|Semester and Year||SP 2013|
|Time||3:30 PM - 6:10 PM|
In the twenty-first century, the Internet arguably makes secrecy difficult, but the exposure of secrets is already an important theme in many 19th-century British novels. In part, this reflects a society in which identity seems increasingly malleable through greater social class mobility, the questioning of traditional gender roles, and imperialist opportunities. In these novels, fake identities conceal a murderer and a madwoman, among others. And the societal constraints inspiring the fictional secrets also led the authors to keep secrets of their own. The unmarried Wilkie Collins, for example, secretly maintained two families, using an assumed name when with one. But does the novel genre, particularly the "realist" Victorian novel, with its emphasis on an omniscient narrator and intersecting plots, have a special relationship to secrets? We attempt to uncover the answer by studying the well-known Jane Eyre , by Charlotte Bronte, and Great Expectations , by Charles Dickens, along with Wilkie Collins's The Woman in White , George Eliot's Middlemarch , and George Gissing's The Odd Women . Theory includes selections from Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality , Edward Said's Culture and Imperialism , Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar's The Madwoman in the Attic , and Judith Walkowitz's City of Dreadful Delight .
Interdisciplinary Seminars (IDSEM-UG)