Romanticism and Modernity

Subject ENGL40007 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

Total expected time commitment is 170 hours across the semester, including class time.


Admission to the postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or four year honours in English & theatre studies, or gender studies.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


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:


Dr Thomas Ford


Tom Ford

Subject Overview:

This subject examines some of the key aesthetic categories of Romanticism – the beautiful, the sublime, the picturesque, the naïve, and the sentimental – as complex responses to the historical experience of modernity. It questions the continuing validity of these categories in more recent times in order to gauge the enduring cultural power of Romantic ways of seeing and structures of feeling in the contemporary world. Do Romanticism and modernity still provide necessary terms for the task of historical self-understanding in the present? We approach this question through readings of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Kant, Schiller, Goethe, Gilpin, Mary Shelley, and others.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • be familiar with some of the key concepts and motifs in the discourse of romanticism;
  • have a broad understanding of the relation between romanticism and modernity; and
  • understand some of the cultural functions of the discourse of romanticism in contemporary culture.

An essay of 5000 words 100% (due in the examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:
  • Critique of Judgement Immanuel Kant (OUP)
  • ELective Affinities Goethe (Penguin)
  • The Mary Shelley Reader B.T.Bennett et al, eds (OUP)
  • Selected Poems William Wordsworth (Penguin)

A subject reader will also be available, which will include William Gilpin's Three Essays on the Picturesque, Friedrich Schiller's 'On Naive and Sentimental Poetry', essays by William Hazlitt and Thomas de Quincey, and other writings.

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 will develop:

  • skills in social, ethical and cultural understanding;
  • skills in critical, creative and theoretical thinking;
  • skills in information management and information literacy;
  • skills in intelligent and effective communication knowledge and ideas; and
  • written communication skills.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Anthropology
English and Theatre
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
English and Theatre Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Gender Studies
Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory
Social Theory

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