Praxis Series

Fandom Mapped: Rousseau, Scott, and Byron on the Itinerary of Lady Frances Shelley

This essay investigates how the concept of fandom might make sense of a reading practice that emerged in the romantic period, the practice of visiting places associated with authors and their works in order to re-read their works in situ. Focussing on Lady Frances Shelley as a typical romantic literary tourist, the essay considers the ways in which she (and by extension others) produced new constructions of reading and the reader in response to the emergent figure of the romantic author. Shelley's various accounts of visiting romantic locales associated with Rousseau, Scott, and Byron not only provides a conspectus of possible tourist-stances and practices but suggests that romantic readers strove to represent themselves on a footing not only of intimacy but of social equality with the author, re-establishing a sense of a coterie audience in the face of the realities of an increasingly heterogenous mass reading public.

April 2011

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Romantic Fandom: Introduction

Romantic-era audiences participated enthusiastically in what we would now recognize as fan practices and fan cultures. In his introduction to this volume, Eisner proposes an understanding of fandom as a culturally situated, qualitatively distinctive, and complexly mediated form of audience response, arguing that fandom rewards analysis as a historical phenomenon in its own right and not simply as a register of the celebrity of the objects of fan interest. Pointing out the ways in which the volume’s essays frame the topic of fandom as a provocation to methodological innovation, Eisner’s introduction locates the volume’s approach to fandom in relation to recent scholarship in Romantic studies and cultural studies, and in contradistinction to more traditional studies of reception. The introduction argues that the volume’s essays deepen our understanding of Romanticism’s publics as socially heterogeneous, inventive, and unpredictable, shaped by and shaping rapidly changing institutions of performance, publication, reading, spectatorship, leisure and consumption. By mapping the complicated social dynamics informing the activity of particular fans, the essays in this volume demonstrate both the diversity of Romantic fan practices and the historical particularity of the forms Romantic fandom takes. While these essays contest literary criticism’s often habitual abjection of the fan, Eisner emphasizes that they also resist conflating Romantic fandom with our own.

April 2011

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Romantic Antiquarianism

Featuring essays by leading art historians, literary scholars, and historians of antiquarianism, this volume sheds new light on Romanticism's material and visual cultures. Romantic Antiquarianism reveals the important role that antiquarian discourses and practices played in shaping neoclassicism, the sublime, and other major concepts of the Romantic period. Edited and introduced by Noah Heringman and Crystal B. Lake, with essays by Martin Myrone, Jonathan Sachs, Thora Brylowe, Rosemary Hill, Timothy Campbell, Ina Ferris, & Sam Smiles, and a response by Jonah Siegel.

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June, 2014

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