The essays on Teaching Global Romanticism collected here present varied approaches to teaching Romanticism in a global context through individual assignments, units, and syllabi. The contributors share ways to enrich pedagogical approaches to Romantic literature and culture with texts and ideas from beyond Britain and America. These essays discuss how literature guides students’ engagement with international themes and issues in the Romantic period and after. The initiative for this volume began under the leadership of William Stroup.
Teaching Global Romanticism
Introduction: Teaching Romanticism in a Global Age
1. What does it mean to teach Romanticism in a global age? In the eighteenth century, global signified “having a spherical form”; the association of global with “relating to, or involving the whole world” arose in the mid-nineteenth century (“Global”). The term global, however, is not synonymous with globalization, as Felicity Nussbaum notes in the introduction to her edited collection, The Global Eighteenth Century (2003; 4). In the twenty-first century, the term globalization refers to the patterns and processes by which technology allows people across the world to rapidly communicate and trade goods and ideas, and global has come to signify the interconnectedness of peoples and the world they share. The essays collected here suggest that teaching Romanticism in a global age invites flexibility and imagination in the modalities instructors employ and in the texts that they select to make a curriculum. Collectively, the essays in this volume define global Romanticism as an intersection of world literatures; they present varied approaches to teaching Anglophone Romanticism in ways that acknowledge ties to other cultures, languages, and literatures through individual assignments, units, and syllabi.
2. This introductory chapter surveys the debate over the shifting meanings of the term global in the last two decades among literary scholars and pedagogues in order to frame global Romanticism as a concept and field. The term global seems to imply an international angle; while the essays here address global themes, issues, and texts, they are focused on British and American literature and literature in translation. The pervasiveness of English has come to represent its status as a global language and its effect on other languages.  Critics from outside the English-speaking world cite the dominance of the English language and Anglo-American culture as party to the spread of globalization, a word that seems to imply Anglo-centrism. In a 1999 lecture for UNESCO, "Globalisation, Peace, and Cosmopolitanism," Jacques Derrida distinguishes between the French term mondialisation and the similar English and German terms globalization and Globalisierung. Whereas mondialisation, for Derrida, denotes the process of the world in formation, the finality and ostensible universality of the English term globalization disguises the power imbalances of the “homo-hegemonizations” enacted by “the Anglo-American hegemony” and its concomitant governmental and nongovernmental institutions (373). 
3. Evidence supports Derrida’s argument that Anglo-American language and culture do in fact dominate the discourses of globalism and globalization. In English as a Global Language (1997/2003), David Crystal notes that English has replaced French “as the chief foreign language in schools in Algeria (a former French colony)” (5). More recently, Rwanda changed the language of its education system from French to English in order to better access the global economy, according to officials (McGreal). The majority of scholarly debates about globalization appear to take place in English as well. In the essay "A Bibliometric Research Analysis of 20 Years of Globalization Research: 1990–2009," Xinjian Liu and his collaborators examine the search term “globali*” across multiple databases and libraries and find that nearly 93% of the journal articles are written in English (Liu et al. 197), many of them in the mid-1990s, during the rise of the internet, the practice of outsourcing, and the expansion of the European Union (Liu et al. 198). These findings are perhaps not surprising given that the authors limit their search to the term “globali,” which would pick up the Spanish word, globalización, but neither mondialisation nor the term in many other languages. The same study found that “the volume of books on globalization peaked around 2002 and declined afterwards” (Liu et al. 198). While many of these publications belong to the social sciences, in the field of literary studies, a similar pattern appears. Many scholars published special volumes on literature and globalization around the turn of the millennium.  The essays in this volume offer practical applications of projects such as these for the teaching of Romantic-era texts.
4. Scholarly reflection on globalization in the mid-aughts took the form, in the study of Romanticism, of work on cosmopolitanism. While most of the examples of “cosmopolitan” cited in the OED stem from the 1840s or afterwards, the word reflects growing identification with the culture of the metropolis, or as Jon Klancher puts it, “London as Cosmopolis” (65). Romantic Cosmopolitanism was the theme of the 2004 annual meeting of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR). That conference took place the year after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and David Simpson prefaced his talk with the remark that “in 2003 precisely 18 students graduated from US universities with advanced degrees in Arabic (apparently up from 6 in 2002)” (142). Published in a special volume in The European Romantic Review in 2005, the essay version of this talk, "The Limits of Cosmopolitanism and the Case for Translation," poses two important questions about translation and “human feeling”:
5. Empathy plays a key role in Martha Nussbaum’s argument about what it means to learn, teach, and work in a global age. In her book Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities (2016), Nussbaum refers several times to what she calls “world citizenship” (89) and at other times “global citizens” (94); these are students who are prepared to address issues that humans face across national lines, including but not limited to “global warming; decent trade regulations; the protection of the environment and animal species; the future of nuclear energy and the dangers of nuclear weapons; the movement of labor and the establishment of decent labor standards; the protection of children from trafficking, sexual abuse, and forced labor” (80). Nussbaum advocates an interdisciplinary curriculum that combines the study of the arts and humanities “alongside the study of religion and of philosophical theories of justice” (94). This course of study aims to cultivate what Nussbaum calls “students’ ‘inner eyes’” in order to instill the ability to connect and communicate across barriers that traditionally divide humans from each other and the issues that they want to solve (Nussbaum 108). While Nussbaum, like Simpson, specifically mentions poetry as a tool for teaching empathy, as the essays in this volume illustrate, even nonpoetic texts from the Romantic era appear well suited for curricula with these learning goals, in part because writers from the period raise issues about social justice.
6. The Romantic period also plays an important role in the larger historical process of globalization. According to Roland Robertson, the Romantic era occurs during the second of five such phases. Robertson names this “The Incipient Phase,” and describes it as:
7. Romanticists have long understood that making sense of trends is as important for our own era as it is for scholars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the lead-up to the 2003 war in Iraq, for example, writers debated the ideological legacy of Romanticism in regards to globalization and imperialism. Consider George P. Fletcher’s book, Romantics at War: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism (2002). Fletcher takes as his premise the idea that Romantic notions of “authenticity” pervade international law and complicate the arbitration of extranational crimes such as terrorism (140). Critics have pointed out that Fletcher uses a reductive definition of Romanticism (based largely on Isaiah Berlin) and that he fails to acknowledge that many eras besides the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries teach “in one form or another that the individual’s good is intelligible only against the backdrop of the collective good” (Berkowitz 32). In a more nuanced vein, Gayatri Spivak’s An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization (2012) asserts Romanticism’s “ability to imagine the other side as another human being, rather than simply an enemy to be psyched out, which is [the period’s] . . . greatest gift” (Spivak 483). Like Simpson and Nussbaum, Spivak emphasizes the power of Romantic literature to evoke empathy in readers.
8. In the years since the official end of the war in Iraq, scholarship on Romanticism and the global has largely explored the scientific, economic implications of international trade, travel, and communications. Evan Gottlieb’s book, Romantic Globalism: British Literature and Modern World Order, 1750–1830 (2014), makes a strong case for British writers’ awareness of “the global processes and dynamics that were increasingly reshaping their lives, their nation, and the world” (2). His coedited collection, Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760–1820 (2015), demonstrates even more diverse views on the subject, with essays on the early networks of empire and communication. Gottlieb’s focus on what he terms globalism offers a model for future scholarship that seeks to integrate the texts and contexts of Romanticism into discussions of globalization in a way that acknowledges the need to explore and entertain different angles of such a broad and diverse subject.
9. The essays in this volume provide concrete methods of putting recent scholarship on Romanticism and the global into action in the classroom. The opening essay by Eric Gidal, "Teaching Global Romanticisms: Romanticism and the Logic of Culture," illustrates the ways in which assigning texts with international impact on the movement of Romanticism across Britain and Europe can cultivate a deeper understanding of Romantic writers’ influence on modern culture. Gidal employs William Ray’s model for studying culture in his book The Logic of Culture: Authority and Identity in the Modern Age (2001) in order to present a theoretical model, historical background, and institutional framework for analyzing the tensions between individual aesthetic experiences and the pressures of national traditions. The course that Gidal describes, "Literature and Culture of the Romantic Period: The Logic of Culture," incorporates British, French, and German texts. Selections include but are not limited to fictional texts such as Rousseau’s Julie, or the New Heloise ( Julie, ou la nouvelle Héloïse, 1761), Staël’s Corinne, or Italy ( Corinne, ou L'Italie, 1807), and Goethe’s Sorrows of Young Werther (Die Leiden des jungen Werthers, 1774); short nonfiction texts such as The Declaration of Independence (1776) and The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789); extracts from Schiller’s On the Aesthetic Education of Man (Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen, 1795), Shelley’s Defence of Poetry (1821), and Williams’s Letters Written in France (1790); and poems: Ode on a Grecian Urn (1819/20), Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812–18), and The Poems of Ossian (1765). The course carefully considers Ossian’s critical reception, thus enabling “students to perceive the tension between aestheticism and historicism in Romantic discourse, as well as the political and cultural agendas served by various positions.” Gidal emphasizes student-centered learning throughout his essay in a fashion that underscores the potential for this material to help students see, witness, perceive, and explore what the author calls the logic of culture.
10. Like the chapter that precedes it, my essay, "European Romanticism and Frankenstein: A Comparative Literature Course for English Majors," reaches beyond the Anglophone canon. The purpose of this exploration, however, is to deepen students’ appreciation for a single canonical British text, Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein (1818), by reading the global texts that influenced it. "European Romanticism" discusses the pedagogical purpose behind the course, designed for English majors, many of whom plan to teach in a U.S. classroom someday. The course begins with the French Revolution in order to orient students to one of the key historical benchmarks of the Romantic timeline. However, some of the reading, notably Rousseau’s Confessions (the 1782 text that Shelley read), predates the French Revolution, in order to better understand the function of sensibility and parenting in Frankenstein. Moreover, the first unit covers German and French Romantic poetry, some of which was inspired by British and German Romanticism, and thus postdates 1830. The course includes at least one of the texts that the creature in Frankenstein finds in the forest, The Sufferings of Young Werther (the modern translation of Die Leiden des jungen Werthers that comes closer to the original German than The Sorrows of Young Werther). Along with French and German poetry, this novel lays the foundation for students to learn the concept of Romantic irony, which John Fetzer describes as a “bifocal or double vision” (21). Engaging with Romantic irony helps students to better appreciate the ambivalence and contradiction of the second unit, "Frankenstein and his Doppelgänger", in which students read Frankenstein, E. T. A. Hoffmann’s The Sandman (Der Sandmann, 1817), and a play about another ambitious scientist: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Heinrich Faust, the main protagonist in Faust (1808/1832). This ambitious curriculum frames Romanticism as an international endeavor with interlocking themes and shared issues, such as human rights.
11. Yet to what extent can the literature of Romanticism become global in scope and chronology, and still remain a coherent field of study? "Taking a Step, Learning from Below, and Imagining Plantetarity in Romanticism: On Poems for the Millennium Volume 3" by Marques Redd poses this intriguing question, and provides answers by reflecting on a teaching experiment that creates “a truly global Romanticism course” by surveying poems originally written in Bengali, Chinese, Danish, English, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. The essay provides a refreshingly candid account of Redd’s experiences teaching a reading-intensive course titled "Introduction to Global Romanticisms." The wide-ranging anthology of poetry edited by Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson in 2009, the third volume of Poems for the Millennium, serves as the basis for this exploration of what a course about Romantic literature can entail. Rothenberg and Robinson organize their volume into three parts: traditional Romanticism, what the editors call post-Romantic poetry, and the modern era. Some readers find this approach provocative; in his review of the book, Donald Mackenzie labels it “anthology-as-manifesto” (107). According to "Taking a Step," the editors make a case for viewing Romanticism as “an artistic movement that leads directly to the work of Ezra Pound.” Yet Redd also looks critically at the anthology, applying some of Harold Bloom’s criteria for what makes canonical literature great to the selection of course readings. This narrative offers readers ways to think about how to turn teaching challenges into opportunities for learning.
12. The last three essays in this volume share an interest in questions of empathy, communication, and cultural history in Western and non-Western contexts. "Teaching Romantic India" by Zak Sitter offers another discussion that shows the pedagogical value of foregrounding global exchanges in the classroom. Sitter presents two approaches to incorporating literature pertaining to India in the Romantic period: as a unit in a Romantic-era survey of British literature and its global influence, and as an advanced seminar on Anglophone Indian literature from the eighteenth century to the present titled “English in India/India in English.” Both courses embrace Harish Trivedi’s view of colonial discourse as a series of “transactions” (1). Both courses could be said to apply Trivedi’s transactional pedagogy by pairing texts written by British and Indian authors and asking students to articulate their similarities and differences. In the Romantic survey, for example, students read the nationalist poetry of Robert Burns alongside that of the Bengali poet, Henry Derozio (1809–31), author of "The Harp of India" (1827–31), a poem that also invites comparisons to Shelley’s poem "Ozymandias" (1818). In the upper-level seminar, Romantic-era texts include a novel, Hartly House, Calcutta (1789) by Phebe Gibbes (d. 1805), and a travel narrative, The Travels of Dean Mahomet (1794) by Dean Mahomet (c. 1759–1851), who also established London’s first Indian curry house. These fascinating texts offer opportunities for students to compare genres, on the one hand, and the authors’ cosmopolitan identities, on the other. The essay concludes with suggested approaches to teaching Sydney Owenson’s novel The Missionary: An Indian Tale (1811).
13. The final two essays offer two different approaches to teaching Transatlantic Romanticism, the pedagogy of which already has some presence online;  each course emphasizes the ways in which Romantic-era literature creates a space for readers to empathize with social justice issues across the world. Translating Revolution into Spanish: British Romanticism and the Spanish-Speaking World shares what the author, Juan Sanchez, calls “transoceanic perspectives” on the pamphlet wars of the 1790s, abolitionist literature of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and fiction and nonfiction about the era’s independence movements. By teaching The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789) alongside historical texts focused on independence movements in Jamaica, Haiti, and South America, faculty can offer students an example of Homi K. Bhabha’s concept of colonial mimicry. The essay also elaborates approaches to teaching two texts by women writers—Hannah More’s "Slavery, A Poem" (1788) and Leonora Sansay’s Secret History; or, The Horrors of St. Domingo (1808). Sanchez explicitly addresses Simpson’s argument about poetry and translation (see above), and provides an original translation of Simon Bolívar’s "Jamaica Letter" ("Carta de Jamaica," 1815). Engaging with this text alongside Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790), Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man (1791), and Mary Wollstonecraft’s Vindications of the Rights of Woman (1792) reminds students of the limits, possibilities, cultural nuances, and linguistic diversity of the human rights discourse around 1800. Thus, Sanchez makes a compelling case for bringing canonical British authors like Burke and Wollstonecraft into conversation with the authors of independence movements in the Southern Hemisphere, especially because doing so uncovers links not only between nations, but also links between the past and a present that is still often characterized by cultural amnesia regarding the history of slavery and enslaved peoples.
14. Teaching Global Romanticism concludes with a multimodal teaching demonstration of a course on "Black Atlantic Romanticisms." The essay "#BlackLivesMatter: The Black Atlantic Matters" by Joel Pace discusses American literature in the context of the transatlantic slave trade, one of the major global networks of the eighteenth century. Pace shares ideas for teaching Phillis Wheatley’s poem "On Being Brought from Africa to America" (1773) in conjunction with the Black Lives Matter movement on Twitter, and draws on W. E. B. Du Bois’s notion of double consciousness to introduce students to the “double-voicedness” of Wheatley’s poem. This approach is applied in ways that emphasize the visual and aural aspects of poetry. One method involves comparing the “mind maps” generated by the online content company Credo Reference. The essay also provides ingenious techniques for helping students appreciate Wheatley’s own “map to salvation”; students learn scansion by exploring syncopation in musical traditions from the African diaspora. Globalism, in “"#BlackLivesMatter," indicates communication, lack of communication, and hidden communications about a legacy of discrimination.
15. In rethinking the scope of Romantic-era literature, the six essays that form this volume on Teaching Global Romanticism invent new pedagogies. It is our hope that this volume will help instructors imagine approaches to expanding the borders of Romanticism beyond Britain and America, even when the texts themselves remain from those countries or in the English language. Bringing Anglophone Romanticism into conversation with writers from Continental Europe, Haiti, South America, or India deepens appreciation for the 1820s and 1830s, decades that have sometimes been neglected in the field, and revitalizes instructors’ appreciation for Romanticism and its unique perspective on the human condition. Collectively these essays demonstrate that the best way to teach Romanticism as a global body of literature is to expand the limits of our own knowledge as scholars.
Berger, Suzanne. Globalization. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT OpenCourseWare, Fall 2005, ocw.mit.edu/courses/political-science/17-196-globalization-fall-2005/index.htm. Accessed 24 March 2018.
Berkowitz, Peter. "Byron at Ground Zero." New Republic, vol. 227, no. 19, 2002, pp. 31–37.
Burke, Edmund. Reflections on the Revolution in France, edited by J. C. D. Clark, Stanford UP, 2001.
"Cosmopolitan." OED Online, Oxford UP, June 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/42259. Accessed 15 June 2018.
Crystal, David. English as a Global Language. 1997. Cambridge UP, 2003.
Derrida, Jacques. "Globalisation, Peace, and Cosmopolitanism." Negotiations: Interventions and Interviews, 1971–2001, translated by Elizabeth Rottenberg, Stanford UP, 2002, pp. 371–86.
Fetzer, John Francis. "Romantic Irony." European Romanticism: Literary Cross-Currents, Modes, and Models, edited by Gerhart Hoffmeister, Wayne State UP, 1990, pp. 19–36.
Fletcher, George P. Romantics at War: Glory and Guilt in the Age of Terrorism. Princeton UP, 2002.
"Global." OED Online, Oxford UP, January 2018, www.oed.com/view/Entry/79019. Accessed 25 March 2018.
Gottlieb, Evan. Romantic Globalism: British Literature and Modern World Order, 1750–1830. Ohio State UP, 2014.
———, and Katie Trumpener, editors. Global Romanticism: Origins, Orientations, and Engagements, 1760–1820. Bucknell UP, 2015.
Gunn, Giles. "Introduction: Globalizing Literary Studies." PMLA, vol. 116, no. 1, 2001, pp. 16–31.
Hughes, Linda, and Sarah R. Robbins. Teaching Transatlanticism: Resources for Teaching Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Print Culture. Texas Christian University, teachingtransatlanticism.tcu.edu/. Accessed 24 Mar. 2018.
Kilminster, Richard. "Globalization as an Emergent Concept." The Limits of Globalization: Cases and Arguments, edited by Alan Scott, Routledge, 1997, pp. 257–83.
Klancher, Jon. "Discriminations, or Romantic Cosmopolitanisms in London." Romantic Metropolis: the Urban Scene of British Culture, 1780–1840, edited by Kevin Gilmartin and Jon Klancher, Cambridge UP, 2005, pp. 65–82.
Li, V. "Elliptical Interruptions: Or, Why Derrida Prefers Mondialisation to Globalization." CR: The New Centennial Review, vol. 7, no. 2, 2007, pp. 141–54.
Liu, Xingjian, et al. "A Bibliometric Analysis of 20 Years of Globalization Research: 1990–2009." Globalizations, vol. 9, no. 2, 2012, pp. 195–210.
Mackenzie, Donald. "Review of European Romanticism: A Reader, edited by Jerome Rothenberg and Jeffrey C. Robinson." Translation and Literature, vol. 20, no. 1, 2011, pp. 98–108.
McGreal, Chris. "Why Rwanda Said Adieu to French." The Guardian, 16 Jan. 2009, www.theguardian.com/education/2009/jan/16/rwanda-english-genocide. Accessed 20 Aug. 2018.
Mizumura, Minae. The Fall of Language in the Age of English. Translated by Mari Yoshihara and Juliet Winters Carpenter, Columbia UP, 2015.
Nancy, Jean-Luc. The Creation of the World or Globalization. Translated by Francois Raffoul, SUNY Press, 2007.
Nussbaum, Felicity. "Introduction." The Global Eighteenth Century, edited by Felicity Nussbaum, Johns Hopkins UP, 2003, pp. 1–20.
Nussbaum, Martha. Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities. Princeton UP, 2016.
O’Brien, Susie, and Imre Szeman. "Introduction: The Globalization of Fiction / the Fiction of Globalization." South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 100, no. 3, 2001, pp. 603–26.
Pizer, John. "The German Response to Kant’s Essay on Perpetual Peace: Herder Contra the Romantics." Germanic Review, vol. 82, no. 4, 2007, pp. 343–68.
Ray, William. The Logic of Culture: Authority and Identity in the Modern Era. Blackwell, 2001.
Robertson, Roland. Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. Sage, 1992.
Rothenberg, Jerome, and Jeffrey C. Robinson, editors. Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of Romantic and Postromantic Poetry, vol. 3, U of California P, 2009.
Simpson, David. "The Limits of Cosmopolitanism and the Case for Translation." European Romantic Review, vol. 16, no. 2, 2005, pp. 141–52.
Spivak, Gayatri. An Aesthetic Education in the Era of Globalization. Harvard UP, 2012.
Trivedi, Harish. Colonial Transactions: English Literature and India. Manchester UP, 1995.
For an exegesis of Derrida’s lecture, see V. Li, "Elliptical Interruptions: Or, Why Derrida Prefers Mondialisation to Globalization" (2007). See also Jean-Luc Nancy’s book The Creation of the World or Globalization (2007); its translator, Francois Raffoul, substitutes “world-forming” for the term mondialisation (44). BACK
Many literary genres illustrate “evidence of cultural migrations,” as Giles Gunn remarks in his introductory essay to a special issue of PMLA on "Globalizing Literary Studies" in 2001 (17). That same year, the South Atlantic Quarterly published a special issue on the same theme. The guest editors note that literary scholars are uniquely situated to comment on the “numerous discourses or ‘fictions’ of globalization” (O’Brien and Szeman 604). Around this time, in 2005, Suzanne Berger offered a Political Science course at MIT on Globalization that is now available online via Open Course Ware BACK
Richard Kiliminster writes: “The Humanitätsideal that Herder shared with Winckelmann, Humboldt, and Goethe specified—contrary to the more rationalistic view of humankind found elsewhere in the Enlightenment, particularly in France—that humans are diverse the rational and irrational aspects of the human personality being unified in a harmonious whole” (263). BACK
Scholars led by Linda Hughes and Sarah R. Robbins at Texas Christian University created an online collection, Teaching Transatlanticism: Resources for Teaching Nineteenth-Century Anglo-American Print Culture. BACK