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

Adela Pinch, University of Michigan
The Story of O.: Margaret Oliphant and Anti-Metalepsis
Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - 6:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center


Amanda Anderson
Brown University

David Alworth​, Harvard University
Paratextual Art​
Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 6:00pm
Room 114, Barker Center
Rachel Buurma, Swarthmore College
Petra McGillen, Dartmouth College
Simon Reader, City University of New York
The Novel and its Working Methods: A Workshop
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 7:00pm
Room 110, Barker Center

Cosponsored by the History of the Book seminar

Julia Prewitt Brown, Boston University
Mary Favret, Johns Hopkins University
Sonia Hofkosh, Tufts University
Claudia Johnson, Princeton University
Peter Sabor, McGill University
Jane Austen: 200 Years On
Thursday, December 7, 2017 - 6:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

Cosponsored by the 18th-Century Studies seminar

Michael Gorra, Smith College
Talk Title TBA
Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 6:00pm
Room 133, Barker Center

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
Jennifer Fleissner, Indiana University
Vitalizing the Bildungsroman
Numbers in the Novel: A Roundtable

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