Friday, June 21, 2019

Is Rider Haggard’s She taught in university, either at the undergraduate or graduate level?

It certainly wouldn’t be taught under a rubric based on the premise that that students must study the (very) best narratives. That justification may have reigned up to the middle of the 20th century, but it has since been supplemented by an interest in popular culture. And in THAT context She seems unavoidable. According to the Wikipedia article on She, it’s been enormously popular and influential, having sold 83 million copies. It has influenced Rudyard Kipling, Henry Miller, Graham Greene, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Margaret Atwood and sold 83 million copies. Moreover it’s been adapted into at least 11 films. And it seems to have some purchase in the scholarly literature. It may not be a great novel, but it's a culturally important one.

All of which is well and good. But is the text taught to undergraduates, or graduate students? I can’t see it being taught in a course on the !9th century British novel, thought that is what it is. But a course on fantasy, or adventure? What about a course that includes one or more of the Indiana Jones films?

If so, under what circumstances? If not, why not?

1 comment:

  1. I think it may be part of one of Eric Rabkin's courses at Michigan. He does SF and fantasy, among other things. Bryan Alexander might know.