London: Penguin. ISNB: 0140433473
+ Jane Austen, *Northanger Abbey*. Broadview. ISBN 1551114798
+ Wilkie Collins, *The Moonstone*. Penguin. ISBN 0140434089
+ Henry James, *Daisy Miller*. Penguin. ISBN 0140432620
+ Henry James, "The Figure in the Carpet." Available on Dropbox.
+ V. S. Naipaul, *A House for Mr. Biswas*. Vintage. ISBN 0375707166

These books, unless otherwise noted, are available at the Swarthmore bookstore. You are also welcome to buy these books online or at a different store. Be aware that you need to have your own copy of the specific edition of each of the books listed above. Sadly, ebook readers are not yet robust enough for the lightening-fast page-turning and passage-navigating we will be doing in the class, so they are not an alternative to printing pdfs or buying books. I do recommend that you print on both sides and, if your eyesight is up to it, two pages per side.

#### Course texts: criticism
+ Benedict Anderson, from *Imagined Communities*
+ Nancy Armstrong, from *Desire and Domestic Fiction*
+ Roland Barthes, "The Reality Effect"
+ Michel Foucault, "Panopticism" from *Discipline and Punish*
+ Catherine Gallagher, "The Rise of Fictionality" (optional)
+ Jürgen Habermas, from *The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere*
+ Henry James, "The Art of Fiction" (optional)
+ Fredric Jameson, “The Realist Floor-plan”
+ George Levine, from *The Realistic Imagination* (optional)
+ Michael McKeon, "Generic Transformation and Social Change: Rethinking the Rise of the Novel"
+ D.A. Miller, from *The Novel and the Police*
+ Franco Moretti, from "The Slaughterhouse of Literature"
+ Edward Said, from *Orientalism*
+ Ian Watt, from *The Rise of the Novel*

All of the critical readings will be available in pdf form in our Dropbox. I will be inviting you to the Dropbox shortly; if you prefer to use an email addresses other than your Swarthmore one, make sure you let me know.

*Please be sure to print out the pdf format texts and bring them to class with you on the relevant days.*

#### Additional reading
While it is in no way necessary for you to read ANY of these additional texts (except potentially during preparation for your final paper), in the “extra reading” course documents folder you will find some lists of texts should you wish to do more reading on a particular novel, or on the history of theory of the novel more generally. You should also feel free to consult me about what additional reading might best fit your interests.

#### Reading assignments
Because novels are, almost by definition, long, some of our reading assignments will necessary be lengthy. Weekly reading assignments will generally be between 150 and (much less often) 250 pages of novel and between 5 and 20 pages of secondary reading. I recommend that you look at the syllabus and plan to start reading longer assignments ahead of time. There may be occasional reading quizzes – covering both novels and critical/theoretical readings - as necessary.

#### Exercises
You will complete 8 short exercises designed to introduce you to some aspects of computationally-assisted literary study. No previous experience is required. These exercises include will be supported by optional open lab sessions allowing you to seek expert advice on questions you may have and/or work on your exercise in company with other students. They are graded as complete/incomplete, but cumulative excellent and creative work on them will be noticed and rewarded in your overall participation grade.

#### Informal writing

We will use this Known site as our informal blogging/link-and-image-sharing platform. You will be invited to create an account shortly. We will post our responses to exercises and other occasional short response assignments. You are also welcome - invited! encouraged! - to post links with comments, images, quick thoughts, etc to the Known as they occur to you.

*Remember to keep your own copy of anything you post to Known.*

When you post, think about adding hashtags. Assignments will have required hashtags, but you can also add your own. For example, your post for assignment 1 should include the tags - but you may choose to add other generally relevant tages (#list) or tags that are particular to your findings and interpretation (#capitalism etc).

Known's privacy settings allow you to share your posts with "members only" (in this case, the other members of the class and anyone else for whom I create a guest account) or to make them "public." This is up to you; you may choose to share some posts publicly and not others.

For more on Known, visit [their website]( and read [this piece on Known]( by Audrey Watters. Note that you can have your own Known account for free. You can also have your own [Reclaim Hosting]( account (from which you can host and customize your own instance of Known at your own url, among other exciting things) for cheap.

Known supports [Markdown](, a lightweight plain text formatting syntax designed to be read by both people and machines. Documents formatted in Markdown convert easily to html, pdf and other formats (Word, etc). I do not require that you use Markdown, but if you are even minimally interesting in writing for the web in any way (and who isn't?), I strongly suggest that you spend 30 minutes on the basics and then use Markdown to format your Known posts. Very quick basics are [here](; for more comprehensive info look at [Commonmark](, an effort to better specify and document Markdown.

#### Short paper
This is a 4-5 page paper. You have two options. The first option is to write an argument-driven essay based on close readings of one of the novels. The second option is to present a series of careful, in-depth close readings from one of the novels that are organized around a theme or question, but do not have to add up to a full argument. Be clear about which option you have chosen. You may want to set up a conference with me to discuss the paper beforehand, but this is optional.

#### Descriptive bibliography project
The research project designed to acquaint you with bibliographic description and ask you to think about other possible ways of describing or representing an eighteenth-century book; we will discuss specifics in class. It is a public assignment, which means that you should know and agree that it will be published on a website accessible to the general public.

#### Final paper or project
This assignment will incorporate secondary sources and some independent research (specifics of the assignment to be discussed further in class). It can take many different forms.

#### Criticism exam
This 50-minute exam is designed to text your knowledge of the critical and theoretical readings. We will devote a day to reviewing for it at the end of the semester. I will be very clear about the exam’s format and contents.

#### Weekly class format
Though this will certainly vary as needed, in general our Mondays will be dedicated to some overview of major questions and issues along with contextualization and background, often partially in the form of lecture but including discussion. Wednesdays we will tend to delve into particular passages in more depth and discuss our computationally-assisted exercises, and Fridays we will discuss critical readings together (sometimes in smaller groups at first) before coming to a modicum of closure via those critical readings and briefly setting up for the following week.

#### Optional open lab
Fridays Nabil Kashyap (Swarthmore Librarian for Digital Initiatives and Scholarship) and Roberto Vargas (Swarthmore Libraries Reference and Digital Projects Resident) will offer open lab time, during which you can ask questions about the current exercise or just work on it in company. Specific time and place to be announced.

### Policies and Advice

#### Grading

+ 30% class participation (includes in-class discussion, quizzes, exercises, and Known posts)
+ 20% 4-5 page paper
+ 15% descriptive bibliography project
+ 10% criticism exam
+ 25% 10-12 page final paper or project

#### Laptops and phones
This policy is constantly in flux for me across courses and semesters, but this year in this class I am going to ask that you do not use a laptop, tablet, or phone for note-taking (or anything else) during class time unless we specifically need one for our class activities. We may change this policy over the course of the semester. I’ll also ask that you silence and put away your mobile phone for the duration of class. Disability accommodations requiring the use of a computer are of course not covered by this policy.

#### Plagiarism
Plagiarism is a very serious offence. It includes both the direct copying of the words of another person without crediting him or her and paraphrasing the ideas of another person without giving credit. See the English department’s guidelines on how to properly cite sources here:
If you have any questions about how to properly cite another person’s work, please do not hesitate to ask me.

#### Attendance and due dates
Because this is a discussion-oriented class, attendance is essential. Missing more than three class sessions will result in a lowered grade (1/3 of a grade per additional unexcused absence) unless you have a valid excuse confirmed by your advisor or class dean. Remember to reserve some of your absences for the possibility of missing class due to routine illness like the flu or a bad cold. Late papers will incur a penalty (1/3 of a grade per class day late) unless you have a similarly valid excuse. So if a paper is due on Friday midnight and you don’t turn it in until the following Thursday, that’s 2/3 of a grade late, making an actual B+ paper, for example, into a recorded B-.

#### Pre- and post-1830 Requirement
This class may count towards either the pre-1830 or the post-1830 requirement.

#### Accommodations for disability
I want to work to make sure that everyone in this class has the access to the materials, resources, and support they need in order to learn most effectively. You are always free to talk to me about your own situation. A key Swarthmore resource in this area is the Office of Student Disability Services. Their accommodations policy is here: If you believe that you need accommodations for a disability, please contact Leslie Hempling in the Office of Student Disability Services (Parrish 113) or email to arrange an appointment to discuss your needs. As appropriate, she will issue students with documented disabilities a formal Accommodations Letter. Since accommodations require early planning and are not retroactive, please contact her as soon as possible. For details about the accommodations process, visit the Student Disability Service Website at You are also welcome to contact me [the faculty member] privately to discuss your academic needs. However, all disability-related accommodations must be arranged through the Office of Student Disability Services.

The archival version of our syllabus will be deposited in our Dropbox folder. The most up-to-date copy of our syllabus and exercises will be available on github:

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit or send a letter to Creative Commons, 444 Castro Street, Suite 900, Mountain View, California, 94041, USA.