Honors 293I: British Romantic Literature and the Discipline of Memory 

Dr. Morillo
Tompkins 112  M, W  1:30-2:45
Spring 2009
Office=Tompkins 270; phone: 513-8040
email = morillo@unity.ncsu.edu
web page syllabus = http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/users/m/morillo/public/hon293i.htm
Office Hours: M W F 11:15-12:00, and by appointment

Honors Discovering Literature Courses
Discovering Literature Courses
study works of literature to treat the themes of inquiry and discovery--its risks, its creativeness, its ambiguities and complexities, and its moral dilemmas--through selected works from literature and other media, including theater, music, visual arts, and film. Analysis of each work in terms of its historical context and internal structure as well as its treatment of the nature of inquiry and discovery.

GER Information: Fulfills 3 hrs. Humanities-Literature GER. This
course will help you to:

  1. understand and engage in the human experience through the interpretation of literature
  2. become aware of the act of interpretation itself as a critical form of knowing in the study of literature; and
  3. make scholarly arguments about literature using reasons and ways of supporting those reasons that are appropriate to the field of study.
Romantic Literature and Memory


The Pictures drawn in our Minds, are laid in fading Colours; and if not sometimes refreshed, vanish and disappear.


---John Locke, Essay on Human Understanding (1688)  II.xxvii; II.x


I cannot paint what then I was.

--- William Wordsworth, “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” Lyrical Ballads (1798)

British literature during the Romantic period, roughly 1789-1832, began to emphasize memory as an especially valuable source of literary inspiration. Although a century earlier John Locke had insisted that memory was crucial to any coherent sense of self and was fundamental to human identity, his contemporaries and most writers who preceded the Romantics exercised their memories less on their own pasts than on recalling and preserving the great cultural achievements of past peoples, especially the Greeks and Romans. The British Romantics, however, wrote in the wake of the French Revolution's unforgettable mandate to erase past conceptions of church, state, and even time. Many of the great Romantic writers who matured in this dangerous but exciting era cultivated a novel, more modern mode of memory: they recalled themselves at earlier moments and made the past personal. They found in fleeting thoughts of who they once were a more immediate and genuine way to write. The Romantics trained and disciplined their memories afresh on the delights and traumas of childhood, the pleasures and excesses of youth, and the relation of memory to imagination in order to translate individual recollections into lasting literature. We will sample how Romantic writers including Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Lamb, and Austen brought the discipline of literature into closer alignment with disciplined memory.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to:

Course Requirements


1. Attendance = 10%
2. Participation in discussions, quizzes, other in-class writing and speaking = 15%

3. Analysis and Application Paper, 5 pages = 15%
4. Midterm exam =  20%
5. Creative project and presentation = 15%
6. Final research paper proposal, 1-2 pages= 5%
7. Final research Paper 8-10 pages  =  20%

Percentages for each required graded category are figured via a percentage of a 12-pt. scale in which an A+ =12 and an F=0 points. For example, a B+ on paper 1 would net you 9 x .15 or .1.35 points.  Or, a C on participation nets you 5 x .15 or .75.  I then add up the percentage points for each required category to determine your grade.  For example, an 8.2 final score = B for the class.

Participation includes your grades on periodic writing assignments, quizzes, and coming to class prepared, having done the readings and being able to talk and write about them intelligently.

You must complete all the required work to pass the class.  I will grade plus/minus.

Attendance: You are allowed 3 absences. If you are absent, unexcused, more than 3 times over the course of the semester, your absences will count progressively against your final grade. Every 2 absences beyond the allowed 3 loses you a half letter grade on the calculated final grade. Anyone who misses the first two classes can be immediately dropped from the class. For the definition of an unexcused absence, see http://www.ncsu.edu/policies/academic_affairs/pols_regs/REG205.00.4.php

Plagiarism: Anyone convicted will receive an F for the paper, or the course at my discretion.

Late Papers: Papers received ONE class session late will be accepted but docked a full grade.
No late papers accepted after one class session late.

Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus

            Box 7509, 515-7653. http://www.ncsu.edu/dso/

Academic Integrity Assumption
Universities are unique communities committed to creating and transmitting knowledge. They depend on freedom - individuals' freedom to explore ideas and to explore and further their own capabilities. Those freedoms depend on the good will and responsible behavior of all the members of the community, who must treat each other with tolerance and respect. They must allow each other to develop the full range of their capabilities and take full advantage of the institution's resources.

Required Texts & Resources
Print Texts --available now in the NCSU bookstore.

Austen, Jane. Persuasion. Ed. John Davie. New York: Oxford UP, 197
Wordsworth, William. The Prelude 1799, 1805, 1850. Ed. Jonathan Wordsworth et al. New York: W. W. Norton,

Byron, Lord George Gordon. Manfred
Blake, William. Memory Hither Come
Chapman, George. Iliad trans., selections
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Kubla Khan
---. Youth and Age
---. Biographia Literaria, selections
Collins, Billy. Forgetfulness
Godwin, William. Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, excerpts
Hume, David. Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding, excerpts
Keats, John. On First Looking into Chapman's Homer
Lamb, Charles. Dream-Children, A Reverie
Locke, John. Essay Concerning Human Understanding, excerpts
Wordsworth, William. Tintern Abbey


How to Use the Oxford English Dictionary Online (Morillo)

Fundamentals of Reading Formal Poetry

W. Jan. 7
Introduction : Forgetfulness ANIM.(Gray/Collins) POEM (Collins); Anti-Mnemonics (Coleridge); The Persistence of Memory (Dali); Memory Hither Come (Blake); The Recollection (Shelley)
Assignment 1
M. 12
student work, your memoriesThe Recollection  (Shelley)
W. 14
 Ode: Intimations of Immortality (Wordsworth)
M. 19

 KING DAY. No Class

W. 21

M. 26
Philosophers on Memory: Of Retention; Identity and Diversity (selections from Locke);  On Custom (Hume)
W. 28
The Characters of Men (Godwin) Tradition and Change (Burke)
M. Feb  2
Preface to Lyrical Ballds excerpts      full text of Preface to Lyrical Ballads (Wordsworth)
W.  4

Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey (Wordsworth); Pictures of Tintern Abbey and the Wye River Valley
F. 6
Paper 1 Due in folder on my office door
M. 9
 Kubla Khan (Coleridge)
W.  11
2-Part Prelude, Part I ([1799 version] Wordsworth)
M. 16
2-Part Prelude, Part II(1799 v. )
W. 18
Prelude (1805) BOOK 11 esp. ll. 208-228  Spots of Time
M.  23
Prelude (Bks. tba)
W. 25
the passage
M. Mar 2
W. Mar 4
M. 9

Wordsworth, 1805 Prelude (Bk. IX Residence in France )

Further Reading in History, Context, The French Revolution:

Declaration of the Rights of Man
  Edmund Buke, from Reflections on the Revolution in France

Maxmillian Robespierre, on Terror and Virtue

W. 11
Prelude (Bk. X France and the French Revolution)
M. 16
Manfred (Acts I-II Byron)
W. 18
Manfred (Act III)    Byron, from his journals, on memory
M. 23
On First Looking into Chapman's Homer (Keats) continued
W. 25
Dream-Children: A Reverie (Lamb)  On the Past and the Future (Hazlitt)
M. 30

Persuasion (Austen)

The Families of Persuasion

W. Apr 1
continued finish Volume I (p. 114 Oxford ed.)
M. 6
continued  Vol. II through Chap.4
Persuasion continued  through Vol. II. Chap. 10
M. 13
finish Persuasion
W. 15
final paper proposals due
DVD biography of Austen
M. 20
cont. presentations of your research in progress: Meaghan Lanier, Jane Burke, Laura Ruterbories, Jennifer Leaf, Kim Mangum, Sarah Hardin, Kaitlin Mize
cont. presentations: Audrey Small, Erin Curran, Jiwei Jiang, Sonya Deulina, Derek Frick, Mary Nash, David Powell
F. May 1
Creative Projects (optional) due by NOON at my office Tompkins 270




final papers due at my office, Tompkins 270. On paper, by NOON.

Creative projects

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