Call for Papers


The Young Schubert
NASSR 20/20:
“Romanticism and Vision”


August 6-9, 2020
University of Toronto | Toronto, Ontario

Plenary Speakers:
Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern University)
Martin Myrone (Tate Britain)


The organizers of NASSR 2020 invite proposals for papers, panels, and roundtables--from scholars emerging and established, and in all areas of literary, philosophical, cultural, and artistic study--on the theme of “Romanticism and Vision.” In the field of Romanticism, the implications of “vision” as a keyword have changed dramatically over the last half-century, and have expanded to include (for example) the embodied senses, technologies of perception, visual and material culture, and the visual and performing arts. We welcome presentations that explore Romanticism’s connection to vision, the visual, and the visionary, understood in the widest possible sense. Approaches that broaden Romanticism’s disciplinary, geographical, and linguistic scope are especially welcome. In our echoing of the “Vision 2020” and “Beyond 2020” motif currently being deployed in academic, business, and public sectors, we aim to make this year’s conference 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.

Topics may include (but are not limited to):
  • Re-envisioning Romanticism: looking back and looking forward
  • Visions and the visionary: perception, prognostication, projection, speculation, the speculative
  • Ways of looking: reading, conceptualizing, observing, peeping, gazing, categorizing, examining, recognizing and misrecognizing
  • Visual culture and aesthetics: objects of sight, spectacle, the spectacular, the sublime and the beautiful
  • Reading methods and histories: careful, close, distant, surface; plagiarism, copyright law
  • Print culture in its social, theoretical, and physical aspects (e.g. text, design, structure, layout); manuscripts, letters, journals, scrapbooks, books, journals, newspapers
  • The seen and the unseen: noumena, phenomena, the spirit world, apparitions and appearances
  • Romantic iconoclasm and anti-representationalism; ocularcentrism and “the tyranny of the eye”
  • Visual communication: text, numbers, notation (e.g. musical), images, sign language, placards, banners, flags, gestures, hieroglyphs, emblems, insignia
  • Questions of form and representation
  • Fashionable looking: costume, hair, makeup, manner, style, taste, places to see and be seen
  • Visualizing gender and sexuality: identity, performance, politics
  • Visual and scenic arts: sculpture, painting, illustration, graphic satire, print shops, pornography, broadsheets, dioramas, panoramas, architectural and landscape design
  • Theatre and performing arts: set design, lighting, visual effects, costume, body movement, dance, pantomime, attitudes, tableaux vivants
  • Art collection and assessment: museums and curation, connoisseurship, formal and evaluative concerns (e.g. light, color, pattern, shape, scale, proportion)
  • Visualizing class: social hierarchies and signifiers (e.g. clothing, heraldry, pageantry), occupational and economic segregation
  • Instruments of looking: lenses, spectacles, quizzing glasses, spy glasses, Claude glasses, prisms, mirrors, telescopes, microscopes, orreries, windows
  • Forms of illumination and darkness: lightning, electricity, candlelight, lamps, gas light, spotlights, limelight, torches, fireworks; shade, shadow, twilight, gloom, obscurity
  • Religious vision(s): prophecy, revelation, enthusiasm, sermons and hymns, public and private devotion, natural and revealed religion
  • The science of the eye: vision, optics, visual anatomy, medicine, pathology, disability, blindness
  • Data visualization (e.g. land, economy, population studies): mapping, cartography, geography, geolocation, charts, diagrams, categorization, numerical and pictorial statistics
  • Visualizing race: slavery, racism, racialization, minoritization
  • Vision and ecopoetics: seeing nature (vistas, prospects, the picturesque); noticing and reading features of land, water, and sky; watching weather and recognizing climate; the animal gaze
  • Envisioning space and place: the local and the global, home and abroad, the peripheral and transperipheral
  • Envisioning (the ends of) empire: imperialism, colonialism, sites and sights of war; decolonization, indigenization
  • Political and military forecasting, strategy, optics, campaigns, battlegrounds, political theatre
  • Imagining the future of Romanticism; strategizing its work in the humanities, in the university, and in society
Therbusch Submission Types:
  • Individual 15-20 minute paper presentations: please click on this link: [LINK FORTHCOMING]. Download and send the completed form to the conference email address at the bottom of this page.
  • Complete panels of 3-4 papers: please send a Word document (.doc or .docx) featuring the following: 1) the name, affiliation, and email address of the panel organizer, 2) the panel title and a 1-paragraph description, including a brief rationale, and 3) the full names, affiliations, and email addresses of the panelists, along with a 300-word abstract for each paper. Each paper will be vetted by the organizing committee. Sessions may be proposed by NASSR’s caucuses, affiliate organizations, or individual members. We encourage organizers to form panels with diversity and inclusion in mind.
  • Complete roundtables of 5-6 presenters (including moderator): please send a Word document (.doc or .docx) featuring the following: 1) the name, affiliation, and email address of the roundtable organizer, 2) the roundtable title and a 1-paragraph description, including a brief rationale, and 3) the full names, affiliations, and email addresses of committed participants, along with a 200-word description of each talk. We encourage organizers to form roundtables with diversity and inclusion in mind and to focus roundtables on discussion.
  • Open-call panels and roundtables: please send a Word document (.doc or .docx), by an early deadline of October 25, 2019, featuring the following: 1) the name, affiliation, and email address of the panel or roundtable organizer, and 2) the panel or roundtable title and 1-paragraph description, including a brief rationale and the date you would require proposals to be submitted to you. Accepted open-call CFPs will be made available on the conference website, and the final assembled panels should be submitted for vetting by the main conference deadline. We encourage organizers to form panels and roundtables with diversity and inclusion in mind and to focus roundtables on discussion.
***The deadline for all paper and panel proposals is January 24, 2020.***

Because we would like to allow as many presenters as possible to participate in the conference, participants may deliver only one paper/presentation. (Those presenting a paper may, however, also appear on the program as either a moderator, respondent, or roundtable participant.)

Please email all proposals to the conference organizers at nassr2020vision@gmail.com. If you have any questions, or encounter any problems with the submission format, please don't hesitate to email us.