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Narrow Rooms: The Art of the Sonnet

Subject code


Course Number




K. Adkison

Course Long Title

Narrow Rooms: The Art of the Sonnet


This course explores the formal constraints, thematic conventions, historical contexts, and aesthetic and philosophical adaptations and reimaginations of a single poetic form: the sonnet. Beginning with the Italian Renaissance, students follow the form’s movement to Tudor England; its transformation during the sonnet "vogue" of the 1590s; its recuperation by the Romantics; its cooptation during the Harlem Renaissance; its tactical exploitation in feminist and queer poetry; and, its radical, digital, avant-garde, and political remediations by contemporary poets. In addition to writing and thinking critically about sonnet culture(s), students compose their own.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Creative Process and Production [CP]

Writing Credit

No writing credit