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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : English Literature

Undergraduate Course: The Reign of Terror: Fear and Loathing in Romantic Literature (ENLI10315)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course introduces students to different concepts and discourses of terror in romantic period literature. It concentrates mainly on the relationship between aesthetic theories of the sublime and the political climate of fear created by the Reign of Terror in France in the mid-1790s and intensified by the revolutionary wars in Europe. The course explores how ideas and perceptions of terror fed into romantic literature, and how romantic literature in turn helped to reshape notions of fear.
Course description Through reading primary texts, students will develop an enhanced understanding of the connections between the romantic language of terror and other topics, including millenarianism, anti-Jacobinism, spectatorship, codes of visuality, obscenity, prophecy, pantheism, materiality, subjectivity, friendship, domesticity, the Gothic, 'atrocity,' the body, imagination, gender, and liminality. The course will begin with an introductory session outlining the main themes and writers on the course, and close with a seminar addressing the relevance of notions of terror and the sublime to (post)modern culture and society.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Literary Studies 1A (ENLI08020) AND Literary Studies 1B (ENLI08021) OR English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) OR Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) AND Literary Studies 2A: English Literature in the World, 1380-1788 (ENLI08024) AND Literary Studies 2B: English Literature in the World, post-1789 (ENLI08025) OR Scottish Literature 2A (ENLI08022) AND Scottish Literature 2B (ENLI08023) OR English Literature 2 (ENLI08003) OR Scottish Literature 2 (ENLI08004)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements For students who took First Year courses prior to session 2021-22, a pass in English Literature 1 (ENLI08001) or Scottish Literature 1 (ENLI08016) is an acceptable equivalent
Additional Costs Essential course texts
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 194 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) plus attendance at Autonomous Learning Group for one hour per week
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One coursework essay of c. 2000 words (30%);
and one take-home final essay of c. 3000 words (70%).
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An understanding of the cultural significance of literature 1759-1822;
  2. An enhanced ability to apply different methods and theories to the interpretation of texts;
  3. An enhanced ability to discuss and develop intellectual ideas with others;
  4. An enhanced ability to work collaboratively on group projects and presentations;
  5. An improved ability to develop and sustain intellectual arguments in essay form.
Reading List
The Sublime Spectacle: Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790, excerpts) and Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful (1759)
Apocalypse Now: Blake, The visions of the Daughters of Albion (1793) and America: A Prophecy (1793)
Perils of Consciousness: Wordsworth, The Prelude (1805, excerpts)
Fears in Solitude: Coleridge, 'Frost at Midnight'; 'France: An Ode'; 'Fears in Solitude' (1798); Lamb, 'Witches, and Other Night Fears' (1821)
Gothic Terror: Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)
The Revolting Body: Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
The Material Sublime: Percy Shelley, 'Ode to The West Wind'; 'Ozymandais'; 'England in 1819'; 'The Triumph of Life' (1822)
Gothic Horror: Lewis, The Monk (1795)
The Postmodern Sublime: Lyotard, 'Postscript to Terror and the Sublime' (1985); Jean Baudrillard, The Spirit of Terrorism (2002) (excerpts); Slavoj 'i'ek, In Defense of Lost Causes (2008) (excerpts)
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information 2 hour(s) per week for 10 week(s): plus one 1-hour Autonomous Learning Group per week at time to be arranged.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Tim Milnes
Tel: (0131 6)50 3615
Course secretaryMr Callum Lennie
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