Romantic Web Communities

One of the great advantages we have as scholars is the opportunity to form communities beyond our institutions — not just at annual conferences in remote locales, but also in ongoing conversations on the web. These online communities are fora for scholarly dialogue and informal queries, requests for crowdfunding special projects and historical sites, and repositories of archival material. Here’s a brief roundup of selected sites, listservs, and communities available to Romanticists (and if you know of more, please get in touch!).

Academic listservs:

(1) NASSR List — the list of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (subscription required). The list is frequented by many major scholars in the field, but also graduate students and junior faculty; this is a particularly excellent resource for answers to obscure and arcane historical questions, and for links to major awards and opportunities in the field.

(2) NASSR Graduate Student Caucus List — the list affiliated with this website, for graduate students only! To join, send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.wvu.edu. Leave the subject line blank. Place the following text in the body of the message: SUBSCRIBE NASSR-GSC Your Name

(3) International Conference on Romanticism List — a resource of opportunities related to ICR, but also a source of updates in the field. To join,  become a member of ICR, or ask to subscribe by emailing here.

Peer-Reviewed Online Academic Journals:

(1) Romanticism and Victorianism on the Netan online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing new work in Romantic and Victorian literature. The site is affiliated with BRANCH, ” a free, expansive, searchable, reliable, peer-reviewed, copy-edited, easy-to-use overview of the period 1775-1925.”

(2) Romantic Circles — an online, peer-reviewed website with 700,000 yearly page views, that publishes new articles and reviews of Romantic work. The site also boasts a pedagogy forum, a blog, audio recordings of poems, and updates from the community. “Closer in form to a scholarly book of essays than a critical journal,” their publication, Romantic Circles Praxis, produces regular collections of articles on “particular subject, figure, or theoretical approach, such as the gothic, contemporary culture, discourses of empire, and many others.”

(3) NINES — Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship, “a scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first.”  The site publishes peer-reviewed digital work on the long nineteenth century, develops software to help humanities scholarship, and hosts a summer workshop in digital practices. (Caveat: certain aspects of the site are not recently updated).

(4) The Hoarding — although not a journal that publishes new work, this website is “devoted to reporting recent work in British Romantic and Victorian literature,” and offers frequent and regular updates about print journal publications in nineteenth-century studies, as well as prizes.

(5) Romantic Textualities —  a British peer-reviewed online journal featuring themed collections of articles and book reviews. The site also hosts an affiliated blog (more below). (Caveat: certain aspects of the site are not recently updated).

Blogs and Other Communities:

The NASSR Graduate Student Caucus Blog is just one of many online repositories for Romantics-related dialogue. Here are a few offerings of affiliated blogs in the field, many of which are regularly interested in new writers!

(1) Wordsworth and Romanticism — a blog sponsored by the Wordsworth Trust, which features the work of scholars at many levels. The site features many articles on Wordsworth and his circle, but also investigations into other personalities, such as Thelwall and Byron, and book and film reviews.

(2) International Gothic Association Student Blog  — convened by the NGSC’s very own Laura Kremmel, this postgraduate forum, hosted at the University of Stirling, features work by monthly guest writers, whose articles engage with a wide range of Gothic-inflected eras and artifacts.

(3) Romantic Textualities Blog — in case you missed a specialized conference, this very helpful site boasts descriptions of conference reports, in addition to book reviews and new work by guest writers, and has a special pedagogy-focused section.

(4) Blithe Spirits a graduate-student-run Romanticist blog with regular updates about “Today in Romanticism.”

(5) NYU Romanticist Research Group — an academic initiative at NYU that regularly posts lesser-known works of Romantic literature, and organizes a yearly production of a Romantic-era closet drama.

Selected Online Repositories:

(1) Book Traces — developed by Romanticist Andrew Stauffer (and featuring a WordPress layout eerily similar to that of this page), this site catalogues individual copies of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century books that bear the traces of the reader’s unique engagement with the text. Submit your library’s books to the ongoing project!

(2) The Stainforth Library of Women’s Writing — hosted at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where NGSC writer Deven Parker works on the material, this collection “creates a digital model of the largest private library of books by women authors collected in the 19th century, owned by Francis John Stainforth (1797-1866),” and seeks “to rebuild Stainforth’s library as a searchable digital archive.”

(3) Two related Mary Shelley sites: Shelley’s Ghost is an online record of a joint Bodleian-NYPL exhibition of materials related to the Shelley Circle, this site includes excerpts of Frankenstein in manuscript. The Shelley-Godwin Archive contains the entire Frankenstein manuscript in searchable form, with and without Percy Shelley’s handwritten editorial contributions.

(4) Jane Austen’s Fiction Manuscripts, an AHRC-funded collaboration between the University of Oxford and King’s College London, features all of Austen’s available handwritten fiction manuscripts.

(5) The William Blake Archive, a digital repository of all available editions of Blake’s art and poetry.

Select Online Communities for Romantic-Era Writers:

(1) The Jane Austen Society of North America is open to academic and non-academic Austenites. The organization hosts regional chapter meetings, a yearly conference, and two journals (Persuasions and Persuasions Online).

(2) Keats-Shelley Association of America is an organization dedicated to the Keats-Shelley circle. The community produces the Keats-Shelley Journal, manages the Keats-Shelley House in Rome, and offers prestigious prizes and research grants.

(3) The Byron Society of America sponsors an annual Leslie Marchand lecture, an MLA panel, a Messolonghi Conference, and  student grants.

(4) Two first-generation-poet organizations — The Wordsworth-Coleridge Association produces The Wordsworth Circle journal and sponsors an annual MLA panel, while The Friends of Coleridge produce the Coleridge Bulletin and organize conferences (most recently, the forthcoming ‘Southey and the Bristol Poets’ conference in July 2014).

Current Romantic Crowdfunding Initiatives:

(1) The Wordsworth Trust Catalyst Fund: the UK Government will match any donations made before July 31st to maintain Dove Cottage.

(2) Swimming With Byron: A Documentary Film: a Kickstarter project to produce a film on the Romantics’ European peregrinations.

(3) Blake Cottage: a campaign to purchase William Blake’s cottage in Sussex for the Blake Society.

Recommended Romanticist Facebook Groups:

(1) NASSR Graduate Student Caucus
(2) Eighteenth-Century Questions Quick Link
(3) British Association for Romantic Studies
(4) Romantic and Eighteenth-Century Studies Oxford
(5) Facebook Romanticism Scholars
(6) Nineteenth-Century Studies Association
(7) Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog
(8) Research Society for Victorian Periodicals
(9) The Friends of Coleridge
(10) 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers’ Association

Please contact me if you know of additional online Romanticist resources!