Newman, "Introduction: A History of Transatlantic Romanticism"

Newman argues that Romanticism was a definitively international cultural movement, and that most literary scholarship examining the period has been deformed by rigid disciplinary boundaries that follow national borders. While early scholars of Transatlantic Romanticism either overemphasized literary nationalism or attempted to argue it out of existence, a third wave, including Richard Gravil and Paul Giles, has emerged that sets a new standard for empirical cultural analysis, freed of nationalist distortions but closely attentive to the power of nationalism as one of the most fundamental structures of identity during the Romantic century. The essays in Sullen Fires Across the Atlantic show that Romanticism was a complex and multivalent response to the combined and uneven rise of capitalist social relations around the Atlantic Rim. This essay appears in _Sullen Fires Across the Atlantic: Essays in Transatlantic Romanticism_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.