Daily Archives: November 12, 2012

Final Papers (HUM303/415/455/470)

The final papers are to be turned in on the last day of class in hard copy format as well as to turnitin.com. I will provide you with a password prior to the due date. In the meantime, here are some basic guidelines for the final papers.

1. The final paper ought to address some of the significant themes of the course. It ought to make use of the critical vocabulary that we have amassed this semester. It ought to show fluency with the historical contexts provided in readings and in class.

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Real Magic (HUM415/ HUM303/ HUM455)


We already know that realism is a genre of narrative fiction, an aesthetic ideology linked to Aristotle’s notion of mimesis in which art functions as a mirror to nature. Eagleton taught us that the rise of realism– and with it the novel– parallels the ascent of the bourgeoisie. The reality that they created– capitalist modernity– values the verifiable; it seeks, above all, results. For such a worldview– originating in the Renaissance and flowering in the Age of Enlightenment– empirical evidence trumps metaphysical belief. And simultaneously it blueprints a model of itself, a cosmological imaginary. By the 18th century various thinkers conceived of the universe as a celestial clock: rational and precise. Symmetrical. Perfect. According to such an ideology “Progress with a capital P” was inevitable. As humankind gained in knowledge– improving existing technologies and increasingly dominating Nature– it climbed the civilizational ladder.

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