The Year Without a Summer: The Environments of British Romanticism

Literature | Art History

Course Description

The eruption of Mount Tambora in 1815 triggered worldwide climate catastrophes. During the following “year without a summer,” several writers and thinkers produced some of their most groundbreaking work. This course will address texts that centre natural disasters from the British Romantic period, as well as other major upheavals of the time, such as the repercussions of colonialism, the Enclosure Acts, and the Industrial Revolution. Today we face similar environmental changes, scientific and sociological transformations, and political turmoil. What impact did climate catastrophes have on the literature and science of the Romantic period? How do early theorizations of the anthropocene compare to new understandings? How do poets lyricize nonhuman victims of climate change? In what ways do global events inform local literature?

Books to Purchase (will be available at Argo Bookshop during the weeks prior to the course beginning):

    • Persuasion by Jane Austen (9780199535552)
    • Frankenstein, or 'The Modern Prometheus': The 1818 Text by Mary Shelley (9780198840824)

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 14 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

Location: Atwater OR Zoom

First Session: Wednesday 21 September 2022

Course Length: 12 weeks, Wednesdays, 6:15 to 8:15 p.m.

Discussion Team: Zoe Shaw, Carolyne Van Der Meer, Joseph Vietri

Degree Credit: 3.0 credits

Course Fee: 

$150.00 (standard tuition)
$100.00 (promotion for new students)

Administration Fee:



$185.00 (standard tuition)
$135.00 (promotion for new students)

Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Students pursuing studies for credit are encouraged to consult with their advisers as they register for courses.

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

Too late to register for this course!

Questions? Stuck? Give us a call at (514) 935-9585
or email us at