**EXTENDED** NASSR Grad Student Caucus Elections: Call for Nominations

Washington Allston, Landscape with Lake (1804)

**We’ve decided to extend the deadline for nominations until Monday, August 12!**

Dear all,

The NASSR Graduate Student Caucus (NGSC) is having an open call for 4 new co-chairs, 2 from the US and 2 from Canada. Please submit nominations (self-nominations are welcome) to nassrgradstudentcaucus@gmail.com with a 150-word bio by Wednesday July 10th. We will then post the nominees on our blog the following day.

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As Autumn Turns to Winter

By Emily Rupp

When I took my undergraduate survey course on British literature from the Romantics to the present, I had a little habit of writing down the poems I loved reading the most into the margins of my (now abandoned) bullet journal.  The imagery of the poems most often motivated me to collect them, but I also kept poems that held messages that resonated with me.  I didn’t want to forget them, and I certainly haven’t as “To Autumn,” by John Keats, keeps coming back into my mind as this semester comes to a close.
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The Devil You (may not) Know

By Christopher Kelleher

Recently, I have been working my way through C. S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters (1942). The text unfolds as a series of correspondence written in Hell from a ranking demon, Screwtape, to his aspiring young nephew, Wormwood, offering advice on how to best ensure the damnation of a man known only as “the Patient.” In view of Lewis’ legacy as a Christian apologist, the Letters’ rhetorical strategy appears glaringly obvious: by playing the devil Lewis hoped to inculcate a stronger sense of faith in his readership. Yet, what is striking about the Letters is how vociferously anti-Romantic the text is in its handling of theology, eschatology, and those weighty matters of doubt and faith. In one letter, for instance, Screwtape holds Coleridge up as a model of the kind of “superficial” worship of the divine that Wormwood should aim to cultivate in his patient in order to secure his spiritual downfall.[1]
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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.

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Interview with Dr. Nikki Hessell, Co-Winner of the 2017 NASSR/Romantic Circles Pedagogy Contest

By Caroline Winter

Dr. Nikki Hessell is a co-winner of this year’s NASSR/Romantic Circles Pedagogy Contest, as announced at NASSR 2017 in Ottawa. Nikki is a Senior Lecturer in the School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies at the Victoria University of Wellington. She’s been kind enough to tell us about her submission and share some tips for graduate students on teaching Romanticism.
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Don Juan and the "Cosmopolitics" of Seduction

By Christopher Kelleher

What would Lord Byron say, I wonder. How might that quintessentially Romantic “man of affairs,” as Jerome McGann once delighted in punning,[1] respond to our current state of affairs? What would he say of our endlessly streaming 24-hour news cycle, or to our social media? We can never know, of course. But as a politics and news junkie, as well as a Romanticist, I love to speculate.
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You Are More Than Just A Graduate Student: Some Thoughts About That Elusive “Work-Life Balance”

By Samantha Ellen Morse

Upon suffering a concussion, I found myself in the hospital and attempted to convince the nurse that I was perfectly alright by holding up the copy of Pride and Prejudice that was in my bag and reciting dramatically, “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” Apparently, recitation of dear Jane is not evidence of a functioning brain (I had a grade two concussion after all). But the point is that even during a moderately traumatic event, literature was one of the first things to pop into my addled head.
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A New Year of Blogging!

Welcome, readers, to a new year of blogging from the NASSR Graduate Student Caucus!
We have an exciting year planned, with some returning bloggers and some new, as well as a number of guest posts. Be sure to check here often for new content and to keep in touch via social media.