Sensational Fictions: Nineteenth-Century Tales of Murder, Empire, and Injustice

Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Literary Studies

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Sensational Fictions
Fall 2023
Taught By: Carolyn Vellenga Berman
Section: A

CRN: 15926

Credits: 4

This course surveys a range of sensational novels often forgotten by literary history. Students will examine gothic fiction, anti-slavery fiction, crime fiction, and “sensation fiction” ripped from the tabloid headlines. The well-known canon of British fiction underestimates nineteenth-century writers’ engagement with social issues, not only locally but in a transatlantic frame—and it leaves out a host of great writing. We focus on three authors: Mary Shelley, the well-known writer of Frankenstein; Frances Trollope, a writer who moved between gothic, anti-slavery, crime, and “social problem” fiction; and Wilkie Collins, a master of “sensation” and detective fiction. We also read short works by selected francophone writers crucial to antislavery fiction in this period, including Victor Séjour, the earliest known African American fiction writer.

After the first week of the semester, permission of the instructor will be required in order to register for this course.

College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)

Department: Literary Studies (LIT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: September 11, 2023 (Monday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: November 19, 2023 (Sunday)

Seats Available: No

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 2:24pm EST 2/29/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday, Wednesday
Times: 2:00pm - 3:40pm
Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th
Room: 713
Date Range: 8/28/2023 - 12/11/2023