Seminar Projects

Dates and Topics

14.03. / 21.03. Hard Times and North and South

  1. Charles Dickens: Hard Times – Condition of England novel: representations of the Industrial revolution and Utilitarianism, industrialism and ecology, Coketown as dystopic representation of the industrial city.
  2. Chares Dickens: Hard Times – Mr Gradgrind and the principles of Utilitarian education, education, school and family (Mr Gradgrind, Tom and Louisa).
  3. Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South – aftermath of Industrial Revolution and representation of the rural South and industrial North, aristocracy vs. working class, the novel of social critique.
  4. Elizabeth Gaskell: North and South – relevance, representation and evolvement of the characters Mr Thornton and Elizabeth Hale in the context of the relationship among themselves and with the rest of the community.

28.03. / 4.04. Middlemarch, The Mill on the Floss and Vanity Fair

  1. George Eliot: Middlemarch – ruralism and microcosm of English life in the pre-industrial age, Middlemarch as provincial town and social network
  2. George Eliot: Middlemarch – structure, disposition and gallery of characters (Dorothea Brooke and Mr Casaubon’s case: intellect vs. passion; Tertius Lydgate and Rosamond Vincy: family and intellectual tension).
  3. George Eliot: The Mill on the Floss – lights and shadows of brotherly love (Maggie and Tom), passion vs. social conventions.
  4. M. Thackeray: Vanity Fair – the novel and the fair: puppets and the show-master, the concept of carnival and the ‘grotesque body’; the novel ‘without a hero’.
  5. M. Thackeray: Vanity Fair – typology of characters and the moral debate, vanities and marital triangles (Rebecca, Amelia, Rawdon Crawley, George Osborne and Captain Dobbin).

11.04. / 25.04. Jane Eyre, Shirley and Wuthering Heights

  1. Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre – autobiographic Bildungsroman, feminine emancipation, the conflict between Passion and Reason (Jane and Mr Rochester).
  2. Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre – the motif of the Red Room and the multiple representations of the place (Lowood School and Thornfield Hall).
  3. Charlotte Brontë: Shirley ­– Condition of England novel: factory, employers (Shirley) and workers, industrialisation and social unrest.
  4. Emily Brontë: ‘Remembrance’: voice, characters and locale, precursor of Wuthering Heights.
  5. Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights – setting and cosmic order, the Gondal space: setting as atemporal and nondimensional space, Wuthering Heights and Thrushcross Grange.
  6. Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights: Mr Lockwood and Nelly Dean: acting characters and character narrators, narrative technique.
  7. Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights ­– the Gondal heroes revisited: Catherine and Heathcliff – a story of destructive love and passion, Heathcliff and the drama of the misfit.

2.05. / 9.05. Tess of the d’Urbervilles and The Picture of Dorian Gray

  1. Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbervilles – destiny and the condition of man, the principle of fate and predestination; unity of space: Wessex as space of ill-omened nature.
  2. Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbervilles – destiny and tragedy of human flaws. Tess, a ‘pure woman’ (?), Alec vs. Angel and the moral debate.
  3. Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde: hedonistic thinking – the anti-reaction to Utilitarianism and moral art; ‘art for art’ sake; the autonomy of aesthetic standards from morality, utility, or pleasure, the concept of beauty and the Aesthetic movement.
  4. Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray – Lord Henry and Basil vs. Dorian Gray; Dorian, the human vs. the painting – significances and eventual destruction, Dorian’s story and the Faustian pact, homoerotic attitudes.

16.05. / 23.05. Great Expectations and The Woman in White

  1. Charles Dickens: Great Expectations – Bildungsroman: representation of growing-up and maturation, evolvement from rags to riches.
  2. Charles Dickens: Great Expectations – typology of characters, parable of the good and the bad (Pip, Miss Havisham, Estella, Joe Gargery, Abel Magwitch)
  3. William Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White: the purpose of this novel, its uniqueness and the reason why the story is told in this fashion?
  4. William Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White: character study and the time period of the story, the characters of privilege and the working class.
  5. William Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White: means of achieving suspense and enticing the reader.
  6. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the (prototype?) detective Sherlock Holmes in The Hound of the Baskervilles.

30.05 / 6.06. The aesthetics of Victorian poetry

  1. Alfred Tennyson: the condition of the poet, activism vs. retreat (‘The Palace of Art’ and ‘The Lady of Shalott’); existence vs. life, commitment vs. withdrawal (‘The Lotos Eaters’ and ‘Ulysses’).
  2. Alfred Tennyson – In Memoriam: Prologue, XXII (‘The path by which we twain did go’); ‘Crossing the Bar’.
  3. Robert Browning – the dramatic monologue with an interlocutor – ‘My Last Duchess’.
  4. Robert Browning – the dramatic monologue without an interlocutor – ‘Porphyria’s Lover’.
  5. G. Rossetti – sensuality and tone (The House of Life: ‘Nuptial Sleep’), painting and poetry (‘The Blessed Damozel’).
  6. M. Hopkins: ‘The Starlight Night’ – theme, form and prosodic techniques.

Registration is closed. Click below for the list of selected topics. 

Seminar group 1 (odd weeks)

Seminar group 2 (even weeks)

 

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