CFP Race, Blackness & Romanticism: A Forum

Race, Blackness & Romanticism:
A Forum
Studies in Romanticism
Edited by Patricia A. Matthew
Deadline: January 15, 2021
Essay Length: 3000
Review Process: Anonymous
Projected Publication Date: Spring 2022

from The Cartographer’s Conundrum Sanford Biggers MASS MoCa, 2012
in Committed to Memory: The Art of the Slave Ship Icon (Princeton UP)
Cherly Finley
Scholars, cultural critics, and artists are invited to submit short, tightly-written essays that reflect on how the field of Romanticism engages with race and Blackness. If on the one hand, the field has made room in journals, symposia, and conferences for work that attends to the presence of Black women and men in the period, it still tends to think of race and Blackness as additive rather than constitutive to late- eighteenth and early nineteenth-century British culture and treats race primarily in the context of slavery, abolition, amelioration, and emancipation.  To put it another way, more writing about race in the field has not necessarily lead to meaningful critical interventions in how we explore the subject. All the elements for this work are in place. We have never had more access to primary texts that reflect the United Kingdom’s relationship to race, and scholars across the globe have undertaken significant archival work, paying careful both to what the archive reveals and also its silences.  We are awash in roundtables and forums on pedagogy that aim to “decolonize” the syllabus. Saidiya Hartman, Fred Moten, and Christina Sharpe have become talisman for Romanticists to perform academic radicalism for one another. In the midst of a global reckoning led by Black women and men demanding that academic, artistic, and intellectual institutions confront the gaps between BlackLivesMatter rhetoric and equitable practices around work related to race, this forum seeks essays that:
–unpack the language we use when we write about race and representation
–interrogate what is liberal, radical, or revolutionary about the period and/or the field
–explore what engagement with Romantic tropes look like in the hands of Black artists
–revisit the philosophical narratives that underscore the field
–challenge engagement with the archives
–consider how we use Critical Race Theory
–pay attention to how institutional inequities shape the field
–address other issues related to the larger goals of the forum
Please submit essays as Word documents to