Continental Romanticism (Panel / In-Person)


Special Session
World Literatures and Comparative Studies

Larry Peer (Brigham Young University - Provo)
larr@****.com (Log-in to reveal)

Romanticism is a pan-European phenomenon, relegated neither to artifacts in one language tradition nor to one discipline. This session will feature the broad view of the movement, inviting work that is aware of Romanticism's reach and complexity across Western culture.
Throughout history new cultural movements in the arts and philosophy overstep or even defy cultural norms and practices. Romanticism is a pointedly unique transformative trespass, and a key to understanding the nature of the movement lies in the manifold attempts since its heyday to define what it is and what its artifacts actually mean. The Romantics themselves, particularly the German, Italian, Russian, and other continental thinkers and artists, built their discussions on this matter upon several key notions, for example, the fragmentary, the radically individuated, and the chaotic. Cultural artifacts are the product of inconsistent processes that must be understood as not participating in any conceptual framework, but that would lead to and construct multi-dimensional freedom and "newness." In the end, the work of Romanticism makes a body of artifacts in literature, painting, sculpture, science, educational practice, music, philosophy, and so on, that represent a set of transgressive values and practices not understood by reference to single language or disciplinary boundaries. The interconnectedness of continental developments across national frontiers, or within linguistic boundaries but suggesting transnational and cross-linguistic awareness, needs further inquiry.