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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Traynor F Iii Hansen
ENGL 212
Seattle Campus

Literature, 1700-1900

Introduces eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature, focusing on representative works that illustrate literary and intellectual developments of the period. Topics include: exploration, empire, colonialism, slavery, revolution, and nation-building. Offered: AWSp.

Class description

This class will begin with the great intellectual event of the 18th century—the Age of Enlightenment—and the great political event that developed out of it: the French Revolution. These two events and the ideas that emerged from them had a far-reaching impact on the intellectual and artistic scene in Britain. On the one hand, the Enlightenment thinkers foregrounded the primacy of reason and science over superstition and religion; on the other, repercussions from the French Revolution (and it's older cousin, the American Revolution) contributed to redefining the relationship between the individual and the nation.

Our reading will focus especially on the literary movement that came to be called Romanticism—a movement that in many ways provides the strongest and most immediate response to the ideas raised in the preceding centuries. We will approach Romanticism through the major poets of the period—Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats—and through other, less-famous writers that were equally involved in the artistic projects of Romanticism. We will also look at Mary Shelley's Frankenstein as a novel that characterizes Romanticism's primary concerns even as it critiques them. We will end the quarter by reading Charles Dickens' Hard Times as a different sort of critique—one that deals with the aftermath of Romanticism's successes and failures.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The class will be a combination of lecture and discussion. You should expect to read a good deal of poetry, in addition to fiction and nonfiction prose. Please also expect a midterm and a final exam, a short paper (4-5 pp.), and a group presentation.

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading

Short response papers, one longer paper. Midterm and final. Group presentation. Poem memorization.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Traynor F Iii Hansen
Date: 01/27/2011