Literature and Philosophy; Romantic Literature; Romantic Poetry; Secularism and Religion
Professor Colin Jager writes and teaches about romantic literature, politics, and culture, about secularism and religion, and about cognitive science. He is the author of articles on all of these topics, published in The Wordsworth Circle, Qui Parle, ELH, Studies in Romanticism, Pedagogy, Romantic Circles Praxis, Public Culture, and elsewhere. From 2006-2008 he was co-leader of the “Mind and Culture” seminar at the CCA; for 2013-2014 he was co-leader of the “Objects and Environments” seminar at the CCA. In 2017-2018 he was Interim Chair of the Department of English; he is currently the Interim Director of the Center for Cultural Analysis. From August - December 2018 he is the Leverhulme Visiting Professor at Lancaster University, England. He is the author of two books: The Book of God: Secularization and Design in the Romantic Era (2007), and Unquiet Things: Secularism in the Romantic Age (2015). The first studies the ubiquitous presence of the argument from design in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, arguing that its cultural and aesthetic importance undermines the familiar equation of modernization with secularization. The second emphasizes secularism rather than religion as its primary analytic category, and proposes that romantic-era literary writing possesses a distinctive ability to register the discontents that characterize the mood of secular modernity. Professor Jager is working on several new projects: a collection of his writing on religion and literature, provisionally titled Unsettled, a longer book on the political possibilities of romanticism, entitled Careless Steps, and a shorter book on consciousness and ontology and their current theoretical manifestations.