Abstract

Mapping Black Atlantic Romantic Imag-I-Nation(s) Syllabus

Mapping Black Atlantic Romantic Imag-I-Nation(s) Syllabus

Description

This course examines imaginative representations of the self in the poems, novels, autobiographies, essays, and sermons of the earliest African American writers, including the works of Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Jacobs, and Frederick Douglass and

#BlackLivesMatter: The Black Atlantic Matters

My aim is to consider the ways in which the “black Atlantic” and its combined focus on music and literature redefine the field of Romanticism and how this redefinition translates into the classroom. One pedagogical approach is to examine how Wheatley maps time, space, and memory through meter. Through attention Wheatley’s use of syncopation, it’s possible to see how her verse subverts the colonialist notion of mapping, accounting for and claiming ownership of internal and external space as well as rhythmical spaces of lines of poetry and typography. Her versified maps have spaces and places that are unaccounted for, that are merely implied and must be imagined, like a pulse that is felt but not heard. Such interstitial spaces are represented in her poetry by syncopation’s silences, omissions, ambiguities, ironies, reversals, (un)stressed syllables, and the music theory surrounding “on beats” and “off beats.” "On Imagination" and "On Being Brought from Africa to America" metaphorically re-plot the coordinates of her memory of the middle passage, as a metrically mapped journey from earth to heaven. Before Wordsworth and Coleridge, Wheatley’s autobiographical pentameter testified to the spiritually and politically transformative power of the Imag-I-Nation(s), remapping national, spiritual, emotional, racial, and spatial coordinates to challenge the understanding of the Enlightenment’s legacy in her day as well as the present.

European Romanticism and Frankenstein: A Comparative Literature Course for English Majors

"European Romanticism and Frankenstein: A Comparative Literature Course for English Majors" outlines a course that prepares future teachers of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to acknowledge the novel’s French and German influences. Such influences include Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions and The Sufferings of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of the texts that the creature finds in the forest. The essay offers ways to introduce topics such as the French Revolution (the backdrop for the DeLacey family’s story) and argues for the importance of teaching Romantic irony as a way to approach literature of the period, particularly French and German Romantic poetry. The course invites students to explore European texts with similar themes as Frankenstein. E. T. A. Hoffmann’s novella The Sandman (published a year before Frankenstein) and Goethe’s Faust also feature doubles, death and rebirth, and scientists.

#BlackLivesMatter: The Black Atlantic Matters

My aim is to consider the ways in which the “black Atlantic” and its combined focus on music and literature redefine the field of Romanticism and how this redefinition translates into the classroom. One pedagogical approach is to examine how Wheatley maps time, space, and memory through meter. Through attention Wheatley’s use of syncopation, it’s possible to see how her verse subverts the colonialist notion of mapping, accounting for and claiming ownership of internal and external space as well as rhythmical spaces of lines of poetry and typography. Her versified maps have spaces and places that are unaccounted for, that are merely implied and must be imagined, like a pulse that is felt but not heard. Such interstitial spaces are represented in her poetry by syncopation’s silences, omissions, ambiguities, ironies, reversals, (un)stressed syllables, and the music theory surrounding “on beats” and “off beats.” "On Imagination" and "On Being Brought from Africa to America" metaphorically re-plot the coordinates of her memory of the middle passage, as a metrically mapped journey from earth to heaven. Before Wordsworth and Coleridge, Wheatley’s autobiographical pentameter testified to the spiritually and politically transformative power of the Imag-I-Nation(s), remapping national, spiritual, emotional, racial, and spatial coordinates to challenge the understanding of the Enlightenment’s legacy in her day as well as the present.

Appendix A: Readings for Literature and Culture of the Romantic Period: The Logic of Culture

Readings for "Literature and Culture of the Romantic Period: The Logic of Culture"


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —That to secure these rights,

Teaching Global Romanticisms: Romanticism and the Logic of Culture

This paper describes a course that covers the Romantic period of European and American literature as the moment and site of the modern invention and institution of “culture”—both as an object of study and as a historical and ethical basis for the establishment of self and society. During a 15-week semester, the students and I read, in English, aesthetic treatises by Blair, Herder, and Schiller, poetry by Macpherson and Byron, and novels by Rousseau, Goethe, Staël, and Cooper. These texts are supplemented by theoretical work on the logic of culture in the modern era and the condition of the modern university. Our primary concerns are to enjoy the rich complexities of these literary projects, to understand their role in establishing culture as a new model of authority and identity, and to perceive the centrality of Romanticism in shaping current cultural paradigms and dilemmas.

Syllabus for European Romanticism

Syllabus for European Romanticism

Required Texts:

  • S. Applebaum, ed. Great German Poems of the Romantic Era, Dover (dual-language anthology)

European Romanticism and Frankenstein: A Comparative Literature Course for English Majors

"European Romanticism and Frankenstein: A Comparative Literature Course for English Majors" outlines a course that prepares future teachers of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to acknowledge the novel’s French and German influences. Such influences include Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Confessions and The Sufferings of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, one of the texts that the creature finds in the forest. The essay offers ways to introduce topics such as the French Revolution (the backdrop for the DeLacey family’s story) and argues for the importance of teaching Romantic irony as a way to approach literature of the period, particularly French and German Romantic poetry. The course invites students to explore European texts with similar themes as Frankenstein. E. T. A. Hoffmann’s novella The Sandman (published a year before Frankenstein) and Goethe’s Faust also feature doubles, death and rebirth, and scientists.

Appendix C: Syllabus for Introduction to Global Romanticisms

Appendix C: Syllabus for Introduction to Global Romanticisms

Description

Originating in the late-18th century and flowering in the 19th, Romanticism was a multi-faceted, complex literary movement that radically altered the way language expresses the human condition. Reacting against a

Teaching Romantic India

This article argues that India occupies a central position in Romantic literature, and that this centrality requires teachers of this period to engage with India as both a site of cultural production and an object of imaginative fascination. It offers teachers of Romantic literature a pedagogical framework and three specific case studies to illustrate approaches to Romantic India across a range of courses. In the first case study, I suggest how a narrowly focused seminar could pair texts produced by British and South Asian writers—representatives of the “Anglo-Indian” and “Indo-Anglian” discourse communities, respectively—to help students grasp how the writing and experience of British and Indian subjects of the early Indian empire was at once intermingled and strictly segregated. The second case study considers how a period survey might incorporate a brief unit on Romantic India that nonetheless treats India as an integral part of the literature of the period. I suggest pairing some of Robert Burns’s short lyrics with poems by Henry Derozio, who engages analogous themes of nationalism and poetic vision in the Indian context. Reading Burns and Derozio together, I suggest, can help students see how literary dialects of English could serve as powerful but problematic tools of identity-formation and social mobility in both the colonial and domestic contexts. In the final case study, I examine the possibilities of teaching a longer work, Sydney Owenson’s The Missionary. I show how Owenson’s novel offers rich opportunities to engage students with key elements of Britain’s colonial history in India while simultaneously illustrating many of the formal tensions that characterized the novel in this period.

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