Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4821 ROSENBAUM, SUSAN M W F 11:15 AM 0250

Topics Title
Poetics: Modern Pastoral Poetry
Description

English 4821: Poetics (Modern Pastoral)

This course explores the aesthetics, history and politics of pastoral poetry with an emphasis on its modern uses. Mankind’s relationship to nature centers this longstanding tradition, and we will briefly survey its Classical origins and its transformations during the Renaissance and Romantic periods. This will prepare us to study the re-invention of pastoral during the late 19th and 20th centuries, as poets respond to industrialization, a shrinking wilderness, urbanization, scientific discoveries, and a growing environmental ethic. How and why does the pastoral tradition generate the modern “urban pastoral” and contribute to the rise of eco-poetics? What explains the enduring interest of this poetic mode? We will trace pastoral’s history in modern poetry with forays into its related appearance in modern drama, painting, music, and film. 

Assignments

In addition to essays and journals, students will be asked to complete a final project that reimagines the pastoral mode for a contemporary audience. This project will have a creative and analytical component.

Attendance

Attendance counts towards the final grade and students cannot stay in the course if they miss more than 6 classes.