Romanticism and Biopolitics
About this volume
This collection of articles is intended to initiate a conversation about and between biopolitics and romanticism. Its broad contention is that the study of biopolitics reanimates the question of romanticism in two senses. First, the set of conceptual resources provided in recent work on biopolitics opens up inventive lines of inquiry that enable scholars to re-think the already established awareness that the literature, philosophy, and culture of romanticism displays an obsession with life. In another sense biopolitics reanimates romanticism insofar as the current scholarly concern with life as an object of power marks the radical survival of romanticism. If romanticism responds well when examined in the light of contemporary biopolitical theory, then a constitutive part of this response is a certain resistance to biopolitical theory. The contributors to this volume demonstrate that the biopolitical intervention on life engages paradoxes, predicaments, and aporias that have been widely or fully appreciated neither by theorists of biopolitics nor by critics who take up their work. Romanticism, we suggest, is a privileged locus for the awareness that even the most assured representation of life turns upon an irreducible “literariness.”
About the Design and Markup
This volume was TEI-encoded by Michael Quilligan and Dave Rettenmaier, site managers for Romantic Circles. Laura Mandell developed the modified versions of the transforms provided by the TEI that were used to convert the TEI files into HTML. TEI renders text archival quality for better preservation and future access.
The image associated with this issue includes elements from the Table 17 illustration from Fritz Kahn's Das Leben des Menschen: Eine volkstumliche Anatomie, Biologie, Physiologie und Entwicklungsgeschichte des Menschen Vol. 2 (1922-1931). The original image can be found at the British Library's website Learning Bodies of Knowledge; more information about the text can be found in Cornelius Borck's "Communicating the Modern Body: Fritz Kahn's Popular Images of Human Physiology as an Industrialized World" in Canadian Journal of Communication 32 (2007), pp. 495-520.
The HTML pages do not use frames but rather make extensive use of stylesheets for layout and presentation. The site works best when viewed with Mozilla Firefox v. 3, Netscape 4.0, Internet Explorer 4.0, or higher, or a comparable browser; earlier browsers may not display everything properly.
About the Romantic Circles Praxis Series
The Romantic Circles Praxis Series is devoted to using computer technologies for the contemporary critical investigation of the languages, cultures, histories, and theories of Romanticism. Tracking the circulation of Romanticism within these interrelated domains of knowledge, RCPS recognizes as its conceptual terrain a world where Romanticism has, on the one hand, dissolved as a period and an idea into a plurality of discourses and, on the other, retained a vigorous, recognizable hold on the intellectual and theoretical discussions of today. RCPS is committed to mapping out this terrain with the best and most exciting critical writing of contemporary Romanticist scholarship.
About the Contributors
Alastair Hunt is Assistant Professor of English at Portland State University in Oregon. He has published on Friedrich Schlegel, Hannah Arendt, Vercors, and the Presidential Turkey Pardon. He is completing a book titled Rights of Romanticism.
Matthias Rudolf received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2007, and currently teaches at the University of Oklahoma. Rudolf specializes in British and German Romanticisms, critical theory, and the question of “human.” He has published on romantic poetry, post-colonial literature and theory, and biopolitics.
Marc Redfield is Professor of English and holds the John D. and Lilliam Maguire Distinguished Chair in the Humanities at Claremont Graduate University. He is the author of Phantom Formations: Aesthetic Ideology and the Bildungsroman (1996) and of The Politics of Aesthetics: Nationalism, Gender, Romanticism (2003); he has coedited High Anxieties: Cultural Studies in Addiction (2002).
Emily Sun is Associate Professor in Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. She is the author of Succeeding King Lear: Literature, Exposure, and the Possibility of Politics (Fordham UP, 2010) and co-editor of The Claims of Literature: A Shoshana Felman Reader (Fordham UP, 2007). She also co-edited the summer 2011 special issue, "Reading Keats, Thinking Politics," of Studies in Romanticism.
Sara Guyer teaches in the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also directs the Center for the Humanities. She is the author of Romanticism after Auschwitz (2007). Her latest project focuses on Biopoetics and the case of John Clare. With Brian McGrath, she edits the Lit Z series at Northwestern University Press.
Eva Geulen studied German Literature and Philosophy at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, USA, where she received her Ph.D. in 1989 (Worthörig wider Willen. Darstellungsproblematik und Sprachreflexion in der Prosa Adalbert Stifters, Iudicium Verlag, 2002). Between 1989 and 2003, she held teaching positions at Stanford University, the University of Rochester and New York University. From 2003 to 2012 she was Professor for German Literature at the Institut für Germanistik, Vergleichende Literatur- und Kulturwissenschaft at the University of Bonn, Germany. Since 2012 she has been Professor for German Literature at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Recent publications include Hannah Arendt and Giorgio Agamben: Parallelen, Perspektiven, Kontroversen, ed. with Georg Mein and Kai Kauffmann (Fink Verlag, 2007); Tiere, Texte, Spuren, ed. with Norbert Eke (Erich Schmidt Verlag 2007); The End of Art. Readings of a Rumor after Hegel (Stanford University Press, 2006); Giorgio Agamben zur Einführung (Junius Verlag, 2005, 2nd edition 2009); essays on Nietzsche, Benjamin, Raabe, Th. Mann and others. She has been co-editor of the journal Zeitschrift für deutsche Philologie since 2004.