01 CAC TF3 08178 ZITIN CA-A2
Landscape, Labor, and Loss
This course tracks the transformation of three classical poetic genres—elegy, georgic, and pastoral—in Britain's long eighteenth century, which is to say, from Milton to the early romantic poets. Roughly defined, elegy refers to mourning poems, georgic to poems about the cycles of agricultural labor, and pastoral to fantasies of rural simplicity. The eighteenth century proved a rich period for the interrelated development of these genres, time-tested poetic modes made newly relevant by the encroachments and displacements brought about by rising capitalism, including urbanization, industrialization, and the reorganization of the economy around human trafficking and forced labor. We will pay close attention to the language, structure, and argument of the poems we read as well as to their contexts, examining what claims were made on and in verse during this period of profound social and economic change. Assignments include regular in-class writing, a memorization-and-recitation exercise, two essays, and a take-home final exam. This class is discussion-based, so attendance is essential, and participation counts.