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Social Romanticisms

Social Romanticisms is emerging as a topic that informs a cluster of research being undertaken by Jacqueline Labbe, Emma Mason and Jon Mee, spanning the period from the mid-eighteenth century to the end of the Romantic period (approximately 1750-1835).

In a multiplicity of ways, we see our work as advancing understandings of sociability, periodization, reception, textuality, print culture, literary history, and differing types of transition within the period. The intellectual invention of the ‘social’ as evinced by the growth of salon culture, the coffee shop, and religious, philosophical and literary discussion groups informs much of our research. Social Romanticisms encompasses ideas of circulation and social spaces: the literary space of the bookshop, the religious space of the chapel, the conversational space of the salon, the Enlightenment space of the dining room, the networking spaces of the parlor and the drawing room. These spaces find play in fiction, poetry, history, philosophy, and theology, while the ideas pursued by the individual members of the group stock a kind of virtual print shop.

Colleagues working under the aegis of Social Romanticisms do not confine our work to a single focus but rather find that the variety of projects underway reflects a versatile and energetic approach to the study of the literature and culture of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. We are currently working towards the development of a new research project that explores the implications of Social Romanticisms, circulation and social spaces.