Postgraduate Coursework Units of Study

ENGL6938 - Literature and Desire

Semester 2, 2012  |  Credit Points: 6

Coordinator: David Kelly


This unit is concerned with the representation of romance and sexuality in literature and song from the Renaissance to the present. The focus will be on the discursive construction of the lyrical romantic subject, figured in a language of amorous desire. We will explore this through a comparison of two specific milieux: love poetry of the 1500-1600s, and song from the 1930s to the 1970s. The first section of the unit will focus on the development of the courtly tradition in English poetry from Wyatt to the Cavaliers, including Spenser's Amoretti and Epithalamion, Sidney's Astrophel and Stella, Shakespeare's Sonnets, and Donne's Songs and Sonnets. The second section will trace developments in song (with an emphasis on lyrics) from Gershwin, Porter, and Rogers and Hart through to the work of the prominent singer-songwriters of the 1960s and 1970s: Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell.


1x4000wd essay (100%)


The Norton Anthology of Poetry, to be supplemented in class


1x2-hr seminar/week

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