CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue “Romanticism and the Public Humanities”

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Editor: Dr. Elizabeth Effinger (University of New Brunswick)

This proposed special issue of Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons will explore the relationship between Romanticism and the public humanities. The public humanities is an engaged scholarship that is meaningfully informed by the public, one that, as Julie Ellison and Timothy Eatman write, “contributes to the public good and yields artifacts of public and intellectual value” (“Scholarship in Public,” iv).

A core belief to this kind of pedagogy is that the public humanities works to imagine a more just future. How, as students and teachers of Romanticism, might our academic area help us dream together? What does a public humanities informed by Romantic thought look like? How does the public shape the research in our field? How have Romantic scholars turned their work to be public facing? What are the benefits and challenges in making our field and our classrooms more public facing? How can teaching Romanticism inspire community building and civic change? Can making Romanticism more public collude with the aspirations of the undercommons, the name that Fred Moten and Stefano Harney give to those scholars resisting and unworking the neoliberal and (neo)colonial university? These are some of the questions that papers in this collection might address.

The aim of this collection is to gather the stories of some of our field’s innovative scholar-teachers who are actively engaged in the praxis of the public humanities. Papers should be pedagogy-focused reflections on publicly engaged initiatives from a class that was recently taught (or will be taught). This might include coursework or projects that involve community engagement and learning outside the university (e.g., public lectures, op-eds, podcasts), that partner students with community members (e.g., non-profits, prison artivism), that develop engaged public programming or experiences (e.g., speaker series), or that establish supports for engaged scholarship (e.g., degree programs, funding opportunities, curriculum redesign).

Contributors from any stage of career are welcome, as are collaborations that feature the blended perspectives of faculty, students, community members and partners.

Articles should be between 5000-7000 words in length. Accepted finished essays will be due by August 2021. Potential Contributors should send proposals of 350 words and any questions to Dr. Elizabeth Effinger ( by January 15, 2021.