Actually, this is a different kind of romance. The Romantic writers of early 19th century England had a lot to say about not just love, but politics, travel, nature, and philosophy. They asked important questions that we still wrestle with today. In particular, they wondered what it means to be part of a community; Percy and Mary Shelley, for example, were particularly interested in forming a literary community of individuals committed to intellectualism and the pursuit of knowledge. Their strong belief in the value of learning in community is evident in Mary's famous novel Frankenstein.
Read by each of us in first-year Paideia, we now revisit Frankenstein (for some of us, like myself, up to three years later!) and examine it with renewed interest. As we travel through London, Switzerland, and Italy, we will look upon the places which most influenced and inspired these great thinkers in an attempt to broaden our understanding of the text and its themes. Hopefully, we too will come to form our own "coterie" – a group of learners dedicated to our shared interest in the literary ventures of the Romantic writers.
My name is Emily Anderson and I will act as blog coordinator for the duration of this course. I am a senior English major who just completed my last semester on campus this fall. I will complete my secondary education minor by student teaching this spring. Personally, I'm looking forward to this trip because it combines my love of travel, literature, and art! I have no trouble spending hours in museums; when traveling, it is almost always my favorite thing to do. The last time I visited Europe was on a school trip to Italy in eighth grade. Just as I'm excited to reexamine Frankenstein, I'm thrilled to reacquaint myself with cities such as Rome, Florence, and Venice– I imagine our reunion will be quite romantic.