Paul Klee, Angelus Novus, 1920

History & Textuality

History & Textuality covers key intersections between History and Literary Studies. Specifically, this core class introduces first-year students reading for the English & History degree to the fundamental ways that historians and literary historians organize their inquiries. We examine the major questions, skills, and methods that these disciplines share—and that mark them as distinct areas of historical knowledge. Our overarching questions are: What is History?—What is Literary History?—What is Cultural Memory?—and Where is History Going? Core texts are Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Alison Bechdel, Fun Home, W.G. Sebald, Rings of Saturn, and Octavia Butler, Kindred. Key methods covered include: global history, queer theory, the non-human turn, the affective turn, digital humanities, and historical materialism.