Category Archives: News

Statements of Interest (2017 Co-Chair Elections)


Madison Chapman (University of Chicago)

I am Madison Chapman, a second year English Literature PhD student at the University of Chicago. I work on British Romanticism (with a focus on poetry) and I also have an interest in the Gothic. My research questions most often emerge from gender and sexuality studies, queer theory and the history of medicine. My decision to become a Romanticist was shaped in part by my experience as an undergrad at NASSR’s 2014 annual conference in Bethesda so now I am interested in expanding my involvement with NASSR. I was overwhelmed by the vivacity of conversations emerging from panel discussions and I was moved to pursue graduate school in order to involve myself in such exciting scholarship.

I believe I am well qualified to serve as a co-chair given my history of maintaining responsibilities through long term academic service commitments. As an undergraduate, I served on multiple departmental committees over two years, and at the University of Chicago I am the Humanities Division Graduate Representative on the Library Student Advisory Council. I currently serve as the co-chair of social activities for my department, I am co-coordinating our 2017 graduate student conference, and I am a regular participant at UChicago’s Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Cultures Workshop. In addition to my specifically academic experiences, I can bring website and event planning skills to this job. I have freelanced for my hometown newspaper for seven years and worked on multiple web and blog-based projects. In my gap year before graduate school, I worked full time in the Career Center at American University where I helped develop marketing plans and maintain web communication for professionalization events. These past experiences will inform my ability to plan the pub night, assist with the NGSC web presence, coordinate the professional roundtable, and liaise with graduate students and faculty mentors. As co-chair, I hope to balance interests in promoting scholarly development for graduate students alongside publicizing professionalization opportunities. NASSR has already played an important role in my own academic journey and I would be thrilled to take on this active role in cultivating a strong graduate student community.

Stephanie Edwards (McMaster University)

My name is Stephanie and I am a first-year PhD student in the department of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Under the supervision of Dr. David Clark, I completed my MA in English at McMaster as well, writing a thesis that investigates the ways in which Mary Shelley’s final novel, Falkner, engages with the figure of the palimpsest in regards to other texts in Shelley’s oeuvre, within the diegetic of the text itself, and towards larger social and political concerns of women creators in the nineteenth century. I plan to continue my work on the palimpsest during my PhD, using my dissertation to explore how the palimpsest, as a methodology, can create a more generative space to think of, talk about, and listen to the visible minorities of Romanticism. If elected as co-chair, I would like to extend my passion for participating in and supporting open, inclusive spaces to the NGSC and to continue the work of the co-chairs before me of making the NGSC a diverse space to lift up, showcase, and challenge the important work being done by graduate students in our field and beyond.

As a member of the McMaster Graduate Professionalization Committee I have knowledge of what graduate students are interested in learning about, both within and outside of the academy, as well as experience in promoting and running successful professionalization workshops. I have also been a blogger for the NGSC blog for the past year, which I believe shows my commitment and growing interest in the dissemination of our research and pedagogy, and how they relate to and complicate the world we live in today. Additionally, I believe that my background in social media and brand management — while completing my BA at Lakehead University, I worked for three years in the Marketing and Communications department — makes me a unique candidate for this position and would enable me to enhance and increase the NGSC’s online presence. Overall, I am incredibly passionate about engaging with and supporting fellow graduate students and it would be a wonderful experience to be elected as NGSC co-chair and be able to turn that passion into action.

Sarah Faulkner (University of Washington)

Hi everyone, my name is Sarah Faulkner, I’m a fourth-year Ph.D. Candidate in English with a certificate in Textual and Digital Studies at the University of Washington. I’m currently working on a dissertation on Romantic women writers (specifically Jane Porter, alongside Lady Morgan, Maria Edgeworth, Christian Isobel Johnstone, and Susan Ferrier), print culture, and the national-historical novel entitled:  “Authorship and Authenticity: Jane Porter and the Romantic National-Historical Novel.” Building off of the amazing work by NASSR Grads thus far, my hope is to encourage further connection through social media and through connecting interested grads in small cross-university communities to share resources for teaching, conferences, publishing, and the ever-dreaded job market. Possibly even a cohort trivia competition at NASSR next year?

In addition to my studies, I’m the Lead Coordinator of the 18/19C Graduate Research Cluster at the UW, the Organizer of JaneFest 2017, new NASSR Blogger, the out-going Executive Officer of the English Graduate Student Organization, UW in the High School Liaison, Project Coordinator for Rare Books at UW, and the Coordinator for the Mentorship Program for the Second World Congress of Scottish Literature, in addition to teaching 200 level classes at UW. I am passionate about service, connection, and innovation within our field. I enjoy organizing, both social events and hairy logistics, and like wheedling people to come to the things I plan. I hope to serve as a point of connection in a larger web of support for all the incredible Romanticist grads, and to selfishly enjoy meeting all of you.

 Travis Lau (University of Pennsylvania)

I am currently a PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania working at the intersections of the 18th and 19th-century British literature and culture, the history of medicine, and disability studies. My diss project is a literary and cultural history of immunity and vaccination in relation to the rise of the security state and population health. As such, my research and teaching have always been interested in thinking across disciplinary and period lines, and I hope to be able to foster such conversations during my term as co-chair. I think these conversations, especially given our turbulent political climate, need to happen in ways that make our scholarship not only more public but accessible. As a community, NASSR can facilitate this in conference spaces (conference theme, panel design, papers selected and given) but also through digital forums and non-traditional forms of publishing, as well as mentorship among grads and between grads and scholars at different stages of their career.

In the past, I have served as the organizer of Penn’s Restoration-Victorian reading group. I am currently the co-chair of ASECS’ Disability Caucus. Beyond these organizational positions, I serve in a number of editorial roles with publications like The Review of Disability Studies and frequently write for publications geared toward public scholarship like the very recent Medical and Health Humanities organized by one of our, Arden Hegele. I hope to be able to share these kinds of experiences with the NASSR grad student community and work to expand grad voices in the field and beyond.

Caroline Winter (University of Victoria)

As an NGSC Co-Chair, I would help strengthen our community through social media and liaise with the NASSR board to ensure graduate students’ concerns are heard and addressed. I am a PhD Candidate in the English Department at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. My dissertation investigates Romantic Gothic literature in its economic contexts; my other research interests include women’s writing, print culture and book history, and digital humanities. I am starting my second year as the Managing Editor of the NGSC blog, and wrote regularly for the blog for a year before that. I also helped organize and chair the professional development panel at the NASSR conference in Ottawa this past August.


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

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: 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: (A twitter handle is coming soon). And write to me if you have questions!

Planning for MLA!

With winter break almost now in full swing, we have to come to a frightening realization: MLA 2016 in Austin is just 3 weeks away!

In preparation for this event, the largest of our academic yearly conferences, some of us might be sweating profusely over the idea of interviewing for those dearly coveted jobs, while others may be frantically polishing papers for our MLA debuts.

To help minimize the fury of pre-conference preparations, here below you’ll find a list of panels and events that may be of particular interest to young Romantic scholars and graduate students. Bookmark it now!

The entire searchable program is available online here. And the Committee on the Status of Graduate Students in the Profession has gathered a catalogue of important networking and social events at the conference, along with workshops and panels of interest to graduate students, which can be found listed here.

See you in Austin!!


Continue reading Planning for MLA!

COP21: Halfway Through

Today marks the halfway point of the COP21 United Nations Climate Summit, a multinational effort–including some 30,000 delegates and diplomats from 195 countries–to produce a global accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, slow and eventually stop human-produced global warming, and begin to alleviate environmental problems associated with the industrial-scale burning of fossil fuels. Because the climate negotiators are taking today as a break, I felt it a good time to offer my summary and assessment of how matters have progressed in Paris.

Reason for Optimism

Overall, I have been heartened by a number of the advancements made. The discussion at the conference has, in large part, served to validate the optimism that columnist Mark Hertsgaard showed in his critical piece that appeared in The Nation last month. There, Hertsgaard made the case that “popular pressure” ahead of the COP21 has actively moved policy makers towards positions that would increasingly “leave fossil fuels in the ground.” This represents a major departure from the failed talks in Copenhagen in 2009, when public opinion had not yet turned in favor of policy-based action against global warming to the extent it has today. This shift is borne out by recent polling: two-thirds of Americans now believe that the US should join an international treaty to stop global warming. Continue reading COP21: Halfway Through

Call for Papers: NASSR 2016

The topic for this year’s conference, in Berkeley, CA, is “Romanticism and its Discontents.” See the full call for papers here: Proposals for individual papers are due on February 8, 2016. Deadline for proposing an open-call session is November 2, 2015. Deadline for proposing a complete panel or roundtable is also February 8, 2016.

Spring 2015 Editorial Report

Ahhh… campus in the summer! So quiet, so peaceful, and so perfect for uninterrupted doctoral study — and for blogging! After recovering from a whirlwind Spring term, I can finally report on the wonderful work that our graduate writers have been producing in 2015. But first, I have to say what a privilege it has been to be the Managing Editor of the NGSC Blog this year, and to serve our community of readers with original and exciting content. Our Traffic Counter reports that we have over 3,000 monthly visitors and over 15,000 page views each month. Thank you, everyone, for reading! Continue reading Spring 2015 Editorial Report

NASSR 2015 Program & Pedagogy Contest

I’m delighted to announce that NASSR 2015 has released a program! Highlights of the August 13-16 conference in Winnipeg will include: tours of the archives of the Hudson’s Bay Company (the world’s oldest continuously-operating corporation) and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights; plenaries by Joel Faflak (Western) and Nancy Yousef (CUNY-Baruch); and an Aboriginal Rights Roundtable. Also of note — in addition to participating in many panels, the members of the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus will be hosting a professionalization panel and a pub night.

I also have an update about the NASSR Pedagogy Contest, sponsored by the NASSR Advisory Board, the NASSR 2015 Organizing Committee, and Romantic Circles. Please send in your syllabuses by June 5th to be considered for the Pedagogy award (which comes with a cash prize of $250). Here are the instructions:


Please send a document of between 3-5 pages to by June 5th.  Please include a cover letter with identifying information, which should be left off all other documents.  Initial queries and questions are welcomed.

Potential materials might include but are not limited to:
– A cover letter and explanation of the submission, including an argument as to the course or project’s pedagogical innovation and benefits
– Syllabus or parts of a syllabus
– Assignment sheets
– Multimedia or digital materials

Symposium on the Biological Turn in Literary Studies

Last month the Duke English Department and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Science and Cultural Theory hosted a symposium on “the biological turn in literary studies.” It was, from my perspective, an exciting and successful event, and will likely be of interest to many of us in the NGSC. It would be very difficult for me to do justice to the first-rate talks of the individual presenters in only a brief description; below I offer merely a round-up of the premises of the different talks, and I would encourage everyone to check out the linked videos for any (and all!) of those talks that catch your attention. My great thanks to Rob Mitchell and Nancy Armstrong for organizing the symposium, and to Davide Carozza and Stefan Waldschmidt for making the whole thing happen and for making the videos available to a wider public!

Continue reading Symposium on the Biological Turn in Literary Studies

News: NASSR deadline extended!

Please note that the NASSR 2015 deadline for conference abstracts has been extended to February 7th, 2015. Information about the conference can be found here, and special session details are available here.

If you’re interested in participating in the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus Roundtable on Public Romanticism (in addition to any other speaking responsibilities at the conference), please see our CFP here. For details on the many fascinating special session panels organized by graduate students, consult this blog’s previous post.

We look forward to seeing you all in August!