MA English Literary Studies : Enlightenment to Romanticism

Pathway overview 

The Enlightenment to Romanticism Pathway explores the development of two major forms of cultural expression in the long eighteenth century (1680-1830). This period saw not only the growth of modern forms of political organisation, consumer society and public and private spheres, but also the birth of modern understandings of subjectivity. The century’s conflicts between the enlightenment rationality and a culture of feeling and sensibility, its optimistic celebration of scientific progress and its worries about cultural and environmental decay, and its excited debates about gender and sexuality, were constitutive of our contemporary cultural understanding and speak urgently to current concerns.

The pathway will situate emergent forms of narrative and poetic practice within this cultural matrix, showing how literature helped to create and critique a new world-view associated with the rise of capitalism. We strongly recommend that anyone intending to do a PhD in the area of eighteenth-century or Romanticist literature and culture take at least two modules in the field, and register for the pathway.