From the Editor: The papers in this issue of The Wordsworth Circle were selected from those delivered at the 2007 annual meeting of the International Conference on Romanticism and are published in celebration of its founder and director, Larry Peer, who had warned us that he was about to retire. Fortunately, at least temporarily, we talked him out of it--and still were able to publish these papers in his honor.
The International Conference on Romanticism was formally founded as the American Conference on Romanticism in 1991 by scholars from America and abroad. As a learned society, it promotes, maintains, and seeks to improve teaching, research, and related activities in Romantic studies across linguistic, national, political and disciplinary boundaries and facilitates communication among scholars and teachers through annual meetings and publications. A forum for colleagues in literature, philosophy, history, musicology, history of science, art history, and other disciplines, the International Conference on Romanticism has an interdisciplinary and international membership.
Although the field of Romantic studies was already well represented in the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association, the Friends of Coleridge, the International Byron Society, the Keats-Shelley Association, NASSR, BARS, INCS, and smaller focused groups such as the Charles Lamb Society and the John Clare Society, I welcomed this new organization and wished them well in TWC. Here was the promise of new voices, new organizations and journals to enrich the field, expand the conversation, and respond to the communal nature of our discipline. While many of the members of ICR belong to all the other groups as well, ICR gives them a chance to do something different, or do what they most enjoy doing more often. ICR, however, has its own character, largely reflecting the immense energies, talents, good nature, and generosity of Larry Peer, its founder. We all hope that he will go on doing the fine work he initiated for many years, inspiring us along the way to enjoy the journey. And we hope that our readers and members will put the annual ICR meetings on their calendars as well. In 2008, the conference will be held from October 16 to 19, at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and in 2009 in New York City. The web address for all information including membership: http://icr.byu.edu/
Although most of us know Larry Peer as founder and executive director of the International Conference on Romanticism and editor of the conference journal, Prism(s): Essays in Romanticism, he is also a distinguished academic in his own right, with massive achievements on local, national, and international levels. Now Karl G. Maeser Professor of General Education and Professor of Comparative Literature at Brigham Young University, he has published papers and books (eleven of them, with two more in press) on texts in ten languages in seven disciplines, (Pushkin, Manzoni, Stendhal, the Schlegels, Diderot, Byron, Goethe, Romantic theory, and comparative European Romanticism), has taught at four universities and in eight different departments (Comparative Literature, German, Russian, Italian, Philosophy, English, Religious Studies, Classics), held two named chairs (Altman Distinguished Professor of Humanities at Miami of Ohio University and Karl G. …