International Conference on Romanticism

October 14-16, 2021 | Charleston, SC

The notion of bonds has always had particular significance in Charleston, South Carolina, a city that bears the scars of being the capital of the American slave trade: in fact, forty percent of the enslaved Africans brought into the United States passed through Charleston’s harbor.  For this reason, the International African American museum will open here in 2022, allowing for people across the world to rediscover their own histories and family connections. Read more.  



Call for Papers
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Keynote Speakers

Manu Samriti Chander is an Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University-Newark. He holds an MFA from the University of Michigan and a PhD from Brown University. His first monograph, Brown Romantics: Poetry and Nationalism in the Global Nineteenth Century (Bucknell, 2017), examined the appropriation of British Romantic tropes by colonial poets throughout the nineteenth century. He has also edited a collection of short fiction by the nineteenth-century Guyanese author, Egbert Martin (Caribbean Press, 2014), and co-edited, with Tricia A. Matthew, a special issue of European Romantic Review on generic experimentation in Romantic abolitionist literature. Professor Chander is currently working on The Collected Works of Egbert Martin, with the support of a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Grant, and developing a second monograph, Browntology, currently under contract with SUNY Press.

Deborah Jenson is a Professor of Romance Studies at Duke University. A scholar of “long 19th century” French and Caribbean literature and culture, Dr. Jenson also works in the fields of cognitive literary studies and health humanities. Monographs, edited volumes, editions, and translations include: Beyond the Slave Narrative: Politics, Sex, and Manuscripts in the Haitian RevolutionTrauma and Its Representations: The Social Life of Mimesis in Post-Revolutionary France; Poetry of Haitian Independence (with D. Kadish and N. Shapiro); Unconscious Dominions: Psychoanalysis, Colonial Trauma, and Global Sovereignty (with W. Anderson and R. Keller); and “Coming to Writing” and Other Essays by Hélène Cixous. Dr. Jenson has previously served as director of the Franklin Humanities Institute and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and as co-director of the Brain & Society theme of Bass Connections, as well as founding co-director of the Health Humanities Lab. She also co-convenes the Neurohumanities Research Group.

Stan Brown is the Inaugural W. Rockwell Wirtz Professor and Director of Graduate Studies of the MFA in Acting program at the School of Communication at Northwestern University. Stan earned his MFA in Acting from the University of South Carolina in 1989. While there, Stan was named a graduate acting fellow at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington D.C., where he received the core of his classical actor training. Stan began his work in university teaching at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, where he taught acting and was a postgraduate researcher in Contemporary Shakespearean Performance (exploring director Peter Brook’s body of work with the Royal Shakespeare Company). Apart from his work as a teacher, voice/dialect coach, and director, Stan has worked as a professional actor for over 30 years in American and British theatre, film, television and radio. In 2015 Stan played the lead in the short film The Bespoke Tailoring of Mr. Bellamy. The film won the prestigious Louisiana Film Prize—the largest monetary prize in the world for short film—and was shortlisted for the Academy Award ballot. Stan also won the Louisiana Film Prize Best Actor award for his work.

ICR 2021 Committee Members

  • Kathleen Béres Rogers, Department of English, College of Charleston
  • Paula Feldman, Department of English, University of South
  • Collins-Frohlich, Department of English, College of Charleston
  • Lauren Ravalico, Department of French, College of Charleston
  • Amy Emm, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures & Cultures, The Citadel
  • Rebecca Nesvet, Department of English, University of Wisconsin at Green Bay
  • Sandra Slater, Department of History, College of Charleston

We are planning to hold this conference in person, but are keeping abreast of COVID-19 developments. Any changes will be posted and sent to registrants promptly.

Thursday Evening Panel

Charleston Bound: Encountering Ties between the City’s Past and Present
In Charleston, where a popular romantic imagination is all too often put to work in the whitewashing of history, scholars of Romanticism can bear witness to the real and material conditions that, as Debbie Lee contends in Slavery and the Romantic Imagination (2002), lie at the roots of Romantic discourse on freedom and revolution. During the late 18th to mid-nineteenth century, the years associated with Romanticisms across the globe, Charleston was known as the capital city of slavery. Approximately 40% of enslaved Africans brought to the United States were bound for Charleston. The white, upwardly mobile and elite population that inhabits the peninsula today is inversely almost matched by the number of black people living in bondage here in the 1790s. Charleston is marketed to thousands of tourists annually as a romantic destination of stately homes, garden walls and ornate iron gates. The historical truth: that these very features were built by enslaved artisans, erected to enclose work yards and to house minority whites who thrived off the economy of slavery, remains excluded from many city landmarks. This panel brings scholars and community members together to encounter the bonds between present day Charleston and the city’s past.


  • Moderator: Dr. Bernard Powers, Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery in Charleston, College of Charleston
  • Dr. Julia Eichelberger, Director of Southern Studies, College of Charleston
  • Dr. Shannon Eaves, Assistant Professor of History, College of Charleston
  • Dr. Felice Knight, Assistant Professor of History, The Citadel
  • Brenda Tindal, Director of Education & Engagement at the International African American Museum, Charleston
  • Christina Butler, Professor of Historic Preservation, American College of the Building Arts, Charleston

Friday Morning Panel

“Unbinding the Canon”- ICR 2021 Special Session
In 1991, when the International Conference on Romanticism was founded, scholars of Romanticism had started to add women writers to their research and teaching. Paula Feldman’s Romantic Women Writers: Voices and Countervoices (1995); Anne Mellor’s Romanticism and Feminism (1998); and Harriet Linkin and Stephen Behrendt’s Romanticism and Women Poets: Opening the Doors of Reception (1999) worked to open the British Romantic canon to woman writers. French Romanticism saw the publication of Wendy Greenberg’s Uncanonical Women: Feminine Voice in French Poetry (1999), and in German Romanticism, Barbara Becker-Cantarino published Schriftstellerinnen der Romantik: Epoche, Werke, Wirkung (2000). In this special session, we would like to think through how far we have come in these thirty years: what are scholars of gender and Romanticism working on now? And what do we still have left to do? How can we be more intentionally intersectional? Anti-racist? Can we ever really unbind the canon?


  • Dr. Stephen Behrendt, Professor of English, University of Nebraska at Lincoln
  • Dr. Catherine Burroughs, Professor of English, Wells College
  • Dr. Aimée Boutin, Professor of French, Florida State University
  • Dr. Paula Feldman, Professor of English, University of South Carolina
  • Dr. Marjanne Goozé, Associate Professor of German, University of Georgia 

Film Screening

The Bespoke Tailoring of Mr. Bellamy
Starring Stan Brown. Brown will be discussing his performance after the screening and will be introduced by Dr. Paula Feldman.


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