Jul 16, 2024  
Catalogue 2024-2025 
Catalogue 2024-2025
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GNCS 352 - Studies in Romanticism

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
In-depth study of Romantic-era texts with the option of pursuing a select group of writers under the rubric of a specific genre, methodological approach, topic or theme. This course aims to deepen students’ expertise in one or more of the topics covered in ENGL 248 .

Topic for 2024/25b: What’s Queer About Romanticism? (Same as ENGL 352  and WFQS 352 ) Why is it that the most influential and ambitious work in queer studies has rarely emerged from the field of Romanticism? The Romantic period in England has been mischaracterized as a “seemingly asexual zone between eighteenth-century ‘liberated’ sexuality…and the repressive sexology of the Victorians,” but in reality this brief period in England produced a diverse range of queer figures, both historical and literary: from Anne Lister, whose diary records hundreds of pages in code about her sexual relationships with women, to the Ladies of Llangollen, who openly cohabited with the support of English high society, to the myth of the modern vampire, a deeply sexualized and often queer figure. Given the richness of the terrain, why are queer studies lagging behind in Romantic circles?

In this advanced seminar, we address this underdeveloped area of scholarly research through our reading of primary and secondary texts, our class discussion, and our critical research projects. Reading theory and criticism from Romanticism studies and adjacent scholarly fields, we ask ourselves—what is queer about this literary-historical moment that has not yet been accounted for? We focus primarily on the poetry of the period, but also attend to some prose genres, including the diary and the letter. We also watch selected adaptations from the period, including films about the genesis of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Katie Gemmill.

Prerequisite(s): Open to Juniors and Seniors with two units of 200-level work in English, or with permission of the instructor.

One 2-hour period.

Course Format: CLS

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