Romanticism is often associated with the celebration of emotion over reason, passion over cold calculation. In fact, for the Romantics, the opposition between reason and emotion made little sense, since they were interested in how moods conditioned all human capabilities, including reasoning, from the ground up. In today’s age of mood-altering medications and technologies, like the smartphone and social media, we still have much to learn from Romanticism’s appreciation of the importance of mood. This seminar will examine the social, political, historical, and ecological implications of mood through readings of key works of literature, art, and philosophy from the Romantic period together with some 20th and 21st century works that extend the Romantic preoccupation with mood to the present day. Authors may include Burton, Kant, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Blake, Keats, de Quincy, Schopenhauer, Freud, Arendt, Benjamin, Heidegger, Derrida, and Ngai.
The Class: Type: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: two papers, one 6 pages and one 10-12 pages in length, and general participation
Extra Info: may not be taken on a pass/fail basis; not available for the fifth course option
Prerequisites: a 100-level ENGL course, or a score of 5 on the AP English Literature exam, or a score of 6 or 7 on the Higher Level IB English exam
Enrollment Preference: English and Comparative Literature majors
Distributions: Division I;
Attributes: ENGL Criticism Courses; ENGL Literary Histories B