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RC Reviews & Receptions: Editorial Statement

Friday, August 28, 2015 - 09:34

Over twenty academic journals currently review Romantic-period scholarship. Whether in print or in digital form, these follow the same reviewing format: single-authored essays of roughly 2500 words. We at Romantic Circles, however, believe that a new approach is needed that exploits the web’s speed, networked possibilities, and rich multimedia environments. Our goal in developing the new RC Reviews & Receptions section is twofold: first, to give scholars an opportunity to read about and comment on recent but also older Romantic research in ways that are less burdensome than with the traditional review; and second, to offer content that appeals to nineteenth-century scholars but which also, in the same spirit in which Romantic Circles was founded, reaches a wider audience.

We plan to offer a quicker turnaround between book publication and review. But we also aim to transform the way the reception of Romantic scholarship (and Romanticism more broadly) is conceived and presented. Reviewing should resemble a conversation; it should be a congenial space in which authors and readers can respond to one another. In order to provide the opportunity for such a dialogue to happen, the new RC Reviews & Receptions section supplements the traditional review-essay with a variety of new formats:  Google Hangout video sessions ("BookChats") organized around new books; author interviews, either written or recorded; short reviews of books, articles, digital resources, and other cultural artefacts relating to Romantic culture (from exhibits and film adaptations to graffiti); "BookLists" of books and essays in various areas of research; chronicles of past research; surveys of foreign-language scholarship on Romanticism; and editors’ picks. This material will be archived thematically to provide users with a convenient teaching and research resource.

Reviews & Receptions believes that broadening the scope of the scholarly review can help create ongoing scholarly conversations, reinforce the peer-to-peer networks of the field, and promote Romanticism as a vibrant and vital area of study.

Reviews & Receptions is keen to receive proposals for contributions addressing recent scholarly publications or receptions of Romanticism in wider culture adopting any of the formats described above. In the first instance, please contact Ross Wilson (

Editorial Collective

Ross Wilson Suzanne L. Barnett Roger Whitson
Ross Wilson is Lecturer in Criticism at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College. He is the author of Shelley and the Apprehension of Life (Cambridge University Press, 2013), as well as of books on Theodor Adorno and Kant's aesthetic theory, and editor of The Meaning of 'Life' in Romantic Poetry and Poetics (Routledge, 2009). He has published essays on Coleridge, Clare, Robert Browning, and on topics in the history and theory of literary criticism in Romanticism, New German Critique, and elsewhere. He is currently writing a history of the genres of criticism from around 1750. Suzanne L. Barnett’s first book, Romantic Paganism: the Politics of Ecstasy in the Shelley Circle (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) examines the role of the classical world in the imaginations of the second-generation Romantic authors. Her forthcoming collection (co-edited with Ashley Cross and Kate Singer) entitled Material Transgressions: Beyond Romantic Bodies, Genders, Things will be published in Liverpool University Press’s Romantic Reconfigurations series. She also has contributed essays to Keats’s Negative Capability: New Origins and Afterlives (ed. Brian Rejack and Michael Theune, LUP 2018) and Frankenstein and Its Classics: The Modern Prometheus from Antiquity to Science Fiction(eds. Benjamin Eldon Stevens,‎ Jesse Weiner, and‎ Brett M. Rogers, Bloomsbury 2018). In addition to being the co-editor of Romantic Circles Reviews & Receptions, she is the author of articles in PMLA, Essays in Romanticism, and Keats-Shelley Journal. She is also the co-editor of a series of digital editions of William Godwin’s Juvenile Library texts for Romantic Circles. Roger Whitson is Assistant Professor of English at Washington State University where he also teaches in the Digital Technology and Culture program. He is author (with Jason Whittaker) of William Blake and the Digital Humanities: Collaboration, Participation, and Social Media (Routledge 2012), along with several articles on Blake, steampunk, the digital humanities, nineteenth-century British Literature, and comics. He's currently at work on Steampunk and Nineteenth-Century Digital Humanities: Literary Retrofuturism, Alternate History, and Physical Computing, which is under contract from Routledge.

Contributing Reviewers

Bysshe Coffey is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of Exeter. His thesis, Shelley and the Stuff of Work, investigates the ways in which Percy Shelley tests the limit-points of manifest phenomena. He is also an acclaimed playwright. Bysshe is currently assisting Nora Crook in the editing of volumes 7 and 8 of The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley for Johns Hopkins.

Jenna Leeds is a PhD candidate in the English Department at Washington State University. Her dissertation explores how the novels of Austen, Bronte, and Jewett carve out a heteronormative space for queer relations. She is author of "Most Precious Treasures: Eroticized Collection within Emma," published in Rhizomes: Cultural Studies in Emerging Knowledge 24 (2012).

Lauren Neefe is a Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is the co-creator and executive producer of 4.33@Tech and Flash Readings with the Brittain Fellows. Her book project, Serial Imagination, reconsiders the role of letters in the instability of Romantic print culture and authorship.

Brian Rejack is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Illinois State University. His research focuses on Romanticism and media studies, with particular interest in periodical magazines; food writing and taste; contemporary new media and video games; and the afterlife of John Keats as it takes shape in various guises throughout the nineteenth century. He has articles published or forthcoming in European Romantic Review, Literature Compass, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Rethinking History, Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons, and Romanticism.

Chris Washington is an Assistant Professor at Francis Marion University and specializes in British Romanticism, eighteenth and nineteenth-century British literature, poetry and poetics, and literary theory. He has published articles in European Romantic Review and Essays in Romanticism. His article, “Romanticism and Speculative Realism,” is forthcoming in Literature Compass and another piece on teaching Jane Austen is forthcoming in Romantic Circles Pedagogies Commons. He is currently completing a book manuscript, Romantic Revelation: Visions of Post-Apocalyptic Life.

Style Guide for Reviewers

Suggestions for reviews to appear in Romantic Circles Reviews & Receptions are warmly welcome and should be submitted to a member of the editorial team (listed below). While there is no specified word limit, short reviews of single titles should usually be in the range of 700-800 words; longer review essays of more than one title should be around 1200-1500 words. Submissions should be double-spaced throughout and paragraphs indented. Please follow MLA guidelines (8th edition) in matters of style. Hypertext links are welcome where relevant.

Reviews should be headed with full bibliographical information in the following format:

Nicholas Mason, Literary Advertising and the Shaping of British Romanticism (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). 216 pp., 26 b&w illus. (Hdbk., $49.95; ISBN 9781421409986).

Please include your name and current institutional affiliation at the beginning of the review.

RCR&R Editorial Collective
Suzanne L. Barnett <>
Roger Whitson <>
Ross Wilson <>