We will have two primary aims in this class. First, we will explore together the poetry and drama of canonical romanticism. While many courses on romanticism now focus on writers that have been neglected or issues that have been ignored, we will start by reading widely in the “Big Six” poets (Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats). Second, we will try to get a handle on where the criticism of romanticism is today by pairing some key formative essays on romanticism with more recent work.
Your first and key responsibility is to come to class well prepared, having read the works for the day and being ready to discuss and to query them. You will have two additional opportunities to demonstrate your mastery of the material. First, you will be involved in two “debates” on critical matters, each of which will require approximately two pages of writing. Second, you will write a seminar paper of 15-25 pages on a topic chosen by you in consultation with me.