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Period Studies: Introduction to romanticism


Lecturer: Dr M. Wessels (OMB 106A)
Offered: First semester only
4 lectures per week
30 places
OMB Room 26


The Romantic movement is usually associated with certain artistic and intellectual currents of the last few decades of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth century, especially in Britain, Germany and France. Romanticism has been influential ever since. It is a complex phenomenon but is often characterised by a receptiveness to emotion, nature, the imagination, the exotic and radicalism of various kinds. This course will explore Romanticism in relation to the poetry of Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth and Keats. Other writing from the period, such as criticism, philosophy, letters, journal entries and memoirs, will also be considered. A range of critical approaches will be used to engage with this material.


The class record, made up of tests and assignments, will count for 50% of the final mark, and there will be a final three-hour exam which will count for the remaining 50% of the total mark.

Prescribed texts

Duncan Wu (ed.)    
  Romanticism: An Anthology
Blackwell Anthologies 3rd or 4th  edition
Emily Brontë Wuthering Heights Penguin Classics

Who is this module for?

This module should interest a wide range of students, particularly those who appreciate poetry, and those who plan to teach English (even if they are not majoring in English). The course aims to explore literary engagement with the complex social, psychological and aesthetic challenges of one of the most influential periods in English history.

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