Course Content (Syllabus)
The course provides students with an advanced introduction to the scholarly and critical study of poetry and other writings produced in the British Romantic era (1780-1832). Informed by recent scholarship in Romantic studies, our reading of selected texts will attend closely to the historical, political, and cultural contexts in which the literature is embedded. Specifically, we will concentrate on the themes of nature, sublimity, revolution, gender, empire and genre. Along with the poetry and prose we will read contemporary theoretical texts and literary criticism that address these areas. The writers to be studied will include Blake, Barbauld, Byron, Burke, Coleridge, Hemans, Percy Shelley, Wordsworth, and Keats. As our class this year coincides with the 200th anniversary of the Greek War of Independence, it will include a session on Romantic Philhellenism.
COURSE OUTLINE / WORKING SCHEDULE
& Wu, Duncan. “Introduction.” Romanticism: An Anthology. xxx-xlii.
& Bainbridge, Simon. “The Historical Context.” Romanticism: An Oxford Guide. Ed. Nicholas Roe. OUP, 2008.
i) Defences of Poetry / Romantic Theories of Art
William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1802); “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defence of Poetry
John Keats, “Ode on a Grecian Urn” & from Letters [Negative Capability], [A Poet has no Identity] in Norton 9th, pp. 967-68, 972-73.
McKusick, James. “Nature.” A Companion to European Romanticism. Ed. Michael Ferber. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.
Ferber, Michael. “Tintern Abbey.” The Cambridge Introduction to British Romantic Poetry. Cambridge: CUP, 2012.
Ferber, Michael. “Ode on a Grecian Urn.” The Cambridge Introduction to British Romantic Poetry. Cambridge: CUP, 2012.
ii) Revolution and Reaction
The Revolution Controversy and the “Spirit of the Age”: Richard Price, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, James Gillray. (Norton 9th, pp. 183-207).
William Blake, “London.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind”; “Ozymandias”
Dawson, P.M.S. “Poetry in an Age of Revolution.” The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism. Cambridge: CUP, 1993.
Ferber, Michael. “Ode to the West Wind.” The Cambridge Introduction to British Romantic Poetry. Cambridge: CUP, 2012.
Mary Robinson, “London’s Summer Morning.”
Felicia Hemans, from Records of Woman: “Indian Woman’s Death Song.”
John Keats, Lamia.
Curran, Stuart. “Romantic Poetry: The I altered.” Romanticism and Feminism. Ed. A.K. Mellor, 1988. Rpt. in Romantic Writings, ed. Stephen Bygrave.
Mellor, Anne. “Keats and the Complexities of Gender.” The Cambridge Companion to Keats. Ed. Susan Wolfson. Cambridge: CUP, 2001.
iv) Empire; Orientalism
Anna Laetitia Barbauld, “Epistle to William Wilberforce.”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, “Kubla Khan.”
George Gordon, Lord Byron, The Giaour (PDF file on e-learning)
Richardson, Alan. “Slavery and Romantic Writing.” A Companion to Romanticism. Ed. Duncan Wu. Oxford: Blackwell, 1998.
Leask, Nigel. “Easts.” Romanticism: An Oxford Guide. Ed. Nicholas Roe. OUP, 2005.
Butler, Marilyn. “The Orientalism of Byron’s Giaour.” Byron and the Limits of Fiction. Ed. Bernard Beatty and Vincent Newey. Liverpool: Liverpool Univ. Press, 1988.
v) The English Romantics and the Greek War of Independence
Percy Bysshe Shelley, Preface to Hellas (PDF file on e-learning)
John Keats, “On Seeing the Elgin Marbles.”
George Gordon, Lord Byron, from Don Juan, Canto III, “The Isles of Greece” (PDF file on E-learning); “On this Day I Complete My Thirty-Sixth Year.”
Webb, Timothy. “Romantic Hellenism.” The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism. Ed. Stuart Curran. Cambridge: CUP, 1993.
Tyler, Tony. “Byron’s Greek Freedom in ‘The Isles of Greece’ Lyric.” The Byron Journal 31 (2003): 66-71.
Additional bibliography for study
Abrams, M.H. The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition. Oxford: OUP, 1953.
Armstrong, Isobel. “The Gush of the Feminine.” Romantic Women Writers: Voices and Countervoices. Ed. Paula Feldman and Theresa M. Kelley. Hanover: University Press of New England, 1995.
Behrendt, Stephen C. Reading William Blake. Houndmills: Macmillan, 1992.
Bone, Drummond, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Byron. Cambridge: CUP, 2004.
Bygrave, Stephen, ed. Romantic Writings. London: Routledge in association with the Open University Press, 1996.
Burke, Edmund. A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. Ed. James Boulton. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1987.
Chandler, James, and Maureen N. McLane, eds. The Cambridge Companion to British Romantic Poetry 1780‒1830. Cambridge: CUP, 2008.
Curran, Stuart, ed. The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Duffy, Cian. Shelley and the Revolutionary Sublime. Cambridge: CUP, 2005.
Eaves, Morris, ed. The Cambridge Companion to William Blake. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Everest, Kelvin. English Romantic Poetry: An Introduction to the Historical Context and the Literary Scene. Milton Keynes: Open University Press, 1990.
Franklin, Caroline. Byron. London: Routledge, 2007.
Fulford, Tim and Peter J. Kitson, eds. Romanticism and Colonialism: Writing and Empire, 1780-1830. Cambridge: CUP, 1998.
Gill, Stephen, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Wordsworth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Janowitz, Anne. Women Romantic Poets: Anna Barbauld and Mary Robinson. Tavistock: Northcote House, 2004.
Kelly, Gary. Women, Writing, and Revolution, 1790-1827. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
Leask, Nigel. British Romantic Writers and the East: Anxieties of Empire. Cambridge: CUP, 2005.
McCalman, Iain et al. eds. An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age: British Culture 1776-1832. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999. [Reference guide]
Mellor, Anne K. Romanticism and Gender. New York: Routledge, 1993.
---, ed. Romanticism and Feminism. Indiana University Press, 1988.
---. Mothers of the Nation: Women’s Political Writing in England. Indiana Univ. Press, 2000.
Natarajan, Uttara, ed. The Romantic Poets: A Guide to Criticism. MA: Blackwell, 2007.
O’Neill, Michael. Percy Bysshe Shelley: A Literary Life. London: Macmillan, 1989.
Roe, Nicholas. The Politics of Nature: William Wordsworth and Some Contemporaries. New York: Palgrave, 2002.
Ross, Marlon. The Contours of Masculine Desire: Romanticism and the Rise of Women’s Poetry. Oxford: OUP, 1989.
Ruston, Sharon. Romanticism. London: Continuum, 2007.
Stabler, Jane. Burke to Byron, Barbauld to Baillie, 1790-1830. New York: Palgrave, 2002.
Stauffer, Andrew M. Anger, Revolution and Romanticism. Cambridge: CUP, 2005.
Watson, J.R. English Poetry of the Romantic Period, 1789-1830. 2nd ed. London: Longman, 1992.
Wolfson, Susan J. The Cambridge Companion to Keats. Cambridge: CUP, 2001.