Jane Resurrected: Reading, Revising, Raising the Dead
"Why do you like Jane Austen so very much? I am puzzled on that point. ... I had not seen Pride and Prejudice till I read that sentence of yours, and then I got the book. And what did I find? ... Miss Austen is only shrewd and observant."
--Charlotte Bronte to G.H. Lewes, January 12, 1848
This course will take up two of the 19th century’s most well known authors: Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen. Rather than leaving them in the past, we will read their novels on both Victorian terms and our own, while thinking about what it means to study reading. In addition to reading their most famous novels, Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice, we will look at contemporary reimaginings of the novels and authors who wrote them. These adaptations range from a satirical trip into zombified British Regency, to a post-grad’s experience as an au pair for two Brooklyn professors and their adopted daughter. While all of these adaptations elaborate on themes, characters, and plots of the original texts, we will pay particular attention to ways in which they challenge genre boundaries, engage the reader, and offer provocative insights and critiques about gender, race, literary value, and materiality.
*This course fills the University of Washington's Writing Credit