Print Takes the Stage: The “Great Engine” of Literature, “Invidious Practices,” and British Romantic Theatre, in Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal 39.2 (2017), accessible online here
Abstract: The Romantic period famously witnessed new theorizations of and a supposed retreat from the theatre itself in favor of the print publication of dramas. One might recall Charles Lamb’s famous assertion that Shakespeare’s plays are better read than performed and Lord Byron’s claims that his dramas were never intended for stage production. I contend that examining how authors navigated the changing media conditions of the 1790s, or, more accurately, how they presented this navigation, reveals a complicated new history of the relationship between print publication and stage production. Focusing on three key voices from the 1790s – William Godwin, William Wordsworth, and Joanna Baillie – I reconstruct a frustrated theatrical history in order to show how the Romantic turn away from the stage was a gradual, and painful, process.
Recasting the Revolution: The Media Debate Between Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Paine, in European Romantic Review 25.4 (2014), accessible online here
Abstract: Since the late eighteenth-century, the conversation between Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Thomas Paine has been characterized as a type of competition among genres with each writer seeking to control the textual representation of the French Revolution. However, all three writers’ textual representations also mobilize other media in order to make their case. Addressing the debate in terms of genre and textuality, then, elides the rhetorical role other media – including staged tragedy and history painting – played in the discourse on the revolution. Building on recent interest in media theory, I suggest that tracking medial as well as generic claims allows scholars to more precisely describe the objectives of each thinker, reveals a different “winner,” and provides an answer to the very question posed by each writer – what is the French Revolution?
Intimations of Romantic Transcendence: Reexamining Lord Byron’s Negotiation of the Poetics of William Wordsworth in Cantos I and II of Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, in UC Irvine Undergraduate Research Journal, IX (2006), accessible online here
Abstract: The relationship between the British Romantic poets William Wordsworth and Lord Byron has been the topic of many critical studies. For most critics, Wordsworth, an architect of first-generation Romantic ideology, creates and implements a poetic program that Byron reads, reacts to, and ultimately refutes. This project seeks to reconstruct their formal relationship to expose an underlying commonality. Through a close reading of Wordsworth’s “Ode: Intimations of Immortality” and Cantos I and II of Byron’s Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, I show that Byron comes away from Wordsworth’s work with a specific understanding of the goals of his poetic predecessor. I argue that Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage represents Byron’s frustrated attempt to implement his own understanding of Wordsworthian ideology.