Reviews & Receptions

Edited by Suzanne L. Barnett, Alex Gatten, Lenora Hanson, and Ross Wilson


Chris Bundock and Elizabeth Effinger, eds., William Blake’s Gothic Imagination: Bodies of Horror (Manchester University Press, 2018). 312 pp., 22 b&w illus. (Hdbk., $120; ISBN 978-1-5261-2194-3).

Mark Coeckelbergh New Romantic Cyborgs: Romanticism, Information Technology, and the End of the Machine (Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT Press, 2017). 320 pp. (£14.00, ISBN. 9780262035460).

Anna Mercer, The Collaborative Literary Relationship of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (New York and London: Routledge, 2019). 210 pp. (Hdbk., $155, ISBN 9780367277956).

Timothy Michael. British Romanticism and the Critique of Political Reason (Johns Hopkins UP, 2016). 283 pp., (Hdbk., $ 54.95; ISBN 978-1-4214-1803-2).

Jenny Diplacidi, Gothic Incest: Gender, Sexuality and Transgression (Manchester University Press, 2018). 312 pp. (Hdbk., £80.00, ISBN 978-1-7849-9306-1).

Alexander Regier, Exorbitant Enlightenment: Blake, Hamann and Anglo-German Constellations (Oxford University press, 2018). 272pp. (Hdbk, $74.00; ISBN 9780198827122)

Richard C. Sha, Imagination and Science in Romanticism (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018). 344 pp. (Hdbk., $59.95; ISBN 9781421425788).

Dahlia Porter, Science, Form, and the Problem of Induction in British Romanticism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018). 314 pp., 13 b&w illus. (Hdbk., $99.00; ISBN 97811084189420).

Jonathan Sachs, The Poetics of Decline in British Romanticism (Cambridge University Press, 2018). 246 pp. (Hdbk., $99.99; ISBN 9781108420310).

Manu Samriti Chander, Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century (Bucknell University Press, 2017). 125 pp. (Hdbk., $90; ISBN 0-8387-9781-0).

George Gordon, Lord Byron, Manfred (Ontario: Broadview, 2017). 138 pp. (Pbk. £14.50, ISBN. 9781554813681)
D. A. Dunkley, Agency of the Enslaved: Jamaica and the Culture of Freedom in the Atlantic World (Lexington Books, 2013). 240pp. (Hdbk., $65.00; ISBN 978-0-7391-6803-5).

About Reviews & Receptions

The new Romantic Circles Reviews & Receptions section is an innovative venture in contemporary Romantic scholarship, comprising short reviews of recent work, live BookChats, BookLists, a forum for debate, and an evolving compendium of appearances of Romanticism in popular culture.


Rock and Romanticism: Blake, Wordsworth, and Rock from Dylan to U2 (Lexington Books) and Rock and Romanticism: Post-Punk, Goth, and Metal as Dark Romanticisms (Palgrave Macmillan)...
A conversation with Jon Klancher (Carnegie Mellon University) about his text, Transfiguring the Arts and Sciences: Knowledge and Cultural Institutions in the Romantic Age (Cambridge UP, 2012...

Book Chats

Romantic Circles BookChat: Michael Gamer's Romanticism, Self-Canonization, and the Business of Poetry, hosted by Kirstyn Leuner

Kirstyn Leuner (Assistant Professor, Santa Clara University) hosts a chat with Michael Gamer (Professor, University of Pennsylvania) to discuss his new book Romanticism, Self-Canonization, and the Business of Poetry (Cambridge Studies in Romanticism, 2017). Their guests are Jeffrey N. Cox (Professor, University of Colorado Boulder), Devin Griffiths (Assistant Professor, University of Southern California), and Devoney Looser (Professor, Arizona State University). Prof. Gamer apologizes for the occasional technical difficulties, since he conducted the chat while staying in a guest house in Dorset with iffy wifi.

Romantic Circles BookChat: Ossianic Unconformities, by Eric Gidal

Eric Gidal, Tobias Menely, and Theresa Kelley discuss Ossianic Unconformities: Bardic Poetry in the Industrial Age (U of Virginia P, 2015); Moderated by Jesse Oak Taylor.

Romantic Circles BookChat: Romantic Globalism by Evan Gottlieb

Siobhan Carroll​, James Mulholland​, Miranda Burgess​, and Evan Gottlieb​ discuss Romantic Globalism: British Literature and Modern World Order, 1750-1830 (Ohio State UP, 2014); Moderated by Roger Whitson.

This marks the first ever Romantic Circles Reviews and Receptions BookChat.


Rowan Rose Boyson collects and discusses seven wide-ranging approaches to the subject of Romanticism and Enlightenment:

  1. Marshall Brown, ‘Romanticism and Enlightenment’ in The Cambridge Companion to British Romanticism, ed. by Stuart Curran, 2nd edn (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010)
  2. Simon Swift, Romanticism, Literature and Philosophy: Expressive Rationality in Rousseau, Kant, Wollstonecraft and Contemporary Theory (Continuum, 2009)
  3. Frances Ferguson, Pornography: The Theory, or what Utilitarianism did to Action (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004)
  4. Nancy Yousef, Isolated Cases: Anxieties of Autonomy in...

Robert Mitchell collects and discusses eight wide-ranging approaches to the subject of Romanticism and the Sciences:

  1. Hannah Arendt, The Human Condition (Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1998)
  2. Alan Bewell, Wordsworth and the Enlightenment: Nature, Man, and Society in the Experimental Poetry (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1989)
  3. Georges Canguilhem, “The Living and its Milieu,” Grey Room 3 (2001): 7-31
  4. Michel Foucault, Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at the College de France, 1977-78, trans. G. Burchell; ed. M. Senellart (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)
  5. Denise Gigante, “The Monster in...

This list will seem noticeably familiar to many.  And that appears to be the point.  If there ever was a primal scene for Romanticism and theory, especially in the way it was staged within North America, the 1970s would be the name for it.  Explicitly confronting or implicitly shadowboxing with that decade’s critical disposition still colors our critical endeavors more than forty years afterward, from New Historicism in the 1980s to contemporary interventions of the New Materialisms and the Affective Turn.

Conference Panel Reviews

Panelists and Papers:

  • Joshua Wilner (City College and The Graduate Center, CUNY), “‘I Cannot Further Explain Myself on This Point’: Maimon’s Obscure Differentials”
  • Amy Kahrmann Huseby (University of Wisconsin-Madison), “The Calculus, the Infinitesimal, and the Non-Narratable in Wordsworth’s Prelude
  • Rachel Feder (University of Denver), "Dark Horizons"
  • Aaron Ottinger (University of Washington), "Between None and Don Juan," Moderator

Panelists and Papers:

  • Catherine Engh (Graduate Center, CUNY), “Environmental Aesthetics and Infection in Sense and Sensibility
  • Daniela Garofalo (University of Oklahoma), “Abandoned by Providence: Loss in Jane Austen’s Persuasion
  • Christopher Stampone (Southern Methodist University), “‘Obliged to Yield’: The Language of Patriarchy and the System of Slavery in Mansfield Park
  • Moderator: Talia Vestri Croan (Boston University)

Panelists and Papers:

  • Thora Brylowe (University of Colorado, Boulder), “Ode on a Not-So-Grecian Urn: Blake’s Portland Vase and the Work of Engraving”
  • Jennifer Davis Michael (Sewanee, University of the South), “Voices of the Ground: Silence and Articulation in Gray, Wordsworth, and Blake”
  • Jacob Henry Leveton (Northwestern University), “Going Dark: Blake’s Abstract Color Fields and the Pitt Surveillance State”
  • Moderator: Mark Lussier (Arizona State University)

Keynote Lecture: ‘“Middle Summer’s Spring”: Seasonable Months, Warming Skies’

Anne-Lise François (University of California, Berkeley)

At the heart of François’s wide-ranging talk was the disturbance that, to borrow Andreas Malm’s term, fossil capital has wrought on the relation of the earth to the sun. Drawing on Malm, but also on Heidegger and the unjustly neglected Marxist historian of agriculture Colin Duncan, François set out how human beings have sought to slip the moors of seasonality in order to foster and indulge a fantasy of the permanent availability of goods – which is a fantasy, not least because one major consequence of the release of the power of the sun stored in fossil fuels is to trap it all over again, only this time with devastating consequences in the atmosphere...

Panelists and Papers:

  • Rachel Lewis (University of California, Berkeley), “Seeing Shelley Plain: Mediating the Romantic Past in Browning and James”
  • Matthew Ward (University of Birmingham), “Arnold’s Struggle with Byron”
  • Federica Coluzzi (The University of Manchester), “Beyond Creative Appropriation: The Romantic Critical Discourse on Dante from Coleridge to G. Rossetti”
  • Alessia Benedetti (The University of Manchester), “Between Romanticism and Anti-Romanticism: A Journey Across Pre- and Post-Revolutionary Reception of Dante in Russia”
  • Moderator: Ingrid Hanson (The University of Manchester)

Panelists and Papers:

  • Jennifer Davis Michael (University of the South), “Silence and Secrecy in Blake’s Europe
  • Sharon Choe (University of York), “Dismembered and Disenchanted: The Seven Corporeal Ages in The Book of Urizen
  • Martina Zamparo (University of Udine), “’The Male is a Furnace of beryl; the Female is a Golden Loom’: The Energetic Rivalry Between Man and Woman in Blake’s Artistic System”
  • Sheila Spector (Independent Scholar), “Blake’s Aesthetic Treatment of Ugolino’s Political Imprisonment”
  • Moderator: Colin Trodd (University of Manchester)

Panelists and Papers:

  • Karalyne Lowery (United States Air Force Academy), “‘That Is Also My Victim!’: Victimization and Repression in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein of 1818”
  • Cassandra Falke (University of Tromsø, Norway), “Reading Terror through the Romantic Sublime”
  • Katherine Montwieler (University of North Carolina, Wilmington), “Neglect and Childhood Trauma in Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights: Writing the Domestic (Abuse) Novel”
  • Moderator: Christopher Stampone


  • Michael Gamer (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Kevin Hutchings (University of Northern British Columbia)

Lee Nevitt
Tufts University

On Thursday, April 20, 2017, the Red Bull Theater of New York City produced a dramatic reading of Lord Byron’s Manfred. This performance preceded a day-long international symposium on the play at New York University. The two-day event brought local theater-goers together with Byron scholars from around the world in celebration of the bicentenary of the play’s publication in 1817. As the organizer of both events, Omar F. Miranda (University of San Francisco), remarked: “In order to commemorate Manfred’s 200th anniversary, I was fortunate enough to bring together some of the very best theater experts and literary critics...

Panelists and Papers: 

  • Atesede Makonnen (Johns Hopkins University), “‘The actual sight of the thing’: Horror, Blackness, and Romantic Visualizations of Race”
  • Cesar Soto (University of Notre Dame), “‘Reflections on Exile’: Criollo Romanticisms”
  • Omar F. Miranda (University of San Francisco), “Romantic Celebrity and the Journal of Exile: El Colombiano and The Liberal
  • Bakary Diaby (Skidmore College), “Feeling Black, Feeling Back: Racism, Fragility, and Romanticism”
  • Manu Samriti Chander (Rutgers University--Newark), Respondent
  • Moderators: Deanna Koretsky (Spelman College) and Joel Pace (University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire)

Panelists and Papers:

  • Andrew Barbour (University of California, Berkeley), “Blake’s Industrial Revolutions”
  • Jennifer Yida Pan (University of Chicago), “Elemental Technology in Romanticism, or forms of hinging”
  • John Mulligan (Rice University), “Romantic Data: Knowledge Discovery in the Herschel Archive”
  • Chair: Nicholas Halmi (Oxford University)

Panelists and Papers:

  • Jessica Roberson (Mount Saint Mary’s University), “‘In short, I’m sick of sickness’: Thomas Hood, Chronic Illness, and Form”
  • Erin Lafford (University of Derby), “‘Fancys or feelings’: John Clare’s Hypochondriac Poetics”
  • Thomas J. Brennan (Saint Joseph’s University), “Dramatized Empathy: Aids and Romanticism in Paul Monette’s Last Watch of the Night
  • Chair: John Savarese (University of Waterloo)

Panelists and Papers:

  • Benjamin Blackman (UC Davis), "Melancholy Matters: Wollstonecraft's Empty Commerce"
  • Shelby Carr (Lehigh University), "'I, the offspring of love, and the child of the woods': Natural Oblivion in Mary Shelley's Matilda"
  • Taylin Nelson, "'Ever open grave': Romantic Melancholy and Devouring Landscapes"
  • Chair: Kathryn Ready (The University of Winnipeg)