Isobel Armstrong and Bob Perelman to Teach Graduate Courses on Poetry in Princeton’s English Department this Fall

image_previewIsobel Armstrong is the author of  Victorian Glassworlds: Glass Culture and the Imagination, The Radical Aesthetic, Women’s Poetry, Late Romantic to Late Victorian: Gender and Genre, and Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Politics and Poetics. She is an internationally renowned critic of nineteenth-century poetry, literature, and women’s writing, Emeritus Professor of English at Birkbeck, University of London, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of English Studies at the University of London, and a Fellow of the British Academy.


Perelman cropped Bob Perelman, Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania, has published over 15 volumes of poetry, most recently The Future of Memory (Roof Books) and Ten to One: Selected Poems (Wesleyan University Press). His critical work focuses on poetry and modernism. His critical books are The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History (Princeton University Press) and The Trouble with Genius: Reading Pound, Joyce, Stein, and Zukofsky (University of California Press). He has edited Writing/Talks (Southern Illinois University Press), a collection of talks by poets.

It is with great excitement that we welcome Isobel Armstrong and Bob Perelman into Princeton’s English Department for the upcoming fall semester. Professors Armstrong and Perelman will be teaching the following courses:

Special Studies in the 19th Century: Poetry: From Phantasmagoria to Photography (ENG 553)

Isobel Mair Armstrong

This course is about the poetics of the lens and the mirror and their immanent presence in Romantic and Victorian poetry by men and women. The optical culture created by lens-made technologies developed from the late Enlightenment onwards saw the “high” science of the telescope and the microscope migrate to the popular screen images of the phantasmagoria, diorama, panorama, kaleidoscope and a host of optical toys exploiting visual ambiguities. Technologies of the lens and the mirror, from the phantasmagoria to photography, from astronomy to the magic lantern, had repercussions across aesthetics and politics. (Tuesdays 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM)

Course Details

Poetics: Modernist Poetics and its Discontents (ENG 563)

Robert Perelman

The disjunction between the poetics and the poetry of the modernist period is striking. The poetics–as articulated in statements by Pound, Stein, Eliot, Williams, Zukofsky, Olson–are fascinating, but they make equivocal guides to the writing itself. Stein’s lecture on <I>Tender Buttons</I> sheds only anecdotal light on that recalcitrant text; Zukofsky’s terse essays on poetry are of little help in reading the linguistic exuberance of his poetry; etc. We read, via exemplary excerpts, both sides of these improbable equations. (Wednesdays 9:00 AM – 11:50 AM).

Course Details

For a listing of this fall’s course offerings in poetry across university departments, please see our current course offerings page.