All posts by Arden Hegele

Farewell Editorial

Dear colleagues and friends,

It has been a tremendous pleasure to serve as the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus Blog editor since the Autumn of 2014. I have been privileged to read the work of many wonderful writers, who have each lent their distinctive approach to the study of Romanticism. We have been lucky to have had a Poet and an Artist in Residence, an art historian with a specialization in ecological criticism, Keatsians, Goths, Austen experts, literary scholars from graduate programs across the United States, Canada, and Europe, and many fabulous guest writers who work in nineteenth-century studies. To each of you, thank you for your contributions. I hope you will continue writing for the NGSC in future, and I look forward to seeing many of you at NASSR in Berkeley this summer.

Continue reading Farewell Editorial

Brief Cuts: Epitaph Guidebooks

Brief Cuts: material that’s been cut from a dissertation chapter! 

During the 18th century, the epitaph was a malleable genre that performed several functions: it appeared on actual gravestones, but was also used in satirical verses by writers such as Alexander Pope. The epitaph was so popular, and so free-form, that writers began to compose guidebooks on how to compose the perfect epitaph (these guides resemble the epistolary guidebooks that inspired Samuel Richardson’s Pamela). One such guide is Samuel Johnson’s essay on “Pope’s Epitaphs,” reprinted in his Life of Pope. A more compendious volume, capturing the free-form nature of the epitaph, is John Bowden’s guidebook on the form, The Epitaph-Writer (1791). In this text, Bowden uses didactic epitaphs as models: Continue reading Brief Cuts: Epitaph Guidebooks

Brief Cuts: Romantic Hairstyles

Brief Cuts: material that’s been cut from a dissertation chapter! 

We can see how the interplay between post-Revolutionary politics, madness, and gender coalesced in day-to-day life by examining the semiotics of Romantic-era women’s hair.

English hairstyles after the Revolution had multiple meanings: loose, unpowdered hair meant democratic reform, while wigs carried conservative, aristocratic associations, and quickly went out of vogue. A short haircut, “in sympathetic imitation of victims’ hair before they were guillotined,” signified an informed protest against the Revolution. Continue reading Brief Cuts: Romantic Hairstyles

New Initiative: Romantic Bicentennials!

I’m pleased to announce a new initiative sponsored by the Keats-Shelley Association of America and the Byron Society of America: ROMANTIC BICENTENNIALS! This project offers scholars, readers, and the general public the opportunity to get involved and to receive updates about annual symposia, related conferences,  networked events, and other media celebrating 200 years of Romanticism.

The project’s main website (still under construction) is located here: http://dev-romantic-bicentenials.pantheon.io/. On the website, read about each day’s events 200 years ago, and stay informed about current scholarly events celebrating bicentennial anniversaries throughout 2016 to 2024 (Geneva to Missolonghi). There will be one major sponsored conference each year: this year, it’ll be on May 21st, at the New York Public Library, celebrating the Genevan Summer of 1816.

Reach out if you would like to get involved — we’re looking for people to live-tweet events with our hashtag #‎Romantics200‬! We are also looking for scholars to participate in the annual symposia, as well as to attend the networked events throughout the year. To stay in touch, connect with us through our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/romanticbicentennials/. (A twitter handle is coming soon). And write to me if you have questions!

New Romantic CFPs!

Dear Readers,

We at the NGSC hope you are enjoying a pleasant and productive semester! A whole range of exciting calls for papers has just been announced for Spring and Summer 2016 — many of which celebrate Romantic bicentennials. Here’s a brief taste of some of what’s ahead — and which deadlines to note down. Enjoy!

JOHN KEATS: 3rd Bicentennial Conference
May 20-22, 2016
Keats House, Hampstead

Full CFP to come!

CHARLOTTE BRONTE:
A Bicentennial Celebration of her Life and Works
May 13-14, 2016
Chawton House Library, Chawton, Hampshire. Continue reading New Romantic CFPs!

Juvenilia: The Syllabus!

I’ve been musing for a while about how much fun it would be to organize a class for undergraduates centered around the theme of creative writing by youthful authors.  Perhaps because of the Romantic association between individuality, genius, and youth (an idea that persists in present-day cultures of information technology), 18th- and 19th-century literature is wonderfully full of examples of juvenile authorship. In this post, I’ll just name a few examples of texts that might pair well together in a class on juvenilia in the 18th and 19th centuries, with special focus on the Romantic period. I’d welcome the  additional suggestions of readers! Continue reading Juvenilia: The Syllabus!

Female Cross-Dressers in 18th-Century and Romantic England

Welcome back, readers! As Managing Editor, I am excited to say that we have an all-star lineup of new bloggers, roundtables, and conferences to share with you this Fall. (For the identities of these mysterious new bloggers, who represent a wide selection of American and Canadian universities, take a look at Our Writers).

In the midst of getting organized for the new semester of NGSC blogging, though, I’m also preparing to give a presentation for my friend Katie Gemmill’s undergraduate seminar at Columbia, which she has brilliantly titled “Miss Behaviour: Transgressive Women in 18th-Century British Fiction.” In response to the assigned primary-source texts on dress, disguise, and gender, I will be providing some historical background for female cross-dressing during this period. Since I think blog readers are just as likely as students to be intrigued by the topic, I’ll introduce to you now some fascinating (and, most importantly, * real *) cases of female cross-dressing and concealed identity — especially in the context of same-sex relationships —  in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Continue reading Female Cross-Dressers in 18th-Century and Romantic England

Call for Bloggers, 2015-2016

It’s that time of year again — we are looking for new bloggers to write for the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus Blog in 2015-2016!

Bloggers must commit to one post per month throughout the academic year. Posts can range from in-depth scholarly inquiries, to book reviews, interviews with faculty, and reports on conferences, to humorous quips and original creative work, whether artistic or literary: all are welcome.

To apply, please email the Managing Editor, Arden Hegele, with a CV and a short statement of interest, by Monday, September 7th. Applicants will be notified by September 15th.

Dickens in Eden, 2.0

NASSR-time is upon us, and I am very excited to see many of our Romanticist writers and readers in Winnipeg! Readers can expect an update on the conference — and particularly the sessions for graduate students — next week. But first, I’d like to give my report on The Dickens Universe 2015, which I attended for the first time at UC Santa Cruz at the beginning of this month. This annual week-long event is part academic conference, part professionalism workshop, part Victorian reenactment, and part summer camp: it brings together faculty and graduate students from the US and abroad, but also “Road Scholars” of all ages whose admiration for Boz brings them back each year to discuss a new novel. And, while Dickens isn’t strictly part of the Romanticist repertoire, the conference has much to offer for the aspiring nineteenth-century aficionado/a. Continue reading Dickens in Eden, 2.0