T C 325 • British History, Literature, and Politics
3:00 PM-6:00 PM
This seminar is designed as a reading course in history, literature, and politics, and as a class in professional writing. Its scope will include 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, literary, and auto-biography (Disreali, Woolf, Lawrence, Orwell, Gandhi, etc.).
In a general way, the seminar upholds the principles of the Modern History Faculty at Oxford-to 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.
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:
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