Spring 2014
- Seminar in Language and Literature: Literature in the Age of the Scientific Revolution

How does literature create, represent, embody changing ideas and ideas of change? What is the relation between literature and what we call the “Scientific Revolution?” What role do poets play in understanding new technologies such as the printing press and microscope? From Spenser’s vision of Mutabilitie to Galileo's view of the moon through his telescope to the radical image of space and perspective in Milton’s *Paradise Lost*, we will consider how change takes place within and through literary form, the psychological impact of new technologies, the idea of intellectual “advancement,” how and why poets and philosophers change their minds, and the unstable status of literature itself during this period of intense religious, political, and intellectual upheaval. Authors we will consider include Montaigne, Bacon, Donne, Galileo, Burton, Pascal, Cavendish, Hobbes, and Milton.

Emphasis will be placed on the critical analysis of language, exploring the nature of interdisciplinary analogies, and the development of original arguments.


Junior standing or higher; and must be in English Language and Literature program.


Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs.