This module looks at European Romanticism as a cultural-revolutionary movement. Hoping to break free from established hierarchies, norms, and conventions, one cherished goal of the Romantics was to liberate the modern individual from 'society', understood as a self-inflicted state of alienation.
This module traces the manifold manifestations of Romantic thought within their specific cultural-historical contexts. Our discussion will focus on a selection of French, German, and British Romantic writers (for example: Rousseau, Chateaubriand, Goethe, the Brothers Schlegel, Kleist, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Keats, and Mary Shelley). We will critically analyse their works in close alignment with a selection of Romantic and more recent theoretical works (for example by: Freud, Todorov, and de Man) to gauge their significance within their own cultural-historical framework, and to consider their potential legacy in literature and society today.
This module appears in the following module collections.
Total Contact Hours: 20
Method of assessment
Essay (2,000 words) – 80%
Presentation (15 minutes) – 20%
Indicative Reading List
Chateaubriand, F. (2018). Atala and René (Classic Reprint Series), London: Forgotten Books
Goethe, J.W. (2013). The Sorrows of Young Werther, New York: Penguin Classics
Hoffmann, E.T.A. (2016). The Sandman, New York: Penguin Classics
Rousseau, J. (2012). Basic Political Writings: Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Discourse on Political Economy, On the Social Contract, The State of War, Cambridge, MA: Hackett Publishing
Shelley, M. (2014) Frankenstein, Richmond: Alma Classics
Wordsworth, W. (1995). The Prelude: The Four Texts (1798, 1799, 1805, 1850), New York: Penguin Classics
See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate a critical overview and understanding of Romantic European Literatures within their respective cultural-historical contexts;
Engage thematically and comparatively with a range of literary and theoretical texts from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds;
Demonstrate an understanding of key philosophical concepts through analysis of the role of key motifs in the texts;
Demonstrate an understanding of classic and recent criticism relating to texts and contexts studied on the module.
Back to top
Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
- ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
- The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.