Literature and Philosophy; Romantic Literature; Romantic Poetry; Secularism and Religion; Intellectual History
Professor Colin Jager writes and teaches about romantic literature, politics, and culture, about secularism and religion, and about cognitive science and theories of consciousness. 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. In 2017-2018 he was Interim Chair of the Department of English; in fall of 2018 he was also the Leverhulme Visiting Professor of English at Lancaster University, England. He is currently the Director of the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers. 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), both published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. 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 currently working on two projects. The first, provisionally titled On Not Being Reconciled, is a study of literature and religion, with particular reference to Adorno and Kierkegaard. The second is a book on the political possibilities of Romanticism, provisionally entitled Careless Steps.