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Romantic Ethics 2022 : Romantic Ethics and the ‘Woke’ Romantics (Edited Volume, Anglistik und Englischunterricht)


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Submission Deadline Nov 20, 2020
Final Version Due Aug 31, 2021
Categories    humanities   literature   interdisciplinary   culture

Call For Papers

Romantic Ethics and the ‘Woke’ Romantics

Call for Contributions
Guest Editors: Marie Hologa, Sophia Möllers

The works of Romantic writers and political philosophers served a morally instructive purpose for the audiences and readerships of their time. In their pamphlets, speeches, plays and poetry, as well as narrative texts, dominant discourses on, e.g., socio-economic questions, child-rearing, self-management, interactions with marginalised individuals, and visions of democratised states and communities stabilised, commented on and potentially subverted what is now considered a Romantic belief system. The implicit hierarchy of authors of such instructive texts and their recommended moral regulations open a window into the social inequalities of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Because these texts “appeared to have no political bias, these rules took on the power of natural law, and as a result, they presented readers with ideology in its most powerful form” (Armstrong 60). At the same time, it must be acknowledged that Romanticism as such “did create a great revolution in consciousness” (Berlin 20) insofar as Britain’s marginalised groups often became the central focus of Romantic works. Despite their normative character, these texts still left room to create counter-hegemonic discourses, allowed for alternative readings and subversive re-writings, and incited (sub-cultural) agency as a challenge to prevalent ideologies of the Long 18th Century. This emerging Romantic inclusiveness “signalled the beginnings of the aesthetic and ideological acceptance of previously marginalized ‘Others’, social, racial, cultural, and aesthetic” (Athanassoglou-Kallmyer 19) – an awareness that would nowadays be considered ‘woke’.

For this volume on Romantic ethics and ‘wokeness’, we seek to shed light on the period of Romanticism from a distinctively cultural-studies point of view. By choosing an interdisciplinary approach, contributions should focus on, for example, the economic discourse, education and pedagogics, childhood and human perfectibility, slavery and colonialism, Bildung, female conduct books, the poetics of conscience, aesthetics, or crime and punishment, to uncover the morally instructive implementations of the works.

At the same time, we also invite contributors to consider the ongoing and undisputed relevance of Romantic discourses for the socio-cultural and political challenges of the 21st century. More often than not it appears that Romantic ideas echo into contemporary controversies surrounding questions of white privilege (Black Lives Matter), gender and sexual inequalities (#MeToo, LGBTQIA+), human rights, and the intensification of marginalisation in the face of global crises (financial crisis, migration, climate change, pandemics). In consequence, this volume will also address didactic questions immediately related to topics that have been stirring debates for more than 250 years:

o How did Romantic literature and education serve as communicators of virtue, morals, and values?
o How are ideals, belief systems and the ‘wokeness’ of Romanticism intertwined with contemporary social and cultural concerns?
o Can Romantic ideas possibly be re-discovered as innovative approaches to modern teaching and (self-)instruction?
o How can Romanticism therefore contribute to extend the canon for teaching literature (both in high schools and higher education) to incite politically active thinking in learners?

This Call for Contributions invites topics including (but not limited to) the following:
• Female Education and Women’s Rights
• Slavery and the Abolitionist Movement
• Political Criticism and the Birth of Human Rights
• Schooling in the Long 18th Century
• Post-Nationalism and Global Community
• Romantic Childhood and Human Perfectibility
• The Affluent vs. The Poor: Charitable Acts vs. Social Hierarchy
• Artistic Sensibility and the Woke Romantic Genius
• Romantic Imagination and Re-definitions of Aesthetic Concepts

Please submit abstracts (400-500 words) accompanied by a short bio note to both guest editors for this issue: Marie Hologa ( and by 20 November 2020. Finished articles (ca. 6,000 -7,000 words) will be due by 31 August 2021.

Dr. Marie Hologa and M.A. Sophia Möllers
TU Dortmund, British Cultural Studies

Works Cited
Armstrong, Nancy. Desire and Domestic Fiction: A Political History of the Novel. Oxford University Press, 1987.
Athanassoglou-Kallmyer, Nina. “Romanticism: Breaking the Canon.” Art Journal, Vol. 52, No. 2, Summer 1993 (Romanticism), pp. 18-21.
Berlin, Isaiah. The Roots of Romanticism, ed. Henry Hardy, Princeton University Press, 1999.

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