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BA Art History and English Literature

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Romanticism (1776-1832)

Unit code ENGL21522
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by English and American Studies
Available as a free choice unit? No

Overview

In this course, we'll read a range of poetry by men and women writers from the British Romantic period (c1776-1832)--an age that was politically, socially, and aesthetically on the move. Poems by Blake, Byron, P. B. Shelley, Smith, Landon, Hemans, and Wordsworth will be studied in relation to abolition and slavery debates, the American and French Revolutions, industrialisation and urbanisation, social uprisings and political oppression, and new developments in print culture and reading audiences. More specifically, we'll explore how Romantic poets understood the relation between the poetic imagination and the world of politics and social life. Lectures and seminars will focus on close reading poems in light of changing cultural and political circumstances.

Aims

  • to introduce students to a number of key texts and authors from the Romantic Period;
  • to introduce students to the historical events and trends that powerfully influenced those writers, and to the ways in which Romantic-period literature responds to these contemporary events;
  • to introduce students to the central political, philosophical, ideological and aesthetic concerns of Romantic-period literature;
  • to help students to appreciate, and understand, Romanticism’s creation of new, and development of old, literary forms in search of new ways of deploying literature as a response to, and engagement with, the period’s concerns and conflicts;
  • to enable students to examine, analyse and critically engage with Romantic-period texts with confidence, accuracy and sophistication;
  • to introduce students to the most important critical debates that have surrounded the literature of the Romantic-period in general, as well as individual Romantic-period texts and authors in particular, and to enable students to critically engage with these debates.

Syllabus

 Romanticism, Autumn 2016                 Schedule-in-Brief

 

*Please see the full week-by-week schedule for “study questions” as well as suggestions for further primary and secondary reading. Unless otherwise indicated, the page numbers below refer to your main course text, The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Romantic Period.

 

1790s and First-Generation Romanticism
WEEK 1: “Poetry and Revolution”
LECTURE Welcome to the course! In the first lecture, you’ll get a brief overview of some of the major features of the literature and culture of the Romantic period. For the lecture, please read William Blake, from Songs of Innocence and of Experience: “Introduction” (118), “The Chimney Sweeper [I]” (121), “Introduction [II]” (125), “The Chimney Sweeper [II]” (128), “The Garden of Love” (131), and “London” (132).
SEMINAR “The Little Black Boy” (120), “Holy Thursday [I]” (122), “Holy Thursday [II]” (127)

WEEK 2: “Nature (Demythologized) & Politics”
LECTURE Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads: “We are Seven” (278-9); Preface to Lyrical Ballads (293-304); “Tintern Abbey” (288-92)
SEMINAR “Simon Lee” (275-8)

WEEK 3: “Nature, Human Nature, and Loss”
LECTURE Charlotte Smith, Beachy Head (59-77), “Written at the Close of Spring” (54); Wordsworth, “Strange fits of passion” (305), “She dwelt among the untrodden ways” (305-6); “A slumber did my spirit seal” (307)
SEMINAR Smith, “Written in the Church-Yard at Middleton in Sussex” (55-6), Wordsworth, “Three years she grew” (306-7)

WEEK 4: “Poetics of Transgression”
LECTURE
S. T. Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (443-459); Christabel (462-477); Percy Shelley, “To Wordsworth” (752)


Post-Waterloo Poetics and Second-Generation Romanticism

WEEK 5: “Poetry and Political Reform”
LECTURE Percy Shelley, Prometheus Unbound: A Lyrical Drama (793-832)
SEMINAR Shelley, Prometheus Unbound, cont.


WEEK 6: “Poetry and Political Reform II”
LECTURE Percy Shelley, A Defence of Poetry (856-869); “England in 1819” (790); “Ode to the West Wind” (791-793); The Mask of Anarchy (779-789)
SEMINAR Shelley, “Ozymandias” (776)


WEEK 7: “Art and Italy”
LECTURE
*Felicia Hemans, The Restoration of the Works of Art to Italy: A Poem; Percy Shelley, Julian and Maddalo: A Conversation, Lines Written among the Euganean Hills
*These three poems will be posted on Blackboard as PDFs.


WEEK 8: “Poetics of Transgression II”
LECTURE Lord Byron, Manfred: A Dramatic Poem (638-672); Don Juan, Canto I (672-704)
SEMINAR Lord Byron, Manfred: A Dramatic Poem (638-672); Don Juan, Canto I (672-704), cont.


WEEK 9:
LECTURE
LEL, The Improvisatrice

WEEK 10: “Reading, Writing, and Remythologyzing Nature”
LECTURE John Keats, “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer” (904), “On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again” (910), “Ode to Psyche” (925-927), The Eve of St. Agnes (912-922); [Letters] (965-980)
SEMINAR Keats, “To Autumn” (951)

WEEK 11:
LECTURE
Keats, Lamia (935-950), &ldquo

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered through 22 lectures (1 x 2-hour lecture per week), 11 seminars (1 x 1-hour seminar per week).

Knowledge and understanding

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a number of key texts and authors from the Romantic Period;
  • show a knowledge and understanding of the historical events and trends that influenced these texts and writers, and of the ways in which Romantic-period writers responded to contemporary events;
  • evidence an understanding of the ways in which Romanticism created, adapted and deployed a range of literary forms to suit the concerns and conflicts of its period and its culture;
  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the central political, philosophical, ideological and aesthetic concerns of Romantic-period literature.

Intellectual skills

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • offer sophisticated readings of individual Romantic-period texts, and persuasive interpretations of the period’s literature more generally;
  • appreciate, and understand, Romanticism’s creation of new, and development of old, literary forms;
  • demonstrate a capacity to examine, analyse and intellectually engage with Romantic-period texts with confidence, accuracy and sophistication;
  • evidence a knowledge of, and an ability to critically engage with, some of the most important critical debates that have surrounded the literature of the Romantic-period in general, and individual Romantic-period texts and authors in particular.

Practical skills

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

  • understand, interpret and contextualise a range of Romantic-period texts and writers;
  • construct coherent and persuasive arguments, both orally and on paper, about individual Romantic-period texts and Romantic-period literature more generally;
  • negotiate, understand and critically engage with a number of critical debates about Romantic-period literature;
  • conduct effective contextual research into the history, writers and literature of the Romantic period.

 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  •  work both independently and with others towards a greater understanding of unfamiliar written materials;
  • read, analyse and discuss written texts with knowledge, insight and confidence;
  • conduct effective independent research;
  • analyse, process and present complex ideas in coherent and persuasive ways, both orally and on paper;
  • offer original, sustained interpretations of historical and literary materials in an ordered, lucid and focused way;
  • effectively adapt and utilise a body of knowledge in response to specific tasks and requirements;
  • demonstrate good oral and written communication skills;
  • demonstrate good time-management skills.

Employability skills

Other
By the end of this course students will be able to: synthesise and evaluate complex arguments present information in a lucid and engaging manner work effectively as a member of a group organise time effectively in pursuit of specific goals

Assessment methods

Coursework essay (2,500 words) (50%)

Exam (2 hours) (50%)

 

Feedback methods

  • Written feedback on essays and exams
  • Additional one-to-one feedback (during consultation hour or by making an appointment)

Recommended reading

Please contact the course unit director to confirm specific texts for next year.

poetry from: William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience

William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads

Charlotte Smith, ‘Beachy Head’,  Elegiac Sonnets

Percy Shelley, Prometheus Unbound: A Lyrical Drama, ‘England in 1819’, ‘Ode to the West Wind’, The Mask of Anarchy, Julian and Maddalo

Felicia Hemans, ‘The Restoration of the Works of Art to Italy: A Poem’

Lord Byron, Manfred and Beppo

John Keats, ‘On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer’, ‘On Sitting Down to Read King Lear Once Again’, ‘The Eve of St. Agnes’,  Lamia and Odes.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 22
Seminars 11
Independent study hours
Independent study 165

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Emily Rohrbach Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Timetable for 2019/20:

Lecture: Mon 1pm - 3pm

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