Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York
 


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Romanticism Courses: New York City
Doctoral Consortium

Students must register for these courses through their participating home institutions. Please contact the individual professors with any questions.

Current Courses
Spring 2013

Fordham University
Keats & Company
Professor Sarah Zimmerman | Spring 2013

This course takes John Keats as our guide into the sociable, politically volatile world of Regency London. Officially, this era begins with George III’s declared lapse into madness and ends with his son’s ascent to the throne (1811-20). But the Regency has come to be defined more generally as an era characterized by two extremes: the decadence exemplified by the Prince Regent’s court and the popular protest movements that would lead to the first Reform Act (1832). Keats’s immersion in that world, first as a medical student and then as an aspiring poet, avid theater-goer and friend to painters, musicians, and journalists, provides a “personal” introduction to it. After an initial, intensive focus on Keats’s poems, letters, and life, we will view Regency London from the perspective of his contemporaries, including Mary Robinson, Lord Byron, Charles Lamb, and John Clare. The course focuses on poetry, and we will discuss a range of formal and historical approaches to the genre, making use of a new biography of Keats by Nicholas Roe.

Columbia University
British Romanticism (ENGL W4330y)
Professor Anahid Nersessian | Spring 2013

(Lecture). Occupying an uneasy place between the pre-industrial world of the eighteenth century and the rapidly urbanizing world of the Victorian period, the Romantic period represents a tipping point in the history of modernity. In this course, we will explore the literature of the British Romantic period as offering a set of diverse, complicated, and often contradictory answers to urgent questions. Among these are: What is the role of art in a multimedia age, or of the artist in a culture fascinated by celebrity? Does literature have something to teach us about justice and equality? Is it possible for human beings to develop sustainable ways of life, or are we doomed to destroy the planet and ourselves? Readings include poems by Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Barbauld, Clare, and Landon; one major work of non-fiction prose, Thomas De Quincey's Confessions of an English Opium-Eater; and two novels, Jane Austen's Persuasion and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

CUNY
Wordsworth and Mandelbrot on the Coast of England (ENGL 84100)
Professor Joshua Wilner | Spring 2013

The northwest coast of Britain figures emblematically both in Wordsworth Prelude, specifically the climactic Snowdon episode, and in Benoit Mandelbrot’s ground-breaking article, “How Long is the Coast of Britain?” (later incorporated in The Fractal Geometry of Nature [1987]). This co-incidence will serve us as a point of entry for exploring possible connections between Wordsworth's poetics and recent work in fractal geometry and the study of non-linear dynamical systems (more familiarly associated with “chaos theory”). We will be concerned, on the one hand, with how new tools and concepts developed in the latter context (e.g, fractal dimensionality and self-similarity, chaotic behavior within a system, recursion and feedback, phase space and the time evolution of systems, “strange attractors” and the transition to turbulence) may illuminate the relationship in Wordworth between totalizing formal systems and representations of the self and nature (particularly as exemplified by The Prelude). At the same time, we will consider to what extent these mathematico-scientific developments respond to the pressure of problems of representation with which poetry is long familiar. Our principal text will be Wordsworth’s Prelude, accompanied by short readings in fractal geometry and chaos theory from Poincaré, Mandelbrot, Ruelle, Lorenz, Gleick and Briggs and Peat. We will also give some attention to the secondary literature on the geometrical and cartographic imagination in Wordsworth’s writing generally. No special knowledge of mathematics is required.

CUNY
The English Novel and the French Revolution: Jacobin and Anti-Jacobin Fiction (ENGL 83200)
Professor David Richter | Spring 2013

To the inhabitants of Great Britain, the French Revolution was “an hour of universal ferment,” either the culmination of the political and social upheaval provoked by the Enlightenment or its betrayal. Particularly after 1794, the conflict between radical and conservative social thought became a culture war, often waged in the pages of novels, where fiction conferred the freedom to speak one’s mind. We shall read some of these novels, along with some of the most important philosophical/political treatises and pamphlets that inform their positions, conscious, as we attempt to understand these works and the era that gave birth to them, that complicated and wildly unpredictable things sometimes happen to ideas when they start operating inside literary texts. The arenas engaged by what one side called the conflict between order and anarchy, and the other freedom and tyranny, involved sexualas well as power politics, gender as well as class, custom as well as law.
Jacobin novels on our primaryreading list may include: Holcroft: Anna St. Ives; Godwin: Things as They Are, or The Adventures of Caleb Williams; Bage: Hermsprong, or Man as He Is Not; and Inchbald: Nature and Art.  Anti-Jacobin novels include: Charlotte Smith: The Banished Man; the anonymous History of George Warrington, or the Political Quixote; Walker: The Vagabond; Edgeworth: Leonora; and Austen: Mansfield Park.  We will conclude with the ambivalent, indeed schizophrenic perspective on the French Revolution provided by Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.Texts of political philosophy and ideology, selections from which may appear on our primary reading list, include works by Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Wollstonecraft, and Godwin.

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Past Courses
2010-2011

Fordham University
Romanticism and Peace
Professor John Bugg | Fall 2010

Fordham University
Marriage & Nation in 19th Century British Literature
Professor Vlasta Vranjes | Fall 2010

NYU
The Club and the Company in Late Eighteenth-Century Britain
Professors Mary Poovey and Kevin Brine | Fall 2010

NYU
Romantic Drama
Professor Edward Ziter | Fall 2010

NYU
“The Orality/Literacy Heuristic: Concepts and Critiques, and (18th C) Application
Professor Paula McDowell | Fall 2010


CUNY
Romantic Pedestrianism: A Seminar in Twelve Walks
Professor Alan Vardy | Fall 2010

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Past Courses
2009-2010

CUNY Graduate Center
Coleridge’s Reputation
Prof. Alan Vardy  | Fall 2009

Fordham University
The Radical 1790s?
Prof. John Bugg | Fall 2009

New York University
Balladry/Minstrelsy, US/UK, 1760-2009
Prof. Maureen N. McLane | Fall 2009

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Past Courses
2008-2009

Fordham University
British Romantic Women Writers
Prof. Sarah Zimmerman | Spring 2009

CUNY Graduate Center
Epic Self-Making: Wordsworth and Byron, with Others
Prof. Rachel Brownstein | Spring 2009

CUNY Graduate Center
Romantic Pedestrians in the City
Prof. Alan Vardy | Fall 2008

NYU
Nineteenth-Century Theatre: English Theatre of the Romantic Period
Prof. Edward Ziter | Fall 2008

CUNY Graduate Center
Romanticism and the Ethical Imagination
Prof. Nancy Yousef | Fall 2008

Columbia University
Romantic Poetry (Lecture)
Prof. Erik Gray | Fall 2008

Great Poems of the 18th and 19th Centuries
Prof. Erik Gray | Fall 2008

 
 
   
 

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