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Course Details

Spring 2018-2019
HOS 597 / ENG 592 / HIS 597   na, npdf

The Poetics of History

D. Graham Burnett
Jeff Dolven

How is history invented? Which is to say (invoking an etymologically sublated sense of "invent"), how is the past both "made" and "discovered"? This course, co-taught by a historian of science and a literary critic, explores the borderlands between the archive and the imagination. We will consider the shape of historical knowledge and also the texture of historical experience, the feeling of and for the past. Readings will canvass the relevant bodies of philosophy, theory, and historiography, as well as genres such as the historical novel and poetic imitation. Writing assignments will experiment in the practices of historical invention.

Sample reading list:
George Kubler, The Shape of Time
William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
Thomas Chatterton, The Rowley Poems
Hayden White, Metahistory
Frank Ankersmit, Sublime Historical Experience
Jean D'Ormesson, La Gloire de l'empire
See instructor for complete list

Papers - 20%
Term Paper(s) - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 40%

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
42312 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Dickinson Hall   230   Enrolled:9 Limit:12