SoSe 16: PS-Surveying English Literatures II: Poetry and Politics in the 17th century: the country-house poem
The country-house poem is a very peculiar and singular phenomenon. It constitutes a genre that is considered to consist of only six core texts, it is exclusively English and restricted to the ... Lesen Sie weiter
The country-house poem is a very peculiar and singular phenomenon. It constitutes a genre that is considered to consist of only six core texts, it is exclusively English and restricted to the seventeenth century. Due to its exceptionality, it refers to the historical conditions that gave rise to its appearance, in particular the political as well as economic conflicts associated with, on the one hand, the attempt at establishing an absolutist monarchy that lead to the English Civil War, the beheading of Charles I as well as the English Revolution(s). On the other hand, it forms part of the changing relationships between the English landed gentry and the rise of capitalism and a bourgeois middle class. In both respects, the country-house poem takes and expresses a political stance within a changing social geography. Being essentially poems of praise for a specific place dedicated to the poet’s patron, these texts not only beg the question of how politics and poetry relate, they also highlight the fundamentally pragmatic contexts of poetic production in the seventeenth century. This class will address how the aesthetic, economic, political and ethical ideals developed in the poems relate to the rhetorical structure and functioning of the poems themselves as well as the changing function of rhetoric, thereby offering an introduction into the historical as well as systematic analysis of poetry. But it will also deal with aspects of the conceptualization and construction of place and space, as well as of the socio-economic situatedness of poetry.
Requirements for active participation in this class comprise an oral presentation as well as regular response papers. Credits will be achieved by writing a final academic essay (2000 words).