Tentative Program: "Resistance in the Spirit of Romanticism" Sept. 6 - Sept. 8, 2018

For specific instructions about session formats, please scroll to the bottom of the page.


Thursday, September 6

8:00am-4:00pm Registration Table

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549


8:30am - 9:00am: Welcome and Thanks

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549

Neil Fraistat (Romantic Bicentennials)

Thora Brylowe (Resistance in the Spirit of Romanticism Conference Committee)


9:00am - 10:15am: Opener: “Resistance Then and Now”

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549

Moderator: Conny Cassity

Molly Desjardins, “Re-Reading John Thelwall’s Abolitionist Rhetoric in the Context of the Black Lives Matter Movement”

Chris Washington, “#OccupyRomanticism”

Nicole M. Wright, “Resisting ‘Resistance’: Presentism and its Discontents”


10:30am - 11:45am: Flash Panel: “Romanticizing Whiteness”

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549

Moderator: Manu Samriti Chander

Manu Samriti Chander, “Uses for a Dead White Supremacist”

Donna Beth Ellard, “Professional Ontologies and Colonial Being”

Nikki Hessell, “Romanticizing Whiteness on Arapahoe St.”

Jared Hickman, “Romanticism and the Settling of Whiteness”

Tina M. Iemma, “Re-narrating Romanticism: Examining an Ethics of Collaboration”

Tricia Matthew, “British Women Writers and the Cold Winds of Scrutiny; or, Thoughts on Writing the Right Book at the Right Time”


12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch Provided

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549


1:00pm - 2:15pm: Concurrent Workshops

Please rank your top three preferences on your registration, and we will do our best to accommodate your first choice. Workshops are capped at 15 participants.

How We Resist: Activist Methods for the Study of Romanticism

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549

Facilitated by the CU Boulder 18-19 Graduate Students. Moderated by Grace Rexroth. Panelists include Nikki Hessell (“Resistance and Settler Methodologies”), Rachel Feder (“Romanticism and Reproductive Justice”), Deanna Koretsky (“Romanticism and Feminism 2.0: Anti-Racist Feminisms and Romantic Literature”), Travis Chi Wing Lau (“Resisting Academic Speed: Disability and Slow Scholarship”), and Rebecca Schneider (“Colonial Archives and Living Memory”). 

In the last few years, we have seen a rise in provocative efforts to expand and challenge the ways that scholars study and engage with eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature. In 2015, the V21 Collective challenged scholars to take up an invested interest in “strategic presentism”—the acknowledgment that much of our interest in the past is rooted in and has the power to shape our present moment. Taking up this issue, several panels at the 2018 ASECS conference highlighted the ways that attending to presentist concerns might invigorate our study of race and empire—not to mention the problems of diversity that exist in our scholarly subfields. Such concerns also pervaded the 2018 NASSR conference, at which the #Bigger6 movement—a movement addressing how we might expand our study of Romanticism beyond the “Big 6” authors—was a key topic of discussion. Finally, it was at this conference that Deanna Koretsky announced the founding of the first NASSR Race and Empire Caucus.  

Each of these movements has been animated by a desire to make our scholarly work more public facing, activist focused, and diverse. In Dr. Manu Samriti Chander's words, it is a call to “address the collective rather than just a coterie of our friends”—to resist urbane canonical comfort. In light of these recent efforts to expand and challenge the way we study Romantic literature, this panel interrogates what kinds of methodological choices contribute to this work. What do “resistant” methodologies look like? What critical choices can and should we make when thinking about how we practice scholarship? How might such choices change the way we study, publish, organize, and teach? In advance of the seminar, organizers will circulate a “syllabus” that describes the seminar’s topics, objectives, and suggested readings. Participants should be prepared to reflect on how they might adopt radical, public-facing methodologies in their own research and teaching.  

Arts of Resistance

Media Archaeology Lab

Facilitated by the Ventre à Terre Collective (http://www.VaTcArt.com/). Participants will discuss methods, means, tactics, and expressive modes of activist intervention against climate change which take the field of romanticism as a means of inspiration but seeks to push its political thresholds into the present. Our primary purpose will be to engage with global warming relative to a range of intersectional politics (race, gender, class, and colonialism). Readings (available as PDFs at http://www.VaTcART.com/boulder-2018) include a contemporary pamphlet and zine produced by the Ventre à Terre Collective this summer, alongside two theoretical readings which served as factors of our artistic production. The Workshop will culminate in a group writing exercise. Participants will compose texts together for a pamphlet and zine to be released at a future conference.

Resisting (with) Print

Norlin Conference Room: Norlin Libraries N410

Facilitated by Jon Klancher and Jonathan Sachs. This seminar takes up the paradox of Romantic print culture as a force both of resistance and complicity. We aim to think collectively about how print works even at a distance to facilitate resistance and interaction, while it can also fall prey to the very forces that it aims to resist. How does the fear of print-media saturation in the Romantic period sit in tension with an almost magical faith in the powers of print to produce a more democratic, participatory society? Questions like this have obvious resonance in our current media and political environment, though not always in the ways that we imagine. Participants are asked to read the following excerpts from The Multigraph Collective's Interacting with PrintJon Mee's Print, Publicity, and Popular Radicalism in the 1790sand Jonathan Sachs's The Poetics of Decline in British Romanticism in preparation for our discussion. We will also use these texts to help us focus upon re-reading William Hone’s The Political House that Jack Built (1819)--one of the most provocative efforts to resituate print and visual media in relation to new acts of resistance emerging after Peterloo. 

We encourage participants to think not only about resistance as an object of study, but also about resistance as a component of methodology and the work of writing. Can resistance inhere in a methodology? Or does resistance constellate, less in academic work itself, but in the uses to which it is put? Here one topic for discussion might be new directions for academic production, such as the work of the Multigraph Collective and others. We are eager to think about how we might resist the extant models of academic production and crediting through new cooperative modes of developing and disseminating work.


2:30pm - 3:45pm: Concurrent Sessions

Resistance and Gender 

Norlin Conference Room: Norlin Libraries N410

Moderator: Josette Lorig

Nowell Marshall, “Resisting Gender: Ghosting the Transman in Charlotte Dacre’s The Libertine” 

Wendy C. Nielsen, “Female Resistance Fighters: from the Romantics to Wonder Woman”

David Sigler, “Barbauld’s ‘Love and Time: To Mrs. Mulso’: Allegories of Erotic and Military Resistance”

Emily Zarka, “The Female Vampire as Resistance: Confrontation of Patriarchal Control in Wake Not the Dead

Religion and Resistance

Norlin Conference Room: Norlin Libraries M350B

Moderator: Kurtis Hessel

Richard Johnston, “Unsurprised by Sin: Byron, Cain, Resistance, and Rebellion”

Julie Kipp, “Republicanism, Religion, and Resistance Writing in Romantic Ireland”

Daniel Larson, “Prophetic Resistance, or, ‘the just man rages in the wilds’”

Resistance around the Atlantic

Marlene Perez, "Cuba, Britain, the Americas: Slave Uprising and Colonial Resistance in Getrudis Gómez de Avellaneda's Sab"

Christopher Scott Satterwhite, "Phillis Wheatley and the Atlantic as a Site of Resistance"

Rebecca Schneider, "Runaway Slave Advertisements as Romantic Fragments"

Dana Van Kooy, "Island(s) of Resistance: Configuring the Geographical Spaces of Atlantic History"


3:45pm - 4:30pm: Break


4:30pm - 6:00pm: Keynote: Saree Makdisi, Cox Family Visiting Scholar, “Romanticism, Empire and Resistance”

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549


6:30pm - 9:00pm: Opening Reception 

Please join us at Café Aion for an opening reception. Light fare provided; there will be a cash bar.


Friday, September 7

8:00am - 4:00pm: Registration Table Open

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549


8:30am - 9:00am: Opening Words

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549

Sue Zemka (CU Boulder English Department Chair)

Neil Fraistat, Steve Jones, and Paul Youngquist (Romantic Circles)


9:00am - 10:15am: Opener: “Things Fall Apart”

​Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549

Participants will speak for five minutes addressing the core issue of the conference. 

Moderator: Katrina O'Loughlin

Colin Carman, “Resisting Marriage: The Queer Case of Mary Diana Dods”

Michael Demson, “Assembly, Resistance, Violence: The Legacy of Radical Rhetoric of the 1790s”

Jacob Henry Leveton, “Machine Breaking and the Making of the State Apparatus: Romantic England/Contemporary Nigeria”

Deven Parker, “Reading Romantic Infrastructure”

Grace Rexroth, “Print Prisons: Imagining the Carceral Effects and Limitations of the Printed Page”

Denys Van Renen, “The Embodied Spaces of Mungo Park’s Travels in the Interior Districts of Africa


10:30 to 11:45 Flash Session: “Resisting Medicine/Resisting Disabilities” 

Moderator: Mark Lussier

David Baulch, "Frankenstein versus the Mummy"

Corey Goergen, "Generic Interventions: Lady Delacour's Opium Plot and Feminist Addiction Studies"

Lisa Kasmer, "Failed Resistance: The Allure of the Sino-Indian Opium Trade"

Brittany Pladek, "Emotional Health and Vulnerability in the Academy"

Kathleen Béres Rogers, "Boys will be Boys, Girls will be Nymphomaniacs"

Emily B. Stanback, "Romanticism's Disability Poetics"

Crystal Veronie, "Resisting Medical Authority: Thomas de Quincey's Confessions as a Pathography of Addiction"


12:00pm - 1:00pm: Lunch Provided

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549


1:00pm - 2:15pm: Concurrent Workshops

Please rank your top three preferences on your registration, and we will do our best to accommodate your first choice. Workshops are capped at 15 participants. 

Resisting Colonialism/Resisting Gentrification

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549

Facilitated by Deanna Koretsky and Paul Youngquist. Gentrification can be understood as a kind of urban settler colonialism: with the full force of the free market behind them, developers and city planners displace communities of color and the working poor to make room for a largely white population seeking to enact their particular version of “free” living—culturally appropriated yoga studios, kombucha shops, and all. What can the ideologies of liberalism and capitalist expansion that drove British colonialism teach us about the neoliberal forces enabling gentrification today? What can we learn from British domestic histories of enclosure as we think about the future of equitable housing and land distribution? How do Romantic-era efforts to resist these and other forces help us to imagine our own strategies for resistance? We'll examine the poetry of Blake and Clare with these questions in mind, then recast our answers in the context of today's gentrification of the historically black Five Points neighborhood in Denver, which we'll be visiting on Saturday. How can our Romantic era writers help us engage old problems of settler colonialism appearing in the new guise of gentrification? More broadly, this workshop offers a chance to come together and discuss whether and how we can use the past to inform our current political and civic struggles. We'll be assisted in our discussion by a local activist deeply concerned with the transformation of Denver's urban neighborhoods.

Resisting Women

Mabel Van Duzee Room: Norlin Libraries 424B

Facilitated by Devoney Looser. In this discussion-based workshop, we will discuss the recent flourishing of “rebel girls” in narrative non-fiction, for YA and adult readers, looking closely at how Romantic-era women figure in these works. We will read in advance of the conference several brief examples in the genre, as well as two short essays that question the value and shortcomings of this trendy approach to C19 women’s history: Anna Leszkiewicz’s “Why is publishing suddenly obsessed with ‘rebel’ women?” from the New Stateman and Joanna Scutt’s “Well-Behaved Women Make History, Too” from Slate. Workshop participants are encouraged to bring in examples of women in Romanticism, in popular and scholarly writing, as a springboard for revisiting how they ought to be described, and, in Scutt’s words, “how much further we have to go” in presenting these figures in our scholarship and to a wider public.

Resisting Canon

Norlin Conference Room: Norlin Libraries N410​

Facilitated by Thora Brylowe and Michael Gamer. Since the 1990s, literary canon has become an unstable and contested terrain, which has been mapped and remapped in competing ways. This seminar will work through ways we might redraw the lines of literary study by decentering the idea of literary canon altogether. The session will be writing intensive, and we ask that all participants bring a laptop.


2:30pm - 3:45pm: Concurrent Sessions

Teaching the Resistance 

Moderator: Kurtis Hessel

Brian Bates, “Romanticism & Community Partnerships in the General Education Classroom”

Deborah Hollis and Kurtis Hessel, “Resistance through Collaborative DH Pedagogy in the Library”

Jonathan Mulrooney, “Teaching What Should Not Be Taught”

Resisting Aesthetics

Mabel Van Duzee Room: Norlin Libraries 424B

Moderator: Emily Harrington

Elizabeth Fay, “Poets for Destitute Times: Psychosis, Dissembling, and the Thing”

Michele Speitz, “‘If I had a Hammer’: Refiguring Lyric Resistance”

Keats’s Humor as a Tactic of Resistance

Norlin Conference Room: Norlin Libraries N410

Moderator: Jeffrey N. Cox

Brian Rejack, “The Camelion Comedian Poet: Negative Capability, the Hone Trials, and Strategies of Romantic Resistance”

Kate Singer, “Keatsian Humors, Affective Turbulence, and Counter-public Feeling”

Michael Theune, “How to Live Posthumously: Humor and Identification in Keats”


3:45pm - 4:30pm: Break


4:30pm - 6:00pm: Keynote: Marjorie Levinson, Cox Family Visiting Scholar, “Bare Particulars”

Center for British and Irish Studies: Norlin Libraries M549


8:00pm Celebration of our Keynote Speakers

Rayback Collective 

Social evening hosted by the CU Boulder 18/19 Graduate Students in honor of the conference keynotes. Food trucks and drinks available at Rayback Collective.


Saturday, September 8

The purpose of “A Denver Experience” is to enrich researchers and symposium participants and expose them to the historic and real time essence of resistance in Denver. We’ll meet in Boulder and then depart for Denver’s Historic Five Points District. Vans leave from Basecamp Boulder at 9:15am. If you are taking your own form of transportation, we’ll meet up with you at the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library (2401 Welton St., Denver, CO) at 10:00am.The first part of our day begins with a tour of the Historic Five Points District. Five Points is where vanguard African Americans created a hub for the cultural, educational, economic and political frameworks to resist and combat the forces of racism and segregation and to empower their community in Denver. Tour participants will speak with local entrepreneurs and visit the Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library and the Black Western Museum during this segment of the day. We’ll break for lunch at SAME Café—a local eatery focusing on food justice and equality for individuals regardless of economic or social status with tangible and demonstrable ways to improve food access. The tour will continue to the Dahlia Campus for Health and Wellbeing. On this tour the group will learn about the programs and initiatives Dahlia is implementing and bring participants to understand the forefront of expanding holistic mental health treatment and advocacy. After the Dahlia Campus, we’ll move to Sister Gardens Farms for the final portion of our day. The group will go on a tour of the farm and learn how growing food can be used as a form of resistance. Following the tour, dinner will be served during the magic hours of the sunset. During this time, we’ll enjoy Deanna Koretsky’s keynote address, "On Learning to Resist Romanticism in the Audre Lorde Archive." At 8:00pm, vans will depart back to Boulder.


Directions for Session Participants

Our conference seeks to resist the normal conference format as much as possible. In these dark times, we call for collaboration, collectivity, and solidarity. All participants should be in touch with your collaborators beforehand. Please make a plan for your session on your own. We will provide contact information as requested.

  1. Openers: If you are positioned first thing on one of the days of the conference, please use this time to reflect on the theme of the conference as explicitly as you can. You are setting the tone for the day.
  2. Flash Sessions: Envision a 3-5-minute manifesto. Give your audience performance, argument, urgency. Facilitate a lively discussion that puts the papers in conversation. Organize yourselves without a moderator. Talk hard.
  3. Workshops: These workshops will be facilitated as the moderators wish. It’s a chance to read and write collaboratively, make plans for the future, and push back against the established genre of the one-person performance. 
  4. Sessions: Each speaker has 15 minutes. These are the closest format to a traditional conference paper; however, participants are very much encouraged to plan something that resists that format.

If you have specific questions about how to handle your session, please contact Thora Brylowe at thora.brylowe@colorado.edu