Romantic Realignments is one of the longest-running research seminars in Oxford.

Past speakers have included Marilyn Butler, Gerard Carruthers, David Chandler, Heather Glen, Paul Muldoon, Philip Shaw, Fiona Stafford and Peter Swaab, to name but a few.

All are very welcome to submit an abstract — we aim to provide a friendly 'workshop' setting in which speakers can try out new papers as well as more finished pieces, and in which lively discussion can flourish.

Held on Thursdays at 5.15pm, Seminar Room A, St Cross (English Faculty) Building.

If you would like to send us an abstract or suggest a speaker, please contact the current convenors Katherine Fender, Sarah Goode and Honor Rieley at:


Andrew Warren: Romantic Entanglements

**Change in Termcard**

For our final seminar this term, Thursday, March 7th, we would like to welcome Dr. Andrew Warren, Assistant Professor of English at Harvard University.

He will be speaking on 'Romantic Entanglements'

The term “entanglement” comes from the Old Norse (tang) for a kind of seaweed. In
Middle English (tangil, tangyl) it became primarily a social or legal term; someone
“entangled” someone else by encumbering, hampering or embarrassing them in human
affairs—legal, financial, social. Entanglement thereby implies a connection both material
and immaterial, and that also does not form a unity. It is more often a kind of burden, a
half-unwanted but seemingly necessary connection; it therefore registers an anxiety or
unease largely absent from a more settled or conventional notion such as “Wholeness” or
“Organic Unity.”

In this talk I will trace a history of this trope which, I argue, becomes particularly amplified
in Romantic and proto-Romantic texts. If in Enlightenment discourses—from empiricist
philosophies of mind, to political theory, to medicine—entanglement is most often used
as a metaphor to describe confusion or metaphysical extravagance, in the Romantic era
entanglement becomes a self-consciously employed concept used to explore a range of
issues. I will focus, in particular, on work by Sterne, Rousseau, Shelley and Wordsworth.