English 250

Research Seminar: Wordsworth and Coleridge in Collaboration

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2017 Goodman, Kevis
M 3-6 102 Barrows Graduate Courses

Book List

Coleridge, S. T.: The Major Works, Including Biographia Literaria (Oxford); Wordsworth, W.: The Prelude, 1799, 1805, 1850 (Norton Critical Edition); Wordsworth, W., and S. T. Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads, 1798 and 1800 (Routledge);

Recommended: Wordsworth, W. (ed. Richard Matlack): Poems in Two Volumes (Broadview)

Other Readings and Media

A course reader


This class will study the major poetry and prose that emerged from the remarkable literary collaboration and conflict between William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, including their jointly produced Lyrical Ballads (1798 and 1800), Coleridge’s “Conversation” poems, Wordsworth’s The Prelude (1799 and 1805 versions), Poems of 1807, and The Excursion (in part), as well as the entirety of Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria. We will devote some of our time to questions raised by the complexity of collaborative authorship itself: matters of property and possession, conversation and miscommunication, influence, ventriloquism, and plagiarism. At the same time, we will use this pair to consider and contextualize what it meant to say – as Wordsworth did in 1800 – that “Poetry is the history or science of feelings.” How are we to understand this “science of feelings” both in relation to the eighteenth-century “science of man” (largely Scottish) and the “science of sensate cognition,” which, in Germany, had recently been named “aesthetic”? The other aspect of Wordsworth’s phrase, the “history” of feelings, will command our attention as well, in a number of overlapping manifestations: the feelings’ own history (both personal and public); the historical events that put exceptional pressure on the emotions and their display during the decades of the French Revolution, counter-revolutionary response in Britain, and Napoleonic wars; and, above all, both writers’ ways of registering and recording the historical present of modernity as it unfolded in the body and in literary form. While the primary texts will remain primary, this class will also give you a chance to sample the waves of extraordinary criticism generated about these two figures, work that has not merely persisted but has flourished and renewed itself through a succession of currents: phenomenology, deconstruction, new historicism, materialisms old and new, affect theory, science studies, and a good bit more. For quite unlike-minded readers, Wordsworth and Coleridge have proved good to think with for some time.

This course satisfies the Group 4 (Nineteenth Century) requirement.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2019
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
250/1 Research Seminar: Philosophical Idealizations of Art and Modernist Practices Altieri, Charles F.
Fall, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
250/3 Research Seminar: Textual Communities and the Modern Picciotto, Joanna M
250/4 Research Seminar: Evolution and Literary Form, 1800-1900 Duncan, Ian
Spring, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
250/2 Research Seminar: Ways of Knowing, Ways of Representing in Eighteenth-Century English Fiction Sorensen, Janet
250/3 Research Seminar: Milton and the English Civil War Kahn, Victoria
250/4 Research Seminar: The Rhetoric of Technique Lavery, Grace
250/5 Research Seminar: Black Abstraction Best, Stephen M.
Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
250/1 Research Seminar: Victorian Cultural Studies Puckett, Kent
250/2 Research Seminar: How to Write a Book Kahn, Victoria
250/3 Research Seminar: Paranoid States: Empire and the Rise of the Surveillance State Saha, Poulomi
250/4 Research Seminar: Gender, Sexuality, Modernism Abel, Elizabeth
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
250/2 Research Seminar: Modernism in Poetry and in Art Altieri, Charles F.
250/3 Research Seminar: Idols and Ideology—Readings in Augustine, Milton, Marlowe, Shakespeare, Hobbes, Kant, Marx, Freud, Althusser Kahn, Victoria
Fall, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
250/1 Research Seminar: Representing Non-Human Life in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Britain Picciotto, Joanna M
250/2 Research Seminar: Ethnic Modernisms Lee, Steven S.
250/3 Research Seminar: Literature and the Brain Gang, Joshua
Spring, 2016
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
250/1 Research Seminar: Capitalist Crisis and Literature Gonzalez, Marcial
250/2 Research Seminar: The Limits of Historicism Best, Stephen M.
250/3 Research Seminar: How It Strikes a Contemporary: Reading the Novel in the 21st Century Snyder, Katherine
Snyder, Katie
250/4 Research Seminar: Modernism's Metaphysics Blanton, C. D.

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