Jeff Strabone works primarily in the British eighteenth century and Romantic era. His research focuses on the rise of cultural nationalisms within the United Kingdom, poetics and literary form, and questions of race, nation and empire on a global scale.
Professor Strabone's teaching at the College covers a wide range of material including British poetry and prose from the Elizabethan era to the present, African novels, modern drama and contemporary global film and literature. Recent courses include a seminar on Jane Austen and one on race, nation and empire in the eighteenth century. He is also the director of senior honors in English.
His book Poetry and British Nationalisms in the Bardic Eighteenth Century: Imagined Antiquities offers a radical new theory of the role of poetry in the rise of cultural nationalism. With equal attention to England, Scotland, and Wales, it takes an Archipelagic approach to the study of poetics, print media, and medievalism in the rise of British Romanticism. It tells the story of how poets and antiquarian editors in the British nations rediscovered forgotten archaic poetic texts and repurposed them as the foundation of a new concept of the nation, now imagined as a primarily cultural formation. It also draws on legal and ecclesiastical history in drawing a sharp contrast between early modern and Romantic antiquarianisms. Equally a work of literary criticism and history, the book offers provocative new theorizations of nationalism and Romanticism and new readings of major British poets, including Thomas Gray and Samuel Taylor Coleridge of England, Allan Ramsay of Scotland, and Evan Evans and Iolo Morganwg of Wales.
Professor Strabone's articles and reviews have been published in ELH, Eighteenth-Century Life and Eighteenth-Century Scotland. His essay “The Afterlife of Annotation: How Robert of Gloucester Became the Founding Father of English Poetry” appears in the volume “Annotating Poetry in the 18th Century,” edited by Michael Edson.
He is a member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the British Association for Romantic Studies, the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism, the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society and the Friends of Coleridge. In 2011, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh
He is also a co-founder and chairman of the board of New Brooklyn Theatre, a theater company based in New York that is devoted to developing emerging playwrights. His original adaptation of Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People,” set in twenty-first-century West Virginia, premiered in 2014.
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