Romantic Dialogues: "An unremitting interchange"
Instructor: Professor Monika Lee
Fall Half Course.
This course examines dialogues within and between Romantic texts, and it reconfigures influence as dialogue. Students will read paired Romantic texts alongside Mikhail Bahkin, Hélène Cixous, and Julia Kristeva to theorize dialogism and intertextuality. Productive intertextual dialogues in William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin constitute Romantic modes of cognition. Moreover, conversation and dialogue figure internally within Romantic texts; Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, P.B. Shelley’s The Cenci and Prometheus Unbound, Mary Shelley’s Valperga, and William Blake’s Milton all dramatize conversations with which our classroom conversation will intersect. The Shelleys’ dialogic intertext will be a focus in the course; the interplay within their writings explores subjectivism, consciousness, identity, and sentiment. Romantic idealisms (Kant, Rousseau) inform “fast influencing” and “an unremitting interchange” between texts in dialogue with one another and with themselves, revealing a split or fragmented self, a multifaceted consciousness or identity, and a polyphonic resistance to authority.
View the course syllabus here: English 9157A.