The novel occupies a privileged place on the cultural map of modernity: ever since its rise in the eighteenth century it has chronicled and examined dramatic changes in dominant social values, political institutions, and modes of economic activity. But it has also responded to new forms of violence: social revolutions, nationalist upheavals, capitalist exploitation, colonial expansion, and bureaucratic oppression. In this course we will examine how novelists like Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Emile Zola, Franz Kafka, Anthony Burgess, J.M. Coetzee, and Irvine Welsh address these developments and how they examine themes like domination, coercion, subjection, suffering, and persecution. In the process we ask about the nature of the novel's relationship to violence and power: is it a subversive genre or is it just another tool in the hands of power? Does it give voice to resistance, or is it trying to contain it? In order to answer these and related questions we address the theoretical writings of Bakhtin, Lukacs, Foucault, Jameson, D.A. Miller, Moretti, and Said, among others.