ENG 263 Romantic Poetry and Prose

Melina Moe, M W 1:10 PM-2:30 PM

What is the relationship between nature and the human subject?  Is poetry a personal or social activity?  How can notions of aesthetic autonomy grow out of charged political and historical engagements?  Who is the “Romantic subject” and for whom does he or she speak?  This course on Romantic poetry and prose will grapple with the profound questions that writers of the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century posed to themselves about the possibilities and constraints of literature.  These are questions that continue to energize literature and literary study today.  We will focus on the poetry of the Romantic period, from Charlotte Smith to John Keats.  We will also consider prose works by William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Hazlitt, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Jane Austen. 


               This course will focus on close reading and critical writing.  We will begin with exercises in close reading, then build toward the conception and composition of a sustained critical argument.  Along the way, I will ask for a variety of informal writing assignments as well as lively class participation.