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Tristram Wolff

Assistant Professor of English; Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Comparative Literary Studies Program

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley


Tristram Wolff (PhD University of California, Berkeley) specializes in 18th-/19th-Century British literature, Comparative and Transatlantic Romanticisms, critical theory, theories of language, poetry and poetics, translation, and the environmental humanities. His current book project, Frail Bonds: Romantic Etymology and Language Ecology, describes a poetics emerging from transatlantic Romanticism that transported the origins of language from the depths of the past to an ongoing present, in answer to an ethnocentric Enlightenment primitivism. Offering new readings of Herder, Blake, Wordsworth, and Thoreau, among others, it retrieves a chapter lost in familiar narratives of the long nineteenth century’s shifts in “nature” as a category of thought. 
Professor Wolff’s articles have appeared or are forthcoming in Essays in Romanticism, European Romantic ReviewRepresentationsEnglish Literary History, and PMLA. The most recently completed, "Romantic Stone Speech and the Appeal of the Inorganic," will appear in the Fall 2017 issue of ELH (84.3). He recently co-edited a special issue of Representations on "Language-in-Use and the Literary Artifact" (Representations 137, January 2017), comprising articles crossing the borders between literary study, ethnopoetics, and linguistic anthropology. A newer book project in its early stages builds this anthropological perspective into a series of essays showing how Romantic-era writing on the passions has shaped contemporary debates about affect and emotion in our habits of critical reading. Other research and teaching interests include affect studies, Marxism and the environment, and comedy and the everyday.​


18th Century, Poetry & Poetics, Literary Theory, Romantic

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