Transformations of Style. Genre, Institution: 1740-1840
This seminar would explore topics and facilitate research projects in the very long Romantic period reaching back to the age of Sensibility and forward to the emergences of Victorian forms like the three decker novel and the dramatic monologue. Ripe for inclusion in such an overview would be the culture changing novels of Richardson and Sterne, the poetry of sentiment (Grat, Collins, Charlottes, Smith), antiquarian ballad collections, the feminization of the novel (Burney, Smith, Inchbald), the Gothic (Radcliffe, Shelley), various genre-transformations in Romanticism (the conversation poem, the personal eipc, the lyrical ballad), the national tale (Edgeworth and Morgan), the historical novel (Scott and Galt), the major reviews (Edinburgh, Blackwoods, Quarterly), the weeklies (Examiner, London Magazine), and the serialized fiction that leads to the early work of Dickens and Thackeray. The point would not only be to look at processes of transformation of literary styles, genres, and institutions, but to correlate changes on all three levels with attention to larger developments in publishing, readership, demographics, political movements, technology, and overarching structures of thought.