American Romanticism: Conflicts, Resistance, and Reform (NeMLA 2019)

deadline for submissions: 
September 30, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Northeast Modern Language Association (3/21/2019-3/24/2019 conference in Washington D.C.)
contact email: 

American Romanticism: Conflicts, Resistance, and Reform  (Panel)


The “American Renaissance” (Matthiessen’s term) has been reconceived by feminist, new historical, and other critical approaches that have offered scholars opportunities to return to the political and ideological implications of the period. For, as Michael Rogin contends in Subversive Genealogy: The Politics and Art of Herman Melville (1983), the relationship between American politics and American art during American Romanticism is one in which “American literature took on critical, political functions in the absence of a realist politics, but that absence … influenced the form of the critical literature itself” so that it “reflected society in a distorting lens” that “generated and exposed social divisions” (19). This panel invites scholars to consider the political and philosophical dimensions of the literature of American Romanticism. In particular, we are interested in how the literature of the period meditated upon nineteenth-century conflicts, represented resistance, or called for reform. Thus, the panel aims to consider the intersections between American Romanticism (the literature of the movement broadly conceived), politics, philosophy, spirituality, and theory. 


The panel organizers seek papers that consider the philosophical, social, and political dimensions of literary works written during the period. Analyses of relevant works by the following authors of the period are suggested: Longfellow, Holmes, Lowell, Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau, Poe, Melville, Hawthorne, Poe, Douglass, Brown, Fuller, Stowe, Dickinson, Fern, Jacobs, Harper, Wilson, Truth, and others.