ENGL624 - Readings in English Romantic Literature: The Sublime

Readings in English Romantic Literature: The Sublime. This course will study the aesthetic idea of the sublime throughout literary history, paying attention to its theoretical, ideological, and social dimensions.  It will thus range from Longinus and Lucretius to possibly Milton all the way to Freud, Zizek, and Jameson, possibly Pynchon or Delillo, and film. The course’s conceptual weight will be anchored in the Enlightenment and Romanticism, focusing on writers like Burke and Kant, as well as key secondary readings on both, such as de Man’s seminal readings of Kant in his Aesthetic Ideology. We will also look at representative works of the Romantic sublime such as Wordsworth’s The Prelude and the writings of William Blake and Percy Bysshe Shelley. While the course is conceptually moored in Romanticism the hope is that the idea of the sublime will enable a material and textual cross-fertilization of use to students working in a number of periods. Course Responsibilities: student presentations, short paper and seminar length research paper.