Department of English

University of Toronto


ENG485H1F  L0101   W1-3
Romanticism and Memory
Professor Karen Weisman

Brief Description of Course: This course will study the representation of memory and memorialization in selected texts of the long Romantic period. We will study poetry as well as prose. The various rapid changes that occurred during this period affected political, social and cultural structures, and memory came to be regarded as a crucial means of establishing stability and meaning. Memory, then, is an important category for history, self-understanding, and cultural understanding. It opens up various tensions, for the uses of memory can also be connected to sentimentalism, xenophobia, and self-absorption. Its implication in the shaping of history can further be connected to the abuses of power. We will survey the various ways in which memory is intimately related to the very idea of civilization in the Romantic period.

Required Reading: Jane Austen, Persuasion. Ed. Linda Bree (Broadview Press); William Wordsworth, The Prelude. Eds. Jonathan Wordsworth et al (Norton Critical Edition of The Prelude: 1799, 1805, 1850); Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam. Ed. Erik Gray (Norton Critical Edition); Lord Byron, selected poetry; John Clare, selected poetry; Felicia Hemans, Records of Woman (selections).

First Three Authors/Texts: Jane Austen, William Wordsworth, Felicia Hemans.

Method of Instruction: Seminar, discussion, some lecture.

Method of Evaluation: Term Paper (approximately 11 pages typed, 12-point font, double-spaced) (50%), abstract / early outline of term paper (approximately 900 words) (15%), seminar, with brief write-up to be submitted one week after oral delivery (25%), participation (defined by consistent, informed participation in class discussion) (10%).

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