The Romantic period witnessed the birth of major new forms of writing and thinking that are still relevant today. The social transition from an age of commerce and colonialism to an era of industry and imperialism radically changed the entire surface of the world. Sciences that we take for granted were born: ecology, biology, psychology. Adam Smith wrote his work on capitalism and the politics of working class was born, though it was not yet called socialism. This was the age of William Blake and Mary Shelley, of Jane Austen and William Wordsworth, of Coleridge and Keats and Mary Wollstonecraft. This class will give you a sense of what the period looked like and felt like (and sounded like); and a feel for the ideas it established about poetry, society and nature, which are still with us. In particular, we'll be concentrating on how Romantic literature generated many of the ecological ideas that are with us today.