The Birth of Literary Celebrity

Subject ENGL40018 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2012.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: TBA
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission to honours or the postgraduate certificate or diploma in English.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Previously available as 106-223 Romantic Literary Celebrity.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Clara Tuite

Subject Overview:

This subject examines celebrity as a new form of literary fame that emerges in the Romantic period, analysing key texts of Romanticism in relation to this emergent culture. With the rapid expansion of literary markets from the late eighteenth century, literary works were no longer produced for a small audience of readers often known to the author, but across a distance for a vast, anonymous body known as the reading public. A radically altered relationship between writers and readers thereby created the conditions for the culture and economy of literary celebrity, which overcame this distance by forging new reading practices and establishing an intimacy between author and public. This subject explores these changing relations. Focusing on forms of scandalous celebrity, such as Byronic Satanism, students will develop an understanding of how the author became not only the producer of a work but the owner of a personality, turned into a commodity and produced for public consumption, identification, imitation and even ritual humiliation. Against a background of theoretical readings of celebrity, publicity and authorship, students will examine the culture of Romantic literary celebrity across a range of genres, including lyric poetry, scandalous memoir, silverfork novel, roman f. clef, satire and reviews.


Students who complete this subject successfully can expect to have acquired and to be able to utilize:

  • a first-hand acquaintance with a range of key Romantic-period literary texts;
  • an understanding of the relations between Romantic-period literature and the culture of celebrity; and
  • a critical awareness of the emergence of new markets, audiences and technologies if the Romantic period, and how these impacted upon the production of literature, the reading process, and the development of a culture of literary celebrity.


A 2000 word essay 40% (due mid-semester) and a 3000 word essay 60% (due at the end of the semester). Students are required to attend a minimum of 75% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved formal extension will be penalised at 2% per day.

Prescribed Texts:

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader including theoretical and critical materials by Benedict Anderson, Marilyn Butler, Eric O. Clarke, Michel Foucault, Jon Klancher, Jacqueline Rose, Michael Warner and Raymond Williams will be available.

  • The Major Works (Lord Byron), Oxford World's Classics
  • The Complete Poems (John Keats), Penguin
  • Glenarvon (Caroline Lamb), Everyman
  • Nightmare Abbey and Crotchet Castle (Thomas Love Peacock), Penguin
  • The Major Works (Percy Bysshe Shelley), Oxford World's Classics
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject:

  • 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 theoretical thinking through use of recommended reading, essay writing and tutorial discussion; through a productive engagement with relevant methodologies and paradigms in literary studies and the broader humanities;
  • acquire skills in creative thinking through essay writing and tutorial discussion; through the innovative conceptualising 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;
  • acquire skills in intelligent and effective communication of knowledge and ideas through essay preparation, planning and writing as well as tutorial discussion; through effective dissemination of ideas from recommended reading and other relevant information sources. through clear definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research; through confidence to express ideas in public forums; and
  • acquire skills in time management and planning through the successful organization of workloads; through disciplined self-direction and the ability to meet deadlines.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English
English and Theatre
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies

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