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HS Pre-Raphaelites : Course Description

Course Description ^top


subject area: literature and cultural studies
language: English

The Pre-Raphaelites are often described as Britain's 'first modern art movement.' Many of their paintings have entered cultural memory - the strong, sensual women that were the trademark of Dante Gabriel Rossetti (Bocca Baciata, 1859, Lady Lilith, 1868 or Proserpine, 1873-7), John Everett Millais' drowning Ophelia (1852) or John William Waterhouse's Lady of Shalott (1888) are but a few examples. As the popular BBC mini-series Desperate Romantics (2009) or the immensely successful exhibition The Pre-Raphaelites (Tate Britain, London, 2012) have shown, our fascination with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (PRB) remains unbroken. In this course, we will focus on the whole spectrum of the Pre-Raphaelite oeuvre. We will, of course, focus on their visual art (including William Morris's designs), but this course will also discuss Pre-Raphaelite poetry (including Rossetti's poems and his sister Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market") as well as the PRB's theoretical output (published in The Germ, 1850)

Please note that we will cover visual art, poetry and theoretical texts. As it is the longest text of this course, you should have finished reading Christina Rossetti's "Goblin Market" by the beginning of the summer term. Additionally, all course members are expected to join an expert group that is responsible for the structuring of one session.

Literature ^top

mandatory: Dinah Roe, ed. The Pre-Raphaelites: From Rossetti to Ruskin. London et al.: Penguin, 2010.
recommended literature: Elizabeth Prettejohn, ed. The Cambridge Companion to the Pre-Raphaelites. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
A reader with mandatory material and background reading for the expert groups will be available via StudOn.