English 246G

Graduate Proseminar: Romantic Period

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2015 Langan, Celeste
TTh 2-3:30 108 Wheeler

Book List

Austen, J.: Persuasion; Blake, W.: Complete Poetry and Prose; Burke, E.: Reflections on the Revolution in France; Byron: Major Works; Clare, J.: Later Poems; Coleridge, S.T.: Major Works; Godwin, W.: Caleb Williams; Keats, J.: Major Works; Shelley, M.W.G.: The Last Man; Shelley, P.B.: Major Works; Wordsworth, W.: Major Works


“Thou hast a voice, great Mountain, to repeal/ Large codes of fraud and woe…”.

Taking these lines from Shelley’s “Mont Blanc” as a point of departure, we will read widely in literature from 1789 to 1830, considering the relation between voice and the law broadly conceived. Against the background of the treason trials and Gagging Acts of the 1790s and similarly repressive measures after the end of the Napoleonic wars, we will read novels, poems, dramas, and journalism in which formal and informal laws (“natural” law, the death penalty, the marriage contract, vagrancy, slavery and other forms of “property” law; also genre, meter, grammar, and social rules and conventions) are represented and contested. But we will also pay particular attention to voice as it’s conceived in complex relation to “codes.” (Secondary reading may include essays by Benjamin, Butler, Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, Rancière, and Schmitt.)

This course satisfies the Group 3 (Seventeenth through Eighteenth Century) or Group 4 (Nineteenth Century) requirement.

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