Romantic Mediations investigates the connections among British Romantic writers, their texts, and the history of major forms of technical media from the turn of the nineteenth century to the present. Opening up the vital new subfield of Romantic media studies through interventions in both media archaeology and contemporary media theory, Andrew Burkett addresses the ways that unconventional techniques and theories of storage and processing media engage with classic texts by William Blake, Lord Byron, John Keats, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, and others. Ordered chronologically and structured by four crucial though often overlooked case studies that delve into Romanticism’s role in the histories of incipient technical media systems, the book focuses on different examples of the ways that imaginative literature and art of the period become taken up and transformed by—while simultaneously shaping considerably—new media environments and platforms of photography, phonography, moving images, and digital media.
“Romantic Mediations brings contemporary media theory to major Romantic texts and their reception. Few if any scholars working in Romanticism and media have taken up the generational difference between Friedrich Kittler’s media theory and the more contemporary media archaeology of Jussi Parikka. Moreover, too often have media theories of Romanticism been restricted to digital media and screen technology. Andrew Burkett creates a new path for Romantic period scholarship by showing the potential of media archaeology for Romantic texts and their long afterlife.” — Ron Broglio, author of Technologies of the Picturesque: British Art, Poetry, and Instruments 1750–1830