Information in the Degree Programme Tables may still be subject to change in response to Covid-19

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Postgraduate Course: Enlightenment and Romanticism 1688 - 1815 (ENLI11140)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to the new conceptions of social formation developed in the literature of this period, and in particular the literary response to the modern discourses of contractarian liberalism and political economy. It examines the genres which emerge to negotiate this relationship, including the novel and 'romantic' modes of verse. In particular, it concentrates on the impact of a "Scottish philosophy" (Hume, Smith, Ferguson) on the wider British literary field, and asks to what extent "modern" conceptions of British society are a product of Scottish responses to the Union of 1707. And it asks students to consider the ways in which these "modern" conceptualisations of the social whole have been adapted, adopted and challenged by those twentieth-century thinkers who underpin contemporary literary-critical practice.
Course description Seminar 1 (week 2) Introduction.
Kant, 'What is Enlightenment?' (1784)
Adorno and Horkheimer, The Concept of Enlightenment from Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944, 1947)

Seminar 2 (week 3) The Liberal Subject.
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe (1719)
John Locke, 'Second Treatise' from Two Treatises of Government (1690) chapters i-ix

Seminar 3 (week 4) The Fate of Virtue in an Age of Commerce.
Jonathan Swift, A Modest Proposal (1729)
Alexander Pope, 'An Epistle to Allen Lord Bathurst' (1733)
Trenchard and Gordon, extracts from Cato's Letters (1720-23)
Adam Ferguson, extracts from Essay on the History of Civil Society (1767)
Jürgen Habermas, extracts from The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere (1962)

Seminar 4 (week 5) Gender and Modernity.
Samuel Richardson, Pamela (1740)
Addison and Steele, extracts from The Spectator (1711-12, 1714)
Michel Foucault, extracts from The History of Sexuality volume 1: an introduction (1976)

Seminar 5 (week 6) Pastoral, Georgic, National Myth.
Alexander Pope, 'Spring' (1709) and 'Windsor Forest' (1713)
James Thomson, extracts from Spring (1726) and Alfred (1740)
Thomas Gray, 'The Bard' and 'The Progress of Poesy' (1756)
James Macpherson, extracts from Fragments of Ancient Poetry (1759)
Hugh Blair, extracts from 'A Dissertation on the Poems of Ossian' (1763)

Seminar 6 (week 7) Political Economies.
Tobias Smollett, Humphry Clinker (1771)
Adam Smith, extracts from The Wealth of Nations (1776)

Seminar 7 (week 8) Poetry and the return of Politics at the end of the eighteenth century.
Anna Barbauld, selected poems
Robert Burns, selected poems
William Wordsworth, poems from Lyrical Ballads (1800); 'Preface' to Lyrical Ballads (1802)

Seminar 8 (week 9) The Romantic Subject.
William Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805 version), books I, VI, X and XI
M.H. Abrams, 'English Romanticism: the Spirit of the Age' (1963)
Alan Liu, extract from Wordsworth: The Sense of History (1989)

Seminar 9 (week 10) Romantic Nationalism.
Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent (1800)
Lady Morgan (Sydney Owenson), The Wild Irish Girl (1806)
Edmund Burke, extracts from Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)

Seminar 10 (week 11) Gender and the Nation after the French Revolution.
Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice (1813)
James Fordyce, extracts from Sermons to Young Women (1766)
Mary Wollstonecraft, extracts from A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1791)
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. an understanding of how literary and cultural works document the complex and changing relationship between England, Ireland and Scotland from the 'Glorious Revolution' of 1688 to the end of the French wars in 1815.
  2. an understanding of how debates concerning the nation also explored a range of ideas concerning the adequacy of social and gender hierarchies.
  3. An understanding of the variety of enlightenment modes and genres in which ideas of the national and national difference were articulated.
Reading List
You will have to buy the primary texts for the course. They should be bought in the following editions:

Defoe, Robinson Crusoe ed. Thomas Keymer (Oxford World Classics)
Richardson, Pamela ed. Thomas Keymer (Oxford World Classics)
Smollett, Humphrey Clinker ed. Lewis M. Knapp (Oxford World Classics)
Wordsworth, The Major Works ed. Stephen Gill (Oxford World Classics)
Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent ed. George Watson (Oxford World Classics)
Owenson, The Wild Irish Girl ed. Kathryn Kirkpatrick (Oxford World Classics)
Austen, Pride and Prejudice ed. Vivien Jones (Penguin)

Please if at all possible buy these editions. It is an enormous help in classroom discussion of long novels, often not divided into chapters, if we are all looking at the same edition, and can refer quickly to the same page numbers.

You might also consider investing in the following texts, though some copies are available to borrow from the university library:

John Locke, Second Treatise of Government ed. C.B. Macpherson (Hackett)
Michel Foucault, History of Sexuality Volume 1: The Will to Knowledge (Penguin)
Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France ed. Conor Cruise O¿Brien (Penguin)
Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman ed. Miriam Brody (Penguin)

All other poems and extracts listed in the course description will be circulated in advance of seminars via the virtual learning environment for the course, where you will also find further secondary reading.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements No UG version
Course organiserDr Robert Irvine
Tel: (0131 6)50 3605
Course secretaryMiss Kara McCormack
Tel: (0131 6)50 3030
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information