What are you teaching? (Laura Mandell)
Since we were online with Laura Mandell yesterday, we asked her the question: What are you teaching?
I am currently teaching a course called “Early British Romantic Writers,” ranging roughly from 1789 to 1815:
Every year I teach the course with a different theme, and this time, it is the politics of form. Of course we have been reading and interrogating the usual suspects on this question–Lyrical Ballads and Jacobin novels–but we also spent a lot of time thinking about the ballad and sonnet revivals. I must say I was able to do this by taking the plunge: after ten years of teaching Romanticism survey courses, early and late, I finally gave myself permission to stop using anthologies. A Riverside edition of Lyrical Ballads has a great section on the ballad revival, and Feldman and Robinson have a beautiful new book out about Romantic-era sonnets. We just stepped into political allegory: after reading Coleridge’s “Letter to Famine” and Barbauld’s “Eighteen Hundred and Eleven,” we are about to launch into Sydney Owenson’s The Missionary. I have one of the most enthusiastic groups of students, in person, but I haven’t been able to get them to use their blog–I have to think more about that!
At the risk of going on too long, I wanted to mention that I am also teaching a course that I received a grant to develop called Technology and the Humanities:
It isn’t technically a Romanticism course, although Neil’s post this week makes me think that it really is–I’ll have to read Coyne’s Technoromanticism. We just finished Frankenstein and yesterday saw Kenneth Branaugh’s Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein which, I believe, poses the wonderful paradox that only the screen can give us a sense of the physical brutality of death feeding Victor’s passion to create life.