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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Spring 2009

HIS 384K • British Hist, Lit, & Politics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39405 -TBA


Course Description

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 biographyand autobiographyfor example, not only Disraeli, Virginia Woolf, T. E. Lawrence, and George Orwell but also Gandhi.

The main requirements of the course are met by students reading a book or its equivalent each week and by submitting a weekly critique of the reading. Each of the weekly essays is circulated to all other members of the class who make annotations on style as well as substance. The class thus becomes as much a course in professional writing as one in which individual academic interests are pursued. The class also meets together with the British Studies faculty seminar at three o'clock Friday afternoons. This is a requirement of the course. In a general way, the seminar upholds the principles of the Modern History Faculty at Oxfordto enhance (1) intellectual curiosity, (2) conceptual clarity; (3) flexibility, that is, the capacity to engage with alternative perspectives and new information; (4) accuracy and attention to detail; (5) critical engagement; (6) capacity for hard work (7) enthusiasm for history, literature, and politics; and (8) historical imagination and understanding, that is the ability to speculate and compare, alongside the possession of appropriate historical knowledge and the capacity to deploy it.


Reading List: (1) Lytton Strachey's Eminent Victorians is required, (2) A choice of five other books from the list below: 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 Judith M. Brown, Gandhi: Prisoner of Hope (3) Six other titles to be decided upon in consultation with the instructor.


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