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Circulations: Romanticism and the Black Atlantic

About this volume


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This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by Paul Youngquist and Frances Botkin, essays by Lindsay J. Twa, Lissette Lopez Szwydky, Joselyn Almeida, Dustin Kennedy, and Michele Speitz.

This Romantic Circles Praxis Volume moves the perspective of critical inquiry into British Romanticism from the Island (England) to the Islands (West Indies), considering the particular significance of the Atlantic—watery vortex of myriad economic and cultural exchanges, roaring multiplicity of agencies, and vast whirlpool of creative powers. Black Romanticism remembers a forgotten ancestry of British culture, recovering the vital agencies of diasporic Africans and creole cultures of the West Indies. It does so by practicing counter-literacy, reading the works of nation, empire, and colony against themselves to liberate the common cultures they occlude. The five essays presented here examine texts by or about Jean Jacque Dessalines, Juan Manzano, Jack Mansong, Mary Prince, and John Gabriel Stedman, following a circuitous route that begins in Africa and travels from Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Suriname, Bermuda, and Antigua to corresponding points in England, America, and the continent. The circulation of radically different adaptations of the “same” material provides new ways to understand the colonial Caribbean.

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The image associated with this volume includes elements from "Group of Negros, as imported to be sold for Slaves," an illustration by William Blake from John Stedman's Narrative, of a Five Years' Expedition, against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. The original may be found here, at the Blake Archive.

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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

Paul Youngquist is Professor of English at University of Colorado a Boulder. His publications include Madness and Blake's Myth (Pennsylvania State UP, 1990), Monstrosities: Bodies and British Romanticism (Minnesota UP, 2003), and Cyberfiction: After the Future (Palgrave, 2010).

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Frances Botkin received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her areas of expertise are British Romanticism, Caribbean literature, and gender studies. She has presented papers and published articles on Maria Edgeworth, Sydney Owenson, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen, and Jack Mansong (a nineteenth-century Jamaican slave rebel). She is currently working on her book project: Rewriting the Colonial Caribbean: A Cultural History of Obi, or "Three-Finger'd Jack".

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Lindsay J. Twa is Assistant Professor of Art, and Director of the Eide/Dalrymple Gallery at Augustana College. Her research focuses on the transnational artistic exchanges of African-American visual artists throughout the Black Atlantic.

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Lissette Lopez Szwydky received her Ph.D. in English and Women's Studies from Penn State University. Her dissertation, Adaptations: The London Stage as Entertainment Industry, 1790-1890, is an investigation of nineteenth-century theatrical dramatizations of novels and their impact in shaping each novel's reception history. She specializes in nineteenth-century literature (especially the gothic tradition), popular culture, and film adaptations. Her most recent publication is "Victor Hugo's Notre-Dame de Paris on the Nineteenth-Century London Stage" (European Romantic Review 21.4, 2010).

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Joselyn M. Almeida is Assistant Professor of English at the Univesity of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of Reimagining the Transatlantic, 1780-1890 (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2011), and editor of Romanticism and the Anglo-Hispanic Imaginary (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2010).

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Dustin Kennedy is currently a doctoral candidate in the English Department at Pennsylvania State University. His dissertation investigates how depictions of revolt and Revolution were used to promote social change in the nineteenth century.

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Michele Speitz is a doctoral candidate in the department of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She has reviewed the New Writings of William Hazlitt by Duncan Wu for Romanticism and she is the author of "Aural Chiaroscuro: The Emergency Radio Broadcast in Orson Welles’s The War of the Worlds" , English Language Notes: Special Issue, Time and the Arts 46 (2008): 193-198. Her dissertation project is titled Technologies of the Sublime.

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Published @ RC

October 2011

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