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Fall 2017 Undergraduate English Courses: Nineteenth Century

358:330 Early Romantic Literature

01  TTH6  CAC  18080  GALPERIN  SC-104

This course will concentrate chiefly on the works of three British poets--William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth—who wrote at the end of eighteenth and at the beginning of the nineteenth century during the so-called “age of revolution.” During this moment, then, literary production reflects various political and social developments, both in Britain and abroad (i.e., the French Revolution) that make literature of the Romantic period especially responsive to change and innovation. Among the issues we will be exploring are the rise of the individual and the democratic vistas that emerge from this new emphasis on self and interiority. We will also be examining two novels of the period: Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and William Godwin’s radical novel Caleb Williams whose preoccupation with the relationship self and society registers the novel’s emergence as a serious and important literary genre at this same moment. Austen, of course, is not typically viewed as a Romantic writer or a writer whose work necessarily endorses progressive social change, even as her novels are obviously concerned with the status of women. Consequently another aim of the course will be to think more broadly about writing of the period, where literature, far from reflecting a single ideology or political perspective, is just as frequently a site of differing or competing ideologies.

Attendance is required; students who miss more than three classes without an appropriate explanation will be penalized one whole grade. Additional missed classes will result in a further penalty of a half grade per class missed. Students who miss 7 or more classes will automatically fail the course.

Means of Evaluation: Written work and class participation. One midterm exam, one long essay (12-15 pages) and a final exam.