Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction

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Overview

A unique and exciting introduction to the genre and craft of historical fiction, for curious students, aspiring authors--anyone with a passion for the past. Read classics of the genre, encounter bestselling writers of historical fiction, and discover your own historical archive while interacting with a global community of interested readers.

Syllabus

Course Roadmap
-In this module Professor Holsinger poses a working definition of historical fiction and sets expectations for the course content and assignments.

What is Historical Fiction?
-In this module Professor Holsinger details the history of the historical fiction novel through the 18th and 19th centuries.

Poetry and Exile in Ancient Rome: Jane Alison
-In this module author and professor Jane Alison interacts with the seminar class students of Professor Holsinger’s at UVa to discuss her experience writing “The Love Artist.”

Two Centuries of Historical Fiction
-This module reviews the history of historical fiction looking at major works and authors from the 18th and 19th century including The Leatherstocking Tales, William Wells Brown, and Charles Dickens.

19th Century Historical Fiction
-This module dives into the works of Anna Katharine Green and Professor Holsinger provides an overview of the forces that are effecting the craft of historical fiction.

Seminar with Katherine Howe
-In this module author Katherine Howe interacts with the seminar class students of Professor Holsinger’s Historical Fiction class to discuss her book “Deliverance Dane.”

Seminar with Geraldine Brooks
-In this module author Geraldine Brooks interacts with the seminar class students of Professor Holsinger’s Historical Fiction class to discuss her book “Year of Wonders.”

Seminar with Mary Beth Keane
-In this module author Mary Beth Keane interacts with the seminar class students of Professor Holsinger’s Historical Fiction class to discuss her book “Fever.”

Seminar with Yangsze Choo
-In this module author Yangsze Choo interacts with the seminar class students of Professor Holsinger’s Historical Fiction class to discuss her book “The Ghost Bride.”

Dialogues in Historical Fiction
-This module consists of a series of interviews with authors and Professor Holsinger. Authors include: Michael McKeon, Eva Stachniak, David Robbins, Matthew Pearl and Andrew Taylor.

Assignments and Wrap-Up
-This module has the two voluntary assignments for the course: Identifying a Historical Archive and Writing Historical Fiction. The module also contains the closing remarks video of Professor Holsinger.

Resources
-This module includes the course readings, a list of archival resources, and an overview of the authors included in the course.

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