Special Issue "Romanticism and Contemporary Literary Theory"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (11 March 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Cassandra Falke
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Language and Culture, UiT-The Arctic University of Norway, PO Box 6050, Langnes, Tromsø 9037, Norway
Interests: Romantic literature, literary theory, phenomenology, working-class studies, representing violence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce a forthcoming special issue of the journal Humanities focused on “Romanticism and Contemporary Literary Theory.” As Brian McGrath has noted, new literary theoretical ideas are often articulated for the first time in relation to Romantic-period texts. This may be because Romantic-period authors, like literary theorists today, returned repeatedly to fundamental questions about relationships between expression and self-becoming, the environment and human flourishing, progress and the persistence of the past. It may be because so many of the ideas about education, perception, and community that still influence us found their first expression in English between the 1780s and 1830s. This special issue will showcase the diversity of theoretical advances being made from within Romanticism right now. Proposals are welcome to showcase any contemporary literary-theoretical perspective. Papers should document recent contributions within the field of Romanticism related to that theoretical perspective as well as contributing new insights about specific Romantic-period texts. Preference will be given to novel perspectives on frequently taught texts in order to make the issue a valuable reference for teaching as well as research. Proposals for the following contemporary theoretical perspectives are invited, in particular, but scholars are very welcome to submit other perspectives also.

Romanticism and:

ecocriticism, phenomenology, trauma, post-secularity, disability studies, post-colonial studies, post-critique, psychoanalysis, gender studies, historicisms, formalisms, memory studies, and statelessness

Abstracts of 300 words due by October 15th 2018.

Notification of acceptance by November 5th 2018.

Prof. Dr. Cassandra Falke
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • romanticism
  • literary theory

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Imaginary Landscapes: Sublime and Saturated Phenomena in “Kubla Khan” and the Arab Dream
Humanities 2019, 8(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8030133 - 06 Aug 2019
Abstract
This article considers “Kubla Khan” and the the Arab dream section from the fifth book The Prelude as precursors to the recently theorized concept of saturated phenomenality. Both Coleridge and Wordsworth insist on the limitedness of their dream subjects even as they magnify [...] Read more.
This article considers “Kubla Khan” and the the Arab dream section from the fifth book The Prelude as precursors to the recently theorized concept of saturated phenomenality. Both Coleridge and Wordsworth insist on the limitedness of their dream subjects even as they magnify their dreamt of landscapes to heights of sublimity. Falke describes the implications that this insistence on smallness has for relating experiences of sublime landscapes to experiences of reading or writing poetry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Romanticism and Contemporary Literary Theory)
Open AccessArticle
“Its Own Concentred Recompense”: The Impact of Critical Disability Studies on Romanticism
Humanities 2019, 8(2), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8020103 - 27 May 2019
Abstract
The field of Critical Disability Studies (CDS) includes a diverse range of methodologies for the ethical re-evaluation of literary texts. CDS has a growing relationship with Romanticism, addressing themes such as sublime aesthetics and poetic symbolism. A major function of CDS is the [...] Read more.
The field of Critical Disability Studies (CDS) includes a diverse range of methodologies for the ethical re-evaluation of literary texts. CDS has a growing relationship with Romanticism, addressing themes such as sublime aesthetics and poetic symbolism. A major function of CDS is the re-reading of texts in terms authors’ lived experience of disability, and the social environments in which they produced. To that extent, CDS is a continuation of the process of re-historicizing Romantic literature. Complementary to the historicizing function, a range of more conceptual theories continues to impact on Romantic studies, opening up new possibilities for reading and scholarship. This article attempts to provide a critical overview of this ongoing work, and a sense of its diverse and at times contradictory nature. Concepts and theories for discussion include disability aesthetics, deformity, metaphor, and the Romantic fragment. The article includes a close analysis of Byron’s poem “Prometheus”, which connects revolutionary myth with ideas of pain and silence, demonstrating the fundamental contribution made by ideas of disability to literary Romanticism. CDS can help to disrupt the canonical and institutional nature of Romanticism, and to include dissident voices—not only the witness of the non-normatively embodied, but of difference in general. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Romanticism and Contemporary Literary Theory)
Open AccessArticle
New Formalism in the Classroom: Re-Forming Epic Poetry in Wordsworth and Blake
Humanities 2019, 8(2), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8020100 - 20 May 2019
Abstract
Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in “New Formalism,” a close attention to textual language and structure that departs from the outdated and regressive stances of old formalisms (especially “New Criticism”) by interrogating the connections between form, history, and culture. This [...] Read more.
Recent years have seen a resurgence of interest in “New Formalism,” a close attention to textual language and structure that departs from the outdated and regressive stances of old formalisms (especially “New Criticism”) by interrogating the connections between form, history, and culture. This article surveys the contributions of New Formalism to Romanticism studies and applies its techniques to two canonical texts, suggesting that New Formalism is useful both for literary criticism and teaching literature. Opening with a survey of New Formalist theory and practices, and an overview of the theoretical innovations within New Formalism that have been made by Romantic scholars, the article applies New Formalist techniques to William Wordsworth’s Prelude and William Blake’s Milton: a Poem. Often read as poems seeking to escape the dispiriting failure of the French Revolution, these texts, I argue, engage the formal strategies of epic poetry to enter the discourse of the period, offering competing ways to conceive of the self in relation to history. Written during the Romantic epic revival, when more epics were composed than at any other time in history, these poems’ allusive dialogue with Paradise Lost and with the epic tradition more broadly allows them to think through the self’s relationship to the past, a question energized by the Revolution Controversy. I explore how Wordsworth uses allusion to link himself to Milton and ultimately Virgil, both privileging the past and thereby asserting the value of the present as a means of reiterating and restoring it; Blake, in contrast, alludes to Milton to query the very idea of dependence on the past. These readings are intertwined with my experiences of teaching, as I have employed New Formalism to encourage students to develop as writers in response to texts. An emphasis on form provides students with concrete modes of entry into discussing literature and allows instructors to help students identify and revise the forms and structures of their own writing in response to literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Romanticism and Contemporary Literary Theory)
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Open AccessArticle
National Trauma and Romantic Illusions in Percy Shelley’s The Cenci
Humanities 2019, 8(2), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/h8020094 - 14 May 2019
Abstract
Percy Shelley responded to the 1819 Peterloo Massacre by declaring the government’s response “a bloody murderous oppression.” As Shelley’s language suggests, this was a seminal event in the socially conscious life of the poet. Thereafter, Shelley devoted much of his writing to delineating [...] Read more.
Percy Shelley responded to the 1819 Peterloo Massacre by declaring the government’s response “a bloody murderous oppression.” As Shelley’s language suggests, this was a seminal event in the socially conscious life of the poet. Thereafter, Shelley devoted much of his writing to delineating the sociopolitical milieu of 1819 in political and confrontational works, including The Cenci, a verse drama that I argue portrays the coercive violence implicit in nationalism, or, as I term it, national trauma. In displaying the historical Roman Cenci family in starkly vituperous manner, that is, Shelley reveals his drive to speak to the historical moment, as he creates parallels between the tyranny that the Roman pater familias exhibits toward his family and the repression occurring during the time of emergent nationhood in Hanoverian England, which numerous scholars have addressed. While scholars have noted discrete acts of trauma in The Cenci and other Romantic works, there has been little sustained criticism from the theoretical point of view of trauma theory, which inhabits the intersections of history, cultural memory, and trauma, and which I explore as national trauma. Through The Cenci, Shelley implies that national trauma inheres within British nationhood in the multiple traumas of tyrannical rule, shored up by the nation’s cultural memory and history, instantiated in oppressive ancestral order and patrilineage. Viewing The Cenci from the perspective of national trauma, however, I conclude that Shelley’s revulsion at coercive governance and nationalism loses itself in the contemplation of the beautiful pathos of the effects of national trauma witnessed in Beatrice, as he instead turns to a more traditional national narrative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Romanticism and Contemporary Literary Theory)
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