English 166

Special Topics: Aesthetics and the Environment in the Eighteenth Century


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Fall 2016 Picciotto, Joanna M
MWF 12-1 223 Dwinelle

Book List

Burke: A Philosophic Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful; Gilpin: On Picturesque Beauty; Goldsmith: Poems; Gray: Poems; Hogarth: Analysis of Beauty; Hutcheson: An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (Part 1: concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design); Kame: Elements of Criticism; Shaftesbury: The Moralists, a Philosophical Rhapsody; Walpole: Essay on Modern Gardening

Other Readings and Media

Note:  Students will be given PDFs to access the texts.

Description

Why do we take pleasure in contemplating the natural world? What sort of pleasure is this? The eighteenth century was preoccupied with this question, which abutted on others: What is beauty? Is it something we perceive directly, or do we experience it by more roundabout means? What concepts aside from beauty do we need to explain our pleasure? Is there a correlation between certain kinds of pleasure and certain environmental conditions? We will explore some influential attempts to grapple with these questions and use them as a guide to various forms of aesthetic practice in the period, focusing on poetry, with some excursions into the visual arts and landscape design.

Class requirements: Two short papers (5 pages) or one longer one (10 pages), a final exam, and mandated class participation, including informal presentations.

This section of English 166 satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

fall, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Getting Global: Literature & Film of an Expanding & Unequal World

166/2

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

166/3

Special Topics: Writing as Social Practice

166/4

Special Topics: Literatures of the Asian Diaspora in America

166/5

Special Topics: Seeing Is Believing: Early Realist Painting and Writing

166/7

Special Topics: Charles Dickens

166/8

Special Topics: Green Thought in a Green Shade

166/9

Special Topics: New Orleans

166/11

Special Topics: The Works of Vladimir Nabokov

Naiman, Eric
spring, 2019

166/1

Special Topics: Gothic

166/2

Special Topics: Marxism and Literature

166/4

Special Topics: Poetry and Prose of Race and Social Class

166/5

Special Topics: Asian American Literature - World, Nation, Locality

166/6

Special Topics: Realism, Then and Now

166/7

Special Topics: Anton Chekhov

Muza, Anna
fall, 2018

166/2

Special Topics: Alfred Hitchcock

166/3

Special Topics: Journeys: British World-Building, c. 700-1700

166/4

Special Topics: "this morning's minion": Sonic Mysticism in Gerard Manley Hopkins and Emily Dickinson

166/5

Special Topics

spring, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Comedy & Violence

166/2

Special Topics: Romantic Science

166/3

Special Topics: Classical & Renaissance Drama

166/4

Special Topics: Marxism & Literature

166/5

Special Topics: Emily Dickinson

166/6

Special Topics: Speculative Fiction

summer, 2018

166/1

Special Topics: Speculative Fictions, Possible Futures

166/2

Special Topics: Games of Thrones, Medieval to Modern

fall, 2017

166/3

Special Topics: Black Science Fiction

166/4

Special Topics: Writing Poetry and Nonfiction, Writing as Social Practice

spring, 2017

166/1

Special Topics: Marxism and Literature

166/2

Special Topics: Studies in Literature and Environment (Shelter and Weather)

166/3

Special Topics: Slavery and Conspiracy

166/4

Special Topics: Literature in the Century of Film

166/5

Special Topics: Modern Irish Literature


Back to Semester List