E 392M • British History, Literature and Politics
4:30 PM-7:30 PM
This seminar is designed as a reading course in history, literature, and politics, and as a class in professional writing. In addition to the required reading listed below, each student draws up an individual reading list in consultation with the professor.
The scope of the seminar includes not only the literature, history and politics of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland but also the interaction of British and other societies throughout the world. One point of emphasis will be the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth in its Asian and African as well as early American dimensions.
Another point will be a focus on historical and literary biography--and autobiography--or example, not only Disraeli, Virginia Woolf, T. E. Lawrence, and George Orwell but Benjamin Franklin, Gandhi, and Kenyatta.
British History, Literature and Politics is the first inter-departmental seminar ever to be sponsored by the three departments of History, English, and Government, and it meets together with the faculty seminar on Fridays and then as a seminar in its own right.
The purpose is to let students read broadly, whether for comprehensive exams or simply because they feel that they need to read books that they can't ordinarily read in other seminars.
It serves also as a writers' workshop: students are forbidden to write in the passive voice and they benefit from critiques by other students as well as myself.
Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians is required, then a choice of five other books from the list below plus six others to be decided upon in consultation with the instructor: Lytton Strachey, Eminent Victorians
Robert Blake, Disraeli
Michael Holroyd, Lytton Strachey
Hermione Lee, Virginia Woolf
T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom
Bernard Crick, George Orwell: A Life
Edmund S. Morgan, Benjamin Franklin
Judith M. Brown, Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope
Jomo Kenyatta, Facing Mount Kenya