416 – Jane Austen


Class Time: Wednesdays 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST
Dates: September 1–September 29, 2021
Term: Fall, 2021
Instructor: Leta Sundet

During this five-week course, we will study two of Jane Austen’s later novels: Emma, often considered the crown of Austen’s achievements as a novelist, with its intricate social drama and its heroine whom Austen was not sure anyone else would much like; and Persuasion, Austen’s final novel, in which she in many ways goes beyond her typical romantic plot to create something uniquely reflective, elegiac, and exultant, akin to one of Shakespeare’s Romances. We will dig into the moral questions and fundamental human problems. Austen also engages in what might appear to be simply comedies of manners; we will explore her use of humor in these two works and its relationship to serious philosophical and theological reflection; and we will examine the narrative techniques Austen discovers and develops in these novels that change the landscape of narrative fiction forever.