Spring 2024

Reading the Novel

Listed in: English, as ENGL-250


Alicia J. Mireles Christoff (Section 01)


An introduction to the genre of the novel and to the experiences that it affords. We will pay
attention to the development of characters, to the complications and resolutions of plots, and to
the ceaseless social framing of what it’s possible to express, but we will pay attention, as well, to
less foregrounded things, like rhythm, motion, emotional atmospheres, and the politics of
representation. What can novels say, and what can they do that is more or other than saying
things outright? Can novels reach for justice? Students will read five novels, representing a range
of types, styles, geographies, and periods, and write short responses as well as a few longer

Limited to 18 students. Spring semester. Professor Mireles Chrisoff.

How to handle overenrollment: Preference given to sophomores and English majors

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Learning how to read closely and with emotional intelligence; learning how to augment the experience of reading through informal reflective writing and class participation; learning that all ideas are associatively connected to other ideas and that there are powerful alternatives to state-illustrate-restate arguments. There will be pre-class writing assignments, two papers, and an emphasis on the quality of the contributions to class discussion. There will be no quizzes or exams.


Other years: Offered in Spring 2023