(Deadline Extended! Nov. 28th) Romanticism and Justice

deadline for submissions: 
November 28, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
North American Society for the Study of Romanticism
contact email: 

Submit proposals to NASSR2023@shsu.edu by November 28, 2022. Please specify in your proposal if you plan on attending in person or remotely (see further discussion below).

The organizers of NASSR 2023 invite proposals for papers, panels, roundtables, and other innovative presentation formats on the theme of “Romanticism and Justice” from scholars of every rank and relevant discipline. Recent discussions of ‘justice’ have enlarged the field of Romanticism to include (for example) environmental, social, and epistemic justice, at the same time as Romantic scholarship has turned to investigate the institutions of criminal justice and their histories. These lines of inquiry recognize that conceptions of ‘justice’ in the era of revolutions have been formative to modern institutions and sensibilities.

We welcome presentations that explore Romanticism’s connection to justice, understood in the widest possible sense. Talks that engage Romanticism’s geographical, linguistic, and/ or methodological scope in areas that advance diversity and inclusion in the field are especially welcome. As an alternative to attending the conference in person, March 30 will include a full schedule of moderated Zoom sessions—principally roundtable discussions of pre-circulated papers (proposals for other kinds of sessions are welcome)—so that conference attendees can participate remotely. Please specify in your proposal if you wish to participate in-person or virtually. Please note that if you are proposing full panels or roundtables, they need to be entirely in-person or virtual as there will be no hybrid options. Recordings of the plenary talks will be made available to virtual attendees.

Conference activities will include tours of the Texas Prison Museum, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and TDCJ’s Captain Joe Byrd Cemetery.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

The cultural evolution of criminality and criminology

Prison literature and prison publications

Imperialism and race: abolitionism, state crimes, extrajudicial killings, and global justice

The gendering of crime and other gender inequities

Courtroom dramas, famous trials, celebrated decisions, and the theater of justice

Codes of law, revolutionary justice, and utopianism

Remorse and terror, the affects of justice

The aesthetics of crime and punishment: sublimity, ennui, pastoral visions of justice

Contending authorities: sacred law, state law, and the profane

Law in liminal and hybrid spaces: international law, human rights, and transatlantic republicanism, anarchism, and socialism Representation and justice 

Justice in popular print culture, court proceedings and caricatures Land appropriation and enclosures, population displacement, environmental degradation, slow violence, and climate justice

Animals and the law, animal rights and representation Jurisdictions, war crimes, colonialism

Architecture of justice: Old Bailey, Newgate Prison, Bastille, Walnut Street Prison, façades and scaffolds

Ireland and injustice: Penal Laws, 1798 Rebellion, rack-rent Pandemics and justice, lazarettos, and the criminalization of disease

Narratives of reformation, rehabilitation, and/or incapacitation

Systemic racism in the institutions of justice State-sanctioned violence, prosecution, and persecution Procedural justice, courtrooms and the halls of justice, sentencing and criminal records

Punishment, incarceration, transportation, capital punishment

Distributive justice, equity, and restorative justice: reconciliations, restitutions, and reparations ‘Justice’ beyond institutions: dueling, revenge, riots, unrest, lynching, and vigilantism

Poetic justice, just deserts, and the representation of justice Whose canon?

The history and future of social justice and engagement in

Romantic pedagogy 

As past conferences of NASSR have done, the NASSR 2023 conference also aims to be an opportunity to consider the future of Romanticism as a critical field of humanist study and to strategize about the role of Romanticism in shaping the future of the university. To that end, we welcome proposals on Romanticism beyond the scope of the conference theme.