Illinois

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Books, 2001

April, 2008

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Vol 29. No. 58 - Index

February, 2005

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Vol 27. No. 53 - Index

February, 2005

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Canuel, "Romantic Fear"

Reading the works of figures ranging from Bentham and Coleridge to present-day incarnations of the Gothic novel, this essay argues that the 'secular' emerged in Romantic literature less as a distinct form of belief and more as a new organization of beliefs. It claims that the crucial development for achieving that organization was the reconfiguration of penal laws, which in turn demanded a new articulation of fear among political subjects. This essay appears in _Romanticism, Secularism, and Cosmopolitanism_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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Underwood, "Culture and Discontinuity (in the 1840s and in Foucault)"

For a little over a century and a half, professors of literature have been celebrating historical specificity, while chafing against the constraints of continuous narrative. Literary historians' enthusiasm for Michel Foucault's critique of historical continuity is only the latest instance of this long-standing disciplinary preference. Underwood traces the social and institutional authority of discontinuity in literary study back to the first 'period surveys,' and in particular to the pedagogy of F. D. Maurice.

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Shelley, Adorno, and the Scandal of Committed Art

Kipperman explores the notion that poetry is politically useless, using as an example Shelley's Mask of Anarchy. He uses T. Adorno's attack on "committed art" to argue that a genuinely "political" work must be judged historically, by the standards of its era; the explicitly "political" statement may have less political "import" than, for example, Shelley's implicit faith in the power and moral goodness of the masses. Such an appeal to universal Promethean virtue, shared by proletarian and stormtrooper, may indeed strike us, at the very close of the twentieth century, as so naive as to warp the very real commitment of Shelley’s art. Shelley’s poem, as a sophisticated ballad, may scandalize in its appeal to an unlikely pacifist remedy, which exposes the work’s origin in a paralyzed and distant intellectual’s hope to lead a nationalist moral apocalypse. As a ballad and a subversive “masque,” however, it is a scandal to literary form and decorum in its analysis of oppression and its attribution of Promethean virtue to the hungry, the homeless, and the despised. Shelley’s allowing the poor to define freedom as bread even anticipates Adorno’s Marxist dictum that all culture begins “in the radical separation of mental and physical work” (“Cultural Criticism” 26). Its utopianism is not a sign of political irrelevance.
May 2001

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Thomson, "Teaching Keats's 'Ode on a Grecian Urn' in New Zealand"

Thomson argues for the productivity of teaching Keats's Ode on a Grecian Urn in a context which emphasizes Keats's poetics of encounter and the passionate intensity which characterizes these encounters. Those encounters are studied in lectures and tutorials which explore Keats's literary and cultural context, in particular early nineteenty-century public access to works of art. This essay appears in _Ode on a Greican Urn: Hypercanonicity & Pedagogy_, a volume of _Romantic Circles Praxis Series_, prepared exclusively for Romantic Circles (http://www.rc.umd.edu/), University of Maryland.

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