Secularism, Cosmopolitanism, and Romanticism Public Deposited
  • This volume of Romantic Circles Praxis Series includes an editor's introduction by Colin Jager, essays by Mark Canuel, Colin Jager, Paul Hamilton, and Bruce Robbins. 

    This volume begins to unpack the relationships among the three terms of its title. Despite its air of neutrality, "secularism" is increasingly understood to have its own interests, particularly when it comes to defining and managing the "religious." And, thanks to its constitutive relationship to modernity, romanticism is invested in secularism, not least in those moments typically coded as "spiritual" or "religious." Cosmopolitanism, too, bears a vexed relationship to a period typically associated with nationalism. Finally, secularism and cosmopolitanism are themselves related in surprising ways, both historically and conceptually. Do they pursue the same project? Do they diverge? How and when? And how does romantic writing figure such alignments? Tere are the questions motivating the three essays in this volume. Reaching beyond a religious-secular binary, Paul Hamilton analyzes romantic conversation as a form of the "nonsecular." Mark Canuel's essay on Coleridge shows how fear was authorized and placed within the secualr institutional framework of the nation state. And Colin Jager's essay on Byron and Occidentaism dwells on the norm of reflexivity as an index of a modern, secular, reaction to religious orthodoxy. As Bruce Robbins points out in his response, all three essays attest to the Janus-faced nature of Romanticism's engagement with secularism and cosmopolitanism. Always on the verge of taking a familiar path (nationalism, spiritualization), romanticism's restless critical and institutional energies also find ways to disrupt those susceptibilies. 

Date Issued
  • 2008-01-01
Academic Affiliation
Last Modified
  • 2024-07-08
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Peer Reviewed


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