ENL 6246 (SPRING 2021)

ENL 6246: ENGLISH ROMANTIC PERIOD

Spring 2021
Tuesdays, 6:30pm-8:00pm (synchronous online meeting in MS Teams; additional readings, videos, and other work, as indicated)
Professor Steven Jones
stevenjones-at-usf.edu
https://stevenejones.org

[JUMP TO SCHEDULE]

COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

In this hybrid-format graduate seminar we’ll read poetry, prose, and drama of the romantic period (roughly 1770-1850), along with selected criticism and theory.  We’ll focus on book history and a materialist form of textual studies. The romantic period saw the emergence of modern philology and the cultural history of textual forms and versions. When we study the production, transmission, and reception of embodied texts we encounter varieties of immanence, vivid materialities in productive tension with the romantic tendencies toward transcendence, idealism, and otherworldliness.

We’ll also read texts by Black authors in various genres–including poetry. And we’ll consider work on Black Romanticism and the Black Atlantic as a way to challenge the national boundaries, genres, literary canons, and racial assumptions of traditional “British Romanticism,” a way to refocus romantic-period studies on race, the transatlantic slave trade, abolition, reform, and revolution—parts of the history of conflicts and struggles that continue today.

The readings are all online and are open-access. They include materials from the award-winning William Blake Archive and Romantic Circles website, and other sources of images, videos, sound files, and texts—providing opportunities to pay critical attention to the textual materialities and contexts of our own complicated historical moment.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

As a result of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand—critically and in context—a collection of key romantic-period texts
  • apply methods and questions from book history and materialist textual studies
  • explore theoretical issues surrounding periodization, genre, canon, race, colonialism
  • use a digital platform to produce a multimodal essay

USF CORE POLICY STATEMENTS

See the following page for the university’s policies: https://www.usf.edu/provost/faculty/core-syllabus-policy-statements.aspx

TEXTS AND RESOURCES

Transatlantic Romanticism: an Anthology of British, American, and Canadian literature, 1767-1867, ed. Newman, Lance, Joel Pace, and Chris Koenig-Woodyard , 2006: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/101741/1/Koenig-Woodyard_Anthology.pdf

The Bigger 6 Collective: https://bigger6romantix.squarespace.com

The William Blake Archive: http://www.blakearchive.org

Early Caribbean Digital Archive: https://ecda.northeastern.edu

Romantic Circles website: https://romantic-circles.org

Matt Sandler, The Black Romantic Revolution: Abolitionist Poets at the End of Slavery (2020)

Paul Youngquist, “Black Romanticism: A Manifesto,” Studies in Romanticism 56.1 (Spring 2017), 3-14: https://muse.jhu.edu/issue/41364

SELECTED CRITICAL WORKS ON BOOK HISTORY

Leon Jackson, “The Talking Book and the Talking Book Historian,” Book History 23 (2010), 251-308: https://www.jstor.org/stable/40930535  DOI: 10.1353/bh.2010.0014

George Hutchinson and John K. Young, eds. Publishing Blackness: Textual Constructions of Race Since 1850 (Introduction): https://www-jstor-org.ezproxy.lib.usf.edu/stable/j.ctv3znzrx

Michelle Levy, “Do Women Have a Book History?” SiR 53 (Sept. 22, 2014), 297-317: http://ezproxy.lib.usf.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsglr&AN=edsgcl.401379921&site=eds-live

Elizabeth McHenry, Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies (Duke UP, 2002), Introduction: https://read-dukeupress-edu.ezproxy.lib.usf.edu/books/book/745/chapter/134911/IntroductionIn-Search-of-Black-Readers

REQUIREMENTS and GRADES

  • class participation and online presentations  (approx. 25%)
  • 2 presentations (approx. 50%)
  • multimodal online essay, including final presentation (approx. 25%)

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS FULFILLED

MA Lit cultural-critical studies; MA Lit elective; MA R/C 1-2 other electives; MFA elective (5 courses); PhD Lit theory-rich course


SCHEDULE

[All readings are in the Transatlantic Romanticism anthology unless otherwise indicated.]

January

12 Introductions

19 Samson Occom; Olaudah Equiano; BBC video: “The Extraordinary Equiano”; Quobna Ottobah Cugoano; Harriet Jacobs; Anna Laetitia Barbauld, “Epistle to Wilberforce”; William Cowper, “Sweet Meat Has Sour Sauce”

26 Obi at Romantic Circles

February

2 William Blake (and selections in the Blake Archive); Phillis Wheatley

9 Robert Burns (and performance by Andy M. Stewart); Joanna Baillie; Sir Walter Scott

16 Mary Robinson; Samuel Taylor Coleridge

23 Samuel Taylor Coleridge; William Wordsworth

March

2  John Keats; John Clare; Joshua McCarter Simpson (Poetry Foundation)

9  Percy Bysshe Shelley

16 Lord Byron

23 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein **; Frederick Douglass, “The Heroic Slave”

30 George Moses Horton (Poetry Foundation); George Boyer Vashon (My Poetic Side)

April

6  Frances Ellen Watkins Harper; Felicia Dorothea Hemans

13 SPRING BREAK (NO CLASS)

20  Albery Allson Whitman, The Rape of Florida (download here)

27 William Apess, “An Indian’s Looking-Glass”; Thomas Carlyle “Signs of the Times”; William Cobbett, “Rural Rides”; Ebenezer Elliot (from Corn-Law Rhymes)

May

4 essays presented


** For Frankenstein: use any edition, online or in print. There are several open-access versions on the internet and numerous inexpensive paperback editions available. We’ll discuss the textual history of the novel based in part on the texts the members of the class choose.