Carmen Faye Mathes

Assistant Professor

Office: AH 367
Phone: 306-585-4790

Current classes
Winter 2023: ENGL 335AA

Research interests

  • Romanticism
  • Long-Eighteenth Century British Literature
  • Affect Theory
  • History of Feeling
  • Aesthetics
  • Poetry and Politics

I’m a British Romanticist whose research and teaching explore the intersections of affect, aesthetics and ethics in poetry, criticism and the occasional novel.

My current book project explores how Romanticism’s formally innovative poetry indexes a critical refusal to use art to move subjects towards what Raymond Williams calls "dominant structures of feeling." An essay drawn from this project, on Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s disappointed reading, is forthcoming in Studies in Romanticism.

I’m a co-PI on the NEH-funded Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary Project, which will create a fully-searchable, publicly-accessible digital edition. This will include both the 1st (1755) and 4th (1773) folio print versions of Dr. Johnson’s dictionary, with functionality comparable to other modern, scholarly dictionaries. Follow our progress here!

I’m interested in the ways that eighteenth- and nineteenth-century thinkers imagined feelings (affections, passions) as forces that were capable of generating real change, for better or for worse. I’ve published essays on William Wordsworth, the Haitian Revolution, and the radical materiality of sound (European Romantic Review, 2017), and John Keats’s aesthetics of passivity (European Romantic Review, 2014). Two chapters in edited collections explore Jane Austen’s affective cycles and Keats’s legacy in the writings of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Letitia Elizabeth Landen and Mary Shelley.

I like writing book reviews. These have appeared in Romantic Circles Praxis (2016, 2019), Modern Philology (2017), and Studies in Romanticism (2016).

Another early stage, book-length project, tentatively titled Pivotal Modernity, investigates modernity as a condition of perpetual ethical concession.