Wolfson and Galperin, "The Fate of Our Field: An Expansion of the Original Survey"

The Fate of Our Field: An Expansion of the Original Survey

From: Susan Wolfson and Bill Galperin

This survey originally was posted to NASSR-L. In the interests of expanding its scope, we are re-posting it here at Romantic Circles.

A number of us talked at the business meeting at the last NASSR convention about the vanishing of our field per se from the recent job lists--poignantly, just at the moment that "Romanticism" or the field "Formerly Known as Romanticism" is being reconfigured, revitalized, expanded, recanonized. Although there are a number of positions for which Romanticists, or R-era specialists, might compete with Victorianists or 18th-c specialists, the field itself has made a scant appearance on the last two job lists at least: this year's list, for instance, had only 5 positions and one post-doc identified as "Romantic." What seems to be happening is that Romanticism is being tacked on to the end of the long 18th c. in job-descriptions (i.e. British literature 1700-1830) or at the front of 19th c positions. While we see the point in these downsizing times of having to be responsible for more than 40-50 years, we do not think it healthy for "Romanticism" either to be marginalized as a late emergence from the 18th c or, as Tilottama put it, "the adolescence of the Victorian age." If there has to be a century mandate, why not 1750-1850?

At this point, before calling for CPR, we would like to get a better informed sense of the state of the field as it exists in our institutions. To this end, we are asking you to answer a questionaire to the best of your knowledge. The results will be forwarded to Susan and then posted here at Romantic Circles.

The Survey