All paper proposals, for both special sessions and the general conference panels, should be a maximum of 350 words and should be proposals for 15 or 20 minute papers.  The NASSR Program Committee will consider for the general panels all proposals submitted for special sessions that are not selected for those sessions.

Because the number of total speaking and presentation slots is limited, at this time, the conference board can no longer permit more than one paper/presentation per registrant. Presentations include round tables and papers, but do not apply to seminar leaders who in several cases have already been asked to appear on panels. The goal of this policy is to make space for as many qualified presenters as possible.

                Call for Papers, NASSR 2014 (General)

We invite submissions for NASSR 2014 in Washington DC.  The theme of the conference is Romantic Organizations, broadly construed to include:

1.     Societies (erotic, political, scientific, artistic, radical)
2.     Bodily (organs, anatomy, physiology, affect, emotion)
3.     Mental (phrenology, psychology, imagination, brain)
4.     Knowledge (taxonomy, discourse, categories, philosophical, historical, literary)
5.     Encyclopedia (forms of knowledge)

Proposals for papers on those and related topics (as well as those that consider these rubrics as terms under consideration or as focuses of critique) are particularly welcome, but we look forward to considering session and paper proposals that represent the best current work on any aspect of Romantic-era literature and culture.

The conference organizers are open to various forms of proposal:

•  Traditional 20-minute paper proposals (350-word abstracts) submitted individually, including those submitted for consideration by the leaders of open-call special sessions.
•   Proposals for open-call special sessions (350-word descriptions of potential session, including a session title and a brief description of why an additional special session on your topic is warranted).  Accepted open-call special sessions will be placed on the NASSR 2014 website and made available for paper proposals.
•   Proposals for complete panels (with the roster of committed speakers and affiliations) of three 20-minute papers or four 15-minute papers (350-word abstracts for each paper accompanied by a cover-letter describing the aims of the panel as a whole).  All papers are subject to the conference committee’s vetting.

Deadline for proposing an open-call special session: November 1, 2013.  (You will be notified of acceptance for open-call special sessions by December 1, 2013.)

Deadline for all other submissions (paper proposals, complete panels, submissions to open-call special sessions): January 17, 2014 January 27, 2014

Please send all proposals, including those to be considered by the leaders of special sessions, a brief CV, and direct questions to the NASSR 2014 conference organizers, Richard Sha (American University) and Patrick R. O’Malley (Georgetown University) at

All proposals must include your name, academic affiliation (if any), and preferred email address.  If you are applying to an open-call special session, you must also include the name of the session either on your proposal itself or in the accompanying email.

NASSR Advisory Board Statement on Audio-Visual Presentations
NASSR recognizes the value of audio-visual presentations to the work of its conferees, especially those engaged in multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and digitally oriented projects.  Such presentations, however, occasion significant logistical and financial challenges for conference organizers.  The NASSR Board therefore asks conferees to request audio-visual setups only when they are needed to communicate a substantive component of a project (e.g. displaying quotations would not meet this standard).  Conferees can expect organizers to (1) appoint a designated contact person to whom all AV requests should be made (as opposed, for example, to session chairs), and (2) present clear deadlines before which AV requests must be made and after which AV should not be expected.  Each presenter should be clear with conference organizers in advance of those deadlines about any particular technological requirements (e.g. laptop adapters, etc.) they may have.

              Calls for Papers for Special Sessions

Noah Comet: “Aarrrr-ganizations: Romantic Pirates”; OPEN
Description: In the nineteenth century, Britannia may have ruled the waves, but for eras prior to her imperial dominance England was known throughout the world as a “nation of pirates,” and sometimes, despite its worrisome implications for trade, this was a title the nation embraced.  This panel will present papers on how the historical fact of maritime piracy became a dream, a myth, and at times a rallying cry for laborers and literati alike.  While the so-called Golden Age of piracy was historically over before 1730, its legends and its rhetoric were still very much alive in the nineteenth century—as was, albeit in more limited and local ways, coastal piracy and smuggling.  Indeed, through the practice of augmenting maritime harassment of the French by offering letters of marque to English privateers, piracy arguably once again became a matter of patriotism during the Napoleonic wars.

We invite new treatments of the Romantic literary legacy founded, broadly speaking, by Johnson’s General History of the Pyrates and popularized by the political, industrial, and labor revolutions that came later.  Violent and rapacious, many pirate crews were also depicted as quasi-democratic organizations, and these men who in Johnson “lawfully make War on all the World, since it would deprive [them] of that Liberty to which [they] had a Right by the Laws of Nature” have much more than an incidental connection to phenomena such as the so-called “Floating Republic” of the Spithead and Nore mutinies of 1797, the vibrancy of pirate melodrama (especially among working class theaters in nineteenth-century London, Bristol, and other port cities), and the flowering of piratical poems, novels, and plays in this age of revolutions.

300-word proposals should focus on literary, rather than historical, popularizations of the pirate mythos, though always with the understanding that the line between pirate legend and pirate history has never been a clean one.  Treatments of stage pirates are especially welcome.

Sheila A. Spector: Workshop on “Blakean Hermeneutics”; OPEN
Description: How do Blakeans organize their approaches to reading Blake, in all of his multi-faceted manifestations, from the verbal to the visual, with the hybrid book illustrations in between? For this workshop, I invite proposals of 250 words to take a theoretical stance that self-reflexively analyzes the premises, procedures, methods and limitations of interpreting Blake. Participants might address a number of questions, including, though not limited to: literal versus figurative interpretations; whether coherence is possible or desired; Blake’s audience; Blake’s sources of inspiration and/or use of his sources; Blake’s language; Blake’s myth; the function of the real world; the reality of the spiritual realm; the relationship between the verbal and the visual; and esoteric versus exoteric hermeneutics. I encourage divergent approaches so that the discussion can illuminate some previously unexamined assumptions regarding Blake’s oeuvre. At the workshop itself, participants will have no more than 8 minutes each to state their positions, and then we will open things up for discussion.

Peter Otto: “Bodies, organs, and the limits of ‘sexual organization’ in Blake’s illuminated poetry”; OPEN
Blake’s oeuvre offers perhaps the earliest extended account of the interaction between life and history that Foucault labels ‘biopolitics’, in which life is ‘placed at the same time outside history, in its biological environment, and inside human historicity, penetrated by the latter’s techniques of knowledge and power’. Arguably this dynamic informs the ambivalent status of organs and bodies (whether individual or collective) in Blake’s work, which come into being through the interactions between these poles. If understood in broad terms, these claims provide the organizing frame for this session, which welcomes papers that explore the representation of and/or the roles played by bodies and organs in Blake’s illuminated poetry. Possible topics include: Blake’s engagement with conventional scientific or religious accounts of such matters; struggle to map the forms of organ-ization in life, politics, and/or art; critique of sexual organization; and attempts to imagine bodies in which sexual organization might be overcome.

Jeff Cox: “Clubbing with the Romantics”; OPEN
Description: The romantic period was a great time for clubs. Brooks’s Club. The Hampden Clubs. The Lunar Society. The Roxburghe Club. The Dilettanti Society. The Four in Hand Club. Coleridge and Southey imagined a Pantisocracy. Blake attended gatherings at Joseph Johnson’s, which continued under Rowland Hunter, when Hunt would be present. Byron belonged to Waitier’s club, founded to provide better dinners, chaired by Beau Brummel, and host to  a party for Wellington after Napoleon’s abdication in 1814. Keats had friends such as John Hamilton Reynolds who belonged to a literary, cultural, and social club, the Zetosophian Society, and Keats himself attended what he called a “Saturday Club” at Rice’s. Shelley proposed an association of philanthropists. As these examples are meant to suggest, clubs provide a rich instance of romantic organizations. Proposals are sought for papers dealing with any aspect of club culture in the romantic period.

Mary Favret: “Disorganizing Romanticism”; OPEN
Disorganize: To destroy the organization or systematic arrangement of; to break up the organic connection of; to throw into confusion or disorder. [OED]

The OED dates the first use of the verb “disorganize” to 1793, when Edmund Burke foresaw the French “disorganizing every country in Europe, into which they should . . . set their foot.” Disorganization quickly traveled beyond (or before) Europe to designate a threat to “organic connection” itself. Psychologists now recognize “disorganization” in some individuals as, fittingly, a disorder: a “psychopathological inconsistency in personality, mental functions, or overt behavior.”

This panel welcomes papers that respond to these questions: What would it mean to discover disorganization within our reading of Romanticism – as an active (to destroy, to break up, to throw) or inadvertent (inconsistent) disruption of the urge to connectivity and coherence? What are the politics and ethics of a disorganizing disposition? What can Romantic texts tell of the destruction of organization?

John C. Leffel: “The East India Company: Imperial Networks and Investments”; OPEN
Description: This session invites papers that explore networks of economic, social, political and artistic engagement with the British East India Company and the expanding Indian empire during the Romantic period. How did authors and commentators during this era—many of whom, like Elizabeth Hamilton or Jane Austen, had extensive familial and/or financial ties to the EIC—organize their thoughts about the Company and the empire? How did they characterize the EIC and its leaders in their writing? How did they represent the Company’s employees and their methods of acquiring wealth? In what ways do they acknowledge/demystify/critique/defend/justify metropolitan dependence upon wealth acquired in the imperium? Please submit abstracts of c. 300 words.

Anne Mellor: “Feminist Re-Organizations of Romanticism”; OPEN
Description: Over the last 25 years, feminist interrogations of Romantic-era writing have significantly altered our understanding of the formation and breadth of the Romantic canon, of the role of women in the production of Romantic-era print culture, and the role played by gender in British society in this period. This panel will advance our understanding of the ways in which women writers of the Romantic era organized themselves as self-conscious participants in the newly emerging print culture of the late 18C. Please submit full papers of 2500-3000 words.

Paul Yoder: “Herding Cats: Organizing Study Abroad Trips to the Lakes and Other Parts of England”; CLOSED
Description: This panel is designed to facilitate the exchange of ideas and information for planning and conducting college study abroad trips to the English Lake District and other parts of England.  The session will include four 10-minute descriptions / reflections from people who either have led such trips to England or who will do so in the near future.  Those presentations will be followed by discussion and Q&A among the panelists and those in attendance. The goal is to prepare interested teachers for leading such trips themselves.  I welcome proposals from people who have led such trips and are willing to share their experiences good and bad, and those who are planning trips and are willing to discuss what problems they have encountered, how they have dealt with them and any resources they might share with future trip leaders.

Ideally, the panel will cover approaches from do-it-yourself to the commercial tour-in-a-box.  What are the pros and cons of the different approaches?  What do you hope for the students to gain?  What sorts of assignments are appropriate?  What are your own school’s requirements?  How far ahead do you need to plan?  Panelists should address, for example, itineraries, places of interest, lodging, transportation, possible costs, problems and successes.  Other issues might include different types of funding or institutional support, as well as the physical limitations and gender dynamics of the student participants.

Laura Kremmel: “Horror in Human Form: The Gothic Body in Romantic Literature”; OPEN
From the first Gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto (1764), with its disembodied limbs and bleeding statues, the body has been a topic of uncertainty, disruption, and transgression within Gothic literature. These qualities become magnified during the Gothic popularity of the 1790s. Coleridge, in his review of infamous “Monk” Lewis’s work, compares the reading experience to being dragged “by way of sport through a military hospital, or [forced] to sit at the dissecting-table of a natural philosopher.” In other words, the Gothic exposes the abject interior of the body—dripping, oozing, palpitating—that, as Kristeva famously says, “we thrust aside in order to live.” It is also the literature of the outsider, frequently considered monstrous for physical deformity or deviation. The abject, deformed, or unwell body becomes a text to be read within these literary contexts, creating a subtext of creatures hidden in the shadows of the core narrative. Frankenstein’s monster is in good company in the Romantic Gothic.

This panel invites papers that dissect the fascination with configurations of the body in Gothic literature of the Romantic period. Though the contemporary Gothic often receives attention for its body horror, its roots still lie in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—Matthew Lewis, Charles Maturin, Mary Shelley, among many others—in a period during which medical study was busy churning Gothic narratives of its own. In what ways does the Gothic literature of the period reinforce or re-imagine medical thought of the period? How do horror and terror influence or disrupt systems of bodily organization? How does the Romantic-era Gothic configure the grotesque and/or the sublime through the human body? Possible subtopics include disability, illness, medicine, anatomy, dissection, monstrosity, reanimation, old age, pregnancy/childbirth, and bodily remains.

Devoney Looser: “Mansfield Park, Waverley, and The Wanderer at 200”;  OPEN
Description: 2014 marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of three important Romantic period novels that we haven’t always imagined as contemporaneous, though published in close succession: Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park: A Novel, Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley: Or, Tis Sixty Years Since, and Frances Burney’s The Wanderer: Or, Female Difficulties.  This session invites papers that ruminate one or more of these novels in the context of their bicentennials.

Alan Richardson: “Organizing the Brain”;  OPEN
Description: Romanticism and new forms of understanding neural and cognitive organization, in the Romantic era and today; the brain as “organ”; organic models of mental life; embodied approaches to mind and sensibility.

Julie Carlson: “Organizing Care: Managing Human Vulnerability in Romantic-Era Writings and Group Life”;  OPEN
Description: Recognizing that human interdependence is both enlivening and precarious, this panel on care welcomes papers that explore the value, meanings, and organization of care in Romantic-era social and literary practice.  It is interested in individual, group, and institutional practices of care; philosophical and psychoanalytic depictions of care; attitudes toward care-givers and  care-takers; care as a source of creativity and transformation; and assessments of the agencies associated with care in this period (philanthropic, psychiatric, medical, pedagogical).  It welcomes papers that evaluate literary genres, publishing ventures, and/or the category of “Romanticism” in terms of their stakes in care–promotion, denigration, mystification, opposition.

Andrew Stauffer: “Organizing Digital Romanticism”; CLOSED
Description: As the Romantic archive and its attendant scholarship move online, what are the emerging structures that will allow scholars of Romanticism to organize their views, practices, and communities? To curate the growing digital library of material? To ask new questions, or old ones in a new key? This panel aims to address these questions with reference to digital standards, guidelines, metadata, taxonomies, ontologies, best practices, cataloging, and mark-up, as well as centers, institutes, scholarly societies, and new institutional partnerships.  How will such frameworks help us create the future of Romantic studies while preserving the things we value? What are the rewards and dangers of applying organizational, computational schemas to the multiform variety and productive chaos of Romanticism? Proposals for 15-minute papers.

Nora Crook: “Organizing Editions and Compilations”; OPEN
Description: Many editions and compilations of the Romantic period follow conventional expectations of organization and arrangement: the multi-volume collected works preceded by a memoir, the “Life and Letters” format; anthologies of “Original and Fugitive Poetry.” But there are many anomalies and mold-breakers. This panel has within its scope both the typical and the untypical, including the problems of organization faced by modern editors, whether in print or in electronic form.

Suggested topics might include: chronological vs. thematic or other arrangements; Romantic period authors reorganized for Victorian readers; the arrangement of illustrations within the text; organization and the demands of the market (for instance the three-volume format); arrangement of the contents of gift annuals, anthologies, Beauties of . . .  etc.; how miscellaneous was the Miscellany? haphazard, contingent, or random organization; the organization of Encyclopedias, series or “Libraries”; the organizational procedures of authors collecting their own works; organizing chaotic manuscripts for publication.

Julia Wright: “Organizing Irish Romanticism: Coterie, Region, and Nation”; OPEN
Description: This panel invites papers that address literary circles in Irish Romanticism.  British Romanticism studies has tended to focus on Dublin authors—Maturin, Moore, Morgan, Tighe—along with Edgeworth, while Irish studies has other regional canons, such as the Ulster weaver poets, Cork writers, and rural Catholic novelists, as well as nationalist circles, from United-Irishmen poets to contributors to The Nation.  Other possible groupings include, for instance, contributors in the early years of the Dublin University Magazine (1833- ) and those represented in anthologies such as Edkins’ Collection of Poems by Several Hands (1801) and British-published gift books.

What does it mean to think of Irish literature regionally as well as nationally, and/or in terms of social groups rather than religious affiliations? What generic and political interests come to light when the canon is expanded outward from Dublin? What is the significance of multiple-author volumes (anthologies, periodicals) in Romantic-era Ireland, and of Irish writers’ contributions to British publications of this sort?  How might we build a more comprehensive canon of Irish Romanticism? 

Patrick C. Fleming: “Organizing Knowledge for Children: ‘The Cursed Barbauld Crew’ Revisited”; OPEN
Description: In an 1802 letter to Coleridge, Charles Lamb recounts his visit to a children’s bookshop, complaining that “Mrs. B’s and Mrs. Trimmer’s nonsense lay in piles about.” Lamb laments nonfiction in particular, disparaging “knowledge insignificant & vapid as Mrs. B’s books convey.” This view of children’s books was shared by other Romantics, and colored the reception of these works through the 20th century. Only in the last two decades have scholars like Mitzi Myers paid more rigorous attention to “the cursed Barbauld Crew” and especially to the fact-based, nonfictional works they produced. This panel will showcase new approaches to Romantic-era children’s texts. What have we learned about this literature in the last two decades? How have we answered (or failed to answer) Myers’s call to read early children’s books “within their own discourse, code, cultural system, or ideology”? Papers might consider challenges to the “Romantic child”; new archival research on early texts, especially under-represented writers; overlaps between literature and education (both Romantic-era education and how the Romantics might relate to the Common Core standards); or how children’s nonfiction can avoid being “insignificant and vapid.”

Clare Simmons: “Organizing National Pasts”; OPEN
Description: With the developing national consciousness of the Romantic era and a new enthusiasm for popular and local tradition, how did the Romantics organize their thoughts about the past of their nations?  Proposals on any aspect of organizing national pasts are welcome, including on using history to justify claims to nationhood; modes of historiography and ethnography; chronicles and catalogues; mythmaking and claims of national and ethnic origins; data collecting; and periodization and the idea of the Spirit of the Age.

Adam Komisarik and Alison Dushane: ”Organizing Science:  Erasmus Darwin and the Lunar Circle”;  OPEN                                                                               Description: As a practicing physician, prolific inventor, essayer of natural history and popular poet, Erasmus Darwin stands out as one of the key organizers of knowledge in the Romantic era. His two major poems, The Botanic Garden and The Temple of Nature, explore the methods, the instruments and the products of scientific inquiry as agents of social progress; the extensive “philosophic notes” to these poems engage with several debates in the nascent scientific disciplines.  Moreover, as the Advertisement to The Botanic Garden declares, Darwin aims to “enlist Imagination under the banner of Science.” His work harnesses the power of the aesthetic in order to spread the spirit of invention beyond the walls of institutions such as the Royal Society and calls attention to the symbiotic relationship between the specialist and the reading public.

Our session welcomes papers on the aesthetic and scientific interactions that organize Darwin’s own work, as well as on the organizations in which Darwin participated.  Presenters might explore the work of members of the Lunar Society of Birmingham—the informal coterie of industrialists and natural philosophers who met at Birmingham every month, on the Monday afternoon nearest the full moon, including Josiah Wedgwood, Joseph Priestly and Richard Lovell Edgeworth. We also encourage papers on the women who were excluded from the official circle of “Lunar Men” but made essential contributions to the conversation, such as Anna Seward, Anna Barbauld and Mary Shelley.

Tilottama Rajan: “Organs and Organizations of Knowledge”; CLOSED
Description: If knowledge is conceived as a “body” or “corpus,” how do new ways of thinking the body (its organization and its various subsystems) affect how we approach knowledge, its organization and its development? This session is interested in systems of knowledge (closed and open or tangled systems), media of knowledge and their organization (e.g. encyclopedias, libraries etc.), and models of or metaphors for either the organization or the development and growth of knowledge (e.g. models drawn from architecture, astronomy, and the various life sciences).

Clara Tuite: “Queering Romantic Love”;  OPEN
This panel welcomes papers that explore the relations between literary Romanticism and romantic love, analysingromantic love not as a feeling but as a code of communication, and addressing the organization of romantic love through the codes of literary Romanticism. The panel invites the exploration of the rich diversity of literary forms that mediate the culture of romantic love, and the queering of truisms about the heterosexual companionate marriage and family that have long dominated accounts of romantic love in eighteenth and nineteenth-century cultural history.

Suggested topics might include: libertinism and post-libertinism; Romantic Sapphism; lyric idioms (e.g. Bannerman, Clare, Keats, Smith); feminist and libertarian critiques of love and marriage (Wollstonecraft, Carlile); romans à clef and anatomies of love (Hazlitt’s Liber Amoris, Stendhal’s Love); the transnational phenomenon of Wertherism; love letters; gifts of love.

Particularly welcome are proposals that put literary Romanticism and romantic love into dialogue with the history of gender and sexuality, queer theory and history, affect theory and/or material culture studies.

David Collings: “The Romantic Differend”;  OPEN
Description: Jean-François Lyotard adapted the notion of the “differend” – a conflict which cannot be resolved because of the absence of a regime that can subsume differing phrases or genres into a consistent statement – from Kant, in effect demonstrating that the notion emerges from within the conceptual innovations of the romantic era. How, then, does it take shape elsewhere in the writing of that era, and how does it bear on the dis/organization of its leading discourses? What work does it do, for example, in the dispute between two renditions of an underlying event (as in Prometheus Unbound or Emma), between life and autobiography, lyric and narrative; norm and prescription, law and ethics; nation and people, bios and zoe? For what purpose does a romantic work deliberately invoke a differend? What process, what broader phenomenon, does the romantic differend reveal? Is there a politics, or poetics, of the differend?

Roger T. Whitson: “Romanticism and the Digital Humanities”; CLOSED
Description: The digital humanities has a long history in British Romanticism with the work surrounding NINES, The William Blake Archive, Romantic Circles, Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, Alan Liu’s Voice of the Shuttle, Jon Saklofske’s New Radial, and even the newly launched Shelley-Godwin Archive. Still, the emergence of social media has added a number of challenges for the place of the digital within our discipline. The NASSRGraduate Student Caucus and Teaching Romanticism blogs have experimented in recent years with new forms of scholarly communication. Further, as Jason Whittaker and I argue in William Blake and the Digital Humanities, non-academics on Twitter, YouTube, and Wikipedia discuss, debate, and recreate Blake’s ideas using methods that have very little to do with traditional academic discourse.

In a recent post, Stephen Ramsay suggested that there is not one digital humanities but at least two. Digital Humanities type 1, he suggests, originally identified itself as “humanities computing,” stretches back to the early nineties, and included practices like text analysis, GIS, and archiving. Digital Humanities type 2, on the other hand, emerged around 2008 and styles itself in a much broader sense as the study of the humanities “after some technological event horizon,” or “humanistic inquiry that in some way relates to the digital.” Ramsay’s dichotomy may be artificial, but it also sets up a useful starting point for a dialogue about how digital practices are impacting Romantic period studies. This proposed session will juxtapose different generations of scholars that identify with the digital humanities as a way of contextualizing its relevance. For example, what possibilities are scholars, who write in new modalities or construct scholarly objects with 3D printers, opening for traditional critical approaches to the period? How is data-driven scholarship, topic modeling, or collaborative methodologies of scholarship envisioning new objects of inquiry?

Proposals of 300 words and brief CV’s.

Jacqueline Labbe: “Romantic Labyrinths:  Authorial Interactions and Entanglements”; OPEN
This session seeks abstracts of c. 300 words that explore that ways in which literatures interface with each other. The focus should be on authorial interactions and entanglements, avenues of influence and adaptation, and directions of generic travel. Related questions include: what are the clues we need to navigate the literary labyrinth? Is there ever an originary point? Is generic wandering and interpenetration a particular feature of Romanticism?

Catherine E. Ross: “Romantic Learning”; OPEN
Description: Despite the turbulence of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries, despite revolutions, war, riots, repression, disease, and economic upheaval, the Romantics were one of the most remarkably productive cohorts of intellectuals to date.  Among the Romantic Organizations that contributed to the period’s flourishing literary trade were the British public schools, university colleges, literary and philosophical societies and other formal or informal educational ventures.   This panel welcomes papers that address the nature and organization of Romantic learning at any of these sites—or others that fit the panel description.

Anne McCarthy and Rachel Feder: “What We Talk About When We Talk About The Sublime”; OPEN
Description: This panel explores the afterlife of the Romantic sublime(s)–both in the manufactured aesthetic experiences of contemporary life and in the organizing systems we use to understand risk, threat, and contingency. To this end, we invite proposals that investigate the ways in which Romantic aesthetic categories organize forms of contemporary experience.  In particular, we seek papers that discuss the relationship of the romantic sublime (or formulations thereof) to contemporary art and literature, popular culture, and pedagogy. To what extent does the “romantic” sublime continue to operate within contemporary aesthetic formations? What do these contemporary manifestations say about the meaning of the sublime as a trans-historical aesthetic form, on the one hand, and as a historically-specific aesthetic category, on the other? What can the contemporary afterlives of the Romantic sublime tell us about what it means to think about late 20th and 21st-century culture in quintessentially “romantic” terms?


      Calls for Papers by Collaborating Romantic Organizations

Keats-Shelley Association of America: “Chaos and Creation among the Younger Romantics”; OPEN
Description: This session takes its defining terms from the opposites Shelley deploys to characterize the Austrian army moving to suppress the Neapolitan revolution in 1820: “The Anarchs of the North lead forth their legions / Like Chaos o’er creation, uncreating” (“Ode to Naples,” lines 37-38).  Papers may consider how chaos and creation/creativity function in opposition or dialectically — within a single author’s work(s), whether poetry or prose, or across a spectrum of authors  — as an aesthetic value per se, or, as with Shelley’s lines, on cultural, political, and social planes as well.  Send abstracts of 300-400 words for 20-minute presentations.  Presenters should be members of the Keats-Shelley Association of America.

Nordic Association for Romantic Studies (NARS) / Nordisk Selskab for
Romantikstudier: “Communicating Genius? The Romantic Journal’s Corporate Organization and the Access to a New Reader”; OPEN
Description: In many literary traditions in Europe, e.g., in Britain, Germany, and Sweden, Romantic writers, thinkers, and critics published texts in journals that they themselves edited. John and Leigh Hunt’s The Examiner, August Wilhelm and Friedrich Schlegel’s Athenaeum, the Danish Athene and P. D. A. Atterbom and V. F. Palmblad’s Phosphoros are some of the most renowned and typical examples of this kind of Romantic self-fashioning. Being both the authors, editors, and, in some cases, also the publishers behind the journals in question rendered them independence from political, primarily royal, interests as well as from other forms of influence, for instance, aesthetic and philosophical. It also gave them the opportunity to reach new readers. The editors/authors as well as the readers often belonged to the same social group, usually a community of university intellectuals, resulting in an unusually complex communication model, in which the same person were able to perform almost any function. These journals have been recently discussed, and can be discussed, from many points of view, e.g., philosophical, aesthetic and linguistic. During this session we encourage participants from various traditions and disciplines to contribute with papers especially emphasizing the dialectic interplay between the different positions in the communication model: the individual writer, the editorial collective, and the reader. This dialectic interplay pertains to other fundamental issues as well, relevant for this session: the materiality of the text, the organizing of the material of the journals, the role of the implicit reader, and the development of early 19th century literary criticism and press history.

Special Session by the German Society for English Romanticism (GER): “The Organisation of the Unorganised in Romantic Fantastic Literature”; OPEN
Description: This session welcomes proposals on how fantastic (literary, medical, political etc.) narratives of the Romantic age attempted to discursively organise and order not only experiences of emotional and cognitive turmoil, but also channel deep-seated epistemological insecurities that could not be sufficiently contained within the rationalizing structures offered by Enlightenment thinking.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words, accompanied by a brief C.V., should be sent to no later than January 15, 2014.

Stephen Behrendt: “Romantic Organizations, Networks, Affiliations, Communities,” Special Session Sponsored by the International Conference on Romanticism (ICR); OPEN
Description: This session invites papers that explore how organizations, societies, and other affiliated groups from all areas of Romantic-era culture participated in the general public culture. Papers might address political associations like the London Corresponding Society, sponsored organizations like the various Royal Societies, ideological organizations like the Society for the Suppression of Vice or the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, labor associations like mechanics institutes, religious societies and associated social activist productions like the Cheap Repository Tracts, policing organizations like the Bow Street Runners and their successors, criminal networks, tradespeoples organizations, and actors’ and artists’ associations. We also welcome papers that address this subject in locales beyond London – including other nations. The session aims to explore and further explicate the complex network of associations and organizations, formal and informal, that were active and influential during the Romantic era.

Panelists must be members of ICR.

Frederick Burwick: “Theater and Romantic Organizations,” Special Session Sponsored by the European Romantic Review (ERR); CLOSED
 This session invites papers exploring the theatre as organization as well as plays about organization. Papers might consider the extent to which performances were shaped and defined by a theater manager and her/his company of players, playwrights, musicians, and stage designers. The attributes of organization might also be examined in the illegitimate theaters, the provincial theaters, or the traveling companies. Also welcome are papers investigating the stage representation of organizations such as law courts, gambling houses, factories, hospitals, prisons, mad houses, or the theater itself.

5th-Annual Professionalization Special Session by NASSR Graduate Student Caucus: “Writing for the Job Market”; OPEN
The academic job market requires applicants to prepare numerous documents, including a job letter, CV, dissertation abstract, teaching portfolio, and writing sample. An applicant must balance the need for each document to conform to its genre while, at the same time, representing the author as a uniquely qualified candidate. Finding this balance takes time and considerable effort. The fifth annual NGSC professionalization session will be a master class and workshop, run by professors who have served on hiring committees and advised graduate students, in crafting these challenging pieces of writing—the gateways to employment in the Academy. The NASSR conference, to take place July 10-13, 2014, offers a timely opportunity for those going on the job market in the fall to revise and polish these drafts. For graduate students not going on the market, this is an opportunity to start preparing for this endeavor and, hopefully, to relieve some of the pressure and mystery associated with this process. Master class leaders TBD.