Transatlanticism and The Blithedale Romance
A special issue of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Spring 2017
Guest editors: Derek Pacheco and Michael Demson
In The Blithedale Romance, Hawthorne famously derides Brook Farm's utopianism by likening it to Charles Fourier's outlandish prophecies of seas-transmuted-into-"limonade à cèdre." For all its satire, however, the novel is positively awash, so to speak, in British and European literary, social, and intellectual currents—from pastoral aesthetics, to prison reform, to fantasies of agricultural improvement, to name a few. For example, Hawthorne's wry allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey's unrealized utopian Pantisocracy opens up questions about the extent to which he understood his own experience of Brook Farm in terms of the agrarian thought permeating transatlantic Romanticism. Indeed, that such preoccupations would drift across the Atlantic ocean's temporal and geographic expanses exemplifies what Elisa Tamarkin has called the "irreducible 'fluidity' of the Atlantic world."
We hope for a broad range of engagements with this topic, from the transcendental to the material, from the circulatory to the rhizomatic. Topics might include, but are not limited to
circulation/reputation in Europe
Anarchism and the commune
Cottage, farmstead, and plantation
Labor: divisions, subordination,
Peasants, farmers, landowners
Pastoral, anti-pastoral traditions
Sustainability and/or primitivism
Revolutions of 1848 revised
Participants at Brook Farm
Abstracts of approximately 300-500 words by 15 March 2016 with a two-page cv (please send to email@example.com). Full essays (6,000-9,000 words) would be due by 15 July 2016.