Department of English

University of Toronto

ENG445H1S L0101

ENG445H1S     L0101    T1-3
Advanced Studies Group 4:  Romantic Anachronisms
Instructor: Michael Nicholson
Office Phone:
Office Location: Jackman Humanities Building, TBA

Brief Description of Course:  Before, during, and after the long Romantic era, English writers from a broad range of backgrounds were developing new literary strategies of anachronism (in its literal, etymological sense of “against time”) to contest the increasing dominance of imperial time: the new clock-based, machine-regulated, and strictly standardized temporality used to enforce a forward-moving narrative of empire. Romantic writers’ active challenges to this new model of temporality (as inherently abstract, commercial, reproductive, industrial, and imperial) resonate with the recent turn toward time in contemporary critical theory and literary criticism.This course will examine the remarkable temporal insights of Romantic poets, essayists, and novelists along with those of present-day literary critics and temporality theorists. Toward these ends, each week of our syllabus will pair a critical or theoretical work from the twentieth- or twenty-first century with a literary text from the Romantic century (1750-1850). We will therefore devote a large part of this course (and our research) to the development of our own theories, histories, analyses, and methodologies of anachronism. Together, we will attempt to map the contested ground of literature and theory’s alternative temporal forms.

Required Reading: William Cowper, The Task (selections); John Clare, The Shepherd’s Calendar; Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound; Lord Byron, Don Juan; John Keats, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion: A Dream; Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; Jane Austen, Persuasion; and selected readings in critical theory

First Three Authors/Texts: Cowper, Clare, and P. B. Shelley

Method of Evaluation: Final research paper (45%); seminar presentation (20%); reading responses (20%); class participation (15%).

Link to ARTSCI Calendar Course Descriptions.

Link to ARTSCI 2016-17 Timetable with Room Allocations.

Return to 400 Level Courses.

Return to 2016-17 Fall-Winter Courses.

Site Information:

Site Tools:

Click below for directions to the University of Toronto!

University of Toronto, St. George Campus
Map of St. George Campus
Map of Mississauga Campus
Map of Scarborough Campus