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Richard C. Sha Professor Department of Literature

Additional Positions at AU
Affiliate Professor of Philosophy
Member, Center for Behavioral Neuroscience
Degrees
PhD, English Literature, University of TX at Austin MA, English Literature, U TX at Austin BA with Honors, U. Pennsylvania

Languages Spoken
French and Spoken Mandarin Some Italian
Book Currently Reading
Andy Clark's Supersizing the Mind
Bio
Professor Sha is the author of three books, the latest of which is Imagination and Science in Romanticism (Johns Hopkins, 2018). His new book, Modeling Emotion: Romanticism and Beyond, considers how scientific models and models of the self shape our understanding of emotion, and the costs and benefits of this shaping. His previous books are on the relation of aesthetics to sexuality in Romantic culture (Johns Hopkins 2009), and on the rise of sketching in Romantic culture (Penn 1998). With Joel Faflak he has edited Romanticism and the Emotions, published by Cambridge University Press. Professor Sha teaches courses on zombies and consciousness, why we need ideals and theories, the emotions, and on sexuality and literature. He has garnered three teaching awards, including the 2012 Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award, and Outstanding Professor, Bestowed by the Undergraduate Student Confederation of American University.
See Also
Literature Department
For the Media
To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

Partnerships & Affiliations

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

  • SUNY Press, U Delaware Press, John Hopkins UP
    Reader

  • Tenure and Promotion Reviews, Journal of the Social History of Medicine
    Reviewer

  • Wellcome Trust History of Medicine Grants
    Evaluator of Grants

  • Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net
    Advisory Board

  • Keats-Shelley Association
    Mentor

  • Wordsworth Coleridge Association
    Member

  • North American Society for the Study of Romanticism
    Member

  • ACLS
    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. 

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.

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

Recordings

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

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)

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

Media Appearances

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

AU Experts

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).

For the Media

To request an interview for a news story, call AU Communications at 202-885-5950 or submit a request.

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