Yasmin Solomonescu


Assistant Professor

Speciality: British Romanticism

Degrees: B.J., Carleton University; M.Phil. and Ph.D., University of Cambridge

Yasmin Solomonescu specializes in British Romanticism with particular interests in literature’s intersections with radical culture, the sciences of life and the mind, and rhetorical theory and practice. Her first book, John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination (2014), reassesses Thelwall’s diverse body of work—literary, political, and elocutionary—from the vantage of his materialist arguments about living nature, from vitality and cognition to agency and reform. Through Thelwall the book shows that materialism was not merely a relic of Enlightenment empiricism and the utopian optimism of the 1790s, but a formative element of British thought and culture well into the nineteenth century. Solomonescu’s current book project, Romantic Persuasions, investigates theories and practices of persuasion in British novels, poetry, and plays from the period 1770–1840. Taking stock of rhetoric’s convergence with the period’s emergent science of the mind, the project asks how persuasion functions within Romantic texts and how those texts themselves function persuasively at a time of momentous social and political upheaval. Of central interest are the Godwin and Shelley circles, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Austen. Solomonescu will pursue this project as a residential fellow of the National Humanities Center in 2014–15.

In addition to publishing articles on Romantic-era literature, Solomonescu has edited John Thelwall: Critical Reassessments (2011) in the Romantic Circles Praxis series; she has also co-edited Thelwall’s novel The Daughter of Adoption (Broadview, 2013) and the multi-disciplinary, bilingual collection Enlightenment Liberties/Libertés des Lumières (Honoré Champion, forthcoming). She is a founding member of the John Thelwall Society and co-organizer of the conference John Thelwall at 250: Medicine, Literature, and Reform in London, ca. 1764-1834, to be held at Notre Dame’s London Centre in July 2014.

Recent Publications

  • John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination. Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and the Cultures of Print, forthcoming 2014.
  • “ ‘A Plausible Tale’: William Godwin’s Things As They Are.” European Romantic Review, forthcoming.
  • Ed. and intro., with Michael Scrivener and Judith Thompson. The Daughter of Adoption: A Tale of Modern Times. By John Thelwall. Broadview Press, 2013.
  • Ed. and intro. John Thelwall: Critical Reassessments. Sept. 2011. Romantic Circles “Praxis” <http://romantic.arhu.umd.edu/praxis/thelwall/HTML/praxis.2011.solomonescu.html>.
  • “Mute Records and Blank Legends: John Thelwall’s ‘Paternal Tears.’ ” Romanticism 16.2 (July 2010).
  • “Articulations of Community in The Peripatetic.” John Thelwall: Radical Romantic and Acquitted Felon. Ed. Steve Poole. Pickering & Chatto, 2009.


Recent Awards

  • Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Fellowship, National Humanities Center, NC, 2014–15
  • Large Henkels Grant, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, University of Notre Dame, 2013–14
  • Conference Grant, Nanovic Institute for European Studies, University of Notre Dame, 2013–14
  • Research Grant, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, University of Notre Dame, 2011
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 2009–11


Contact Information
326 Decio Faculty Hall
(574) 631-4144

Postal address
Department of English
356 O’Shaughnessy
Notre Dame, IN 46556