“Michael Hamburger’s Goethe:  Some Conditions of Literary Translation” by Jonny Elling (University of Bristol) 

In 1983, Michael Hamburger published Roman Elegies, a selection of Goethe poems  translated into English. It was the culmination of a lifelong engagement with this most  famous of German poets. Hamburger, an Anglo-German translator and writer, tackled his  first Goethe poem at fifteen, but he was nearly sixty when Roman Elegies appeared. The  Introduction to the expanded edition is a lesson in the forces that shapes a literary translator’s  work: biography, historical circumstance, poetic skills and principles, enthusiasm, and one’s  capacity as a critic.

Hamburger is wonderfully honest about his book’s origins. Only the 150th anniversary  of Goethe’s death could ‘prod’ him into collating decades of irregular work in a publishable volume, and the process only confirmed his perennial struggles:

If even the present gathering of all but my juvenile versions of                  poems by  Goethe remains miscellaneous in character, one                       reason is that I have neve been able to translate Goethe as                         persistently and consistently as […] his  younger contemporary               Hölderlin.[1]

That said, the limit imposed by Hamburger’s efforts has not hindered his own aesthetic  encounter with Goethe’s poetry. He has not simply translated the poems which he could in  his ‘own fashion’, but also those he was ‘moved’ to. The fashion means staying loyal to what  moved him.[2] The translations in Roman Elegies are ‘pointers’ and ‘inductions’, not ‘“English  poems in their own right”’.[3]

If the translatory technique is ‘empathetic’, this empathy is not only for Goethe  himself but for readers held off from Goethe by a language barrier. But Hamburger  anticipates their enjoyment will primarily be intellectual:

English poetry is so rich as to have little need or room for                           additions in the  guise of translations; but our awareness of                       ‘world literature’ is not rich enough  to do without a poet as                        extraordinary and as central as Goethe.[4]

If Roman Elegies ‘arouse[s] curiosity’ for Goethe, then, it ‘will have served its purpose’.[5] A  dispassionate goal, but one stemming from passion. When Hamburger evaluates Goethe, he  glows with admiration for the poet’s ‘uniqueness’ and ‘staggering diversity’.[6]But the relationship is not purely emotive. That Goethe commands German is an analytical  observation, drawn from poems ‘inextricably rooted in their linguistic humus’, and whose  author has ‘cultivated every stratum of the spoken and written language’.[7]

To justify himself, Hamburger begins a properly linguistic investigation, while  bringing this back in turn to the translation process. Römische Elegien transformed the  classical elegiac couplet by reproducing it in German. To restage this transformation,  Hamburger has settled on English hexameter, which has a similarly ‘refractory’ power.[8] Elsewhere, Hamburger found no English equivalent to Sehnsucht which would fit a particular poem’s metre. Yet in scrutinising the word, Hamburger considered not only the meaning of  Sehnsucht but also its associations. Having found such an association in ‘loss’, he saw that  the poem as a whole adequately conveyed the feeling of Sehnsucht, and ‘loss’ could stand in  for the word itself.[9]

If Hamburger can reconcile enjoyment and close reading of Goethe’s poetry, why  does he expect a more intellectual response from us? The answer goes back to his logistical  difficulties. So many poems have eluded him that all he can offer is a ‘gathering’, which gives readers ‘an intimation of Goethe’s thematic range’. A representative book would  demand ‘untranslatab[le]’ poems, ‘hundreds’ of them, and more space than publishing  allows.[10]

In Hamburger, then, spirited reading meets the printed world and the translator’s own  intellect. Whatever his sense of his own limitations, he successfully navigates the  practicalities of publication, channels his enthusiasm into analysis to find the best textual  solutions, and translates his own joyful encounter into a new language.


Hamburger, Michael, ‘Introduction’, in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Roman Elegies, and  Other Poems and Epigrams, trans. by Michael Hamburger, 2nd edn (London: Anvil Press  Poetry, 1996), pp. 9–16.

Author Biography

Jonny Elling is a first-year PhD student at the University of Bristol. His collaborative project  with the British Library examines the archive of poet and translator Michael Hamburger, and is funded by the AHRC. Jonny’s thematic interests are in Romanticism, translation,  creativity, and comparative literature.



[1] Michael Hamburger, ‘Introduction’, in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Roman Elegies, and  Other Poems and Epigrams, trans. by Michael Hamburger, 2nd edn (London: Anvil Press  Poetry, 1996), pp. 9–16 (p. 9).

[2] Ibid., p. 11.

[3] Ibid., p. 15.

[4] Ibid., pp. 15–16.

[5] Ibid., p. 16.

[6] Ibid., p. 9

[7] Ibid., pp. 9–10.

[8] Ibid., p. 15.

[9] Ibid., p. 15.

[10] Ibid., p. 13.


New Approaches to Romanticism Blog: “Coleridge and the Supernatural” by Elizabeth Laughlin

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, in his “The Rime of the Ancient Marinere,” (1798) delights in the supernatural, particularly in the realm of spirits. Unlike Wordsworth, his counterpart in Lyrical Ballads and good friend, Coleridge views nature as separate from himself, and in that regard, Friedrich Schiller would have considered Coleridge to be a sentimental poet. Nevertheless, when involving the supernatural, Coleridge depends upon his idea of the “suspension of disbelief”—or “the means by which the reader might accept unreal elements of verse to illuminate senses strictly afforded within the real” (McMorrough 229). It is through this process that Coleridge’s work transcends space and time, and lost in Coleridge’s world, the reader questions his own reality.

In the introduction of Lyrical Ballads, Fiona Stafford of the Oxford University Press discusses the writing abilities and partnership of Wordsworth and Coleridge. She states, “To make the supernatural entirely believable, or to transform the ordinary into something equally compelling, required extraordinary imaginative and technical powers” (xxix). Both Wordsworth and Coleridge viewed the imagination as an almost supernatural feature, although Coleridge dives into the metaphysical much more. Stafford also writes that “although the supernatural are most obvious in ‘The Ancient Marinere,’ the poem can be—and often has been—read psychologically or symbolically” (xxix). Stafford’s point is an excellent segue to discuss what the supernatural symbolically represents in Romantic writing.

The first poem of the 1798 and 1802 edition of Lyrical Ballads is “The Rime of the Ancient Marinere,” which features a mariner who has been cursed. Coleridge’s poems “Kubla Khan” and “Christabel” also feature the supernatural, but it is important to note that he did not include them in Lyrical Ballads. However, all three of these pieces feature dreams, as expressed in Jennifer Ford’s essay. She writes, citing essayist Thomas DeQuincey, “DeQuincey described [Coleridge] as a poet…a prolific dreamer: a man whose poetry was shrouded in mystery—supernatural like the ‘ancient marin

ere’—awfully sublime” (Ford 171). 

“The Rime of the Ancient Marinere” features its own spirits, although they look different from traditional ghosts. In fact, Coleridge’s spirits are sublime entities—things not to be understood by the human brain. The following section is an excerpt describing Coleridge’s spirits:

“I saw something in the Sky

No bigger than my fist

At first it seem’d a little speck

And then it seem’d a mist” (lines 139-142). 

This “mist” that Coleridge describes also represents the sublime, often symbolized by a mist or a fog. This entity soon curses the entire ship, leaving all the people on board dead except the mariner, who must live with the curse. Here is an excerpt about the curse that plagues the mariner:

“An orphan’s curse would drag to Hell

A spirit from on high

But O! More horrible than that 

Is the curse in a dead man’s eye!

Seven days, seven nights I saw that curse

And yet I could not die” (lines 249-254)

By repeating the word “seven,” Coleridge makes these lines sound like a chant, going along with the ballad structure. Because he does not die, the mariner is cursed and must repeat the story in order to find any peace.  This is an embodiment of storytelling and the role writers and storytellers play. After hearing the mariner’s story, the wedding guest turns into “[a] sadder and wiser man” (line 624). It is through this repetition, this retelling of stories, that represents the oral tradition of stories, including ghost stories.


Biographical Statement: Elizabeth Laughlin is a graduate student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she is a part of the English Literature and Composition master’s program. She also writes for the school’s Marketing and Communications Department. Above all, she is interested in Gothicism, Romanticism, and Modernism. In her spare time, she enjoys meditating, writing books, and watching football.


Works Cited


Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. “The Rime of the Ancient Marinere.” Lyrical Ballads. Edited by Fiona Stafford, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp.5-24.

Ford, Jennifer. “Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the Pains of Sleep.” History Workshop Journal, no. 48, 1999, pp. 169–186. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/4289640. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

McMorrough, John. “Funny, Crazy, Silly: Lyrics for The Suspension of Architectural Disbelief.” Log, no. 37, 2016, pp. 228–233. JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/26324736. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

Stafford, Fiona. “Introduction.” Lyrical Ballads. Edited by Fiona Stafford, Oxford University Press, 2013, pp. xii-xlv.


Call for Papers: New Approaches to Romanticism

Call for Submissions to NASSR Graduate Blog and Joining a Discussion Group

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, beginning on 1 February, 2021 

Contact email: nassrgradstudentcaucus@gmail.com


The NASSR Graduates Students Caucus offers graduate students and all other early-career scholars researching Romanticism the possibility to present and discuss their research projects and ideas on our blog. Considering the academic job market crisis and the decision of PhD programs not to admit new students, we especially find it urgent to create a hospitable environment allowing early career scholars to continue to share their research and thoughts, being inside or outside of University.

We welcome blog posts (400-600 words) pertaining to any stage of research. Submissions can include more polished work such as research proposals and abstracts, short essays, but we are also looking for early pieces of writing reflecting the beginning of a research, e.g. a catalogue of questions, first observations and intuitions. You can submit anything connected to your research as long as it can take the form of a thought-provoking and well-drafted blog entry. By inviting each other to look at our “laboratory” of ideas, we want to initiate discussion and reflections about how to approach Romanticism on an intellectual and personal level. To encourage cross-fertilizing conversations among our blog contributors, we are open to submissions from all disciplines (e.g. post-colonial studies, digital humanities, gender and queer studies, eco-criticism). Therefore, authors should bear in mind that their audience might only have a rough idea about their field.  

After receiving a sufficient amount of applications, we will start to form a discussion group consisting of our blog contributors to provide detailed and elaborate feedback for each research project in a supportive and constructive environment. We will collaborate with the contributors to decide what this group will look like in concrete when the time comes.


Please, do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. We are looking forward to your submissions!


Submission Guidelines

We are asking those interested to submit a blog post of no more than 600 words and an accompanying short author biography of approximately 50 words. All submissions should use Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spacing, and be combined into a single file submission. Blog entries are expected to adhere to MLA 8th Edition formatting and citation style. Please submit your application by email at nassrgradstudentcaucus@gmail.com


About the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus

The NASSR Graduate Student Caucus (NGSC) is intended as a venue, under the aegis of NASSR (North American Society for the Study of Romanticism; www.nassr.ca/), for graduate students interested in the study of Romanticism to make contact with one another and to share intellectual and professional resources.

We are committed to working together to further the interests, not only of the graduate student community in Romantic studies, but also of the broader profession, by helping to train active and engaged scholars who will continue to strengthen and advance themselves and the discipline. All graduate student members of NASSR are invited to attend caucus meetings and to participate in elections and panels.

For any queries, please feel free to email the organization committee at nassrgradstudentcaucus@gmail.com, or visit our website at http://nassrgrads.hcommons.org/ for more information.

The Dark Side of Romantic Fairytales – Abuse in Grimm’s Narratives by Anna Rohmann

The Dark Side of Romantic Fairytales – Abuse in Grimm’s Narratives

Some of the most popular fairytales to this day were written down in Germany during the Romantic era by the brothers Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, who published their first edited collection in 1812. Traditional approaches to fairytale studies neglect the suffering and unequal distribution of power which extends beyond gender and class into an imbalance between children and adults. Overlooking these “generational conflicts” (Tatar, Off with their Heads xxiv) means overlooking the macabre and violent aspects of fairytale narratives. I investigate abuse in fairytales, specifically those surrounding generational conflicts. My definition of abuse includes emotional and physical patterns and aligns with criteria set out by from the independent agency for sexual abuse (Unabhängiger Beauftragter für Fragen des sexuellen Missbrauchs). For this I propose a different reading of the tales, as I illustrate on König Drosselbart (King Thrushbeard, KHM 52)[1].

  1. Child abuse in King Thrushbeard

In KD the protagonist is abused by her father as well as her husband. While the former forces his daughter into a marriage with a beggar as a questionable parenting technique during the first third of the tale, the latter establishes a manipulative relationship in his efforts to re-educate his wife.

Suprisingly, the fairytale offers justifications for the males’ abusive behavior, blaming the female adolescent. Her disobedience when she is presented to her suitors is marked by direct speech, which contrasts to the description of King Thrushbeard as a good man and of a socially respectable status (KD par. 1). She proceeds to mock him because of his appearance, further violating rules of politeness. This suggests that the father’s enraged reaction promising his daughter to a beggar and going through with it, is not only reasonable, but also speaks to his noble character as a man who keeps his word. In the same vein, King Thrushbeard states that he treated his wife badly out of love for her, portraying the abuse as a necessary educational measure, which is ultimately in favor of the protagonist (KD par. 8). These justifications are not convincing when looking at the evidence for abuse.

The text signals that the heroine is not married voluntarily through passive, impersonal formulations, such as being lead through the rows of suitors or a priest being fetched (KD par. 1-2). Not only is forced marriage a crime, but it also has devastating psychological consequences. The protagonist is understandably shocked by being married off. Her state of shock becomes visible in her difficulty processing the situation – she still describes herself as a fair maiden despite being married (KD par. 3-5) and simultaneously describes her new home in poverty with pejorative adjectives and diminutives but expects her husbands estate to include servants (KD par. 6-7). The onomatopoetic interjection (KD par. 3-7), which is reminiscent of sighs, occurs seven times in direct speech and supports the expression of her agony. Furthermore, her suffering is expressed through her work resulting in bodily harm. Her delicate hands and fingers are destroyed and bloody from the use of hard branches and thread (KD par. 7). At the court she must do the hardest work (KD par. 8), the superlative and use of modal verbs already indicate that she is forced to perform the worst tasks.

Given that the beggar is in fact King Thrushbeard, he purposefully starves his wife and keeps her in a state of existential threat (KD par. 7). He demonstrates his power three times (as it is typical for fairytales) in direct speech when going on about how vast and beautiful King Thrushbeard’s forest, pastures and cities are (KD par. 3-5). This illustrates his narcissistic tendencies. He also tortures the protagonist unnecessarily after she shows remorse for how she treated her suitor the first time they talk about it. Paradoxically, when she acknowledges that King Thrushbeard would have been a better choice for a husband, he emotionally manipulates her by asking her if he is not good enough and says he does not like his wife thinking about other men (KD par. 6). In addition, he systematically belittles her by attributing her failures at earning her living to personal inability instead of lack of experience. King Thrushbeard purposefully destroys the work she did well (KD par. 7-8) and continuously blames her, cumulating in his realization that he is the aggrieved party in their marriage.

The destruction of the protagonists self-esteem and her suffering through humiliation at the hands of her husband are illustrated by the hyperbolic description of a pot shattered into thousand pieces and her wish to be thousand feet below the earth to escape the public mockery (KD par. 7-8). When she is finally allowed to return to the court and the King reveals himself as her husband, she shows intense feelings of guilt, and shame and tries to flee when her husband touches her (KD par. 8). She even goes as far as saying she is not worthy enough to be his wife, thereby negating her self-worth (KD par. 8), showing typical symptoms for a victim of abuse. In this light, the renewed marriage is not at all a happy ending, but a depiction of a heroine trapped in a repetitive pattern of abuse. The lack of direct speech or reaction from the protagonist to the marriage confirms my interpretation. She was portrayed as outspoken and confident before her wedding; her actions are now again described in passive voice (KD par. 8).

To sum it up, KD can be read as an example of verbal abuse,[2] whose main conflict lies not in the rebelliousness of the princess, but is rather rooted in the abuse of the adolescent princess by her male, adult caregivers. Some interpretations might highlight the importance of hard labor, of forced marriage as a question of gender in patriarchic societies, or the significance of social mobility, but the unequal distribution of power can and should be transferred to the one between adolescents and adult caregivers. In fact, this is not the only fairytale in which similar patterns can be observed as the majority of Grimm’s tales showcases some kind of child abuse as an aspect that remains “remarkably stable” (Tatar, “Tests, Tasks, and Trials” 46). A forced marriage disguised through a father’s promise can be found in The Frog King. Latent incest (All-Kinds-of-Fur, The Girl without Hands) and child labor (Cinderella, Snow-White, Rumpelstiltskin, etc.), often paired with physical and verbal abuse, are not isolated incidents in the fairytale world. Boys (The brother and sister, Hansel and Gretel) or royal children fall subject to abusive patterns just as girls and children from poor families, which proves that gender and social status can be influential factors but that the biological defenselessness of children is far more important.

  1. Why is child abuse prevalent in fairytales?
  • Pedagogical reasoning

Of course, what is perceived as abuse today, had been conceived as normality in the pre-romantic era because of the Napoleonic wars, famines, and the plague (Tatar, Off with their Heads 46). Fairytales are derived from orally circulating folk tales of premodern times and their imagination of childhood (Zipes, Breaking the magic spell xi). Until the late 18th century children were treated roughly the same as adults, so the concept of childhood differed significantly from our contemporary one. The conception of childhood changed in the Romantic period due to the upcoming capitalism, which transformed the family structures of the feudal system into the bourgeois nuclear family. This shift influenced the socio-cultural reality of children immensely as they did not participate in out-of-house work anymore (Baader 417). For the first time the concept of childhood was assigned a different value “[s]eparate from the adult world and from its own adult self” (Plotz 3). Romanticist developed a discourse surrounding childhood that sees children as independent, innocent entities (Baader 417). They broke with the doctrine of original sin and developed the genius tradition, so childhood became a place of longing (Baader 419). This mythical elevation of childhood lead to the image of the natural child – “the identification of childhood with Nature […] and the attribution to children of an autonomous, unitary consciousness” (Plotz 5; Tatar “From Rags to Riches” 32; The Hard Facts 77). As a result, pedagogy of the Romantic era focused on providing a safe space for children (Baader 419). Considering this, child abuse in fairytales seems to have little in common with the Romantic concept of childhood. The emerging bourgeoise could even consider some of the rebellious morals in fairytales dangerous and condemned them for their perceived lack of virtues (Zipes, Breaking the magic spell 12,25).

Nevertheless, new social fears about education and the transition of child- into adulthood arose from the Romantic image of childhood. As caregivers had to prepare children for their future role in the economy, they discovered innovative practices of socialization – amongst them narratives targeted to educate the children. Consequently, the violent folk tales had to be edited to suit the need of the new market for educational children’s literature. It has been proven that the Grimm brothers reworked their fairytales, e.g. by excluding pregnancies or incest (Tatar, The Hard Facts 8-10, 30), while explicitly referencing the civilizing, didactic qualities of the violence left in the tales (Tatar, The Hard Facts 17). The protagonists become figures of identification for children that often see themselves as being inferior to the caregivers that distribute resources, have knowledge, and are physically superior (Tatar, The Hard Facts 21), thereby reinforcing didactic effects.

One of the prime educational goals of Grimm’s fairytales, which becomes visible in KD, is obedience. Obedience is especially important in a capitalist society in which hard work, humility, modesty and politeness were deemed to be essential “for the many girls whose household apprenticeships formed the basis for their livelihoods” (Tatar, Off with their Heads 56). Pride, vanity, stubbornness or being self-determined could contradict a marriage or the employment in another household and thus had to be eradicated. KD is a good example for this as the protagonist is described as very beautiful (KD, par. 1), but lacking in the “bourgeoise” virtues mentioned above. Her diminished sense of self but clear obedience can be seen as a successful re-education process.

  • Narrative reasoning

Moreover, child abuse is not just a didactic variable, it is crucial for the narrative itself. The abusive incident often triggers the events in fairytales. Unbearable traumatic events, in many cases abuse, are what inspire or unwillingly take heroes on their journeys, as described in the narrative patterns of fairytales in “Tests, Tasks, and Trials” by Tatar. The adults are the ones that trigger transformation processes, which are typical for fairytale narratives. The experience of abuse justifies that the children leave the safety and stability of the nuclear family behind. Tatar sums this up as follows: “The child-hero is always a victim: he has been neglected, punished, or abandoned by his parents. Escape from home becomes his sole source of consolation” (“From Rags to Riches” 31). In KD, it becomes evident that without leaving her home the protagonist might never have her journey so that she could develop the qualities desired by parents in the Romantic era. Abuse is essential to the plot as the element that propels the action forward, so this aspect of fairytales can never fully be removed from fairytales, even in our times in which making children obedient is not the primary goal of education anymore.

  1. Conclusion

Does this mean that we should accept the violence in fairytales? In my opinion the answer to this is yes. By embracing the macabre aspects of fairytales, how they are presented to us, and investigating them, we can learn about the realities of children then and even today. The victim-blaming and legitimization of questionable parenting, gaslighting and trivialization of abuse and its consequences in fairytales is a mirror image of how society treats abuse. It is telling that the most recipients of Disney adaptations of fairytales do not even recognize the violence involved in them. Looking at these macabre circumstances in the fictional tales can also help to deal with experiences of abuse – Röhr, for example, uses fairytales in his work as a psychotherapist and elaborates on the benefits of this practice in his book “Ich traue meiner Wahrnehmung”. I propose that readings centered around forms of abuse offers valuable insights into how our society views childhood and generational conflicts.




Baader, Meike Sophia. “Der romantische Kindheitsmythos und seine Kontinuitäten in der Pädagogik und in der Kindheitsforschung.” Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft vol.7, nr.3, 2004, pp.416-430, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11618-004-0042-9 . Accessed 18 October 2019.

Grimm, Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm. König Drosselbart. Otto Hendel Verlag, 1812. eBook Edition (Projekt Gutenberg). https://gutenberg.spiegel.de/buch/kinder-und-hausmarchen-7018/55.

Plotz, Judith Ann. Romanticism and the vocation of childhood. New York, Palgrave, 2001.

Röhr, Heinz-Peter. Ich traue meiner Wahrnehmung. Sexueller und emotionaler Missbrauch. 5th ed., München, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 2011.

Tatar, Maria. “From Rags to Riches: Fairy Tales and the Family Romance.” Children’s Literature Association Quaterly vol.7, nr.2, 1982, pp. 31-34, https://doi.org/10.1353/chq.0.0644. Accessed 18 October 2019.

—. Off with their heads! Fairy tales and the culture of childhood. Princeton, N.J, Princeton University Press, 1992.

—. “Tests, Tasks, and Trials in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales.” Children’s Literature vol.13, 1985, pp.31-48, https://doi.org/10.1353/chl.0.0658. Accessed 18 October 2019.

—. The hard facts of the Grimm’s fairy tales. 2nd ed., Princeton, N.J, Princeton University Press, 2003.

Unabhängiger Beauftragter für Fragen des sexuellen Missbrauchs. Geschäftsstelle des Unabhängigen Beauftragten für Fragen des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs, 2019, https://beauftragter-missbrauch.de/. Accessed 03 December 2019.

Zipes, Jack. Breaking the magic spell: radical theories of folk and fairy tales. 2nd ed., Lexington, KY, University Press of Kentucky, 2002.

[1] It is abbreviated with KD in the following.

[2] Signs of physical abuse can be found but elaborating on them exceeds the scope of this work.

Call for Papers: Fall Blog Series hosted by NGSC

Fall Blog Series hosted by NGSC

Deadline for Abstract and Author Bio Submissions: August 31, 2020

Contact email: nassrgradstudentcaucus@gmail.com

The NASSR Graduate Student Caucus welcomes abstracts by fellow graduate students related to the gothic, sublime/uncanny, and supernatural themes associated with the Romantic Period. This online blog series is intended to reimagine how graduate students can discuss and share their scholarship in a productive and meaningful digital setting beyond the confines of traditional face-to-face conferences. All accepted applicants will have their final essays published in the fall issue for the NGSC quarterly blog series on the Humanities Commons throughout October 2020. 

Although all proposals will be considered, we are most interested in essays about Romantic-era works relating to the gothic, supernatural, and macabre for this fall issue, with special emphasis pertaining to:

  • The sublime/uncanny
  • Gothic monsters 
  • Romantic works by women and persons of color
  • Personal, social, and political anxieties/ fears

Submission Guidelines

We are asking those interested to submit 300 to 500 words abstracts and 200 words author biographies by August 31, 2020. Abstracts and author biographies should use Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spacing, and be combined into a single file submission. Please submit your application by email at nassrgradstudentcaucus@gmail.com, with your last name and the word FallblogseriesSubmission” as the file name. 

About the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus

The NASSR Graduate Student Caucus (NGSC) is intended as a venue, under the aegis of NASSR (North American Society for the Study of Romanticism; www.nassr.ca/), for graduate students interested in the study of Romanticism to make contact with one another and to share intellectual and professional resources.

We are committed to working together to further the interests, not only of the graduate student community in Romantic studies, but also of the broader profession, by helping to train active and engaged scholars who will continue to strengthen and advance themselves and the discipline. Moreover, the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus is fully committed to helping young scholars engage in antiracist conversations surrounding Romantic-era literature. All graduate student members of NASSR are invited to attend caucus meetings and to participate in elections and panels.

For any queries, please feel free to email the organization committee at nassrgradstudentcaucus@gmail.com, or visit our website at http://nassrgrads.hcommons.org/ for more information.

#NASSR18 Day One

By Stephanie Edwards

Throughout the weekend, we will be having some guest bloggers share their experiences at NASSR’s 2018 conference. Today, Alicia McCartney takes us through a wide array of panels in her recap of day one of the conference!
If you are at #NASSR18 and would like to contribute a post, please get in touch with Stephanie Edwards, our Managing Editor, at edwars10@mcmaster.ca

My NASSR2018 experience began, perhaps aptly, with discussions about the end of the world.  The first panel of the day, “Mary Shelley’s Ends,” featured Jennifer Hargrave, Jamison Kantor, and Chris Washington discussing Shelley’s The Last Man and Frankenstein. Pathology, quantum physics, apocalypse, and critique of empire all played a large role in this conversation, and Hargrave in particular observed that The Last Man demonstrates a complex critique of the imperialist/colonial shift.
Continue reading “#NASSR18 Day One”

Interview with Thora Brylowe and Miranda Burgess

By Caroline Winter

Dr. Thora Brylowe and Dr. Miranda Burgess were co-winners of the 2017 NASSR/Romantic Circles Pedagogy Contest, as announced at NASSR 2017 in Ottawa. Thora is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Miranda is an Associate Professor of English at the University of British Columbia. They’ve been kind enough to tell us about their submission and share some tips for graduate students on teaching Romanticism.
Continue reading “Interview with Thora Brylowe and Miranda Burgess”

Charles Lamb on New Year’s Eve 1820: “No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference.”

By Samantha Ellen Morse

If your inbox looks anything like mine this first week of January, it’s flooded with advertisements for gym memberships, discounted vitamins, and fancy planners that “guarantee” you reach your goals. I started wondering when the idea of a New Year resolution became such a widespread cultural phenomenon. The Romantic period seemed like a likely point of origin, given the increasing emphasis on individual experience.

“New Year’s Eve,” one of Charles Lamb’s Elia essays published in the London Magazine in January 1821, does not prove my hypothesis. But it does express an interesting attitude toward the New Year.

Continue reading “Charles Lamb on New Year’s Eve 1820: “No one ever regarded the First of January with indifference.””

NGSC Statement Regarding NASSR-L

By Stephanie Edwards

Dear Fellow Graduate Students,
I am posting the following statement of behalf of the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus.

“The NASSR Graduate Caucus echoes the statements made by the NASSR Advisory Committee and Executive Board regarding what has been occurring on the NASSR-L and supports their decision to disaffiliate from the listserv. We are working towards creating a more collegial space, both online and offline, for the Romantic graduate community. If you have any suggestions, or would like to contact the co-chairs directly, please email NASSRGradStudentCaucus@gmail.com. Please also keep in touch via Facebook (NASSR Graduate Student Caucus), Twitter (@NASSRGrads), and the NGSC Blog (www.nassrgrads.com).”