Offered Spring Semester
These active, writing-intensive courses are designed to complement the arts elements of the Cortona Program. The program invites applications from juniors and seniors, as well as from sophomores with solid credentials.
ENGL 4865, Topics in the Novel Before 1900
“19-Century Italy and the Not-So Grand Tour”
Prerequisites: One 2000-level ENGL course; one more 2000-level ENGL or CMLT courseor CMLT course
What happens to the great British ritual of the “Grand Tour” after the eighteenth century? Is there such a thing as a “Victorian” Grand Tour? ( And if so, might it include Americans?) Beginning with the cosmopolitan myth-making of Germaine de Staël’s Corinne, or Italy, this class will turn to poetry by George, Gordon, Lord Byron and Letitia Elizabeth Landon; travel narratives by Anna Jameson, Charles Dickens, and Mark Twain; and prose by Margaret Fuller, John Ruskin, and George Eliot, in considering how influential novels transform other genres to explore Victorian engagements with the traditions and shocks of Italian travel. Central texts will include Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Marble Faun, Henry James’s Daisy Miller, and E. M. Forster’s A Room with a View.
ENGL 4590, 19th-Century British Topics
“Poetics, Paintings, and the Flesh: Italy’s Brownings / The Brownings’ Italy”
Prerequisites: One 2000-level ENGL class; one more 2000-level ENGL or CMLT courseor CMLT course
By 1900, the poetic romance of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning—and with it, of “The Brownings’ Italy”—had attained almost mythic proportions. In this class, we will explore how the Brownings’ elopement may have helped crystallize larger fantasies of Anglo-American “Italies,” tracing from Romantic writers like Byron, Hemans, and Landon, through Emily Dickinson, to Henry James and beyond. How, we will ask, might such an “Italy” register home-grown scandals around poetics, politics, and sexuality, including British arguments over Pre-Raphaelitism and “the fleshly school of poetry” or Transatlantic debates around expatriate Hiram Powers’ statue of a naked “Greek Slave”? On another level, by drawing on close reading of both poets’ work; contemporary Anglo-American Risorgimento writing by authors including Margaret Fuller and Arthur Hugh Clough; and museum visits, we will consider another, equally important question. How and why might the cultural and political life of a far more material, historical “Italy” actually stake some claim to have made these intensely British poets its own?
Earn up to 6 ENGL credits and earn an additional 6 credits from the Cortona Programs renowned studio art, italian culture, or art history courses.
Some classes may be cancelled due to insufficient enrollment.