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51.517124

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Greater London

Johnson, "Contingencies, Exigencies, and Editorial Praxis: The Case of the 2008 Norton Blake"

In updating the Norton Critical Edition of _Blake's Poetry and Designs_ (1979; 2008) to include the entire textual portion of _Jerusalem_, editors Mary Lynn Johnson and John E. Grant attempted to continue engaging and informing first-time readers of Blake within the constraints of the publisher's current editorial and fiscal policies. This anecdotal case history considers the influence of unforeseen contingencies and exigencies in book production upon high-minded editorial praxis. This essay appears in _Editing and Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Fuller, "Modernizing Blake's Text: Syntax, Rhythm, Rhetoric"

This essay discusses the various difficulties of all methods of presenting Blake's text arguing that all forms, including facsimile and apparently purist letterpress, involve characteristic misrepresentations. It then argues the positive value of modernizing punctuation. Helping the reader to understand Blake's syntax releases attention to other expressive aspects of poetic form, particularly rhythm and the quasi-musical structures of Blake's rhetoric.. This essay appears in _Editing and Reading Blake_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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The State of Things: Olaudah Equiano and the Volatile Politics of Heterocosmic Desire

The essay explores the notion of masochist nationalism through a reading of a brief passage in Equiano's Interesting Narrative in which Equiano engages with a young Musquito man named George. Equiano's attempt to convert George is tied to a mutual reading of Fox's Book of Martyrs which posits a community of aggrieved souls who will enact vengeance on the slave holders and on those who sanction slavery. The argument pays particular attention to how Equiano figures George in a complex economy of humiliation and revenge. This revenge becomes highly sexualized when Equiano shifts his allusions from Fox's Book of Martyrs to The Book of Judges. From this point onward Equiano's text is thoroughly involved in a series of rape fantasies which have important nationalist implications. Ultimately, the essay suggests that Equiano's most radical gesture in this scene is to stage politics from the ground of the object, but it also demonstrates how such a politics is susceptible to unforeseen consequences.
January 2006

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How to Do the History of Pornography: Romantic Sexuality and its Field of Vision

This essay takes as its subject both the sexual body as represented in British romantic fiction and the imagination (is it "literary" or "pornographic"?) that was required to envision that body as a narrative event. Situated after the high watermark of "libertine literature" in the 1740s and 50s, but before the emergence of "pornography" proper in the 1830s and 40s, romantic fiction inherited the eighteenth century's conflicted attitudes about novelistic pleasure but was itself produced in a cultural marketplace that had not yet fixed and formulated the discursive opposition between "literature" and "pornography." The essay discusses these issues in dialogue with the historical and sexological discourse of Michel Foucault in The History of Sexuality.
January 2006

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"Pleasure is now, and ought to be, your business": Stealing Sexuality in Jane Austen's Juvenilia

Austen's Juvenilia, seen as a whole, represents a world in which young women consistently display excessive appetites--for food, drink, erotic pleasures, and material objects. While comic, such narrative excess also constitutes a pointed critique of the constraints Austen's society placed on women, constraints she not only exposes but also subverts by her young heroines' exuberant, even criminal refusal to deny their appetites and their demand for gratifications of all kinds. This essay appears in _Historicizing Romantic Sexuality_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.
January 2006

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Framing Romantic Dress: Mary Robinson, Princess Caroline and the Sex/Text

Two Romantic Period women who were accustomed to public appearances used the semiotic play provided by deliberate dress choices to create public interpretations of their legible bodies: Mary Robinson and Princess Caroline. While Robinson carefully crafted her public image, she also varied it with fashionable rapidity so that she was always in the public eye due to her literal mobility among public spaces and her identity mobility. This flexible form of role playing allowed Robinson to adjust her public image as necessary. When the less adept Caroline of Brunswick attempted to create similar identity play for herself, the outcome was successful or disastrous in public opinion depending on her political backers. Caroline's body was pre-read through political screens, and unlike Robinson's careful identity managing, Caroline's costuming was directed at fighting or abetting such screens.
January 2006

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Purinton, "Feminist Utopianism and Female Sexuality in Joanna Baillie’s Comedies"

This essay explore the feminist utopian underpinnings associated with the representation of female sexuality in Joanna Baillie's comedies THE MATCH (1836), THE SECOND MARRIAGE (1802), and ENTHUSIASM (1836). A feminist utopia creates and operates inside a new place or space that had previously appeared inconceivable so as to posit the possibility of different social, sexual, and symbolic relations.

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