CFP: Novel Prospects: Teaching Romantic-Era Fiction

Novel Prospects: Teaching Romantic-Era Fiction

Guest Editors: Patricia A. Matthew & Miriam L. Wallace

Call for Papers: Novel Prospects: Teaching Romantic-Era Fiction

"Let me make the novels of a country, and let who will make the systems" (Anna Laetitia Barbauld, "On the Origin and Progress of Novel Writing")

Proposals are invited for new volume of the Romantic Pedagogy Commons on narrative fiction from 1780-1832.

From a much-neglected genre for Romanticists, narrative fiction has become a consistent feature at conferences, in special issues of journals, and the subject of monographs and collected essays. This notoriously cannibalistic genre can include the philosophical romance, didactic fiction, the Jacobin and anti-Jacobin English novel, the moral tale, novels of sensibility, seduction narratives, gothic fictions, and the political novel, merely to name a few. As work on Romantic-era fiction expands and the list of authors who might be included on course syllabi expands beyond Ann Radcliffe, Walter Scott, Mary Shelley, Mme de Genlis, and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, we invite considerations of how effectively to teach this material to undergraduates. Put simply, what kind of work does Romantic era fiction do in the classroom, and how should it be considered in our teaching? We seek thoughtful essays that address specific pedagogical problems and offer excellent models for teaching this material are solicited. We are most interested in essays that blend discussions of the larger questions surrounding the teaching of Romantic era fictions with the practical issues of bringing these texts to students.

Some questions contributions might address include:

• What are the advantages or costs of naming these works "Romantic" and what is signified by "Romantic" when speaking of narrative fiction?

• Are these works primarily of interest to cultural critics or those who seek to add historical context, or do they merit careful literary or even aesthetic examination in themselves?

• What reconsiderations of dominant literary narratives does addressing prose fiction demand?

• How does teaching this material change or impact pedagogical practice(s)?

• What kinds of works must be included to offer a reasonable representation of the richness of this literature?

• Are secondary sources required before undergraduates can access these works, or do these novels themselves function most often as secondary materials themselves in a Romantic Literature course?

• What meta-critical issues are addressed through teaching these materials?  How do they invite a consideration of critical apparatuses?

• How might literature of this era be taught alongside texts generally included in Romanticism courses.

Essays may also helpfully include supporting materials that will be of use for other teachers and that can be accessed in electronic form such as text,  sound, or image files.

Essay proposals (including title and 200-word abstract) are invited on any aspect of "Teaching Romantic-era Fiction." Essays for this volume may vary in length from 3,000-10,000, words, though 6000-8000 is recommended as a goal; please indicate the proposed length of your submission. Submit your proposal to Patricia Matthew <> by November 30, 2006. All submissions will be peer-reviewed. Romantic Circles editorial staff will adapt the code and design of essays and materials to site standards, so submissions may be in MS Word or HTML format. Final essays (and permissions) will need to be submitted to Patricia Matthew as e-mail attachments by March 15th, 2007.

The online format of the Commons can accommodate publications which include resources such as sample syllabi, lesson plans, links to handouts, primary reading texts, or in-class exercises, web pages or samples of web-based student activities, full-color illustrations and designs, sound files, digital video, and so on. In your proposal, please include comments about your plans to use these kinds of elements if you would like to do so. All submissions are encouraged to include: (1) a guide to further reading, and (2) links to useful online resources. To see examples of what is possible in this medium, you might take a look at the Romantic Circles Praxis volumes or the “Innovations” or "Ecology" issues of Romantic Pedagogy Commons.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS: November 30, 2006. Please submit your proposal to Patricia Matthew <>. If you have questions about the proposed volume, or wish to discuss possible topics, please contact the editors:

Miriam Wallace
New College of Florida
Patricia A. Matthew
Montclair University