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Post-Secular Perspectives on Romantic and Victorian Poetry
September 13, 2019 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
This colloquium aims to bring together scholars interested in challenging narratives of progressive secularization in the long nineteenth century, whether or not those narratives follow new historicist and materialist approaches (e.g. McGann, de Man) or humanist approaches (e.g. M.H. Abrams, Earl Wasserman). While humanists like Wasserman often emphasize Romanticism’s spiritual orientation as a movement towards secularizing the theological, scholars like McGann or de Man hope to evacuate the religious vestiges that Wasserman celebrates in secular form, but all alike employ the narrative of progressive secularization. Nonetheless, many Romanticists (e.g. Colin Jager) and Victorianists (e.g. Charles LaPorte) now reject the notion that the “secular” comes simply to replace “religion”-understood primarily as belief in the supernatural or as cognitive affirmation of propositional doctrine.