In the first of what will hopefully be come a series, RIN member Michael Demson tells us about his current research:
‘Hello, I’m Michael Demson, and I am an assistant professor of English at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas, where I teach undergraduate and graduate courses in Romanticism, World literature, and literary theory. Currently, I am working on a book-length study on transatlantic radicalism, agrarian politics, and Romantic literature, a project supported by an American Council of Learned Societies’ Fellowship for 2014-2015.
The first few chapters of this book will explore critiques of agricultural improvement in literary, philosophical, and political correspondences during the 1790s between such figures as Thomas Jefferson, Constantin-François Volney, and William Godwin (a transatlantic network of radicals that this anonymous 1798 cartoon sought to expose, figure 1.). The subsequent chapters explore later Romantic novels (Cooper, Hugo, Trollope) profoundly affected by the radical critique of improvement developed during the decade of revolutions.
I’ve also published articles in Romanticism, European Romantic Review, Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, among others, and my graphic novel, Masks of Anarchy: The History of a Radical Poem, about the second life of Percy Shelley’s 1819 lyrical satire among garment workers in New York City at the turn of Twentieth Century, was published by Verso Books in 2013 (figure 2.). You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.’