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Syllabus for English 327:
The Romantics

Electric Romanticism:
The Technologies of the Romantic Period and of Romantic Studies

Fall 2017


Thursday, August 24

First day: introductions and course outline


Tuesday, August 29

Note: here and throughout this syllabus, the first (less indented) list of readings is required, while the second (more indented) list of readings is supplemental and optional. Here, for example, the novel is a required reading, while the three readings in the following, more indented bullet points are recommended for exploration but are not required.

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, "Kubla Khan; Or, A Vision in a Dream"

  • Penny Fielding, "Introduction: Rites of Speech" from Writing and Orality: Nationality, Culture, and Nineteenth-Century Scottish Fiction"

  • William Blake, "Introduction" from Songs of Innocence

    • Dictionary of Literary Biography (Grinnell only): Coleridge as poet

    • Dictionary of Literary Biography (Grinnell only): Blake as poet

Assignment for everyone, part I: by the end of Friday, go to the course blog and post a brief self-introduction. This will help us get to know each other and also confirm that everyone can post on the blog.

Assignment for everyone, part II: come to class prepared to contribute to a discussion in which we make a collective list of ways in which we might read "Kubla Khan" in light of the history of technology or science.

Group 1 special interest (or wild card) blog post: Point us to a specific place in any of today's texts (from 1-10 lines) that you want to discuss further in class. Use your blog post to explain your choice.


Thursday, August 31

  • William Blake, Songs of Innocence and of Experience

Group 2 special interest (or wild card) blog post: Point us to a specific place in the one of Blake's poems (from 1-10 lines) that you want us to discuss further in class because it raises an issue or problem in the readings as a whole.


Tuesday, September 5

  • Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell
  • Mark Greenberg, "Romantic Technology: Books, Printing, and Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell," in Literature and Technology, eds. Mark Greenberg, Lance Schachterle

Group 3 special interest (or wild card) blog post: Point us to a specific place in the one of today's readings (from 1-10 lines) that you want us to discuss further in class because it raises an issue or problem in the readings as a whole.


Thursday, September 7

  • Erasmus Darwin, Darwin's Preface (not the preface to the American edition or the poetic tribute) and first 16 sections (through page 134) of Zoonomia; Or, The Laws of Organic Life

    • Dictionary of Literary Biography (Grinnell only): Darwin as poet

Group 1 blog post: You may use this blog post to develop your special interest or as a wild card blog post. Write your blog post as a discussion of some specific issue that arises from the readings. This assignment is what I mean by "open prompt" assignments in the rest of the syllabus.


Tuesday, September 12

  • Darwin, The Loves of the Plants from The Botanic Garden: read Cantos I and II, read Interludes I-III, and look over the indexes and notes at the end

Group 2 special interest (or wild card) blog post: open prompt.


Thursday, September 14

Group 3 special interest (or wild card) blog post: as the starting point for your post, search the ECCO database through the library's website. You can either search for Humphry Davy himself to find other writers discussing him or look for a term that is central to today's readings.


Tuesday, September 19

  • Charlotte Smith, Beachy Head
    • Dictionary of Literary Biography (Grinnell only): Smith as poet

Group 1 blog post: special interest (or wild card) blog post: as the starting point for your post, search the ECCO database through the library's website. You can either search for mentions of fossils to find other writers discussing them or look for another term that is central to today's reading.


Thursday, September 21

  • Kevis Goodman, "Conjectures on Beachy Head: Charlotte Smith’s Geological Poetics and the Ground of the Present"

  • Anne Wallace, "Picturesque Fossils, Sublime Geology? The Crisis of Authority in Charlotte Smith's Beachy Head"

Everyone: bring to class, in writing, 1) your nomination of one specific sentence that you think best captures the thesis of each article, and 2) one moment from each article that strikes you as an especially interesting use of a quoted source.


Tuesday, September 26

  • Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland; Or, The Transformation: An American Tale, chapters I to VIII

Group 2 blog post: special interest (or wild card) blog post: as the starting point for your post, search the ECCO database through the library's website. You can either search for mentions of ventriloquism to find other writers discussing it or look for another term that is central to today's reading.


Thursday, September 28

Group 3 blog post: special interest (or wild card) blog post, open prompt.


Tuesday, October 3

  • Brockden Brown, Wieland, chapter XVI to end

Group 1 blog post: special interest (or wild card) blog post, open prompt.


Thursday, October 5

  • Anthony Galluzzo, "Charles Brockden Brown's Wieland and the Aesthetics of Terror: Revolution, Reaction, and the Radical Enlightenment in Early American Letters"

  • Christopher Looby, "The Very Act of Utterance': Law, Language, and Legitimation in Brown's Wieland," from Voicing America: Language, Literary Form, and the Origins of the United States

Everyone: bring to class, in writing, 1) your nomination of one specific sentence that you think best captures the thesis of each piece, and 2) one moment from each article that strikes you as an especially interesting use of a quoted source.


Tuesday, October 10

WE WILL MEET IN THE BURLING COMPUTER LAB (LOWER LEVEL) TODAY

For class today, prepare and bring (either on a laptop or by emailing it to yourself) a digital document with some text about your current ideas for the shorter paper. In class, you will use this text with the JSTOR Text Analyzer and possibly some other tools, so write as much as you can about your thinking so far; you don't have to worry about any (human) readers at this point.


Thursday, October 12

NO CLASS TODAY:
INDIVIDUAL MIDSEM CONFERENCES


Friday, October 13

SHORTER PAPERS DUE
IN HARD COPY TO MY OFFICE
BY 3:00 PM


FALL BREAK
Tuesday, October 24

  • Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein; Or, The Modern Prometheus (1818), Volume I

Group 2 special interest (or wild card) blog post: open prompt.


Thursday, October 26

  • Shelley, Frankenstein, Volume II

Group 3 special interest (or wild card) blog post: open prompt.


Tuesday, October 31

  • Shelley, Frankenstein, Volume III

Group 1 special interest (or wild card) blog post: open prompt.


Thursday, November 2
  • Laura E. Crouch, "Davy's A Discourse, Introductory to A Course of Lectures on Chemistry: A Possible Scientific Source of Frankenstein"
  • Stuart Curran, "The Scientific Grounding of Frankenstein"
  • Anne Mellor, "Frankenstein: A Feminist Critique of Science"
  • Selected annotations from new scientific edition of Frankenstein
Group 2 special interest (or wild card) blog post: open prompt.


Monday, November 6

PAPER PROSPECTUS DUE
VIA EMAIL TODAY (ANY TIME)


Tuesday, November 7

  • Digital methods day. Details to be determined in light of our discussions so far this semester.

  • We will also spend some class time discussing annotated bibliographies today.

Assignment TBD


Thursday, November 9

Group 3 special interest (or wild card) blog post: open prompt.


Tuesday, November 14

Today, we will do an in-class workshop of your bibliographies. Bring FOUR copies of two full entries for your annotated bibliography to class.


Thursday, November 16

Group 1 special interest (or wild card) blog post: open prompt.


Tuesday, November 21

ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY DUE
IN HARD COPY TO MY OFFICE
TODAY AT 3:00 p.m.

We will not have class today as you finish your bibliographies. Feel free to get in touch with me about last-minute issues and questions.


Tuesday, November 28

  • Season 1 of Orphan Black

Group 2 special interest (or wild card) blog post: open prompt.


Thursday, November 30

    Come to class today with FOUR COPIES of

    1. a draft of an important paragraph (perhaps the introduction or conclusion) of your final paper,
    2. a basic sketch of your paper like the ones we have done in class (squares for key concepts or phrases, circles for key passages in your primary text, triangles for key secondary writers, trapezoids for key tertiary/theoretical writers, with no more than three objects in any category), and
    3. a list of two key questions or issues you are facing in writing the paper.

    We will discuss these materials in small groups today.


Tuesday, December 5

Come to class prepared to make a short, informal presentation of your paper-to-be, and to listen carefully to and ask good questions of your classmates as they present theirs.


Wednesday, December 6

PAPER PROGRESS REPORT DUE BY EMAIL


Thursday, December 7

Last day: wrapping up; creating class float, cheers, and slogans for the big finals parade.


Thursday, December 14

FINAL PAPERS DUE
IN HARD COPY TO MY OFFICE
BY NOON

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