The Romantic Period Poetry Archive, or RPPA for short, is a new open access digital platform of global Romantic-period poetry. It comprises a full-text poetry database and an open scholarship platform. RPPA embraces both traditional modes of scholarly research, such as the creation of scholarly editions, and digital modes of research and publication, such as computationally-augmented analysis, topic modelling, visualizations, network analysis, knowledge modelling, and more.
Comparative in nature, RPPA conceptualizes Romanticism as a global, deeply interconnected movement. It embraces a Romantic Weltliteratur by bringing well- and lesser-known poets, their poems and contexts from all parts of the world into conversation, and thus encourages the telling of bigger stories. This “zooming out” not only brings texts, authors, languages, and cultures into conversation, but also highlights the modes of transmission and reception of literature. These will be considered alongside the conversations the texts enter into with each other, directly, or much more frequently, indirectly.
RPPA participates in movements that aim to address issues of scale in academic Romanticism by expanding the Romantic literary canon. Unrestrained by the limitations of traditional print publications, RPPA comprises various literary and non-literary genres of Romanticism from all nations throughout the long Romantic century.2 As a networked effort, RPPA links the literary practices, interrelations, and influences of Romantic-period poetry. It connects these nodes reflexively as well as to various internal and external contexts.
RPPA is a 5-year, independently-funded research project. It will run from late 2020-2025. As with other projects conceived as long-term archival endeavours, all research outputs of the project will be preserved and made accessible indefinitely. RPPA is designed to be a networked effort: expressions of interest to connect with and participate in the project are welcome at any time. Regular updates about work packages, milestones, and the overall progress of the project will be posted on this Website.
The expected outcome of this project is a fuller understanding, appreciation, and engagement with the poetry of the global Romantic period. As a project, RPPA prioritizes the idea of “wholeness” of an archival approach over analytical accounts of established narratives. Wholeness not in the sense of one grand or better narrative or history, but rather in acknowledging, collecting, and aggregating many individual stories in one bigger space. A space for the exploration of new contexts and the construction of new global texts3 that cast a fresh light on the seemingly familiar. This project provides that space.
This is an open invitation to academics, research projects, digital archives and repositories, and anyone with an interest in the literature of the Romantic period in any discipline to collaborate on RPPA. The project looks forward to welcoming partners at any stage to discuss collaboration or other forms of participation. Please do not hesitate to reach out:
1 The term "global" is used here in the sense of Felicity A. Nussbaum's
concept of "critical global studies" first introduced in her edited collection
The Global Eighteenth Century (Baltimore and London: JHUP, 2003), 1.
2 The "Romantic century" was first proposed for the study of British Romanticism by William Galperin and Susan Wolfson in their NASSR 1996 conference paper "'Romanticism' in Crisis: The Romantic Century" <https://romantic-circles.org/reference/misc/confarchive/crisis/crisisa.html>. For the global context of this project, the qualifier long has been added.
3 The construct of a source text with all of its contexts was termed "global text" by Angelika Corbineau-Hoffmann in her book Kontextualität (Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag, 2017), 242.
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