Abstract

Introduction: Raymond Williams and Romanticism

This volume considers the place of Romantic works and the Romantic period itself in the work of one of the most important twentieth-century theorists of culture, Raymond Williams. Few works have generated as much critical thinking about Romantic writing’s literary purposes and social meanings as Culture and Society: 1780–1950 (1958), The Long Revolution (1961), or The Country and the City (1973), but, as these essays suggest, many of Williams’s other works have a more oblique yet equally powerful relationship to Romanticism’s moment. After an introduction that pays particular attention to central concepts passed down from Williams like "structure of feeling" and "cultural formation," these essays revisit Williams over thirty years after his death to reconsider his bearing on particular Romantic authors or broader sociohistorical processes in order to ask how his work helps us ask questions about the contemporary university and the place of the humanities within it.