||The poet, engraver, and painter William Blake was a highly controversial Romantic in his own time - and has been ever since. Many contemporaries considered him an incomprehensible - albeit talented - mystic and visionary, a label that condemned him to virtual obscurity in the 19th century. At the same time, however, his poetry and etchings have attracted the admiration of people as diverse as Wordsworth, Ruskin, Morris, Yeats, and the ‘flower power’generation. Moreover, a great deal of critical attention has been paid to Blake’s works in the last few decades to come to terms with his seemingly idiosyncratic visions.The seminar will investigate the nature of Blake’s utopian visions in the context of a period of rapid political, cultural and intellectual change. We will explore the past and present significance of Blake’s religious-sectarian Utopianism, his critique of enlightened rationalism, and his sense of dialectics. Moreover, a detailed analysis of the rich symbolism of Blake’s poetry and prints will be part of the course.The Lektürekurs is an accompaniment to the seminar; we will do a close reading of some of Blake`s poetry.