This is an introductory course to the literature, history, and culture of the Romantic period, an epoch that saw at least four revolutions (American, French, Haitian, and Industrial). A time of renaissance and upheaval, it's an age essential to understanding our own modernity, one that gave us modern economics and chemistry, democracy and dictatorship, chemistry and the cult of celebrity, science fiction and the secret service. We'll read Jane Austen and Lord Byron, Thomas Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft, John Keats and Mary Shelley, among others. Along the way, we'll also cover the events that shaped the fiction, poetry, and drama of these turbulent years. Our aim will be to understand our readings both as texts in themselves (as responses to literary and cultural traditions) and as public statements (as responses to contemporary events and culture).