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September 1: Why Keats?

Syllabus & Introductions: Why Keats? 200 Years Out

Archives & Afterlives

New Criticism, Historicism, and the Material Text | Scansion

Cleanth Brooks, The Heresy of Paraphrase, from The Well-Wrought Urn

Keats, "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (358), "On First Looking into Chapman's Homer" (5-8), "I stood tip-toe" (14)

Setpember 9: the Sonnets & Sonnet Contests | Scansion

Written on the Day that Mr. Leigh Hunt left Prison (25)

To a Friend who sent me some Roses (27)

To my Brothers (27)

On the Grasshopper and the Cricket (31)

The Sonnet-Contest (31)

On Seeing the Elgin Marbles (47)

On the Sea (58)

Sonnet to a Cat (132)

Letter to George and Tom Keats, 23 and 24 January 1818 - On sitting down to read King Lear once again (90-93)

*Helen Vendler, "John Keats: Perfecting the Sonnet." In Coming of Age as a Poet. Harvard UP, 2003.

September 15: The Odes

Basic scansion quiz! Practice online at For Better or for Verse.

Please post your group's sonnet on our Academic Commons page.

Incipit altera Sonneta (254-255)

The Odes of 1819: (353-271): Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to Psyche, Fancy, To Autumn, Ode on Melancholy

*Susan Wolfson, On Reading John Keats, pp. 87-108 and 130-135

*Paul Sheats, "Keats and the Ode"

We will write a sample poetry paper together in class.

September 22 and 29: NO CLASSES

Read the chapters on Keats from Stanley Plumly's Argument & Song.

Mark up a key passage and jot down your response to it.

Our sample paper from class is available here.

Poetry Papers (3-5 pp.) due by email on September 29.

October 6: Gothic romances

La Belle Dame Sans Mercy (419-422)

Lamia (287-312)

Isabella; or, The Pot of Basil (312-337)

The Eve of St. Agnes (318-353)

*Susan Wolfson, On Reading John Keats, pp. 50-57, 72-86 and 109-122

*Jeffrey Cox, "Lamia, Isabella, and The Eve of St. Agnes"

october 7 (Saturday): romantic bicentennialS event at fordham university

The Emergence of Keats as a Poet (information here)

1:00-2:30 pm  Panel on Keats's 1817 Volume: Jonathan Mulrooney, Brian Rejak, and Duncan Wu

2:45-4:15 pm  Roundtable on Keats's Afterlives: Grant Scott, Chris Miller, James Nacarina, Suzanne Barnett, and Ann Rowland

4:45-6:15 pm  Plenary Conversation: Keats's Life and Writings: Susan Wolfson and Stan Plumly

Please attend any (or more!) of the three panels.

October 13: Keats's biography

Read the assigned chapters of the Roe biography and write a polished 3-paragraph summary, coordinating with your partner to avoid repetition. Post to CUNY Academic Commons page. Email me your paragraphs with the title and number of each chapter labeled above each (in one email per group). These are due by Wednesday night, October 18. Also save time to do your readings for next class (Keats's letters, listed underneath).

Preface: Everyone should read the Preface before moving on to their chapters.
Chapters 1-3: Luisana & Diana
Chapters 4-7: Ashley, Georgia, Jerlisa
Chapters 8-10: Leah & Michelle
Chapters 11-14: Massiel & Kevin
Chapters 15-17: Tiffany & Seun
Chapters 18-20: Melissa & Mariah
Chapters 21-23: Ariel & Kristy
Chapters 24-25: Anthony & Mariam

October 20: Reviews & Letters | Shelley, Hunt, and the COckney school

Letter to Benjamin Bailey, 8 October 1817 (60-2)

Letters surrounding the Quarrels and the Cockney School of Poetry (62-73)

Letter to George and Tom Keats, 21 December 1817. Negative Capability (76-78)

Letter to J.H. Reynolds, 3 May 1818. Dark passages (126-131)

Letter to Fanny Keats, 2-5 July 1818 (186)

Letter to George and Georgiana Keats, 14-31 October 1818 (207-213)

Letter to Richard Woodhouse, 27 October 1818. Camelion poet (213-215)

Letter to George and Georgiana Keats, 14 February-3 May 1819. Vale of soul-making (237-255)

Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, August 1818, 519-24 (193-199)

*John Barnard, "Keats's Letters: 'Remembering and enchaining'"

Check out the Keats Letters Project

october 27: endings & Obituaries | Database reseArch & THe Harvard Keats ARchive

Read our class summary of the entirety of Roe's John Keats: A New Life 

Please post a one-paragraph proposal on our CUNY Academic Commons website explaining what your digital project will be about and what sources you'll be drawing on. Remember that this post should be visually engaging, interactive, and colorful.

Letter to Fanny Brawne, before 12 August 1820 (423-424)

Letters to and from Shelley and Brown (424-429 )

Last Letters (430-433)

Keats’ Last Sonnet: “Bright Star” (429-430)

Last two letters (430-433)

Percy Shelley, Adonais (Please search up in your Norton anthology or on the web)

*Chapter 10 of Susan Wolfson, On Reading John Keats (136-147)

*Duncan Wu, "Keats and the 'Cockney School'" 

November 3: trip to NYPL Pforzheimer & Berg Collections

Please meet at the main entrance of the central NYPL library (Schwartzman building) at 11:00 am. We will be heading inside at 11:00 sharp!
The entrance is on 5th Avenue between 40th and 42nd streets behind Bryant Park. I will be standing between the two big lions. A map is available here. Do not bring any food or extraneous bags with you as we will be going through general security and entering special collections.Bring a photo ID! Please do not be late!

Pforzheimer Collection: Shelley and His Circle
Explore the Digital Collections here
Search up archival materials in the Pforzheimer and the Berg here
Boilerplate Instructions


november 10: trip to NYU Fales collection

Meet under the arch at Washington Square Park by 11:15 am sharp!

Explore this guide of the Fales Collection thoroughly before our trip.

Start planning and researching for your final paper.

Choose the poetry passage you're going to memorize and recite for 12/1.

Fill out and post all your topic choices in the linked Google doc here: Paper topics link.

A list of everything we saw by librarian Charlotte Priddle is linked here.

November 17: trip to princeton firestone's rare books library

Catalog information on everything we saw is available here at the Firestone Rare Books and Special Collections website:

november 24: Happy thanksgiving! No class

Get cracking on those digital projects and final library papers! I am happy to reply to emails about paper ideas or to read drafts. Some helpful resources are posted below.

research resources:

Romantic Circles
Keats Harvard Collection
Keats Letters Project
Knightlab (scroll down to see Juxtapose, Soundcite, Storymap, or Timeline functions)
Romantic Bicentennials
Nineteenth Century Collections Online

Don't forget to explore all that good stuff in the front and back of your Roe and Wolfson books, especially their bibliographies, maps, and illustrations!

December 1: Midterm poetry recitations

1. Be prepared to recite (from memory) a poem or passage from a letter of your choice of around 15 lines.

2. Find an article on Romantic Circles or the MLA database relating to either of your final paper projects and write up a short paragraph to hand in during class. The paragraph should summarize the article and explain how it will be helpful in your paper. Be sure to include bibliographic information at the end. 

3. Hand in to me 3 pages of writing relating to your final paper. Post up on CUNY Commons a draft of your digital project so far. The more you show me, the better feedback I can offer!

december 8: digital writing project presentations I | Bright STar part 1

december 15: digital writing project presentations II | Bright STar part 2

Final Essays and revised Digital Projects due 12/15.