- Course Number: ENGL 233
- Catalog Course Entry: ENGL 233
- Quarter: Spring 2017
This seminar examines British Romantic-era investments in rights and the human–and the roots of both of these concepts in theories and practices of imagination–in the context of contemporary critiques of both “rights” and “human.” It thus foregrounds “human writes” as a way both to characterize participatory expressive politics and to affirm a distinctive feature of humans without using that distinction to pit “the human” against other humans, creatures, and environs. What are we imagining now as ways to express and expand our care for others? How do the arts of signification enhance and hamper our relations with others? If we consider imagination from the perspective of the Black radical tradition, what changes in how we conceive the visionary and revisionary aspects of literature?
Texts include (excerpts from) Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Percy Shelley’s A Defence of Poetry, Fred Moten and Stefano Harney’s Undercommons, Cedric Robinson’s critique of Godwin in Terms of Order, platform of #blacklivesmatter, and more!