This page contains the assignments from the Romanticism module "Gender, Sensibility,
and Romanticism" with links to the online readings and to supporting materials.
Monday, September 2nd
This is a two-part assignment to get the electronic side of the class moving. Group I will do the following literary assignment, but all of you need to do this part: go to the class discussion board and write a solid paragraph or two introducing yourself to the class.
Group I Response (due, as always, by 9:00 pm the previous evening): Concentrating on one small section of the poem--10 lines or so--discuss the relationship of the poem's characters to the village society they inhabit, especially in the way Gray portrays the way feelings pass (or do not pass) among the speaker, the villagers, and the imagined readers of the poem.
Wednesday, September 4th
Group II Response: Use our discussion of Gray as a way into thinking about the models of emotion that Smith and Burke offer us. How does the emotional landscape of Gray's "Elegy" enact or fail to enact the theories that Smith and Burke put forth?
Friday, September 6th
Ann Yearsley, "To Indifference" and "Addressed to Sensibility" from Poems on Various Subjects (1787)
- WORP, or Women of the Romantic Period, an interactive teaching site developed by Morri Safran, includes a
page on Yearsley with biographical information and annotatable electronic editions of some of her works. If you're interested in interactive teaching, poke around the WORP site to see what they have been up to.
Group III Response: Discuss these poems in the framework of the three previous works we have read. At some point in your response, offer your sense of how Yearsley seems to define the words "sensibility" and "indifference."
Monday, September 9th
Group IV Response: In class, we will be working to construct a poetics of Della Cruscan verse; that is, a statement of its values, techniques, and strategies. Using Gray's "Elegy" as a point of comparison, give us a head start by talking about how Della Cruscan verse functions and what it wants to achieve.
Wednesday, September 11th
- Judith Pascoe, "'That fluttering, tinselled crew': Women Poets and Della Cruscanism" in Romantic Theatricality: Gender, Poetry, and Spectatorship (1997).
- Jerome McGann, "The Literal World of the English Della Cruscans" in The Poetics of Sensibility: A Revolution in Literary Style (1996)
Group V Response: Discuss either or both of the articles, emphasizing points or passages you find especially persuasive and also questions that you would like the class to discuss about (or stemming from) this critical work.
Friday, September 13th
- Charlotte Smith, all prefatory material and Sonnets I, IX, XII, and XLIV from Elegiac Sonnets and Other Poems (first edition 1784, e-text of 1827 edition)
- For a review of the structure and meaning of the sonnet form, see this page and those that follow it.
- Brent Raycroft, who wrote a dissertation on Smith, has a quirky web page devoted to Smith and her work. The page has some useful material, but its effectiveness is limited by the dearth of high-quality information about Smith online. Stuart Curran's introduction to his edition of Smith's poems is the best recent critical starting point for thinking about her poetry.
Group I Response: open response. (Each group has now written one directed response, so we will now have a round of open responses.)
Monday, September 16th
- William Wordsworth, Preface (anthology 332), "Old Man Travelling" (anthology 327), "The Thorn" (anthology 319), and "Note to the Thorn" (anthology 324) from Lyrical Ballads (1798 and 1800)
Group II Response: open response.
Wednesday, September 18th
- Wordsworth, "Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" (1798, anthology 328) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "The Eolian Harp" (1800, anthology 478) from Lyrical Ballads
- For a review of the structure and meaning of blank verse, see this page and those that follow it.
Group III Response: open response.
Friday, September 20th
Coleridge, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1817 version, anthology 484) and the 1798 excerpt for comparison (anthology 482) from Lyrical Ballads
Group IV Response: open response.
Monday, September 23rd
- Mary Robinson, "London's Summer Morning" (anthology 203) and "The Old Beggar" (anthology 204) from Lyrical Tales (1800)
- Romantic Circles has an electronic edition of Robinson's Letter to the Women of England, which also has excellent complementary texts; Virginia has an E-text of Sappho and Phaon, and the Penn Library's Celebration of Women Writers has created an electronic copy of an 1895 memoir.
- Isobel Armstrong "The Gush of the Feminine: How Can We Read Women's Poetry of the Romantic Period?" in Romantic Women Writers: Voices and Countervoices, ed. Feldman and Kelley (1995)
Group V Response: open response.
Wednesday, September 25th
- John Keats, "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" and companion readings (1816, anthology 748), "On Seeing the Elgin Marbles" (1817, anthology 757)
Group I Response: Write about today's readings using (explicitly) one of the six approaches from "Some Hints to Help You Read Poetry with More Pleasure."
Friday, September 27th
Keats, "La Belle Dame sans Mercy" (1820, anthology 768) and "Ode to a Nightingale" (1820, anthology 773)
- For a review of the structure and meaning of the ode, see this page and those that follow it.
Group II Response: Write about today's readings using (explicitly) one of the six approaches from "Some Hints to Help You Read Poetry with More Pleasure."
PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE
FOR STUDENTS WRITING PAPERS
Monday, September 30th
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Ode to the West Wind" (1820, anthology 670) and "To a Sky-Lark" (1820, anthology 672)
Group III Response: Write about today's readings using (explicitly) one of the six approaches from "Some Hints to Help You Read Poetry with More Pleasure."
Wednesday, October 2nd
George Gordon, Lord Byron, Don Juan, Dedication and Canto I (1819, anthology 569)
Group IV Response: Write about today's readings using (explicitly) one of the six approaches from "Some Hints to Help You Read Poetry with More Pleasure."
Friday, October 4th
FIRST EXAM/PAPER DATE