Literature

The Last Sex on Earth: Teaching Mary Wollstonecraft and Lucy Corin in the Anthropocene

This essay takes two experimental forms, both of which are meant to exemplify what I call “hyper-jump pedagogy.” The first form tracks backward, reading sex and gender in the work of Lucy Corin’s One Hundred Apocalypses, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to where the course began, the works of Mary Wollstonecraft and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, before lurching forward to Wall-E, where the course ended. The second essay form uses the Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons Drupal platform to generate a random version of the essay with paragraphs disarranged. Both forms demonstrate how temporality in the Anthropocene disorients and defamiliarizes our beliefs about our place in relation to time. This disorientation and defamiliarization leads to a reconsideration of reproduction as it relates to sex, gender, and the family.

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Sometimes in that Silence: Occupying the Anthropocene with Wordsworth and John Cage

This essay addresses the theoretical, philosophical, and aesthetic uses of silence in the work of William Wordsworth and John Cage. Through close readings of poems by both writers, an examination of their texts on poetics, and an excursus on the concepts of slow violence and the Anthropocene, I ask whether silence might be a useful strategy to resist the traumatic effects of neoliberalism and socio-ecological breakdown. In order to demonstrate the pedagogical usefulness of silence, I also share a sound collage created with my students, in which we employed Wordsworth’s and Cage’s compositional and philosophical methods to try to capture something like the texture of silence mixed directly onto an audio file. Finally, the essay closes by asking whether attunement to silence might help us recognize and respond to the slow violence (military, economic, ideological, and so on) that seems simply to be the world we inhabit.

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Loving, Laughing, and Accepting in the Anthropocene; or, How It Feels to Teach Romanticism at the End of the World

This essay explores how the feeling of living in the Anthropocene and its strange temporality affects how we teach, and specifically how we teach Romanticism. Teaching without a solid sense of futurity—the reigning affective state of our current moment—cuts at the core of pedagogical practice. Drawing on a recent experience of teaching an undergraduate-level course in Romanticism with a focus on “The Failures of Romanticism,” I suggest that Romantic-era texts can offer models of feeling appropriate to the affective experience of living amidst global ecological catastrophe, and maybe help us fail together better. When teaching without a future we must combine our melancholic embrace of vulnerability with other affective modes; in this essay I propose we imbue our Anthropocenic pedagogy with love, acceptance, and humor.

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The Last Sex on Earth: Teaching Mary Wollstonecraft and Lucy Corin in the Anthropocene

This essay takes two experimental forms, both of which are meant to exemplify what I call “hyper-jump pedagogy.” The first form tracks backward, reading sex and gender in the work of Lucy Corin’s One Hundred Apocalypses, Mad Max: Fury Road, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road to where the course began, the works of Mary Wollstonecraft and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, before lurching forward to Wall-E, where the course ended. The second essay form uses the Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons Drupal platform to generate a random version of the essay with paragraphs disarranged. Both forms demonstrate how temporality in the Anthropocene disorients and defamiliarizes our beliefs about our place in relation to time. This disorientation and defamiliarization leads to a reconsideration of reproduction as it relates to sex, gender, and the family.

Tags: 

Chris Bundock and Elizabeth Effinger, eds., William Blake’s Gothic Imagination: Bodies of Horror. Reviewed by Diana Edelman.

Chris Bundock and Elizabeth Effinger, eds., William Blake’s Gothic Imagination: Bodies of Horror (Manchester University Press, 2018). 312 pp., 22 b&w illus. (Hdbk., $120; ISBN 978-1-5261-2194-3).

Diana Edelman
University of North Georgia, Gainesville

Mark Coeckelbergh New Romantic Cyborgs: Romanticism, Information Technology, and the End of the Machine. Reviewed by John Gardner.

Mark Coeckelbergh New Romantic Cyborgs: Romanticism, Information Technology, and the End of the Machine (Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2017). 320 pp. (£14.00, ISBN. 9780262035460).

John Gardner
Anglia Ruskin University, UK

Anna Mercer, The Collaborative Literary Relationship of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Interviewed by Mathelinda Nabugodi.

Anna Mercer, The Collaborative Literary Relationship of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (New York and London: Routledge, 2019). 210 pp. (Hdbk., $155, ISBN 9780367277956).

A Q & A with Anna Mercer
Cardiff University and Keats House, Hampstead

By Mathelinda Nabugodi
University of Cambridge

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