ENGL 248 - The Age of Romanticism
Semester Offered: Spring
Study of texts from the Romantic era, a period charged with revolutionary spirit and a desire for new forms of thought and literature. Topics may include the French revolution and the emerging discourse of individual human rights; the gothic, the supernatural and the sublime; poetry and its relationship to altered states of consciousness; literary renderings of nature and landscape; introspection, imagination and the self; and political movements such as abolitionism, workers’ rights and feminism. Authors may include such poets as William Blake, William Wordsworth, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, Hannah More, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron and John Keats; prose writers such as Mary Wollstonecraft, Edmund Burke, William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb and Thomas De Quincey; and novelists such as Maria Edgeworth, Jane Austen, Walter Scott and Mary Shelley.
Topic of 2020/21b: The Age of Romanticism: Revolution and Rebellion. This course surveys the literature of the Romantic period through the lens of revolution and rebellion, both of which characterize this period in British history on a number of levels. Across the English Channel, French civilians were overthrowing their monarchy; revolutions in science and technology were catapulting Europe into the industrial era; English poets were rebelling against what they perceived to be the antiquated poetic forms of the eighteenth century; and prose writers were producing some of the original human rights manifestos, calling for women’s empowerment and the abolition of the British slave trade. Paying close attention to these historical and political contexts, we will examine how writers of the period mobilized the concept of revolution in their literary works and used it as an impetus for experimentation, on both thematic and formal levels. Surveyed poets include Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Barbauld, Robinson, Byron, Shelley and Keats; fiction writers include Austen, Shelley and Polidori; and prose writers include Burke, De Quincey, Prince and Wollstonecraft. Katie Gemmill.
Themes, topics, genres: The Gothic and the supernatural, Origins of the vampire myth, Literature of addiction, Poetry and dreams, Theories of poetic innovation, Abolitionism, Political and feminist poetry, The Romantic sublime.
Two 75-minute periods.
Course Format: CLS
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