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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 teaches courses in Nineteenth-Century Literature, especially British Romanticism, and in Asian American Literature. His new book, Imagination and Science in Romanticism, 1750-1850, is forthcoming from the Johns Hopkins University Press in 2018. His next book project is tentatively titled, Modelling Emotion in Romanticism, and will treat Voltaire, Goethe, Hume, Wordsworth, Mary Robinson, and Leopardi. The book examines the multiple models Romantic writers had for thinking about the emotions and their vexed relations to subjectivity. Professor Sha is also 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 and in paperback in 2016. 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, the University of Vechta, Germany, and West Virginia University, at the Extended Cognition Project in Edinburgh, at a conference on Medicine and Visual Culture at Georgetown, and at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and the English Department at the University of Toronto.
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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