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!
This term, I’ve been delighted to feature the work of guest bloggers: Peter N. Miller wrote about the need for a digital Prelude (part of a movement towards hypertext editions of canonical texts in which I’m hugely invested), Andrew Welch discussed “Reading, or Ardor” in a sweeping examination of Keats, Foucault and others, and Katherine Magyarody-Sigal offered a humorous glance into the creative practices of refrigerator poetry. Meanwhile, we had a wonderful contribution from our occasional writer, Jenna Leeds, who interviewed Dr. Patricia Fara, sharing her wise words for graduate students.
Our regular writers offered a fantastic critical and historical sweep. One of our most exciting posts this term was an E-Roundtable on Romanticism and Pedagogy, which Daniel Nutters, Renee Harris and Emily Zarka put together in response to Mark Edmundson’s new book, Why Teach? We’ve also responded, rather ekphrastically, to many variations on Romanticism in other art-forms: Jacob Leveton contributed a post on Romantic painting, “One Thought Fills Immensity”; meanwhile, I wrote up some notes on a premiere of Byron’s “Hebrew Melodies” that I performed with a Julliard soprano, and I also interviewed the composer Ben Scheer on his new Blake piece.
In the world of academic growth and mentorship, we’ve had wonderful posts from Talia Vestri Croan on her work as an assistant for Studies in Romanticism and on how to prepare an MLA Special session, Emily Zarka on copy-editing and a special session on horror and medicine, Chris Catanese on a symposium on biology and literary studies, and Laura Kremmel on the inside experience of organizing a conference. Reading and teaching are also front and centre, with posts by Renee Harris on her first Brit Lit survey, Chris Catanese on “Objective Reading,” and Emily Zarka on the pedagogy of the webcomic. Conferences and travel are also important themes, with Renee Harris taking the lead with her upcoming Scottish peregrinations to a conference on Keatsian affect.
We’ve also had fabulous research on the historicist front! From the Byron Vortex to Romantic-era tattoos, the Year Without a Summer, the modernization of Elizabeth Bennet, the presumptive identity of the “Real Mr Darcy,” the history of the public dissection, and evidence of Romantic espionage in Jane Austen’s names, our writers have been offering some fantastic new viewpoints on old material.
On the creative side, we have been incredibly lucky to publish Melissa Walter’s original poems, including “Winter Song,” “Tulip Festival,” and “When I Consider the Mind,” and to feature Nicole Geary’s beautiful reports on how Romanticism, geology, and landscape work together in her printmaking practice. We have also been privileged to receive creative posts from our regular writers, including Daniel Nutters’ “The Dream of Art in Batman.”
More soberly, we were saddened to hear about the deaths of the great Romanticists M. H. Abrams and Peter Cochran this spring, and the NGSC Blog featured an “In Memoriam” post to Abrams.
The NASSR Graduate Student Caucus Co-Chairs have also put in a great deal of work, both towards the blog and in preparation for NASSR 2015. One of the most exciting events was a Google Hangout with Professor Rob Mitchell, hosted by Jacob Leveton. The NGSC has also promoted diverse Romantic web communities and information about the upcoming NASSR in Winnipeg. We look forward to seeing many of you there!
Over the summer, though our pace may slacken a little, we will continue to publish your original work. Look out for new material on the 200th anniversary of Waterloo, more information about NASSR, and more details on working for an academic journal! And if you are hoping to become a writer for the NGSC, shoot me an email. Till then, all the best from the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus!