Until the Romantic period in Britain, our planet was generally assumed to be 6,000 years old, as dictated by the orthodoxies of biblical accounts. However, by the turn of the twentieth century, roughly one hundred years later, few intellectuals would argue with what had increasingly come to be accepted, since the dawning of the Romantic age, as the absolute ancientness of the Earth-a concept that we today refer to as the deep time reality of our multimillion-year-old planet. How did the idea of deep time emerge and develop in the Romantic era and ultimately become the reigning paradigm for accounts of planetaryÿtemporalities? In this course, we will search for answers to this and related questions by studying the intersections of Romantic imaginative literature and culture, nineteenth-century natural histories, and theories of temporality. Readings include: William Wordsworth's The Prelude and Guide to the Lakes , John McPhee's Basin and Range , Sir Walter Scott's Waverley, Robert MacFarlane's The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot , Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain ; selections of natural histories by Charles Darwin, James Hutton, Charles Lyell, and William Paley; and poetry by Charlotte Smith, Percy Bys she Shelley, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Location & Meeting Time
Synchronous Online-ONLI T/TH 11:25AM-01:10PM