NASSR-L Discussion on Teaching Romantic-period Women Writers
Extracted from postings to the NASSR-L discussion list, September 1997
Also relevant is the NASSR-L discussion of Hemans, Aesthetics and the Canon to be found on another Romantic Circles page, July 1997
September 13, 1997
The other day I was asked a question that I couldn't answer. I'm seeking the help of any and all on the list in answering the question/s, How many seminars or courses (undergrad; grad) have been offered as yet on the women poets of the Romantic period? More particularly, in my case, have any been offered that focus greatly or even entirely on Felicia Hemans? (I expect more positive answers to the first than the second question.)
Likewise, how many such courses (the women poets; Hemans) are in the planning or projected stage?
Anyone with information may respond privately or, as desired, in the wider forum. I will do my best to return to the list with my findings when they seem complete.
Thanks in advance to those who respond. Nan Sweet, email@example.com
September 15, 1997
Dear Nan (and others),
I gave a graduate seminar a few years ago on "Romantic Women Writers"; we put about two-thirds of our emphasis on poets, partly to enable us to survey rather more than a greater focus on prose permits. I offer every year to repeat/revise/revisit this seminar, but our vice chair controls the offerings and so determines whether it will happen. So far, it has not, despite student interest.
I've not been able to get a Romantic Women Poets course into either the undergrad or the grad curriculum here, and so have had to make do with my expansive and much-revised course in Romantic Poetry generally, which includes about equal numbers of men and women. As above, I can only offer (and lobby), but cannot push the button that gets a course up for enrollment.
I too am interested to learn what's happening elsewhere.
Steve Behrendt, U of Nebraska
September 15, 1997
I have taught both Hemans and Landon in my Late Romantic Writers course but I have yet to devote a whole seminar to the women poets. I do think, however, that I could teach such a course here at Georgia and that it would be fully enrolled.
My colleague, Tricia Lootens, offered a seminar on Romantic Women Poets last Spring. She taught a great deal of Hemans and Landon but her focus was on their status as bridge poets between the Romantic and the Victorian periods. Her seminar was fully enrolled and her students were uniformly interested in the material. On a sadder note, however, many of the graduate students were woefully ignorant of the "canonical" male poets and Tricia found herself offering several brief lectures on Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, etc.
University of Georgia
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