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RC Reviews & Receptions: Editorial Statement

Friday, August 28, 2015 - 09:34

Over twenty academic journals currently review Romantic-period scholarship. Whether in print or in digital form, these follow the same reviewing format: single-authored essays of roughly 2500 words. We at Romantic Circles, however, believe that a new approach is needed that exploits the web’s speed, networked possibilities, and rich multimedia environments. Our goal in Romantic Circles’ Reviews & Receptions section is twofold: first, to give scholars an opportunity to read about and comment on recent but also older Romantic research in ways that are less burdensome than with the traditional review; and second, to offer diverse content that appeals to nineteenth-century scholars but which also, in the same spirit in which Romantic Circles was founded, reaches a wider audience.

We offer a quicker turnaround between book publication and review, but we also aim to transform the way the reception of Romantic scholarship (and Romanticism more broadly) is conceived and presented. Reviewing should resemble a conversation; it should be a congenial space in which authors and readers can respond to one another. In order to provide the opportunity for such a dialogue to happen, the RC Reviews & Receptions section supplements the traditional review-essay with a variety of new formats: Google Hangout video sessions ("BookChats") organized around new books; author interviews, either written or recorded; short reviews of books, articles, digital resources, and other cultural artifacts relating to Romantic culture (from exhibits and film adaptations to graffiti); "BookLists" of books and essays in various areas of research; chronicles of past research; surveys of foreign-language scholarship on Romanticism; and editors’ picks. This material will be archived thematically to provide users with a convenient teaching and research resource.

Reviews & Receptions believes that broadening the scope of the scholarly review can help create ongoing scholarly conversations, reinforce the peer-to-peer networks of the field, and promote Romanticism as a vibrant and vital area of study.

Reviews & Receptions is keen to receive proposals for contributions addressing recent scholarly publications or receptions of Romanticism in wider culture adopting any of the formats described above. Please contact one or more of the editors below to propose a review or feature. 

Editorial Collective

Ross Wilson Suzanne L. Barnett
Ross Wilson is Lecturer in Criticism at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College. He is the author of Shelley and the Apprehension of Life (Cambridge University Press, 2013), as well as of books on Theodor Adorno and Kant's aesthetic theory, and editor of The Meaning of 'Life' in Romantic Poetry and Poetics (Routledge, 2009). He has published essays on Coleridge, Clare, Robert Browning, and on topics in the history and theory of literary criticism in Romanticism, New German Critique, and elsewhere. He is currently writing a history of the genres of criticism from around 1750. Suzanne L. Barnett’s first book, Romantic Paganism: the Politics of Ecstasy in the Shelley Circle (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) examines the role of the classical world in the imaginations of the second-generation Romantic authors. Her forthcoming collection (co-edited with Ashley Cross and Kate Singer) entitled Material Transgressions: Beyond Romantic Bodies, Genders, Things will be published in Liverpool University Press’s Romantic Reconfigurations series. She also has contributed essays to Keats’s Negative Capability: New Origins and Afterlives (ed. Brian Rejack and Michael Theune, LUP 2018) and Frankenstein and Its Classics: The Modern Prometheus from Antiquity to Science Fiction(eds. Benjamin Eldon Stevens,‎ Jesse Weiner, and‎ Brett M. Rogers, Bloomsbury 2018). In addition to being the co-editor of Romantic Circles Reviews & Receptions, she is the author of articles in PMLA, Essays in Romanticism, and Keats-Shelley Journal. She is also the co-editor of a series of digital editions of William Godwin’s Juvenile Library texts for Romantic Circles.
Lenora Hanson Alex Gatten
Lenora Hanson is an Assistant Professor of English at New York University. Her work looks to figurative language as it structured Romantic-era concepts of life and, in the process, blurred boundaries between bodies, species, and populations. In particular, she is interested in how scientific and economic discourses operated through the language of poetry, relying on tropes of substitution and exchange, animation and deanimation, totality and parts to posit claims about biological life and reproduction. Her current research focuses on how such language was used—in both literary and non-literary texts—to distinguish political revolutions from political disruptions (such as riots, rebellions, sabotage, etc.) in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and how such distinctions turned on an association of the latter with the nonhuman and the mechanical. This project puts Romanticism into direct conversation with contemporary political theory and its attention to surplus populations, primitive accumulation, political agency, and competing notions of materialism. Alex Gatten is a Visiting Assistant Professor and Associate Director of First-Year Writing at the University of Connecticut. His work explores the relationship between gender and sexuality and forms of writing, including Romantic poetry and poetics, queer rhetorics, and digital writing. He is particularly interested in the ways that readers and authors gender the forms and shapes of writing and the ways that works of writing are themselves bodies and embodied. A portion of this research focusing on Leigh Hunt's use of feminine rhyme has been published in the European Romantic Review.

Style Guide for Reviewers

Suggestions for reviews to appear in Romantic Circles Reviews & Receptions are warmly welcome and should be submitted to a member of the editorial team (listed below). While there is no specified word limit, short reviews of single titles should usually be in the range of 700-800 words; longer review essays of more than one title should be around 1200-1500 words. Submissions should be double-spaced throughout and paragraphs indented. Please follow MLA guidelines (8th edition) in matters of style. Hypertext links are welcome where relevant.

Reviews should be headed with full bibliographical information in the following format:

Nicholas Mason, Literary Advertising and the Shaping of British Romanticism (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013). 216 pp., 26 b&w illus. (Hdbk., $49.95; ISBN 9781421409986).

Please include your name and current institutional affiliation at the beginning of the review.

RCR&R Editorial Collective
Suzanne L. Barnett <>
Ross Wilson <>
Lenora Hanson <>
Alex Gatten <>