ENGL2604 Romanticism and Revolution

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 1AlbanyFace to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 option in the English and Literary Studies major sequence
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Society and Culture
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit explores the Romantic Movement and its long aftermath through a range of noted writers including John Keats, Mary Shelley and Emily Brontë. Their engagement with the social and cultural changes created by the French Revolution produced innovations in fiction, poetry and prose, and helped form much of what we regard as modern experience and ideas. Topics investigated include Romantic concerns with social outsiders and individual freedom; disenchantment with reason and emphasis on the imagination; the re-evaluation of nature and criticism of urban industrialism; and outspoken concern for social justice. The unit considers Romantic and Gothic preoccupations with questions of gender and class power. It also draws attention to and critiques the formative influence of Romantic aesthetics and values on the subsequent decades of the long nineteenth century, on modern literary theory and especially on understandings of the Romantics themselves.
Students are able to (1) acquire an informed understanding of the literary and cultural change in late eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England—one of the seminal periods for the development of English studies; (2) form an historicised understanding of fundamental critical concepts, such as Romanticism, Victorianism and the Gothic, allowing them to recognise and discuss the relationship between the concepts and the literary and cultural practices textually revealed; (3) read and critique a range of discursively complex nineteenth-century British prose and poetry, a skill readily transferable to twenty-first century discourses with their own modern day complexities; (4) acquire a critical understanding of the role played by issues such as gender, equality, natural rights and liberty in literary and cultural texts; (5) express ideas, information and argument coherently and logically in written and oral forms; (6) work effectively as a member of a collaborative group in a tutorial context; (7) enhance research skills in locating and assessing critical writing in traditional and/or digital media; (8) gain a critical understanding of the role played by ideologies of race, gender, and class in literary and cultural contexts; (9) refine and demonstrate highly developed skills of textual analysis and critical reasoning; (10) acquire an historicised understanding of fundamental critical concepts that allow them to recognise and discuss the relationship between the formal, thematic and functional aspects of any text studied; and (11) further develop and practise enquiry-based learning and research and communication acquired at Level 2 into Level 3 units in English and Cultural Studies, with applications across a broader field of study at UWA.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial participation; (2) a written response to a text; and (3) research essay. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Kieran Dolin
Unit rules
any Level 1 English unit
Contact hours
3 hours per teaching week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.