English 190

Research Seminar: A Brief History of Enthusiasm


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
9 Spring 2010 Goldsmith, Steven
Goldsmith, Steven
TTh 12:30-2 225 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

Milton, J: Complete Poems (Penguin); De Quincey, T: Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (Oxford); Austen, J: Sense and Sensibility (Oxford); Brockden Brown, C: Wieland (Penguin); Crane, H: Complete Poems (Liveright)

Description

This course aims to follow the strange history of “enthusiasm” by tracing its manifestations in a variety of literary and historical contexts. Today, “enthusiasm” carries the generally positive meaning of “rapturous interest or excitement,” but the word derives from the ancient Greek “ethousiasmos” (“the fact of being possessed by a god”), and in eighteenth-century Europe it generally carried negative connotations. Samuel Johnson defined it as a particularly dangerous form of error: “a vain belief in divine revelation.” After exploring some ancient sources (Plato, Longinus, and biblical texts), we will focus on modern representations of enthusiasm in four historical phases: 1) The English Revolution (with emphasis on Milton); 2) Eighteenth-Century Britain (Locke, Shaftesbury, Hume, and Smart); 3) The Romantic Period (Blake, Brockden Brown, Austen, and De Quincey); and 4) the rhapsodic tradition in American poetry (Emerson, Whitman, Crane, and Ginsberg). Students will write two essays and take a final exam.

English 190 replaced English 100 and 150 as of Fall '09. English majors may fulfill the seminar requirement for the major by taking one section of English 190 (or by having taken either English 100 or English 150 before Fall '09). Please read the paragraph on page 2 of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

fall, 2022

190/1

Research Seminar: Ulysses

190/3

Research Seminar: Nineteenth Century American Ecologies

190/4

Research Seminar: Material Dickinson

190/5

Research Seminar: 1922: Modernism's Year 1

190/6

Research Seminar: Crisis and Culture: The 1930s, 1970s, and post-2008 in Comparative Perspective

190/7

Research Seminar

190/8

Research Seminar: The Work of Ursula Le Guin

190/9

Research Seminar: Modern California Books and Movies

spring, 2022

190/1

Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson

190/2

Research Seminar: Anatomy of Criticism

190/4

Research Seminar: What is Community?

190/5

Research Seminar: Repression and Resistance

190/6

Research Seminar: The Historical Novel

190/7

Research Seminar: Race and Travel: Relative Alterity in Medieval Times and Places

190/8

Research Seminar: Modern California Books and Movies

fall, 2021

190/1

Research Seminar: Beckett's Prose

190/2

Research Seminar: Literature on Trial: Romanticism, Law, Justice

190/3

Research Seminar: Sensation Novels in Victorian England

190/5

Research Seminar: Anti-Jewish Diatribe in Medieval England

190/8

Research Seminar: Utopian and Dystopian Books and Movies

190/10

Research Seminar

190/11

Research Seminar: Latinx Modernism

spring, 2021

190/1

Research Seminar: Literary Collaboration: Samuel Coleridge and William and Dorothy Wordsworth

190/2

Research Seminar: The Art of Reconstruction

190/3

Research Seminar: Fictions of Los Angeles

190/4

Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson

190/5

Research Seminar: Climate Change Fiction, or Cli-Fi

190/6

Research Seminar: Black Postcolonial Cultures: Real and Imagined Spaces

190/7

Research Seminar: Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics

190/8

Research Seminar: The Other Melville

190/9

Research Seminar: Chicanx Literature, Art and Performance

fall, 2020

190/1

Research Seminar: Utopia and Anti-Utopia

190/2

Research Seminar: Eco-crisis and Climate Refugueeism

190/3

Research Seminar: The Spy Novel

190/4

Research Seminar: Modern California Books and Movies

190/5

Research Seminar: Is It Useless to Revolt?

190/8

Research Seminar: Anatomy of Criticism

190/9

Research Seminar: James / Baldwin

190/10

Research Seminar: Medieval Sexuality

spring, 2020

190/1

Research Seminar: Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics

190/2

Research Seminar: William Faulkner’s Temporalities

190/3

Research Seminar: American Romanticism

190/4

Research Seminar: Poetry and the Virtues

190/5

Research Seminar: British Fiction Since 1945

190/6

Research Seminar: Hollywood in the Thirties

190/7

Research Seminar: Jane Austen

190/8

Research Seminar: James Joyce

190/9

Research Seminar: Victorian Versification

190/10

Research Seminar: Modern California Books and Film


Back to Semester List