04:30 PM to 07:10 PM T
Innovation Hall 209
Section Information for Fall 2022
Though the Romantic era in Britain is usually defined as running from roughly 1780 to 1830, the cultural developments of the period were of such significance and influence that many argue we are still living in a “Romantic age.” Amid revolutions abroad, social unrest at home, massive technological and economic shifts, and new ideas about the nature of the self and about the rights of men and women, the writers we’ll study in this course saw the world changing with an unprecedented pace, and felt alternately thrilled, terrified, enraged, perplexed and amused by the changes they witnessed. We’ll look at how Romantic writers’ experiments in poetic form respond to these social and historical contexts and also address more intimate concerns of love and loss, memory and desire. We will read some of the most provocative, most lasting, and most exciting poetry of the period, and as well as a novel—most likely Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein—in direct dialogue with this poetry. We will also look at some prose writing of the period to help us think about some recurring topics of the poetry: for example, gender and sexuality; domestic life in wartime; the role and responsibility of the writer in relation to social change; ecological thought and environmental awareness; race and slavery in the Atlantic world; science and experiment; empire and colonialism; ideas of belonging and of freedom; childhood, imagination and dream.