"Translating Revolution into Spanish: British Romanticism and the Spanish-Speaking World" offers ways of teaching British Romanticism through the lens of human rights. The proposed course covers the pamphlet wars of the 1790s in Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France, Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man, and Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindications of the Rights of Woman. Students also consider abolitionist literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Hannah More’s "Slavery, A Poem," and Leonora Sansay’s Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo. The goal of this approach is to address the cultural amnesia regarding the history of slavery and enslaved peoples, and to broaden students’ understanding of the era’s independence movements by introducing historical documents from Latin and South America.
The essays on Teaching Global Romanticism collected here present varied approaches to teaching Romanticism in a global context through individual assignments, units, and syllabi. The contributors share ways to enrich pedagogical approaches to Romantic literature and culture with texts and ideas from beyond Britain and America. These essays discuss how literature guides students’ engagement with international themes and issues in the Romantic period and after. The initiative for this volume began under the leadership of William Stroup.
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,
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
- 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" 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
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
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.
This essay theorizes the conceptual and iconic power of the feminist meme, from Mary Wollstonecraft's writing and reception to twenty-first-century presidential and election politics in the age of the internet.
"Care: For Wollstonecraft" situates the feminist legacy of Wollstonecraft’s life works in contemporary discourses and practices of care in order to foreground the still-radical implications of her concepts of mothering, women’s writing, and passional activism. Fictional works frame her critiques of marriage within the broad context of care, both for impoverished communities and against the social institutions that diminish especially women’s capacities to care. Nonfictional and fictional works posit the linkage between women’s writing and good mothering as the chief vehicle of psychosocial reform, one that, in textualizing the biological and personalizing the sociopolitical, greatly expands notions of what a mother is and what good-enough mothering entails. At the same time, the essay argues that caring for Wollstonecraft involves confronting the severe hazards that this linkage created for Wollstonecraft and her progeny as a way of underscoring both why care is neither a safe topic nor a safe practice and why Wollstonecraft’s feminism is not as heteronormative or bourgeois as frequently is alleged.