English | Romantic Literature
L332 | 2021 | Williams

2:30p-3:45p TR (30) 3 cr

The Romantic Period is known for both the unprecedented explosion of
brilliant lyric poetry (by the likes of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge,
Shelley and Keats) and also for the emergence of a revolutionary politics
which changed the nature of society, introducing notions such as
individual liberty, innate human rights and the dignity of cultural
difference.  Many of the canonical Romantic writers participated in the
political upheavals of the time, and we will consider their contributions
to the ongoing debate.  But we will also consider the ways in which
alternative ideas about liberty and individuality were also at work in the
period, ideas which question and sometimes refute the notions of the
canonical writers.  As a counterpoint to the canonical part of the course,
we will thus also be considering the work of women poets such as Charlotte
Smith and Anna Barbauld, as well as the novels of Mary Wollstonecraft,
Mary Shelley and Jane Austen, and the early slave narrative by Olaudah
Equiano.  These works will provide us with notions of individual liberty
that will ring interesting changes on the more familiar ideas of the
canonical writers.  Texts will include a Romantics anthology (most likely
David Perkins' ENGLISH ROMANTIC WRITERS) and a few novels.  Students will
write 3 papers and do a mid-term and final.