EN 902 Syllabus

EN 902 Doctoral Seminar: The Sublime
Professor Alan Richardson


  • Murray and Dorsch (eds.), Classical Literary Criticism (Penguin)
  • Ashfield and de Bolla (eds.), The Sublime: A Reader (Cambridge)
  • Burke, Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime (Penguin)
  • Kant, Critique of Judgement (Hackett)


  • Jan. 21   Longinus

    Longinus, On the Sublime

    Hertz, End of the Line, ch. 2 ("A Reading of Longinus")
    Holmqvist and Pluciennik, "A Short Guide to the Theory of the Sublime"

  • Jan. 28   The British Tradition (I)
    Ashfield and de Bolla, Parts I and II (17-126)

    Monk, Sublime, ch.'s 1-4

  • Feb. 4   The British Tradition (II): Burke

    Burke, Philosophical Enquiry

    Ferguson, Solitude and the Sublime, ch. 2 ("The Sublime of Edmund Burke")
    Ryan, "The Physiological Sublime"
    (via Project Muse)

  • Feb. 11   The British Tradition (III)

    Ashfield and de Bolla, Parts IV, V, and VI (157-306)

    Monk, Sublime, ch.'s 6-7

  • Feb. 18   Kant

    Kant, Critique of Judgement, I.1.books I and II (3-207, esp. 44-140)

    Hertz, End of the Line, ch. 3 ("The Notion of Blockage")
    Ferguson, Solitude, ch. 1 ("Introduction to the Sublime")

  • Feb. 25   Milton

    Milton, Paradise Lost, books I and II

    Kahn, "Allegory and the Sublime"
    Knapp, Personification and the Sublime, ch. 2 ("Milton's Allegory of Sin and Death in Eighteenth-Century Criticism")

  • March 10   The Eighteenth-Century Sublime Ode

    Collins, Odes

    Brown, "The Urbane Sublime"
    Knapp, Personification, ch. 3 ("Sublime Personification")
    Weiskel, Romantic Sublime, ch. 5 ("Sublime as Romance: Two Texts from Collins")

  • March 17   Romanticism (I)

    Wordsworth, "Tintern Abbey," "Resolution and Independence," "A Night Piece"

    Weiskel, ch. 1 ("Approaching the Romantic Sublime")
    Weiskel, ch. 6 ("Absence and Identity in the Egotistical Sublime")
    Ferguson, ch. 5 ("Malthus, Godwin, Wordsworth")

  • March 24   Romanticism (II)

    Wordsworth, Prelude, books I, II, XII

    Weiskel, ch. 7 ("Wordsworth and the Defile of the Word")
    Hertz, ch. 2 ("Wordsworth and the Tears of Adam")

  • March 31   Psychoanalysis

    Bloom, "Freud and the Poetic Sublime" (in Meisel)
    Hertz, ch. 6 ("Freud and the Sandman")
    Zizek, Sublime Object of Ideology, ch. 6
  • Apr. 7   Gender

    Hertz, ch. 9 ("Medusa's Head")
    Yeager, "Toward a Female Sublime" (in Kauffman)
    Edelman, "At Risk in the Sublime" (in Kauffman)
  • Apr. 14   Nation and Colonialism

    Diehl, "Women Poets and the American Sublime" (in Arensberg)
    Suleri, Rhetoric of English India, ch. 2 ("Edmund Burke and the Indian Sublime")
    Gibbons, Edmund Burke, ch. 3 ("The Sympathetic Sublime")
  • Apr. 21   "Race"

    Ellison, "Politics of Fancy in the Age of Sensibility" (in Wilson and Haefner)
    Doyle, "The Racial Sublime" (in Richardson and Hofkosh)
    Armstrong, "'The Effects of Blackness'" (via JSTOR)
  • Apr. 28   Embodiment, Sexuality, Environment

    Freeland, "The Sublime in Cinema" (in Plantinga and Smith)
    Rado, Modern Androgyne Imagination, ch. 1 ("Modernism, Androgyny and the Sublime")
    Hitt, "Toward an Ecological Sublime" (via Project Muse)
  • May 5   Terror and the New Globalism

    Des Pres, "Terror and the Sublime"
    Gibbons, ch. 5 ("'Tranquillity ting'd with Terror'")
    Robbins, "The Sweatshop Sublime"

    My office is Carney 454 (x 2-3713). Office hours are M 12-1 and F 11-12. Feel free to make an appointment before or after class or by email: alan.richardson@bc.edu