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Romanticism -- Literature


This panel opens up innovative ways of thinking about Romanticism and “the problem of sharing our earth with other creatures.” Over the last couple of decades, the crisis in human relations with animals has deteriorated to the point that it has become increasingly recognized as a constitutive part of the global environmental crisis. Like the climate crisis, the “animal crisis” originates with the emergence of the industrial form of capitalism in Britain around the turn of the nineteenth century. Appreciation of this historical constellation can and should become the basis of a renewed Romantic animal studies. However, reading Romanticism as a reflection of and on the historical origins of the contemporary crisis in human-animal relations in turn requires rethinking and openly debating topics, archive, and method. To indicate the initial results and style of our efforts, we have chosen not to summarize the papers presented, but rather to pose ten collectively formulated questions and to briefly answer as individuals a selection of three of those questions. Overall, we hope not just to make an argument for what we regard as a vital area of research in Romantic studies, but to encourage more research on the topic.


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