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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2005

E 392M • Romantic Authorship

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
33720 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
cal 323

Course Description

Not unlike Foucault, Romantic-period writers were frequently disposed to ask themselves, "What is an author?" This introductory course explores British Romanticism in relation to the period's different ideas of authorship. Romanticism's taxonomy of authorial types spans a wide range, encompassing the author as bard and prophet of Eternity, as a great living personality and man of the age, as the inheritor of Shakespeare, Milton, and English literary tradition, as enlightened sage and educator to the middling classes - in addition to the author as a mere writer, literary journalist, opportunistic hack, forger, or plagiarist, or as someone practicing politics by other means. Topics to be explored in seminar -- and, possibly, in your 20-minute oral presentations -- include concepts of originality, genius, and anxiety of influence; plagiarism, self-plagiarism, and forgery; ideas of the book, the Book, bookishness, and the art of allusion; Romantic expressivism and its roots in Lockean philosophy and association of ideas theory; careerism, the Romantic marketplace, and contemporary ideas of reading and audience; the Romantic Symbol; changing concepts of history and historical period. In the process of investigating these topics through close reading of major works by Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Byron, and James Hogg, we shall also take a look at some of the exemplary critical readings these works have received. Our goal is, first, to develop a better understanding of the Romantic texts in question; second, to examine the premises and inner workings of recent critical approaches to Romanticism as against the evidence of those texts.


Selected Poems and Letters of Keats, ed. Jack Stillinger (Houghton)

Blakes Poetry and Designs, ed. Johnson and Grant (Norton)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ed. J. R. Jackson (Oxford Authors)

Byron, ed. Jerome McGann (Oxford Authors)

William Wordsworth, ed. Stephen Gill (Oxford Authors)

James Hogg, Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner, ed. Wain (Viking-Penguin)

A packet of photocopied articles and selections from Foucault, Woodmansee, McGann, Mann, Chandler, Christensen, Klancher, Murphy, and others.


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