|Module Title||ROMANTIC ORIENTALISM|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Michael Franklin|
|Pre-Requisite||Good honours degree|
|Co-Requisite||ENM0120 , ENM0220 , Three other MA option modules|
|Course delivery||Seminar||10 Hours (5 x 2 hours)|
Texts for detailed analysis will include
Sir William Jones, 'Hymns to Hindu Deities' (1784-88), introducing Hinduism to the West
Robert Southey, The Curse of Kehama (1810), an Oriental epic
Byron, The Corsair (1814), an Oriental verse tale
Percy Shelley, Alastor (1816), a Romantic verse narrative
Week 1: Introductory - The Horrific Allure of the East
By means of xeroxed extracts from a range of materials including The Sowdone of Babylone, the letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Les Mille et une nuits, the Persian Letters of Montesquieu and Edward Said's Orientalism, we shall explore the cultural history of Orientalism.
Week 2: Hinduism Domesticated
Sir William Jones's 'Hymns to Hindu Deities' (1784-88). With their emphases on creativity and the nature of perception, they anticipated, and helped to shape, Romantic preoccupations with these themes. Extracts from Jones's translations of Kalidasa's Sacontala (1789), and of Jayadeva's Gitagovinda (1789) will also be examined to discover why the German Romantics fell in love with India.
Week 3: Monstrous Gods and Demon Devotees
Robert Southey's The Curse of Kehama (1810). Although heavily reliant upon Jones's work for much of his material, Southey was anxious to locate Hindu culture and religion in a morass of sati, thuggee, and infaticide. The text will be considered against the political background of the Orientalist/Anglicist debate, and the tireless lobbying of the Evangelical movement to allow missionary activity in India.
Week 4: 'Some samples of the finest Orientalism'
Byron's The Corsair (1814). Although Byron failed to obtain the necessary permissions to make the passage to India, he remains the only Romantic to reach Asia. His experiences in Albania provided a correctness of 'costume' for this Oriental verse tale which sold 10,000 copies on the first day of publication. Byron's own political position on our Eastern empire will be compared and contrasted with that of his arch-enemy Southey. We will also examine some extracts from Don Juan, and The Giaour (1813).
Week 5: The 'Veiled Maid' and the Earthly Paradise
Percy Shelley's Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude (1816). Shelley also longed to travel to India, and there is an autobiographical aspect to the young self-alienated poet's quest for the ideal and the visionary. European ambivalence concerning the Orient is figured in Shelley's ambivalent response towards the voluptuous 'veiled maid', who sings and plays upon a lute songs of liberty and virtue. We will also consider 'Zeinab and Kathema' (1811-12), Shelley's Gothic but empathetic response to Sydney Owenson's The Missionary (1811).
Jones, Sir William, Selected Poetical and Prose Works, ed. Michael J. Franklin (Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1995)
Wu, Duncan, ed., Romanticism: An Anthology (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994)
For Southey, there are three copies of The Curse of Kehama in editions of collected works (1844, 1864, 1888) on the open shelves in the library. Most students will use the Chadwyck-Healey Full-Text English Poetry Database