E 363K • Classic to Romantic
9:30 AM-11:00 AM
How does European art and literature move from the fiery bright day of the eighteenth-century philosophes and neo-classical poets to the dark intensity of the height of Romanticism?
Treating a fin-de-siècle twilight not unlike our own, this course will seek to situate the art and literature of the English Romantics within the social, political, and aesthetic contexts of both Classicism and international Romanticism. We will look at the fine arts, especially painting and music, as well as the literary texts of the period. We will read the English texts of Classicism, Sentimentalism, and Romanticism and pursue through them the seductive thread of the graveyard school of poetry and the role of gothic horror that inspire much of the periods production and culminate in Mary Wollstonecraft Shelleys Frankenstein. We will also explore the continental analogs such as Novalis, Schiller, and Karamzin who resonate within, and are sometimes even plagiarized by, the English authors. Finally, we shall not deny ourselves the full pleasure of the English Romantics themselves, especially Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron and Shelley.
1. Attendance of the class meetings is required, and participation and questions are encouraged. Active class participation may assist in improving the students final grade in borderline cases. Any student who does not attend regularly will find completion of the required written assignments very difficult. Attendance will be encouraged as necessary by periodic taking of attendance. Each students will give a 15 minute oral report together with at least one other member of the class (15%).
2. The written requirements for the class include the following: a short essay, 5 pages, for which a topic will be suggested (25%); a longer essay, 10 pages, on a topic of the students choice (35%); a third assignment which may involve creative writing, performance or a collaboration between students, or may be a short essay, 5 pages (25%). The first two assignments may be revised and resubmitted.
In order to pass the course all four assignments must be completed. Failure to complete any one of the assignments will constitute failing the course. All special circumstances must be discussed with the instructor in advance of the due date. Any assignments submitted late will be held to a higher standard because the student has had the unfair advantage of more time to prepare, and will be marked more severely as a result. The written assignments will be graded for form and style as well as content.