Fall 2021 Undergraduate English Courses

358:330 Early Romantic Literature

01  HYBRID IN PERSON   M  11:00-12:20 pm   CAC  14758    GALPERIN    MU-204

This course will concentrate on several different types of British literature all written during the so-called “Age of Revolution,” which began at the time of the French Revolution in the late eighteenth century and continued into the nineteenth century. Readings will include the works of three influential poets--William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth— who are among the first “modern” poets in their preoccupation with imagination and interiority and, just as importantly, in their commitment to social change, since what’s radical and different at this moment is the significance of individual persons and lives independent of background. We will also be focusing on women writers of period—the novels of Jane Austen, the poems of Charlotte Smith, the non-fictional writing of Helena Maria Williams and Dorothy Wordsworth and the political writings of Mary Wollstonecraft—whose feminism in multiple forms and, in the case of Williams and Wollstonecraft, commitment to the “rights” of both women and men, mark the beginning of a women’s tradition that is progressive and transformational. The Age of Revolution was also the Age of Abolition and we will be reading some foundational documents about slavery and freedom that were extremely influential in shaping opinion in Britain at the time, including Olaudah Equiano’s “interesting narrative” of his life as both slave and sailor and Mary Prince’s narrative about her life as a West Indian slave. Writing of the Romantic period, then, is one of the key turning points in literary history: literature finally turns inward; the novel rises to a level of “serious entertainment;” and the needs and aspirations of an increasingly literate society are being met daily by new forms of literary communication and the horizons they project.

Attendance in English 330 is required and will be monitored. Complications arise and students invariably miss some classes. However, four or more classes missed without an appropriate explanation are a problem.

Means of Evaluation: Written work and class participation. A midterm exam, a final exam and a final paper (8-10pp).