HUMS 327, The Victorian Political Novel
The engagement of the Victorian novel with the world of politics. Emphasis on how systems interact with individual agents to make stories and how methods such as realism, romance, and the courtship plot portray the mechanics of government. Units on revolution and riot (Dickens and Gaskell), reform (Eliot and Trollope), and anarchy (James and Conrad).
Professor Stefanie Markovits
I research and teach English literature of the long Nineteenth Century: both Romantic and Victorian, both poetry and the novel. Other areas of interest include German classical literature (especially Goethe and Schiller), aesthetic theory, war and literature, and genre theory.
My first book demonstrated the scope of my concerns by considering the treatment of literary and political action in writers from Wordsworth to Henry James. While my second, on the Victorian response to an unpopular war (the Crimean War, 1854-56), was narrower, it allowed me to think further about the impact of social and political matters on formal ones: how (for example) does patriotic poetry translate the blunders of the Crimea into verse? My new book offers an in-depth account of the verse-novel as it arose in the mid-Victorian period, focusing on how the split allegiances of its component genres allow for the unleashing of radical energies. I am currently beginning a project on the way numbers interact with literary forms in the nineteenth century.