Romanticism, Feminism, Revolution

Subject 670-340 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 1.5-hour lecture and a 1-hour tutorial per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Usually 12.5 points of first-year English

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Peter Otto


Peter Otto

Subject Overview:

This subject maps the intertwined (and sometimes antagonistic) trajectories of Romanticism and early Feminism, as they emerge in Britain in the wake of the American and French Revolutions. Drawing on prose, poetry and drama from this period (including texts by Byron, Blake, Godwin, Hays, Radcliffe, Robinson, Mary Shelley, P. B. Shelley and Wordsworth), it studies the construction of modern notions of literature, culture, sexuality, emancipation and revolution. In so doing, the subject brings into dialogue late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century philosophies of imagination and reason, accounts of the artist as Satan/Prometheus and Sappho, and myths of the lover as Don Juan and femme fatale. Students completing this subject should have a firm understanding of the literary, philosophical and cultural foundations of Romanticism and early Feminism, movements that have played key roles in the construction of the modern world.

Objectives: able to demonstrate a familiarity with some of the key texts, genres, assumptions, interpretative strategies and political tactics of Romanticism and early Feminism;
have a broad understanding of the revolutionary social, economic and political changes that accompanied the emergence of Romanticism and early Feminism;
have an overview of some of the chief exchanges between Romanticism and early Feminism;
be able to demonstrate an awareness of recent developments in the study of Romanticism and early Feminism;
have gained an overview of the roles played by Romanticism and early Feminism in the construction of the modern world;
have acquired a transportable set of interpretative skills;
have developed their capacity for independent research;
have developed their capacity for critical thinking and analysis;
have developed their ability to communicate in writing.

An essay of 1500 words 40% (due mid-semester) and an essay of 2500 words 60% (due at the end of the semester).

Note:Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day. Students who fail to submit up to 2-weeks after the final due date without a formal extension and/or special consideration will receive a fail grade for the piece of assessment.

Prescribed Texts:
  • Romanticism: An Anthology (Duncan Wu (ed)), Blackwell 2nd edition
  • Romance of the Forest (Ann Radcliffe), Oxford Worlds Classics
  • Vindication of the Rights of Woman (Mary Wollstonecraft), Penguin
  • Things as they are: or The Adventures of Caleb Williams (William Godwin), Oxford Worlds Classics
  • Memoirs of Emma Courtney (Mary Hays), Oxford Worlds Classics
  • Sappho and Phaon (Mary Robinson), Broadview Press
  • The Last Man (Mary Shelley), Oxford Worlds Classics
  • Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte), Oxford Worlds Classics
  • Selected Writings (Letitia London) Broadview
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • acquire skills in research through competent use of library, and other (including online) information sources; through the successful definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research;

  • acquire skills in critical thinking and analysis through use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the questioning of accepted wisdom and the ability to shape and strengthen persuasive judgments and arguments; through attention to detail in reading material; and through openness to new ideas and the development of critical self-awareness;

  • acquire skills in creative thinking through essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the innovative conceptualizing of problems and an appreciation of the role of creativity in critical analysis;

  • acquire skills in social, ethical and cultural understanding through use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the social contextualisation of arguments and judgments; through adaptations of knowledge to new situations and openness to new ideas; through the development of critical self-awareness in relation to an understanding of other cultures and practices.

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
English Literary Studies Major
Gender Studies
Social Theory

Download PDF version.