This purpose of this course is to explore the relationship between literature and its cultural and historical contexts with the methodological premise that literature both reflects and helps to shape the culture in which it is written. Focused on the relationship between literature and history after the eighteenth century, this course will explore the formulation and development of the post-Enlightenment subject. How we might ask, did the notion of this kind of “individual” as a social, political, cultural, and economic subject get articulated and evolve over time? After the political and philosophical upheavals of the post-Enlightenment era, England and America began to define simultaneously connected and different identities while also engaging in a more self-conscious literary and philosophical dialogue. Versions of this course may subsequently explore Romantic engagement with the emergence of these identities in an increasingly secular, industrial, and multicultural world with such authors as William Blake, William Godwin, William Wordsworth, Maria Edgeworth, Mary and Percy Shelley, Emily Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Alfred, Lord Tennyson and Christina Rossetti in Britain and Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Emily Dickinson in America. These courses may also explore how artists made a radical break with nineteenth-century traditions by investigating the innovative strategies of artists like T.S. Eliot, Virginia Woolf, and William Faulkner, who represented modern consciousness and subjectivity through stylistic dislocation and fragmentation. Other topics in this class may examine later twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century writers such as Doris Lessing, Toni Morrison, Derek Walcott, and Zadie Smith, who complicated these modernist innovations by exploring the human condition in an age characterized by the rise of mass and visual culture, the threat of atomic destruction, the disintegration of colonial empires, increasingly pressing issues of ethnic and national identity, and the rise of terrorism and global conflict. Not open to students who have received credit for ENGL 282 or ENGL 283 unless permission granted by the department chair. This course satisfies the Core Curriculum requirement in Humanities. Prerequisite or co-requisites: English 102, CORE 101, or CORE 301.