Abstract

Introduction: Living through Human Trumpery through Romanticism

This introduction shows how this volume crafts an intersectional Romantic pedagogy of resistance to human-made climate change in the Anthropocene. Such a pedagogy rejects ideas about “humans as one unified species” and seeks instead a dialogue between race, class, gender, sexuality, nonhumans, and queer alignments, among others. The introduction also features short descriptions of each essay.

Tweet tweet jug jug: Learning to Listen in the Romantic Anthropocene

This essay reflects on the experience of teaching Romantic bird poetry through the lens of our current anthropogenic environmental crises. In particular, it considers how we can not only read but also hear Romantic poetry anew as an undulating constellation murmuring beneath the Anthropocene, particularly as birdsong is in the process of disappearing as climate change threatens mass avian extinction. It explores how we might attend to those bird sounds and silences in poetry by Smith, Coleridge, Keats, and Clare in light of this impending silence. I describe the lesson in detail, which begins with students giving an account of their lives among our wasted environments (on local and global levels) before moving into the Romantic past. I frame this backward pedagogical approach through the rhetorical figure of hysteron proteron (temporal inversion). The lesson chiefly aims to cultivate a sonic sensibility, one that makes students better listening subjects attuned to sonic changes in their environments. It accomplishes this by pairing select poems about the nightingale with a contemporary digital sound sculpture that makes bird sound audible and visible. Developing a method of “close listening,” a model of acoustic intimacy that requires becoming attentive to the layers of ubiquitous sounds, I frame listening as an act of turning us outward, one that makes us more perceptually aware citizens of the Anthropocene.

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.

Tiptoeing through Keats: Teaching Queer Ecology in the Anthropocene

In this article, I present a way of teaching John Keats’s "I stood tip-toe upon a little hill" and Endymion (amongst other Romantic-era poetical and prose works) as queerly ecological and as useful components of a pedagogical paradigm serviceable to those wishing to discuss environmental issues in the Anthropocene. The article shows the interdependencies of earthiness and eroticism in two short poems by Keats who was, as I argue, not simply a sensualist but a subversive nature poet that imbued the environment with erotic energy and promoted the conservationist practice of tiptoeing as the best way of feeling the earth beneath one’s feet. It then examines how Endymion, with its well-known “Pleasure Thermometer” passage, enacts a queer ecology that resonates in instructive ways vis-à-vis Timothy Morton’s theorization of “the mesh.” The texts discussed here provide an instruction manual for scholars and teachers investigating nineteenth-century depictions of interdependencies in the natural world and human sexuality in a current Anthropocene that threatens the futures of both of these phenomena.

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.

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.

Latin America’s “Chiaroscuro” Byron

"Latin America’s 'Chiaroscuro' Byron" explores the ways in which Latin America and English Romanticism clashed and overlapped during the nineteenth century in their portrayals of Lord Byron. Offering a glimpse into the fervid Byromania spreading among young intellectuals in the Southern Cone, this essay traces how Byronic figures were adopted in Spanish and Portuguese by the novelist José Mármol and by the Brazilian poet Manuel Antônio Álvarez de Azevedo. Ultimately, Byron’s image was viewed in Latin America through a diversifying chiaroscuro effect, in which Argentina’s Byron was luminous and ethereal, but Brazil’s Byron was dark and brooding. But this influence exerted by Byron was not unidirectional. The essay concludes by suggesting ways in which Simón Bólivar served as an inspiration for Lord Byron, modeling both literary freedom and political independence.

Toward Unity: Cernuda and English Romanticism

This essay presents a study of the Spanish writer Luis Cernuda and his poetic appropriation of the English Romantic aesthetic and sensibility. A member of the Generation of '27, Cernuda left Madrid in 1938 to deliver lectures at Oxford and Cambridge, traveling to Glasgow, Cambridge, London, and the United States before finally settling in Mexico. As an exile in Scotland and England, Cernuda encounters Romanticism in the midst of the Modernist rejection of the era, negotiating questions of poetical ethics and pertinence during an era of modern warfare. Reading A Defence of Poetry and echoing Shelley a century later, he asks, “What is a poet?” “Poetry is not only useful,” Cernuda decides, “but also has certain social effects.” This essay offers an encompassing view of how Cernuda achieved a sense of unity in his own poetics, negotiating an English tradition with a Spanish one, while balancing his Romantic interests against contemporary Modernist pressures.

Latin American Afterlives of the British Romantics

It is not common to associate Latin America with studies of English Romanticism. However, authors from Manuel Antônio Álvares de Azevedo to Julio Cortázar have innovatively transformed the works of the British Romantics through purposeful misreadings and adaptations, forging links of aesthetic closeness and poetic familiarity that compensate for their chronological and geographical separation. The transformations of Byron, Shelley, and Keats by Hispanophone and Lusophone writers are marked by authority, whimsy, and adventure, often evoking a sense of playful irreverence. Afterlives from these perspectives help to decenter the Anglophone pillars of Romanticist study, helping to mitigate the exclusivity of a field that centers an entire literary and cultural universe within a span of fifty years on the British Isles. In essays by Stephen and Jordan Hart, Juan Jesús Payan, Omar Miranda, Gabriel Insausti, Marco Ramírez Rojas, and Olivia Loksing Moy, one common strand that emerges is how these authors confront questions of cultural marginality and belatedness. The various transformations of the major British Romantic poets studied in these contributions conjure up new figures with which to populate our familiar canon: an alternately dour or ethereal Byron (Mármol / Antônio Álvares de Azevedo); a more pragmatic Shelley (Cernuda); an exuberant and virile Keats (Cortázar).

Translating Vampires: Martín Zapata and the Early Fate of The Giaour

This essay explores the often unfaithful translations of Byron’s The Giaour into Spanish, especially in light of their prosification and importation across genres. Focusing on an adaptation by the Argentine writer and politician Martín Zapata, it contextualizes this afterlife within Argentine intellectual and political tensions. Zapata was the first to provide a direct adaptation from the original text, and also the only adaptor to truly preserve the vampiric elements of the plot. When read through a postcolonial and anti-orientalist lens, The Giaour shows Zapata challenging the binary categorizations of good/evil, East/West, and modernity/backwardness in the context of nineteenth-century Argentina.

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