Welcome to the Department of English at Rutgers University

H1 7/11-8/17 MTWTh 12:20-2:10 PM 94173 ELLERMANN MU-208

Erotic and scatological poems, folk songs and ballads, political satires, elegies, and prophecies: these are among the many forms taken by eighteenth-century poetry.  In this course, we will survey English, Irish, and Scottish poetry written between the English Revolution of the 1640s and the American and French Revolutions at the turn of the century. Focusing on works by the Earl of Rochester, Alexander Pope, Thomas Gray, Robert Burns, William Cowper, and William Blake, we will read the poetry of this tumultuous period in historical and philosophical context.  The ideas of Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, and Edmund Burke, among others, will provide the background to our conversations about the following topics: the connection, or lack of one, between the mind and the body; the uses and abuses of power in political, sexual, and domestic relationships; the place of the human in the natural world; and the conflict between reason and religion, modernity and tradition.  Students are not expected to have any prior knowledge of the eighteenth century.

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Statue of "Willie the Silent"