Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG455H1S L0101

ENG455H1S    L0101    T1-3
Advanced Studies Group 5: 
The Novel and Everyday Life
Professor Audrey Jaffe
Office Telephone:
416-978-4287
Office Address: Jackman Humanities Building, 910
Email: a.jaffe@utoronto.ca

Brief Description of Course: How does one read everyday life? How does one write it? “Everyday life” might be said to refer to what Hegel called “the prose of the world”: the ordinary, the trivial, the minute details that escape attention without our efforts to notice and think about them. The everyday has long been the subject of a particular genre—the novel—for reasons we will explore in this class. Our topics of discussion will include: “nothing,” as in the quotations above; leisure, labor, and boredom; conversation and gossip; the ordinary or “common”; the way gender, class, and social categories structure everyday life; the institutions that structure everyday life. We will also consider all sorts of “everyday” concerns, such as time; objects; money; food; clothing; the nature of the “trivial”; the performance and texture of social life; the way large and seemingly distant events bear on seemingly smaller and nearer ones.

Required Reading:
Austen, Emma; Flaubert, Mme Bovary; Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway; Highmore, ed., The Everyday Life Reader; other readings TBA.

First Three Authors/Texts: Austen, Flaubert, Woolf.

Method of Instruction: Discussion.

Method of Evaluation: Research paper, collaborative presentation, class participation.

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