19CRS has some exciting news!
Starting in the summer of 2017, a graduate-level study abroad program in nineteenth-century studies will be offered through the English department. The course is sponsored by the Armstrong Browning Library and Baylor University Libraries, and by Baylor’s English Department. As currently envisioned, the program will consist of one interdisciplinary graduate-level seminar each summer for ten Baylor students from disciplines such as English, History, Education, Religion, and Museum Studies. The courses will run for five weeks from early July to early August (Baylor’s second summer session). In each case, three weeks will be spent at Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library, a world-class rare collection for nineteenth-century studies, with an embedded fourteen-day research trip to archives, libraries, and universities in the UK. The seminars will involve postgraduates in archival research, project and curriculum development, workshops, and interdisciplinary and international scholarly exchanges that will prepare them for a variety of professions. Furthermore, we will cooperate with Baylor in Oxford, a Baylor undergraduate summer study-abroad program based at Oxford University, to create educational opportunities that will be shared between postgraduate and undergraduate students.
Depending upon the success of the 2017 course, a second course would be offered in 2018. This would also be a three-hour course with an embedded trip to the UK. The theme of the 2018 course would be “Reforming the Body of Christ,” and would concentrate on political poetry, Victorian industrial life, and laboring-class poetry. It would accommodate the same range of students as the 2017 course, but would also appeal to students in Religion.
Summer 2017: Wordsworth, Poetry, and the Environment
The first course, “Wordsworth, Poetry, and the Environment,” will serve as a pilot program and will run from July 5-August 8, 2017, with roughly three weeks at the Armstrong Browning Library and a trip from July 15-30 to the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, England. It will appeal to graduate students in English, History, Education, and Museum Studies. Students will discuss Wordsworth’s poems at the locations in which they were written and set, and they will conduct research at the Wordsworth Trust archives for their final projects. Dr. Joshua King will lead these activities in cooperation with the Wordsworth Trust staff and curator. Other committed partners include English faculty from Lancaster University, who will lead archival sessions and guided hikes that will contextualize the poetry. Students interested in extending their archival research to John Ruskin will be invited to visit the Ruskin Library at Lancaster University just a short train trip away from Grasmere. Students will select from four project tracks designed to contribute to their success as scholars in their various disciplines while also preparing them for service in relevant professions.
The course will connect with the Wordsworth Trust’s current initiative to create “transformational education” at sites like Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s home, and the Jerwood Centre, the on-site archive library at Dove Cottage. The Wordsworth Trust’s project, titled “Reimagining Wordsworth,” will launch April 7, 2020, for Wordsworth’s 250th birthday, and our graduate students have been given the opportunity to work towards their own scholarly and educational goals while also contributing to the exhibition for Reimagining Wordsworth. Of particular interest are digital humanities projects, such as the 19CRS’s Wordsworth: Poetry and Place, a digital learning aid designed to enable users to “enter” several places in which Wordsworth’s poems are set, and to reflect thereby on the geography–literal and imaginative–of those poems. Projects like this reflect the kind of transformative experience we hope students will be able to create for Reimagining Wordsworth.
The task of this course will be to examine how Wordsworth turned to poetry as a powerful way of modeling and cultivating human connections to places shared with the rest of nature. Formed at a time when enclosures, industry, and political economy were constructing the economy of extraction and disposability that has led to our global environmental crisis, Wordsworth’s poetry and poetic vision have contributed to the sensibilities that led to the formation of national parks and the preservation of the Lake District itself. Wordsworth’s poetry speaks powerfully to the conflicted approaches to environments—and “the” environment—that now deeply define our daily lives, our cities, our universities, our economies, our governments, and our cultures. Thus, in addition to studying the poems in critical dialogue with the places in which they were written, Wordsworth’s and Dorothy’s manuscripts and journal, and wider Romantic literary and tourist culture, students will also be regularly invited to draw connections between their study and their current local and global environments.
$250 (includes accommodation, most meals, special archive sessions and activities at the Wordsworth Trust, ground transportation, travel insurance, and an excursion to Ullswater. Fee does not include regular student fees, tuition, and airfare, which is currently estimated at $1,400).
Course dates: July 5-August 8, 2017 (Summer II)
Dates of trip: July 15-30, 2017
Applications due: January 23, 2017
Commitments needed: Friday, February 17, 2017
Deposit, registration, and paperwork: March 15, 2017
Dr. Joshua King, Associate Professor of English
Office: Carroll Science 317