Middlemarch For the 21st Century

Schools of Public Engagement: Humanities

Liberal Arts

Undergraduate Course

Degree Students


Summer 2019

Taught By: Margaret Boe Birns

Section: A

CRN: 1891

Credits: 3

Having passed the test of time, Middlemarch has become not simply a 19th century novel, but a novel for the ages. A masterpiece that has been described as a treasure house of detail, one of the few English novels written for grown-up people, and the greatest novel in the English language, Middlemarch is also a novel that both fulfills the promise of 19th century realism and anticipates the psychological innerness associated with modernist fiction. This course will be devoted to an examination of Eliot's in-depth depiction of a midlands town called Middlemarch in the midst of social, political, religious and economic transformations. We will explore the variety of plots and a diverse ensemble cast in a novel that ranges from comedy to tragedy to romance to political and social commentary, with special emphasis on its two great souls, an idealistic medical man and an exceptional young woman of mind. We will also examine the powerful voice of George Eliot herself as it emerges in the narrative and engages the mission of modernity: that even if there will be losses as well as gains, it is possible to move forward to a better world. Reading: George Eliot, Middlemarch, Norton Critical Edition. Students should read Middlemarch’s first page-long chapter, Prelude, for the first class.

College: Schools of Public Engagement (NS)

Department: Humanities (NHUM)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Max Enrollment: 14

Enrollment Status: Open*

*Enrollment status information is updated every five 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: 10:15pm 4/25/2019

Meeting Info:

Days: Monday, Wednesday

Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm

Building: Johnson/Kaplan 66 West 12th

Room: 618

Date Range: 6/3/2019 - 7/24/2019