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Showing posts from January, 2016

Broken Passions/Enclosure and Nostalgia: Hemans and Swinburne

A new term; two new modules (or one new module and one old friend returning: TRU2010). With my teaching load weighted towards the spring, I'm not sure how much I'm going to be able to blog over the next 10 weeks, but after two excellent introductory classes on Romanticism to Decadence (Keats, Hemans, DG Rossetti, Swinburne), I felt I wanted to offer two short notes on seminar discussion.

1. Although I'm a fan of Felicia Hemans, and have written on her, I have to say 'Corinne at the Capitol' isn't one of my obvious favourites. However, having taught it last year and this, I'm enjoying the new nuances that are coming up. One of my seminar groups appeared to have a penchant for form, and when it came the Hemans, they cleverly juxtaposed the unhindered aesthetic of the improvastrice (the rapturous, firelike, spontaneous and feminine poetic) with the regular - almost monumental - stanzaic form.

Whilst I think you have to pay attention to the fact that the poem i…

On Laclau and Mouffe

Poor Bruno Latour. Like my 2013 monograph challenge and the rather more modest 2014 'minor Romantic' binge before it, it turns out trying to fit something else blogworthy in between the demands of modern academia and real life is quite hard - as such, I only managed nine rather than ten theorists in 2015. So Latour's We Have Never Been Modern falls off the edge, for the time being at least, and I end up with Ernest Laclau and Chantal Mouffe's Hegemony and Socialist Strategy.

1. The problematic from which the study sets off is, broadly, the insufficiency and disintegration of the orthodox Marxist political model, which posited both a deterministic progress through phases of history, and a priori 'subjects' of history such as the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. These premises became increasingly difficult to maintain as one observes a 'disjuncture between "theory" and "observable tendencies of capitalism"' (loc. 834).* For example, it…