This class serves as an introduction to a period of study as well as
an introduction to literary study. Our subject will be "Romanticism,"
a famously ill-defined term used as catch-all for the movement, mood,
theory, and revolution that followed the Enlightenment and preceded
the realism of the Victorian era. Our course will consider this
period of writing – roughly 1789-1830 – as one of great fluidity and
change, as both a reaction to antiquity and a precursor to modernity.
We will read the works of the canonical poets, Blake, Wordsworth,
Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, and Byron, but will fortify our definition
of “Romanticism” by addressing the writings of Goethe, Mary Shelley,
Charlotte Smith, and Jane Austen. Students will be expected to engage
in discussion, to submit papers (there will be two) and to receive
feedback and revise their work. In addition, students can expect some
written exercises and a comprehensive final exam.