Diedre, Eric and Crystal have all given compelling reasons for a contemporary "in" to Romantic literature. Diedre's stunning example of a student connecting "The Negro's Complaint" to poets in Singapore was complemented by her admission that she is "(still) a historicist critic." Crystal's argument that we should not let contemporary texts replace the focus of the course on "primary sources themselves," is an important rejoinder to keep historicism at the core of what teachers of the Romantic period do.
How do we, though, justify a Romantics course when we aren't primarily teaching survey or period courses? Is there, in other words, a purpose to teaching Romanticism that isn't contained within a historical survey?
Here's my reasoning.