Yasmin Solomonescu


Associate Professor of English and Notre Dame du Lac Collegiate Chair

Specialties: British Romanticism, persuasion and rhetoric, cognition, epistemology, literary theory

Degrees: BJ, Carleton University; MPhil and PhD, University of Cambridge

Yasmin Solomonescu (Yass-MEEN Solomon-ES-coo) specializes in British Romanticism with particular interests in persuasion and rhetoric, cognition, epistemology, and literary theory. What unites these interests is the question of literature’s role in representing and eliciting new ethical and political sensibilities—a question that involves consideration of the Romantic period’s emerging scientific psychology and revolutionary social and political movements, as well as of the distinctive work of literary language, genre, and form. Solomonescu is currently writing a book entitled Romantic Persuasions that considers how Romantic writers fundamentally reconceived of the theory and practice of persuasion, notably by insisting on the ethical and aesthetic value of persuasions that are at best provisional. The book makes a wider case for the importance of this distinctive sense of persuasion for literary theory and criticism today. The project has received the support of fellowships from the National Humanities Center, USA, and Chawton House, England. Related work in progress includes an essay on “Rhetoric and Gender” for the Cambridge History of Rhetoric and a co-edited collection entitled Persuasion after Rhetoric stemming from symposia co-organized in 2018 and 2019.

Solomonescu’s first book, John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination, advances the critical recovery of the reformer and polymath John Thelwall and shows to what extent Romanticism’s belief in the imagination as an agent of social and cognitive change was bound up with the developing sciences of body and mind. 

Solomonescu serves as Reviews Co-Editor for the Keats-Shelley Journal. She also co-founded the John Thelwall Society and served from 2011­ to 2019 as its North American Officer. Before pursuing graduate studies in English, she studied journalism and interned at Time, the Globe and Mail, Canadian Geographic, and the Networks of Centres of Excellence. As a research assistant to the Canadian Senator Joan Fraser, she also worked on a Senate study of the Canadian news media.

Selected Publications

  • “Prone Minds and Extended Selves: The Cenci.” Romanticism and Consciousness Revisited. Ed. Richard C. Sha and Joel Faflak. Edinburgh University Press, 2021.
  • “Rhetoric.” The Oxford Handbook of Romantic Prose. Ed. Robert Morrison. Oxford University Press, 2021.
  • Emma and the ‘Chimera of Relativism.’” Studies in English Literature 1500-1900 60.4 (2020).
  • “Poetic Liberties in the 1790s: John Thelwall and Some Contemporaries.” Enlightenment Liberties/Libertés des Lumières. Ed. Guillaume Ansart, Raphaël Ehrsam, Catriona Seth, and Yasmin Solomonescu. Éditions Honoré Champion, 2018.
  • Ed., with Guillaume Ansart, Raphaël Ehrsam, and Catriona Seth. Enlightenment Liberties/Libertés des Lumières. Éditions Honoré Champion, 2018.
  • “Mary Shelley’s Fascinations: The Last Man.” Modern Philology 114.3 (2017).
  • “Four Letters by Annabella and Lucy Byron.” Keats-Shelley Journal (2016).
  • “Percy Shelley’s Revolutionary Periods.” English Literary History 83.4 (Winter 2016).
  • “‘A Plausible Tale’: William Godwin’s Things As They Are.” European Romantic Review 25.5 (Oct. 2014).
  • John Thelwall and the Materialist Imagination. Palgrave Studies in the Enlightenment, Romanticism and the Cultures of Print, 2014.
  • 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 Series, 2011.
  • “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

  • Visiting Fellowship, Chawton House Library, England, Summer 2016
  • Robert F. and Margaret S. Goheen Fellowship, National Humanities Center, NC, 2014–15
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), 2009–11



Contact Information
275 Decio Hall
(574) 631-4144

Postal address
Department of English
233 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556