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Richard Sha

Chair, Department of Literature
Department of Literature

  • Additional Positions at AU

    Affiliate Professor of Philosophy
    Member, Center for Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Professor Sha teaches courses in Nineteenth-Century Literature, especially British Romanticism and in Asian American Literature. He has drafted a new book entitled,  Science and Imagination in Romanticism, 1750-1850, for which he has received a 2012-13 NEH Fellowship and a 2008 Grant from the American Philosophical Society. He is the author of Perverse Romanticism: Aesthetics and Sexuality in Britain, 1750-1832 (Johns Hopkins UP, 2009) and The Visual and Verbal Sketch in British Romanticism (Penn Press, 1998). He has won the University faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in General Education (2002) and the award for Teaching Excellence (2004) bestowed by the University Undergraduate Student Confederation. In 2012, he was named AU's "Scholar Teacher of the Year." Together with Joel Faflak, he edited a volume of critical essays on Romanticism and the Emotions that was published by Cambridge UP in 2014.  He has recently been invited to speak at the Centro Interdisciplinare di Studi Romantici in Bologna, the Keats-Shelley House in Rome, the National Library of Medicine, and West Virginia University, at the Extended Cognition Project in Edinburgh, and at a conference on Medicine and Visual Culture at Georgetown.
  • Degrees

    PhD, English Literature, University of TX at Austin
    MA, English Literature, U TX at Austin
    BA with Honors, U. Pennsylvania
  • Book Currently Reading:

    Andy Clark's Supersizing the Mind

    Languages Spoken:

    French and Spoken Mandarin
    Some Italian
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Partnerships & Affiliations

  • Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net

    Advisory Board

  • Wellcome Trust History of Medicine Grants

    Evaluator of Grants

  • Wordsworth Coleridge Association

    Member

  • North American Society for the Study of Romanticism

    Member

  • Keats-Shelley Association

    Mentor

  • Eighteenth-Century Fiction, PMLA, Nineteenth-Century Contexts, European Romantic Review, Journal of the History of Sexuality

    Reader

Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities

Research Interests

  • Science and Imagination in Romanticism, 1750-1850,  focuses on how the sciences understood the imagination in the British Romantic period, and on how this understanding changes the ways in which Romantic critics should think about the imagination. 

Selected Publications

  • "John Keats and Some Versions of Materiality," forthcoming in Romanticism (fall 2014)
  • Romanticism and the Emotions , ed. with Joel Faflak (Cambridge UP, 2014)
  • "Blake and the Queering of Jouissance," in Queer Blake, eds. Helen Bruder and Tristanne Connolly.  Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, pp. 40-50.
  • Perverse Romanticism:  Aesthetics and Sexuality in Britain, 1750-1832 Baltimore:  Johns Hopkins UP, 2009.
  • "Volta's Battery, Animal Electricity, and Frankenstein," European Romantic Review 38pp. ms.
  • "The Imagination as Inter-Science," European Romantic Review Vol. 20 #5 (December 2009):  661-669.
  • "Towards a Physiology of the Romantic Imagination," Forthcoming in Configurations, 2010.
  • “Blake, Liberation, and Medicine,” in Liberating Medicine, eds. Tristanne Connolly and Steve Clark. (Pickering and Chatto, 2009)
  • “Othering Sexual Perversity: England, Empire, Race and the Science of Sex.” In The History of the Human Body in an Age of Empire, ed. Michael Sappol. (Oxford: Berg, July 2010)
  • “The Use and Abuse of Historicism: Shelley and Halperin on the Otherness of Ancient Greek Sexuality,” Romantic Praxis (January 2006)
  • “Romanticism and the Sciences of Perversion,” Wordsworth Circle 36 #2 (spring 2005): 43-48.
  • “Scientific Forms of Sexual Knowledge in Romanticism.” Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net 23 (August 2001)
  • The Visual and Verbal Sketch in British Romanticism (U Pennsylvania, 1998)

Grants and Sponsored Research

  • American Philosophical Society, Benjamin Franklin Research Grant, 2008
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend for senior scholars, 2004
  • Andrew Mellon Fellowship, Huntington Library, 1999
  • Giles and Elise Mead Fellowship, Huntington Library, 1999
  • Andrew Mellon Fellowship, Huntington Library, 1992
  • Yale Center for British Art Fellowship, 1992
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2012-2013

Media Appearances

  • Cited in William Safire’s Column, New York Times Magazine, October 2007

Work In Progress

  • "Byron, Polidori, and the Epistemology of Romantic Pleasure” in Romantic Pleasure, eds. Michele Faubert and Tom Schmidt  (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming November 2010)  30pp.
  • "The Brain Science of Emotions:  Romantic and Modern Forms.  Back to the Future"
  •  Entries  "Ann  Batten Cristall,"  "John and William Hunter," "Sir Charles Bell," and   "Figuration in Romantic Scientific Prose" in Blackwell's The Encyclopedia of Romanticism (forthcoming)
  • "On the Romantic Imaginations we want and those we don't " in Blackwell's Handbook to Romantic Studies, ed. Joel Faflak and Julia Wright
  • Romanticism and the Emotions, a volume co-edited with Joel Faflak.  Contributers include:  Thomas Pfau, Rei Terada, Jacques Khalip, David Collings, Tilottama Rajan, David Clark,    and  Julie  Carlson.

Honors, Awards, and Fellowships

  • 2004 American University Undergraduate Student Confederation Excellence in Teaching award
  • 2002 American University University Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching in General Education

Professional Presentations

            "Romantic Science and the Im/Materiality of the Imagination,” MLA San Francisco, 2009

  • “Imagination as Inter-science,” NASSR 2008, Bologna, Italy, 2008
  • “Transcendence as Ideology:  Rethinking the Imagination through Science,”  British Association of Romantic Studies, Bristol, UK 2007
  • “The Romantic Imagination:  Physiology, Pathology, Neurology,” National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Seminar, 2007
  • “Towards a Physiology of the Imagination:  Romanticism and the Science of Mind,” NASSR 2006
  • “Artificial Insemination in the Eighteenth Century,”  Vital Matters Conference, Los Angeles, 2005

Recordings

  • “The Romantic Imagination: Physiology, Pathology, Neurology,” National Library of Medicine, History of Medicine Seminar, 2007 (DVD) in NLM Collection

AU Expert

Area of Expertise: Painting, poetry, British romanticism, history of sexuality and romantic science

Additional Information: Richard C. Sha
is the author of Perverse Romanticism: Aesthetics and Sexuality in Britain, 1750-1832 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008). He is also author of The Visual and Verbal Sketch in British Romanticism (1998).

Media Relations
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