Cal State L.A.

Photo of Dr. Jim Garrett

Jim Garrett

College of Arts and Letters
Department of English

Office: E&T A606
Phone: (323) 343-4163

Office Hours (Fall 2015)
Monday by appt only
Tuesday 11:00-11:30am and by appt
Wednesday noon-1:00pm and by appt
Thursday 11:00-11:30am and by appt
Friday by appt only


British Romanticism

Click here to read about Wordsworth and the Writing of the Nation

The Wordsworth Variorum Archive



Title Date
Wordsworth and the Writing of the Nation London: Ashgate Publishing, 2008 (ISBN 0 7546 5783 3).

Reviews: "Pairing the national projects with Wordsworthian counterparts, Garrett attends closely to the specific ways in which both Wordsworth's poetics and the methodologies of such institutional undertakings as the census and survey interact with these modalities. As the detailed analyses in this thoroughly-researched and well-executed book demonstrate, what might seem to be an unbridgeable gap between these distinct realms of British culture more closely resembles a crossroads . . . Wordsworth and the Writing of the Nation builds a comprehensive account of a dynamic that operates on multiple levels both in Wordsworth's poetry and in the empirical representations produced by his contemporaries. Garrett does an admirable job surveying territory pertaining to his topic, mapping its varied manifestations and interconnections, and defining the modalities with which both the poems and the empirical “writing of the nation” engage." (Studies in Romanticism

"The virtues of Wordsworth and the Writing of the Nation are many. Garrett is a patient reader who moves nimbly between detailed historical discussion and the letter of the texts in question, and he offers a genuinely compelling model for understanding the late Wordsworth." (The Wordsworth Circle)

"Moving fluently between Wordsworth’s poetry and its cultural contexts, this splendidly intelligent study analyzes Wordsworth’s lifelong effort to construct and maintain a public persona, and helps us understand how and why he was able to become an exemplary national poet in the decades following his death. Capaciously literate and theoretically sophisticated, Garrett’s book should be read not just by anyone interested in Wordsworth, but by anyone interested in how nations are imagined.” (Marc Redfield, Claremont Graduate University, USA)

“Including a meticulous analysis of Wordsworth's less celebrated poems, Garrett's research may also be of interest to those Wordsworthians interested in that aspect of his craft which draws upon insights derived from seventeenth-century British empiricism, as Garrett's foregrounding of Wordsworth's classification modus operandi sheds additional light on his fascination with phenomena as appropriate content for his poetry.” (BARS Bulletin)

“Garrett's unique approach yields fresh insights into the complex relationship between a nascent national and poetic self-consciousness, their convergence, and subsequent transformations.” (Modern Language Review)

“… an engaging and thought provoking approach to the poet’s work, questioning the dominant image of a writer whose powers declined precipitously after 1807, and suggesting a number of ways in which a reconsideration of the later work – including, in particular, the work of cataloguing and publishing – could enrich our understanding of both the poet and his historical moment.” (Notes and Queries)

The Wordsworth Variorum Archive (WVA)

The WVA is a digital text archive of the published poetry of William Wordsworth (1770-1850). Twelve editions of Wordsworth’s poetry (with edition-specific concordances) have been placed online and are available at

1997 - present
“The Wordsworth Variorum Archive,” The Wordsworth Circle 36.3 (2005): 134-135. 2005
“The Unaccountable ‘Knot’ of Wordsworth’s ‘Gipsies’, ” Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 40.4 (2000): 603-620 2000
“The Revelation Infinite and the Darkness Infinite of Black Comb,” The Annual Conference of North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR), Tempe AZ (2000) 2000
“Writing Community: Bessie Head and the Politics of Narrative,” Research in African Literatures 30.2 (1999): 122-135. 1999
“Surveying and Writing the Nation: Wordsworth’s Black Comb and 1816 Commemorative Poems,” REAL: Yearbook of Research in English and American Literature, Special Issue “Literature and the Nation,” 73-105. 1998




Winter 2015

English 446B: The British Novel--19th Century

English 492: Senior Seminar—The Country and the City in 19th Century Britain

Fall 2014

English 467: The Romantic Age

Old Courses

English 095: Basic Writing I (Fall 2010)

English 096: Basic Writing II (Winter 2005)

English 101 (Honors): Composition I—Cultural Memory and the Uses of the Past (Fall 2012)

English 102: Composition II (Winter 2011)

English 200C: British Literature Survey II (Spring 2013)

English 200B: British Literature Survey I (Spring 2007)

English 250: Understanding Literature--Shock and Awe, The Sublime in Literature (Summer 2013)

English 308: Expository Writing (Professional Writing) (Fall 2011)

English 382: Violence in Literature (Winter 2005)

English 417: Shakespeare I (Spring 2009)

English 441: Major Critics (Spring 2013)

English 446B: The British Novel--19th Century (Winter 2013)

English 468: The Victorian Age (Winter 2007)

English 492: Wordsworth and Keats (Fall 2007)

English 501: Theoretical Foundations in Literary Studies (Fall 2012)

English 501: Theoretical Foundations in Literary Studies (Winter 2012)

English 510: Romanticism and Realism (Fall 2008)

English 510: War and Romanticism (Spring 2011)

English 510: The City in the 19th Century (Fall 2013)

English 560: Romanticism and the Sublime (Fall 2006)

English 560: Nationalism and Literature in 19th Century Britain (Spring 2010)

English 560: Romantic Natures--Literature and Environment in 19th Century Britain and America (Spring 2013)




Ph.D. 1999
University of Southern California

M.A. 1993
California State University, Los Angeles

B.A. 1982
University of California, Los Angeles



Course Course Title Day & Time Room Quarter
ENGL 467 The Romantic Age TTh 11:40am- 1:20pm  KH B1009 Fall 2015
ENGL 468 The Victorian Age TTh 9:50am - 11:30am ET B108 Winter 2016


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