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The Romantic Movement 324-1 MW 9:30-10:45
Fall 2017                                                 

This is a "real time" syllabus that, unlike a print syllabus, will always be up to date and reflect our progress throughout the semester.  You can easily check it from a mobile device or from any computer. 

The syllabus consists of the Reading Schedule and Course Policies.  You are responsible for understanding and following the schedule and the course policies, which are in effect beginning the first day of class. Please read them carefully (more than once and throughout the semester).  See me if you have any questions about them.

Think of the syllabus as a flexible guide. It will structure our semester, but we will adjust it as needed to fit our needs as the semester progresses. Not all assignments are listed at the beginning of the semester; some will be added throughout the semester. It may also be necessary to finish some readings the following class periods, in which case I will update the syllabus after each class. Again, be sure to check the syllabus regularly. 

If you decide to print out a copy, be sure to check the online syllabus regularly for new information, added assignments, or reading schedule changes.  The print icon above is for print copies.

All readings are from the Norton Anthology (NA). You can find works in the table of contents or index.  Also, the appendices have helpful information, including a glossary of literary terms.  Caleb Williams = CW.

"Quick read poems" are poems we will read together once in class to experience additional works of literature.  While they will not be on the quizzes or exams, they will help your understanding of the literature and periods we study.  And you can briefly reference them on quizzes or exams if you think they will help you support a response.

D2L (Discussion Forum) Link:  This Forum, which is for students in the course, gives you the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas about the literature we are reading as well as ask questions that other students can answer.  Participation is voluntary, but it is a great way to communicate outside of class in an informal manner.  It's like Facebook, only better! 

Be sure to read the biographical introductions for each author we study. Readings should be finished for the day assigned. For example, the introduction to the Romantic Period should be read (completed) by Sept 13. 

Monday Wednesday
04Labor Day

06Course Introduction
11Review Course Website/Syllabus

The Romantics - Films on Demand (UWSP Library website) - Watch in class
(Episodes:  From Nature to Transcendence & From Transcendence to Oblivion)
13Finish The Romantics

NA, Introduction to The Romantic Period: 3-30

18NA, Introduction to The Romantic Period: 3-30

Barbauld - "Washing Day"

20Summary Slides: Intro to Romanticism

Finish Barbauld/"Washing Day" Thesis Card

Cowper - "The Negro's Complaint" (88-89; 95-98)

Wollstonecraft - A Vindication of the Rights of Man (183-84; 194-97)

In-class group work (5pts)

Engraving: C2
25Finish Cowper/Final Thoughts - Wollstonecraft

In-class group work (5pts): card due

Robinson - "London's Summer Morning"

Quiz 1: Intro to Romanticism
(Video/NA), Barbauld, Wollstonecraft

Bring "Washing Day" Thesis Card (9/20)

Preview Essay 1
27Blake - Songs: "The Chimney Sweeper" (both poems)

(See Course Notes to understand Blake's notion of Contraries: Innocence and Experience)

Engravings: C2 - C3
monday wednesday
02Blake - Finish Songs (9/27)

Quick read: "Holy Thursday" (both poems)

The Book of Thel

Read lines 1-54 of The Prelude for Wednesday/Work on outline or draft of
essay 1

04Finish Thel/Blake

Quick read - "We Are Seven"/"Lines Written in Early Spring"

Wordsworth  - Preface to Lyrical Ballads

**Bring outline or draft of essay 1 to class
(The Prelude - lines 1-54)


Finish The Preface (Pages I outlined in class - 10/4)

The Prelude
, Bk 1: Lines 1 - 332

Essay 1 Due
11Wordsworth - The Prelude, Bk 1: Lines
1-332; 333 - 674 (The sublime)

Painting: C4

Quiz 2: Blake, Wordsworth (Preface, The Prelude, Bk 1, ll. 1-332)
16Finish The Prelude, Bk 1: 333 - 674 (The sublime)

Coleridge - "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

Notebook:  Have 1-2 sent summary of each section of the poem

18Finish "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

"Frost at Midnight"

23Hazlitt - "My First Acquaintance with Poets": 546-47; 559- 64

The Gothic, 584-85; 586-89

Painting: C5
25Midterm (Please, No early exams)

30 CW, Vol 1

(Read Penguin edition introduction.  We will refer to this throughout our discussions.)

Collaboration & Writing (See Course Notes)
Begin planning collaborative course essay
monday wednesday
03 October
01CW, Vol 1
06CW, Vol 2

08CW, Vol 2

13CW, Vol 3

Quiz 3

Essay Topic Assignment Due Tues (11/13) via email by 5pm

15Schmann - Overture to Manfred (1848) (Listen in class)

Manfred, Act 1
20Manfred, Act 2

Painting: C7
22Manfred, Act 3

Quick read: "Prometheus" (Handout)
27Shelley - "To a Sky-Lark"

Quick read: "Ode to the West Wind"
29Shelley - "Mont Blanc"

monday wednesday
04Quick read: Shelley - "England in 1819" & "To Wordsworth"

Quiz 4

Keats - "To Autumn"
06Keats - "Ode on a Grecian Urn"

Quick read: "Ode to a Nightingale"

11Keats - "Endymion": 906-10

13Keats - "Endymion"

Course Collaborative Essay Due

Course Wrap Up

Finals Week: Dec 18 - 22
Final Exam: Dec 20 (Wed), 8-10am, in our classroom
Office hours finals week: See website home page

Course Grades posted online: TBA

The General Education Program Humanities Learning Outcomes

The humanities explore the fundamental ideas and values shaping cultures and civilization, in life and as represented in the written word, using scholarly approaches that are primarily analytical, critical, or interpretive. By introducing students to concepts and beliefs within and outside their own perspectives, courses in the humanities help students
to understand and critically engage a variety of worldviews and the ideas that give them meaning.

Upon completing this requirement, students will be able to

  • Demonstrate an ability to read carefully, speak clearly, think critically, or write persuasively about cultures and cultural works/artifacts (including texts, images, performances, and technologies, as well as other expressions of the human condition).
  • Identify and analyze how beliefs, values, languages, theories, or laws shape cultures and cultural works/artifacts.
  • Engage a variety of ideas and worldviews critically by formulating reflective and informed moral, ethical, or aesthetic  evaluations of cultures and cultural works/artifacts.
Course Description and learning Outcomes

In this course we will read and discuss poetry, prose, drama, and fiction from the British Romantic period. This literature will be read not only to study each work's artistic value but also to understand the social, cultural, historical, and political contexts that define this literature and the period in which it was written.  In addition, we will examine theory and criticism as a way of reading, thinking, and writing about literature.  Some key ideas we will consider when reading will be revolution (as event and metaphor), the subjectivity of the poet (artist), the role of Nature, the function of language, genre, history and the past, gender, and the formation of individual identity.

During the semester, we will work to

• Analyze literature critically during class discussions and in writing to demonstrate an understanding of key themes, of the conventions/language of literature, and of key concepts about nineteenth-century British history, society, and culture.

•Comprehend and explain in class and in writing literary concepts and theoretical perspectives as a means of reading and interpreting British Romantic literature.

Explain the reciprocal relationship between literature and culture—how literature and culture interact to reinforce and challenge social attitudes and values.

Evaluate and engage literature as an imaginative expression of the human condition.


Text Rental

Greenblatt, Stephen, gen. ed.  The Norton Anthology of English Literature: The Romantic Period. Vol. D (9th ed.)

Purchase at Bookstore (or from another vendor)

Caleb Williams
.  (William Godwin. Penguin edition, 2005, available at the UWSP bookstore.  (ISBN: 0-141-44123-2) Note:  If you use a different edition, you will not have the same introduction and notes that we will use.  You will also have difficulty following page references during class discussions.


During class discussions we will focus on key issues, difficult passages, and questions you raise.  However, we cannot cover every line of every work.  You will be responsible for parts of works we do not have time to cover in depth inclass, using your notes and our discussions to guide your (re)reading/thinking. You should be prepared to discuss the reading assignments for the days they are scheduled. It is useful to mark key passages or scenes that point to central concerns or ideas in the works that are read. Take notes when you read outside of class and write down questions you have.  Combine in-class notes with these.  The purpose of class discussion is not to give you answers; instead, class discussions will help you develop reading strategies, understand background/contexts, raise questions that you will think about and answer, and clarify your own thinking. There will be periodic quizzes, (announced and possibly unannounced), some assignments, two examinations (a midterm and a final), and two essays.

Please remember that your course grade will be based on the work that you complete, not simply the effort you make or my subjective opinion.

Course Grade %
Assignments/Quizzes** 15%
Essay 1 10%
Essay 2: Group essay on CW 20%
Midterm Examination 25%
Final Examination 30%
** Will be determined by point values: A=10-9; B=8; C=7; D=6; F=5-0

All work must be completed on time. It is your responsibility to keep copies of all of your planning work, assignments, and quizzes. Some assignments may be submitted via email, and email communication will be required throughout the semester.

Late Assignment Policy: Assignments due on a given day must be submitted at the beginning of the class period. Having an assignment finished but not printed out and ready to hand in is late. Late assignments will be accepted one day after the original due date, but will lose one letter grade or the point equivalent. After that, they will not be accepted. (Assignments due on Friday will be accepted as late on Monday but will lose two letter grades or the point equivalent. After that, they will not be accepted.) Assignments due electronically must be received by the day and time specified. Late email assignments will be accepted 24hrs from the original due date.  For any special circumstances, please contact me ahead of time. No incompletes will given in the course.

For any special circumstances, please contact me ahead of time. It may not be possible to make up some quizzes or assignments. Also, no incompletes will given in the course.


Regular attendance is your responsibility and is essential for success in the course. As stated in the UWSP Course Catalog (pgs 25-26), you cannot "cut" classes. For this course, there are no excused or unexcused absences. You have personal days to use and manage as needed for an illness or when genuine emergencies or significant family issues arise.

If you miss a total of two weeks of class (six days for three-days-a-week classes; four days for classes meeting twice a week), you may fail the course. You can make up missed assignments/quizzes with my approval; therefore, it is your responsibility to determine work that needs to be completed and to follow up with all logistical requirements. It may not be possible to make up some assignments.

If you are absent, you do not need to email me to explain your absence. If you would like to find out about missed information/assignments, it is best to stop by during office hours or make an appointment to see me. You can email me about missed information/assignments, but I may not be able to respond before our next class meeting.

Classroom Etiquitte

During class meetings, we will discuss and debate issues about literature.  It is fine to express your views passionately and debate others in class, but do so in a civil, constructive manner.  Please do not use phones and mobile devices during class unless you are making notes. Also, please get drinks of water or use the washroom before or after class, not during class, so that our classroom does not become a bus station. 

Plagiarism (from the Latin "to Kidnap")

You will be expected to do your own work throughout the course. Intentionally or unintentionally passing off the ideas, words, or sentences of others (e.g., published authors, website authors, other students) as your own is plagiarism, which will result in failing the plagiarized assignment and possibly the course. Please review the University policy regarding plagiarism.