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Grant number like: FT-58414-11

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Mark Sydney Cladis
Brown University (Providence, RI 02912-9100)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2011 – 8/31/2011

Religion, Democracy, and the Environmental Imagination in 18th and 19th century British and American Literature

An investigation of the central religious, democratic, and environmental dispositions and ideologies that mutually informed each other in 18th & 19th century British Romantic literature and their subsequent legacies in America. There are no substantive studies of this Western, three-way intersection of religion, democracy and the environment. This triscopic approach reveals a less romantic Romanticism: it discloses socio-political environmental and democratic perspectives embedded within Romantic religious and poetic sensibilities. This Romantic legacy was transformed by Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman; their legacy, in turn, informs the work of contemporary American nature writers. Yet to this day, privatized, conventional accounts of Romanticism distort our interpretations of them. The triscopic account, in contrast, makes available the profound socio-political dimensions of their work. As our understanding of the Romantic legacy is enhanced, we better realize its promise.