Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL3007 PARKES, ADAM MW 10:10 AM 0250


Reading authors from Joseph Conrad and Erskine Childers to Ian Fleming and John Le Carré, this class will trace the development of a distinctively modern fictional genre in its literary and historical contexts, from late-Victorian imperialism to the end of the Cold War.  Although America will come into play at some points, our primary focus will be on British and Irish writers and the ways in which they represent espionage in Britain, Ireland, and Europe.  As well as studying a variety of primary texts, we will do some reading in the history of spy fiction and espionage (e.g. Bernard Porter, Clive Bloom, David Glover, David Trotter).  Topics of discussion will include some or possibly all of the following: espionage and empire; world war and the Cold War; ideological conflict and nation-states; nationality and identity in the modern surveillance state; spies in literature and popular cinema.  


Several short papers and a longer final paper.








Texts will probably include several of the following:

H.G. Wells, The Invisible Man

Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent

Erskine Childers, The Riddle of the Sands

John Buchan, The Thirty-Nine Steps

Elizabeth Bowen, The Heat of the Day

George Orwell, 1984

Ian Fleming, Casino Royale

Len Deighton, The Ipcress File

John Le Carré, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

John Banville, The Untouchables

The class may, if it wishes, choose a contemporary spy novel to supplement those selected by the instructor.