ENGL 331
Romantic Experiments Fall 2009
Division I Writing Skills
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Class Details

Many works of the Romantic period (from about 1760 to about 1830) are pointedly or at least intentionally strange. Romantic writers were devoted innovators, and it is the Romantic period which gives our culture its interest in what we now call “originality.” Some Romantic experimenting seems radical even today, as writers try to invent new ways of meaning, try to reach beyond the usual notions of Sense and Nonsense. Some of it is corrective, born of the hope that the world would become a better place if they could write a new literature. Some of it is splashy newness, an attempt to catch a jaded readership’s attention in new ways; and some of it is just ecstatic, deeply personal Weirdness. We will think about Romantic innovation by matching it with the writing it was meant to disrupt or reform; though some works we will simply have to wade into and encounter on their own terms. Authors to be considered might include Barbauld, Blake, Byron, Coleridge, Hemans, Keats, Shelley, and Wordsworth.
The Class: Format: tutorial; students will meet with the instructor in pairs for an hour each week
Limit: 10
Expected: 10
Class#: 1716
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: students will write a 5- to 7-page paper every other week (five in all), and comment on their partners' papers in alternate weeks
Extra Info: emphasis will be placed on developing skills not only in reading and interpretation, but also in constructing critical arguments and responding to them in written and oral critiques
Prerequisites: a 100-level English course
Enrollment Preferences: none
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills

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