Abstract

Walking with Wordsworth and Waltzing with Third-Party Providers

In summer of 2014 I led nine students to the Lake District for a ten-day program on British Romantic literature, with a particular focus on long-time Grasmere residents William and Dorothy Wordsworth and Thomas De Quincey. I called the course “Walking with Wordsworth,” and the goal was both to introduce students to the places that inspired particular poetic and prose works of the Romantic period and to encourage students to question whether and how the geographical context matters to the reader’s interpretation of the texts themselves. Planning for the course began a year prior to departure and, per university regulations, required working closely with the coordinator of the study-abroad office at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), who strongly advised using a third-party provider based in Texas with whom UTEP has successfully partnered in the past. This article describes the classroom work prior to arriving in the UK, the lodging, travel, and instructional components of the trip itself, and the benefits of using a commercial provider in planning and managing the logistics of the program. The article concludes that while using a commercial provider adds a necessary bureaucratic layer to the instructor’s planning and comes at some additional cost to the students, its professional resources can offer significant time savings and peace of mind to faculty, especially those planning a study abroad for the first time.

A Do-It-Yourself Study Abroad Tour of the Lakes and Snowdonia

This essay provides guidelines for anyone who wants to plan his or her own study-abroad trip the English Lake District, outlining the advantages and disadvantages of not using a professional touring or educational service. The essay includes information on lodging and transportation, and describes visits to Keswick, Grasmere, Ullswater, Barrow-in-Furness, and Mt. Snowdon.

Dove Cottage for the Unconverted: General Education Workshops at the Wordsworth Trust

Over the past half-century, study abroad programs at North American universities have shifted from semester- or year-long immersions in another nation’s language and culture to short-term, professionally focused offering sponsored by students’ majors. Acknowledging these trends, this essay shows how immersive literary experiences like the Wordsworth Trust’s rare book and manuscript workshops can continue to play central and formative roles in study abroad programs designed not only for English majors but students with a range of disciplinary and professional interests.

Introduction

This collection grows out of a 2014 conference panel at the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR), in which 5 of our 6 authors shared their varied experiences leading study-abroad courses and field schools to various parts of England and France. These experiences ranged from do-it-yourself plans to full partnerships with third-party organizers, with a similar range of flexibility and cost. Taken together, 5 areas shape the concerns of the 5 chapters: models of study and the logistics of running them; models of leadership; types of assignments and excursions; forms of collaborative teaching and learning; and the value of international education for humanities-based learning. This volume will provide practical and experience-based information about study-abroad programs as well as critical reflection about methods and motives.

Appendix A: (Post-)Romantic Childhoods in British Literature Syllabus

Appendix A: (Post-)Romantic Childhoods in British Literature Syllabus

Sandra Dinter and Stefanie John
RWTH Aachen University and the University of Muenster


Appendix B: Nineteenth-Century Literature: Literature Between Revolutions Syllabus

Appendix B: Nineteenth-Century Literature: Literature Between Revolutions Syllabus

Olivera Jokić
John Jay College, City University of New York


Appendix C: Repetitions of the Romantic: An Investigation into Romantic and Post-Romantic Art Syllabus

Appendix C: Repetitions of the Romantic: An Investigation into Romantic and Post-Romantic Art Syllabus

D.B. Ruderman
The Ohio State University, Newark


Repetitions of the Romantic: Working Backward Towards a Structure of Feeling with William Wordsworth, Todd Haynes, Wallace Stevens, Gayatri Spivak, and Aesop Rock

In this essay, I relate my experience of teaching an upper-division class on romantic poetry—my struggles, assumptions and discoveries, and my ultimate decision to revise the way I teach, and to some extend think about, romanticism. The problem—the contemporary/romantic opposition (the topic of this volume of essays)—turned out to be a pedagogical and critical opportunity. It also became a way for my students and me to think and talk about an even deeper split, the schism between the values of our contemporary culture (including the culture of an increasingly professionalized and professionalizing academia) and those of an “aesthetic education.” In what follows, I give firsthand reports about what worked and what didn’t in a class that came to be called “Repetitions of the Romantic,” an engagement with romantic and post-romantic art. Along the way, I address some methodological problems, and offer some reflections on the fragility of teaching the humanities in the contemporary classroom and more specifically on what I see to be the challenges and benefits of teaching the romantic within specific contexts, in my case within the economic and social micro-culture of central Ohio.

Romantic Selfhood and the Selfie: Relating to the Novel

This essay offers a defense of the concept of “relatability,” an impulse in students we’ve long derided as unproductive and even ethically suspect. In particular, it aims to sketch out a series of attempts to use contemporary texts to disrupt students’ assumptions about their emotional and psychological distance from Romantic-era fiction. Rather than dismissing talk of readerly identification, I show how I have attempted to leverage my students’ desire to relate in order to launch a discussion of historical reading practices and the emergence of relatability as a value.

Pedagogy of the Depressed: Romanticism and the Long Revolution

This essay discusses how a course about 'literature and revolution' invites students to make use of depression as an affective explanation for the history of optimism, disappointment, reluctant transformation, and fear of the future. Students assess their relationship to the ongoing past in which modernity, mobility, self-making, and optimism were first offered as political goals for entire societies, and consider how a 'long revolution' shapes their relationship to the disappointing present, in the literature classroom as a locus, instrument, and effect of radical social transformation.

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