English R1B

Reading and Composition: Friends and Fiends: Imagining the Social in the British Romantic Period

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
5 Spring 2017 Ahmed, Adam
MWF 1-2 134 Dwinelle

Book List

Austen, Jane: Northanger Abbey; Blake, William: Selected Poetry; Coleridge, Samuel Taylor & Wordsworth, William: Lyricial Ballads; Hogg, James: The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner; Shelley, Mary : Frankenstein; Wordsworth, Dorothy: The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals

Other Readings and Media

A course reader including writings by Edmund Burke, William Godwin, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Thomas Paine, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Wollstonecraft.


Since the nineteenth century, the popular image of Romanticism has been that of the solitary genius. Typically poised atop some cloud-capped mountain or madly penning his verse in candlelight, this lone figure appears as a testament to the sovereign powers of mind and self. Yet for all their representations of solitude, so many works from the British Romantic period are driven by a desire for and fear of another. In this course, we will trace the persistent presence of others in key literary and political texts of the period. From the ideal friend of Romantic poetry to the pernicious fiend of Gothic fiction, this class will explore how a social world materializes in the space between individuals. 

As an R1B, this course will strengthen students’ reading and analytical knowledge, while introducing them to some of the essential techniques for research writing. Through close reading of texts (both primary and secondary) and frequent writing assignments, students will learn how to engage with different sources to support their own original theses.

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