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The Romantic Age with Sarah Faulkner

"We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for." —Dead Poet's Society

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Time & Location








The Romantic Age with Sarah Faulkner

This is an 8-meeting virtual class using the Zoom platform.

Wednesdays, Sept 4, 11, 18, 25. Oct 2, 9, 16, 23 

6-8 pm CT

About this class:

For decades, literature of the Romantic Era (1770-1830) has been dominated by six male poets: Lord Byron, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Blake, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and John Keats. This class explores these fantastic authors while also illuminating their debt to and influence on their female contemporaries: Charlotte Smith, Anna Letitia Barbauld, Mary Robinson, Letitia Elizabeth Landon, Felicia Hemans, Jane Austen, and Mary Shelley.

How did poets, novelists, and essayists respond to the tumult of the French Revolution? How did increasing urbanization affect the poet’s relationship to nature? Are we individuals, or just the products of our environment? What is freedom, and who can have it? How can daffodils waving in the wind, frost at midnight, a letter from a man you’ve refused, or the singing of a nightingale change a person’s life?

These authors lived fascinating lives, full of scandal, strife, messy love affairs, and refusals to conform to society’s expectations. This class will be a mix of literary history and biography. We’ll read short selections from each writer’s work (poetry, essays, novel excerpts) for each class, and Dr. Faulkner will have an ample further reading list ready for you to peruse. Come learn about the people and literature that define the Age of Romanticism and find your life enriched.

Instructor bio:

Dr. Sarah Faulkner is an award-winning scholar, teacher, and public humanist. Her research focuses on British women writers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; she has taught university courses on Jane Austen and Her World, Witches and Monsters in Fiction, The Romantic Age, Rise of the English Novel, and more. She currently teaches at the University of Washington, Seattle, and works as the Program Manager for Humanities Washington.

HND Value Statement

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota. However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally. Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University. To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

Humanities North Dakota classes and events are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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