English 190

Research Seminar: Trials of Literature: Romanticism, Justice, and the Law


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2018 Langan, Celeste
MW 9:30-11 305 Wheeler British 19th-Century
Novel
Drama
Poetry
Research Seminars

Description

This seminar will focus on the way literature imagines the relation between law and justice, concentrating on literature of the Romantic period. We’ll consider writers’ interest in persons (from beggars and trespassers to gods and sovereigns), actions (from breaking a jug to killing a father), and events (from revolution to war) outside the law.

We’ll focus in particular on the intersections of language and the law.  Many Romantic dramas, novels, and poems are structured around some sort of trial scene.  What does it mean to speak “before the law”?  How is the concept of “testimony” transformed when it takes the form of fictional or poetic utterance?  How do so-called “sovereign” speech acts like commands and promises relate to law and justice? What effects does censorship have on literary expression?  (We'll consider actual trials for sedition and blasphemy.) If poetry is "pleading before unjust tribunals" (Wordsworth), in what sense are poets, as Shelley declared, “unacknowledged legislators of the world”?

The seminar will conclude by considering a larger historical arc, tracing the figure of injustice from Kleist’s Mchael Kohlhaas to Kafka’s The Trial to Coetzee’s The Life and Times of Michael K.

Texts: Byron, Manfred, Marino Faliero;  S.T. Coleridge, Remorse; W. Godwin, Caleb Williams, excerpts from Enquiry Concerning Political Justice; H. von Kleist, Michael Kohlhaas, The Broken Jug; W. Scott, The Two Drovers;. P.B. Shelley, The Cenci; Prometheus Unbound; F. Kafka, The Trial;  W. Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads; Coetzee, The Life and Times of Michael K.

Secondary readings will include: W. Benjamin, “Critique of Violence”;  J. Butler, “Critique, Coercion, and Sacred Life”; J. Derrida, “Force of Law: The ‘Mystical Foundation’ of Authority'”;  Foucault, “The Life of Infamous Men”; A. Sitze, “What Is a Citation?”

Please read the paragraph about English 190 on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Spring, 2019
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: Flann O'Brien and Irish Literature Flynn, Catherine
190/2 Research Seminar: Transsexual Literatures and Cultures Lavery, Grace
190/3 Research Seminar: James / Baldwin Best, Stephen M.
190/5 Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I Starr, George A.
190/6 Research Seminar: Carnal Knowledge in Medieval and Early Modern Literature Miller, Jasmin
190/7 Research Seminar Stancek, Claire Marie
190/8 Research Seminar: Edgar Allan Poe Breitwieser, Mitchell
190/9 Research Seminar: Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln Otter, Samuel
190/10 Research Seminar: Emily Dickinson Shoptaw, John
190/11 Research Seminar: Willa Cather Breitwieser, Mitchell
190/13 Research Seminar: Sixties Cinema Knapp, Jeffrey
190/14 Research Seminar Miller, D.A.
Fall, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: Melville in the 50s Goldsmith, Steven
190/2 Research Seminar: Laughter and Vision: Explorations in the Novel of Ideas Danner, Mark
190/3 Research Seminar: Representations of Coercion and Resistance in African American Slave, Jim Crow, and Neo-slave Narratives JanMohamed, Abdul R.
190/4 Research Seminar: William Blake Goldstein, Amanda Jo
190/7 Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial Ellis, Nadia
190/8 Research Seminar: Repression and Resistance Gonzalez, Marcial
190/9 Research Seminar: Mark Twain Griffin, Ben
190/10 Research Seminar No instructor assigned yet.
190/11 Research Seminar No instructor assigned yet.
190/12 Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I Starr, George A.
190/13 Research Seminar: The Jamesian Novel Hale, Dorothy J.
190/14 Research Seminar Miller, Jennifer
Spring, 2018
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/2 Research Seminar: James Joyce Flynn, Catherine
190/3 Research Seminar: Hawthorne & Melville Tamarkin, Elisa
190/4 Research Seminar: Reading Walden Carefully Breitwieser, Mitchell
190/5 Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance Wagner, Bryan
190/6 Research Seminar: Sixty Years Since: The Historical Novel Kolb, Margaret
190/7 Research Seminar: Contemporary Historical Fiction Yoon, Irene
190/8 Research Seminar: Literary Theory and Its Objects Creasy, CFS
190/9 Research Seminar: The Faerie Queene: The Ethics of Imagination Landreth, David
190/10 Research Seminar: Pagan Fictions in Christian Literature Hobson, Jacob
190/11 Research Seminar: Andrew Marvell Picciotto, Joanna M
190/12 Research Seminar: California Books and Movies Since World War I Starr, George A.
190/13 Research Seminar: Alfred Hitchcock Bader, Julia
Fall, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: Britain in the ‘60s Gang, Joshua
190/2 Research Seminar: The Historical Novel Puckett, Kent
190/3 Research Seminar: Another Day in Purgatory: Irish Literature and the Afterlife Creasy, CFS
190/6 Research Seminar: Literature and Revolution Lee, Steven S.
190/7 Research Seminar: Monsters, Exiles, and Outlaws in Medieval Literature Hobson, Jacob
190/8 Research Seminar: George Eliot and the Realist Novel Kolb, Margaret
190/9 Research Seminar: Historiography and Narrative: Literature and the Interstices of History Jones, Donna V.
190/10 Research Seminar: Suspicious Mind Best, Stephen M.
190/11 Research Seminar: Nonsense Hanson, Kristin
190/12 Research Seminar: Making Memories Yoon, Irene
Spring, 2017
Course & Section Course Name Course Areas
190/1 Research Seminar: The Urban Postcolonial Ellis, Nadia
190/2 Research Seminar: Harlem Renaissance Wagner, Bryan
190/3 Research Seminar: Literature and the Linguistic Turn Blevins, Jeffrey
190/4 Research Seminar: Jane Austen and the Theory of the Novel Miller, D.A.
190/5 Research Seminar: Writing a World in Crisis: Medieval and Modern Perry, R. D.
190/6 Research Seminar: Shakespeare: From the Globe to the Global Bahr, Stephanie M
190/7 Research Seminar: Place-Love: Fiction and the Melancholy of Form Xin, Wendy Veronica
190/8 Research Seminar: Literatures of the Ocean Sorensen, Janet
190/9 Research Seminar: Beowulf Thornbury, Emily V.
190/10 Research Seminar: Hollywood in the 1930s Knapp, Jeffrey
190/11 Research Seminar: The Literature of Immortality Jones, Donna V.
190/13 Research Seminar: California Literature & Film Since WWI Starr, George A.

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