English 250. Kaleidoscopic Romanticism: Critical Approaches

Instructor: Andrew Warren
Terms: Spring Term

Wednesdays, 12-2 pm | Location: Barker 269

Beginning with “pre-Romantic” work such as Sterne’s Tristram Shandy, this course covers many of the Romantic age’s big players: Wordsworth’s Prelude; Coleridge’s conversation poems and the Biographia; W&C’s Lyrical Ballads; Byron’s Don Juan; Shelley’s Adonais, Cenciand Prometheus Unbound; Keats’s Lamia volume, including the great odes; and the Romantic Scottish novel.The kaleidoscope, said one commenter in 1817, the year of its invention, “presents to the view an endless variety of forms.”  The same might be said of Romanticism, which has been reframing and reorganizing itself for the last two hundred years. This course uses Romantic-era texts to introduce critical and theoretical methodologies such as Formalism and Close Reading, New Historicism, Narrative Theory, Psychoanalysis, Deconstruction and Queer Theory.  Works include: Sterne’s Tristram Shandy and Rousseau’s Confessions; de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater and Suspiria de Profundis; Mary Shelley’s The Last Man; and poetry by Wordsworth, Blake, Shelley, and Keats.

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