Open-Call Panel & Roundtable CFPs

Please note the submission deadlines indicated for each of these panels, all of which are earlier than the main conference deadline. Unless otherwise indicated below, all submissions should be limited to 300 words. Please include your name, email, and affiliation in your submission.

If your paper is not selected for one of these panels, you may submit it (or a different proposal) to the general conference pool. In the event that it is selected for a panel, but the panel as a whole is not approved, your paper will automatically be passed into to the general conference pool for individual consideration.


Note: Caucuses have guaranteed sessions; caucuses may submit additional sessions for consideration if enough submissions are received.

“Unfinished Thought—Lingering Fragments”
Guaranteed panel sponsored by the Theory and Philosophy Caucus
Organized by Jack Rooney (The Ohio State University)
In The Romantic Fragment Poem, Marjorie Levinson proposes that in contradistinction to their German contemporaries, the English Romantics generate fragmentary poems without a self-conscious theorizing of their practice. Their attempts at theoretical responses to fragmentation amount, in Levinson’s analysis, to little more than “an idealizing paraphrase of the [poetic] object” (12). Yet Romantic philosophy does not merely offer commentary upon the period’s poetic fragments; it also participates in their unfinished quality. As Anthony Howe writes of Shelley’s philosophical fragments, “it is perhaps their failure—their ironic textual status as incomplete system—that tells us most about Shelley as a writer.” Like Romantic fragment poems, Romantic fragmentary philosophy betrays by its incompleteness the insufficiency of the system it was wont to imagine. The Romantics’ philosophical practice might be read to suggest that Romantic fragmentariness evinces not truncation or blighted ambition but, instead, radically capable unfinishedness. Rather than recovering the theory implicit in fragment poems, we seek papers that engage directly with Romantic philosophical and theoretical writings on the fragmentary. These papers will explore understudied Romantic philosophical fragments in order to further our understanding of the Romantic encounter with the unfinished. Authors and works that prospective panelists might consider include, but are in no way limited to, Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria and Opus Maximum; Schelling’s Ages of the World; Friedrich Schlegel’s fragments; Henry Kirke White’s Melancholy Hours and other fragments and remains; and Kant’s “fourth critique” of the political. We also welcome work on near-Romantic and post-Romantic thinkers whose fragmentary philosophy, or philosophy of the fragment, partakes of the spirit of Romanticism, including Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Adorno, Bataille, and E. M. Cioran. Please send 300-word abstracts/proposals for papers of 15-20 minutes in length to Jack Rooney at by January 10, 2020. *DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED TO JANUARY 18, 2020.*

“Black Post-Apocalyptic Romanticism”
Guaranteed panel sponsored by the Race and Empire Studies Caucus
Organized by Chris Washington (Francis Marion University)
Romanticism’s visions of the end of the world—its plagues, species extinctions, world annihilations, and the emergence of nonhuman beings—skew toward white visions of the end of the world. The lone explicitly black character in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, for instance, appears only to transfer the plague to the otherwise immune Lionel, as if blackness itself were a contagion that infects whiteness. This panel seeks to think Romantic ontology at the end of the world beyond whiteness and beyond blackness as infectious. Recent black studies theorists like (to name only a few) Saidiya Hartman, Frank Wilderson, Fred Moten, Marquis Bey, Hortense Spillers, Jared Sexton, and Christina Sharpe all grapple, in various ways, with the ontology of blackness. Moten, and Bey in his wake, for example, characterize blackness as paraontological, that which comes before ontology itself. Meanwhile, Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s M Archive: After the End of the World, sees blackness as always already after the end of the world—but, for her, blackness also allows for being after the human. How might we rethink—or think for the first time, perhaps, as it were—blackness and ontology at the end of the world in relation to Romanticism? This panel is interested in any and all approaches to this topic in Romantic authors and texts including critical race studies, transatlantic studies, queer studies, transgender studies, non-binary studies, black studies, feminist theory, indigenous studies, and readings of romanticism in and through the contemporary. Please submit abstracts to by January 15, 2020.


“Gaslighting: Illumination and Obfuscation in Romantic Culture”
Panel sponsored by the John Thelwall Society
By connecting politics to pollution (specifically the light pollution that blotted out the night sky after the introduction of gas lighting), John Thelwall’s irregular ode “The Star: A Night Walk in the Vicinity of Whitehall” registers the cultural impact of the rapid spread of artificial light in the Romantic era, and its difference from the natural light, especially of moon and stars, traditionally associated with romanticism. In so doing, Thelwall also prefigures some of the connotations of “gaslight” in contemporary political discourse, where it is connected with deliberate obfuscation and manipulation of public opinion and communication. Sponsored by the John Thelwall Society, this session invites proposals for papers on any aspect of gas lighting (and/or gaslighting) in the Romantic period. They need not deal with Thelwall or politics, though such proposals will also be welcome. Proposals should be sent to the Society, care of, by January 17, 2020.

“Vision and Voice: Elocution and the Embodiment of Poetry”
Panel sponsored by the John Thelwall Society
In his recent article “rethinking the rethinking of poetry” in the Romantic period, Jerome McGann suggests that Wordsworth’s revolutionary experiments in poetry as a form of “embodied knowledge” owed much to John Thelwall’s elocutionary prosody. McGann is one of several scholars who have begun to reevaluate and rehabilitate the reputation of the elocution movement in the history of rhetoric, but more remains to be done to explore the impact of elocution on romantic theory and practice, as a “language of the sense” at once oral, aural and visual, integrating gestures and facial expression with vocal production and projection. Sponsored by the John Thelwall Society, this session invites proposals for papers on any aspect of elocution in the Romantic period, with particular interest in the relationship between vision and voice. They need not deal with Thelwall, though such proposals will also be welcome. Proposals should be sent to the Society, care of, by January 17, 2020.


"Dispossession and Romanticism: New Contexts, Visions, Practices"
Roundtable organized by Alex Dick (University of British Columbia) and Padma Rangarajan (UC Riverside)
Understood as an existential crisis of not being oneself or of being taken outside of oneself, dispossession has long played a central role in discussions of Romantic art, literature, and philosophy. Although the contemporaneity of Romanticism with the expansion of the British Empire has informed these discussions, Romanticists still tend to look past the material dimensions of dispossession, such as land enclosure and resource expropriation, the massive and often violent displacements of indigenous people, and the intersection between global trade, imperial war, colonial policy, and environmental science. A conference on Romantic Vision seems like an important opportunity to bring these contexts to light and to consider how they might affect or even change our critical and historical methodologies. How, we might ask, does comprehending population displacement in the Romantic period change the way we think about ‘dispossession’ as a philosophical or literary trope? How might the dialectical tensions and aporias that become visible when material and existential modes of dispossession are brought into contact (or conflict?) with its material contexts change the way we read Romantic period art and texts? In what ways might dispossession, viewed in this perspective, provide a point of access for Romanticists to brings questions of race, indigeneity, migration (forced and otherwise), and biodiversity—questions that are central to the future of the humanities more broadly—into their critical practices and theoretical investigations? Please send proposals for short interventions of <5 minutes with accompanying discussion questions to Alexander Dick ( and Padma Rangarajan ( by January 13, 2020.

“‘[B]right visions of Eternity’: Blake’s Visual Art in 2020”
Roundtable organized by Diane Piccitto (Mount Saint Vincent University)
In one of his letters, Blake writes, “I know that This World Is a World of Imagination & vision I see Every thing I paint In This World, but Every body does not see alike. […] The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the Eyes of others only a Green thing that stands in the way. [...] As a man is So he Sees” (E702). For Blake, his graphic art is directly linked to visual perception and reflects the way he experiences the world, functioning as an artefact of his individuality, of his self-expression. As W.J.T. Mitchell’s landmark 1978 study, Blake’s Composite Art, recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, as the William Blake Archive approaches its 25th year online, and as Tate Britain is currently showcasing a major exhibition on William Blake aimed at “rediscover[ing] him as a visual artist for the 21st century,” the time is ripe for a reconsideration of Blake’s graphic productions. This is an open call for a roundtable exploring new ways of engaging with and understanding Blake’s visual art, including his Illuminated Books, paintings, drawings, and illustrations – what he might alternately call his “visions of futurity” (E322), “visions of delight” (E354), “dark visions of torment” (E70), “Visions / In new Expanses” (E257), and “Visionary forms dramatic” (E257). With an eye toward promoting an illuminating dialogue, participants are asked to re-examine Blake’s visual output, taking an expansive approach to the meaning of the visual and vision in line with the conference cfp – that is, “the embodied senses, technologies of perception, visual and material culture, and the visual and performing arts.” Please send proposals of 200 words to by January 3, 2020. *DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED TO JANUARY 17, 2020.* [Note: Those submitting a conference paper proposal may also submit a proposal for this roundtable.]

“Re-visioning Frankenstein: Illustrative, Pictorial, and Digital Adaptations”
Panel organized by Chris Koenig-Woodyard (University of Toronto)
This panel will address illustrative, pictorial, and digital treatments and adaptations of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The novel has a 195-year history of illustration and depiction in a wide range of visual arts, media, and technologies—from the 1823 cover of Richard Brinsley Peake’s play Presumption to the first issue of the comic series Mary Shelley, Monster Hunter (February 2019). The novel’s “hyperadaptability” in visual form, to adopt Dennis Perry’s term, extends to a wide range of modes. I welcome proposals that are theoretically and historically mindful of the process of adaptation and trans-literation in considering visual versions of Frankenstein in a diverse range of forms: book illustration, painting, movies, television, digital and internet treatments, video games, children’s picture books, cartoons and caricatures, as well as in comic books, graphic novels, and manga. Papers should balance close with critical, cultural, and historical readings, while theorizing the issues that attend the aesthetic process of revisioning and reviving the form and narrative of Shelley’s novel. Please send proposals of no more than 300 words to by January 10, 2020.

“The Impossibilities of Romantic Sex: New Directions in Romanticist Feminisms”
Roundtable organized by Kate Singer (Mount Holyoke College)
This roundtable seeks new approaches to Romantic criticism and texts revolving around questions of sex, gender, queer, transgender, and the nonbinary that might revivify or redraw feminisms then and now, or other formations that challenge inequities based on sex and/or gender. Romanticism has long been a touchstone for rethinking the ideologies of gender and sex difference via Wollstonecraft's feminism, Macauley's history, Hemans's incendiary maternity, Robinson's queer panic, and Austen's micro-politics, just to name a few. Criticism on the period has attested to women writers' grab for writerly prowess and education, if not political power, it has toyed with Thomas Lacqueur's instantiation of the two-sex model during the period, and it has documented the Romantic foundations of psychoanalysis and feminist psychoanalysis, second-wave feminism, feminist historicism, and even proto-feminist Marxist formations. Yet it seems there might be even more to say not only by using newer approaches (e.g., queer temporalities, trans visibility, new materialities, and other feminist philosophies) but by reexamining what alterative directions Romantic texts might offer to the broader field of feminist and gender criticism. Please submit abstracts to by January 1, 2020. *DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED TO JANUARY 10, 2020.* [Note: Those submitting a conference paper proposal may also submit a proposal for this roundtable.]

“John Galt’s Global Vistas”
Panel organized by Angela Esterhammer (University of Toronto)
In recent years, scholarship on John Galt has opened up perspectives on his work that reach far beyond the regional Scottish fiction for which he has traditionally been known. This session invites new and further work on Galt’s global entanglements, which may include the life-long influence of his travels in Europe and the Middle East, his settlement ventures in the Canadas, his studies of society and commerce in other parts of the world, translations of and by Galt, and/or his techniques for incorporating transnational events into fiction and drama. The session marks the publication in 2020 of the first volumes of the Edinburgh Edition of the Works of John Galt – the first-ever critical edition of his works – which, in turn, marks the bicentenary of a date that is indicative of Galt’s global reach. In 1820, he published fiction set in Scotland and in Sicily, poetry set in Athens, the biography of an American painter, and four textbooks on geography and world history, in addition to beginning his involvement with Upper Canada. Papers might address the way new theoretical approaches and new discoveries about Galt’s writings in any genre produce a view of him as a more complex international writer than once supposed. Please send 250-word proposals for 20-minute papers to by January 15, 2020.

“Envisioning Romantic Homes and Families”
Panel organized by David Shakespeare (University of Waterloo)
This panel aims to explore new directions in the study of the family and the domestic in British Romanticism. As Susan Fraiman has written, domestic narratives typically explore a “process of domestication,” and this process can involve a variety of different perspectives, such as questions about who belongs within a family; family ancestry; the role of social class in family formation; the relation of the domestic to the wider public; the representation of family through visual and verbal metaphors; the effects of marriage laws on conceptions of family; and diverse representations of ethnicity and gender, among other topics. Abstracts should be submitted to by January 10, 2020. *DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED TO JANUARY 18, 2020.*

“Envisioning New Directions in Scholarly Editing”
Panel organized by Lisa Wilson (SUNY Potsdam)
This panel invites proposals on recent developments in the scholarly editing of Romantic-era images and texts, especially those that address aspects of editing theory and practice that intersect with the conference theme of “Romanticism and Vision.” Presentations might address, but are not limited to, the following questions: What will the next generation of scholarly editions look like in relation to past editions? Which Romantic-era artifacts need recovery and editing or re-editing most urgently? How do new developments in social, cultural, or literary theory impact our editorial choices? How might editions of texts and images fruitfully intersect? How do textual and data visualization further our understanding of the cultural productions of the Romantic period? How do we productively connect manuscripts, archived editions, works of art, or other historical artifacts to their digital surrogates? How do new scholarly editions, print and digital, serve to forward our research and teaching agendas? Submit 300-word (maximum) proposals to by January 17, 2020.

“NASSR Performs!”
Special event organized by Omar Miranda (University of San Francisco)
Join us for our second annual evening of reciting and performing at NASSR, as we engage with the 2020 conference theme "Romanticism and Vision" by exploring how the live enactment of Romantic literature, drama, and music can offer up new interpretive insights. Anyone interested in reciting a passage from memory, giving a musical performance, speaking a dramatic monologue or dialogue, performing an enacted scene, or presenting a creative adaptation is invited to send a proposal. Please include the author and title of the work you intend to recite or perform, and a short, one-paragraph description of your creative impulse or aims. Proposals should be sent to by January 15, 2020. *DEADLINE NOW EXTENDED TO JANUARY 22, 2020.* Open to students, faculty, and enthusiasts. [Note: Those submitting a conference paper proposal may also submit a proposal for this special event.]