Putting Together my Fall Class: Visualizing 19th Century British Poetry

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Inspired by Katherine's discussion of her graduate class, I decided to chart the development of my fall 1102 undergraduate class. I'd appreciate suggestions on readings, projects, etc. The course deals with the entire 19th century, not just the Romantic period and was developed in conversation with Leeann Hunter. I'm planning on having this class be a paperless class, so any reading has to be available for free online.

Visualizing Nineteenth-Century British Poetry
The literature and arts of the nineteenth century were highly engaged in questions of vision and visuality. In this course, students will study poets and artists who contributed to the evolution of British visual culture, from the poetry of the picturesque and the sublime to the poetry of decadence and the grotesque. Along the way, we will examine how various visual artists imagined the poetry of the nineteenth century.  Projects will include a visual picturesque narrative, a multimodal analysis of poems and their illustrations, and a video reimagining a single poem from the course.

Currently, I'm looking at Wordsworth, Gilpin, Blake, Byron, Charlotte Smith, the Rossettis, Swinburne, Edith Nesbit, Arthur Symons, Aubrey Beardsley, and Tennyson. However, I'm still in the early stages of thinking through this course.

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Roger, sounds like a great

Roger, sounds like a great class. Off the cuff, what about H. Rider Haggard's _She_? The original magazine version had these great, interesting visuals and the narrative is all about traveling back (into time, culture, Britishness). Conversely, how about _Aurora Leigh_? I taught it in my 19th C. Novel class awhile back and loved the curve ball for students. Can an epic poem really be considered a novel? The visualization might come from the imagery and/or Aurora's journeys. (Really wish I could teach this class again!) _The Life of Dr. Syntax_ would make a great opening on the picturesque, especially with the original drawings (published by Ackermann).

How's that for a volley?

You're turn, eh?

Roger, this sounds like a

Roger, this sounds like a great class! If you haven't happened across Tricia Lootens's essay on commodity gothicism in the MLA _Approaches to Teaching Gothic Fiction_, you might check it out--it opens with a very interesting and suggestive discussion of a lit & the visual class along these lines, and might give you some ideas for your course. Also, since we're here blogging at Romantic Circles, I can't help but think of all the great RC electronic editions that would suit such a course well, at least from the poets interacting with the visual side—e.g., Shelley's "On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci" http://www.rc.umd.edu/editions/shelley/medusa/index.html or L.E.L.'s "Verses" and the Keepsake http://www.rc.umd.edu/editions/lel/index.html. Let us know what you end up teaching and what electronic resources you end up using for this!

Oh yeah -- reading more

Oh yeah -- reading more closely now. Of course Haggard wouldn't fit. But the Tours of Dr. Syntax is written in cantos. Might be fun to do.