EN450 Romanticism in Literature

for FA 2006

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.


EN 450 Romanticism in Literature


FA 2006 HO


Williams, Cynthia


Assistant Professor of English


BA:  Missouri State University, English
MA, University of Texas, Creative Writing
ABA:  Univerisity of Missouri at Kansas City, Literature/History

Office Location

Copley 319

Office Hours

phone hours only, from 2-5 pm, Monday, Weds, and Thursday

Daytime Phone

home 584-1965 (no calls after 5:00 pm any day)

Other Phone

816-584-6474 (office)




Web Page


Semester Dates

August 2006 to December 2006

Class Days


Class Time

12:25 - 1:40 PM

Credit Hours


4 texts are required:  The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Vol. 2A: Romantics and Their Contemporaries, Oronoko, by Aphra Behn, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Oladudah Equiano, and Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased though the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:
Listed Below are 6 websites that provide extensive background for Romanticism.  You will be required to peruse these sites over the semester.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email helpdesk@park.edu or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.


Course Description:
A study of the romantic reaction in European literature, particularly English, against the restraints of classicism, with particular emphasis on the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Educational Philosophy:
In this class, we will examine the development and practice of Romanticism, and how it appeared in various genres of literature.  We will read poetry, political essays, autobiographies and novels written from the romantic tradition.  The class will focus primarily on representation of political protest in British and American Romanticism.  We will critically "interrogate" Romantic views of civil (dis)order, “natural rights” and its role in shaping images of race, gender and class in romantic literature and political movements.

Literature is meant to be shared, and reading it is essentially a "community" activity in my class.  This means I expect each and every student to participate in class conversation.  I will start each class with a mini lecture, then will open the floor for discussion and debate.  I want to hear your opinions and reactions to the texts.   Your voice will provide insight and ideas, and make this class interactive and interesting.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Discuss major romantic works in British and American literature
  2. Analyze the concept of literary Romanticism and relate it to contemporaneous political and cultural condition
  3. Construct a detailed interpretation of one or more Romantic texts.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes
  1. Devise a group answer to the questions, “What was the most important Romantic concept that prompted significant social/political change still evident in current American society.”  We will respond to this question via the reading a Romantic texts.
  2. Examine literary Romanticism and its historical precedents and antecedents through the study of specific texts.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the Romantic Era and its history and social, economic, political and artistic structure/development as it is reflected in Romantic literature.
  4. Employ a specific type of literary criticism (reader/response, Marxism, post-colonialism, etc) in evaluating a specific text, to be demonstrated by writing a 8-12-page research paper.
Core Assessment:

All Park University courses will include a Core Assessment with rubric. This will include ¾ of the Core Learning Outcomes listed above. The Core Assessment in this course will be a major critical paper of no fewer than 5 pages, which will include research and MLA documentation. The project will be completed in the final quarter of the term.

 The rubric for this assignment is published so the student can see the expectations.

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:
Assessment will be based on attendance, class participation, response papers, an 8-12-page critical research essay, individual class presentation and a final exam. 

  • Write 4 response papers, 3.5 to 4-pages, in which you intelligently and insightfully discuss reading assignments.
    • Under "Additional Resources," you will find 6 websites that you may use for your response papers.  Be sure to footnote all borrowed information.
  • Fashion an 8-12-page research essay that focuses on ideas found in a work or group of works of romantic literature.  This essay will account for 25% of your course assessment.  In this paper, you will compare an American Romantic text(s) with an English one(s) read in this class.  A reading list of American texts will be provided for you.  You will read the American text(s) outside of class.
    • English majors:  Use a specific theory of literary criticism in writing the 8-12-page research essay (see me if you need help with this).
    • Incorporate at least 7 sources in your paper.  Students must use proper documentation (MLA, APA); lack of documentation in ANY FORM will result in a grade of F.  You must use at least 2 journal sources, and 2 book sources.  No more than 2 internet sources are allowed. 
    • Type all drafts, DOUBLE SPACE with 1" margins.  Pages must be consecutively numbered and the essay must have a title.  Handwritten drafts will not be accepted.
  • Submit a proposal and practive draft of Critical Research Essay.
  • Individual Class Presentation on Critical Research Essay.
  • Write a final exam.
  • Attend and participate regularly in class.

Total Points:  500

  • 4 Response Papers                          50 pts each, total 200 pts
  • Critical Research Paper                    100 pts
  • Proposal and Practice draft              50 pts
  • Individual Class Presentation           50 pts
  • Final exam                                        50 pts
  • Attendance/participation                  25 pts each


Late Submission of Course Materials:
No late papers will be accepted. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

  • All papers, including response pappers and proposal and practice draft, must be typed, double-space, 1” margins, titled and pages numbered.
  • Treat the instructor and fellow students with respect at all times, which includes not talking while the instructor or a student is addressing the class.
  • Turn off cell phones and pagers.
  • NO FOOD ALLOWED; drinks are okay.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
Due to my health this semester, I may be required to occasionally cancel class; however, if I cancel class, I will post an assignments on e-Companion (part of e-College) and each student is required to log onto that site and complete the assignment before the next class.  This will require you to become familiar with online class format:  you can visit the computer help-desk to learn how to use this feature.  You also need access to your pirate email account as I will email notification to you of all class cancellations.   I may do this the morning when the class meets, so check your email before each class.  I will not email a student's private email address.  Also, if you are sick, please do not attend class, and check the website for postings of my lectures or missed class assignments.    





Aug 21-25


Aug 25:  click on one of the websites provided under "Additional Resources" and read about romantic history and literature


Aug 28-Sept 1


Aug 28 and Sept 1: Behn, Oronoko, entire text


Sept 4-8


Sept 4 (Labor Day, no class)

Sept 8:  Edmund Burke


Sept 11-15


Sept 11:  Thomas Paine, “Rights of Man”

Sept 15:  no class:  check e-Companion for class assignment


Sept 18-22


Sept 18:  Wollenstonecraft:  “Rights of Women”

Sept 22:  Equiano, first part

Sept 22:  1st response paper due:  How have the political messages of the last 5 texts apply to current American democracy and nationalist ideology?  Chose 2 or 3 of the texts to include in your response, and center on a main theme found in each to help narrow your focus.  Be sure to quote and refer to the readings.


Sept 25-29


Sept 25:  Equiano, second part

Sept 29:  William Blake. “Daughters of Albion”


Oct 2-6


Oct 2:  Blake, “Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

Oct 6:  Wordsworth, “Preface to the Lyrical Ballads”

Oct: 6  proposal of critical research essay due.


Oct 9-13


Oct 9:  Wordsworth, Tintern Abby”

Oct 13: Blake, "The Lamb," "The Tyger," "Black Boy,"The Chimney Sweeper"

Oct 13:  2nd response paper:   How is "human nature" represented in the Equiano, Blake and Wordsworth texts?  Define a romantic concept of “human nature” and use the texts to defend this concept of human nature.  Be sure to quote and refer to the texts.


Oct 15-22

FALL BREAK, start reading Jane EyreR


Oct 23-27


Oct 23:  Coleridge, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner”

Oct 27:   Shelley, “Ode to the West Wind,” and “Ode to a Skylark.”

Oct 27:  Practice draft due of critical essay:  5 pages or more.


Oct 30-Nov 3


Oct 30:  Keats: “Ode to a Nightingale,” “Ode to a Grecian Urn”

Nov 3:  Keats:  Work in groups of 2:  chose a Keats poem that you explain in class.

Nov 3:  3rd response paper due:  How has the view of nature changed from Wordsworth?  How do these views of nature appear in modern American culture?  Chose a visual and textual representation of nature -- an ad out of a magazine or on TV, or a "nature" film or documentary -- to respond to this question.  Be sure to quote and refer to the texts read in this course.    


Nov 6-10


Nov 6:   C. Bronte, first 150 pages.

Nov 10:  No class, Veteran's Day.


Nov 13-17


Nov 13: C. Bronte, next 150 pages (300 pgs)

Nov 17:  4th Response paper due:  Define how childhood is formed and shaped by Romantic belief and representation.  How has that view changed or remained the same in modern American culture?  Chose a current book, TV show or movie to help you define representations of American, “romanticized” (or not) childhood.  Be sure to quote and refer to the texts read in the course.


Nov 20-25


Nov 20:  C. Bronte, third set of 150 pages (450 pgs)

Nov 25:  No class, Thanksgiving


Nov 27-Dec 1


Nov 27:  
C. Bronte, end of book

Nov 27:  final draft of critical research essay due.

Dec 1:  Individual Class Presentation on Critical Research Essay.


Dec 3-5

Individual Class Presentations on Critical Research Essay, cont'd.


Dec 8-13

Finals Week
Monday, Dec 11, 1:00 to 3:00 pm

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-89

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "W".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog Page 89-90

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .

Additional Information:

Romantic Introduction Lecture

Race:  Ancient Roots

Race:  Romantic and Modern


CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Offers clearly stated personal and critical statements about the literature that reveals deep understanding of romanticism. Makes adequate personal and critical statements about the literature that illustrate a grasp of basic concepts or romanticism. Provides only plot summary literary work(s), which lack interpretation in terms of romanticism. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style perceptively and creatively Incorporates primary and secondary sources using MLA documentation style adequately without particularly fresh insights. Primary and secondary sources used rarely if at all and without adequate MLA documentation. Insights are predictable. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
1, 2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Provides convincing and innovative connections between literature and concepts of romanticism. Provides connections between literature and romanticism that are obvious but nonetheless plausible and interesting. Connections remain vague and undeveloped. Critique not supported by close readings and analysis. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Literary and critical terminology fully integrated skillfully throughout paper. Literary and critical terminology used adequately in some parts of the paper. Rarely employs appropriate terminology, misuses it, or omits it altogether. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
1, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Skillfully interweaves theoretical, literary, and historical contexts that illustrate main point of essay. Adequately incorporates theoretical, literary, and historical contexts, though sometimes strays from main point. Rarely provides specific references to literature, theory, or historical contexts, or does so without making connections clear. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Technical Skill in Communicating                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
2, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Employs conventions of Standard Written English with grace and style in a well organized, fully developed essay. Employs conventions of Standard Written English adequately in a reasonably well organized and developed essay. Writing shows persistent problems with the use of Standard Written English. Statements are often illogical, incomprehensible; organization and development of ideas do not support thesis. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Literary and historical Context                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
1, 2                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Gracefully incorporates discussion of literary and historical contexts throughout the paper. Incorporates discussion of at least one major literary and historical issue in some parts of the paper. May mention literary and historical contexts but not in any meaningful way. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 
Theoretical Concepts                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
1, 3                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Analysis includes thorough discussion of theoretical concepts. An attempt is made to include discussion of theoretical concepts in some parts of the paper. Paper does not address theoretical contexts, or does so with inadequate discussion. Does not submit assignment or does not respond appropriately to assignment. 


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Last Updated:8/16/2006 2:39:29 PM