The novel is a radically capacious and always evolving genre, open to the full range of world literature, across periods and locations. This seminar examines the novel and its various, overlapping functions as aesthetic object, cultural artifact, historical text, and conceptual resource. Through comparative and multidisciplinary inquiry, we approach the novel from a wide range of vantage points.

Upcoming Events

Homi Bhabha, Harvard University
Intimations of the Afterlife
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 6:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center


Glenda Carpio
Harvard University


Tim Bewes
Brown University

Jennifer Fleissner, Indiana University
Talk Title TBA
Monday, April 10, 2017 - 6:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center


Kathryn Roberts
Harvard University

Numbers in the Novel: A Roundtable
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 6:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center


James English
University of Pennsylvania

David Kurnick
Rutgers University

Yoon Sun Lee
Wellesley College

Gage McWeeny
Williams College

Mingwei Song
Wellesley College

Co-sponsored by Victorian Literature and Culture.

Past Events 2016 - 17

Joseph Slaughter, Columbia University
State Secrets, Small Wars, Smaller Novels
Maya Jasanoff, Harvard University
“Fiction is History, Human History, Or It Is Nothing": A Historian Reads Joseph Conrad
“New Work in Novel Studies”: A Symposium for New Researchers
Wendy Anne Lee, New York University
Sense and Sensibility, Causation and Contiguity: Thinking through Relation in Austen and Hume
Homi Bhabha, Harvard University
Intimations of the Afterlife

Past Events 2015 - 16

Bill Brown, University of Chicago
Re-Assemblage (Theory, Practice, Novel Form)
Elaine Freedgood, New York University
How the Victorian Novel Got Realistic (in a French Way), Reactionary and Great
Peter Mendelsund, Knopf Publishing Group
The Art of the Book Cover
New Work in Novel Studies Symposium
Thomas Pavel, University of Chicago
What Do Novels Speak About?
Description in the Novel