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The Ian Fletcher Memorial Lecture Series

2015-2016 Fletcher Lecture

Alexander Regier, Associate Professor of English, Rice University

PDF icon"Blake, Hamann, and the Polyglot Moravians: Unexpected Connections in 1750s London"

Thursday, April 28, 2016  |   5:30 p.m.  |  University Club, Heritage Room, ASU Tempe campus

Alexander Regier

Alexander Regier of Rice University will deliver the 2015-2016 Ian Fletcher Memorial Lecture at Arizona State University.

In his talk, Regier discusses a number of little-known but critically important historical and theoretical connections between the English poet William Blake, the German thinker Johann Georg Hamann, and the congregation of the nonconformist Moravian church in London. The wider relevance of these connections is that all three form part of an important Anglo-German constellation of thinkers and writers that flourished well before the 1790s, supposedly the decade during which German influence onto eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literary life began. The intellectual and textual exchange between Blake, Hamann and the Moravians actively points towards a need to reconfigure this literary history in the light of a multilingual study of the period.

About Alexander Regier

Regier teaches eighteenth and nineteenth-century British literature, with a particular focus on the literary culture of the Enlightenment and Romanticism. His main research interests include aesthetics, the lyric, Anglo-German Romanticism, philosophy and poetics, theories of language, visual culture, irony, the grotesque, and sports studies. 

He is the author of Fracture and Fragmentation in British Romanticism (Cambridge University Press, 2010), and the editor of Wordsworth’s Poetic Theory (Palgrave, 2010). Since 2011 he also serves as the editor of SEL (Studies in English Literature 1500-1900). His two co-edited special issues of SEL on “Exchanges and Temporalities in the Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Victorianism” are forthcoming (2016). He is also editing a special issue of Republics of Letters on “Sports” (Stanford, 2017).

Regier’s articles on rhetoric, Wordsworth, Georg Hamann, Durs Grünbein, Walter Benjamin, ruins, utopianism, contemporary poetry, and the aesthetics of sport have appeared in FMLSEuropean Romantic ReviewGermanic ReviewRuins of Modernity (ed. Hell, Schönle), Tous azimutsDurs Grünbein Today (ed. Young, Leeder), Oxford Handbook of European Romanticism (ed. Hamilton) and Wordsworth in Context (ed. Bennett), and Sport in History

He has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. 

Currently, he is working on a comparative monograph (Troubling Enlightenment) about Anglo-German relations during the Enlightenment and early Romanticism with particular attention to William Blake, Georg Hamann, and contemporary literary theory. Further projects include a book (Training Grace: Aesthetics, Writing, Sport) and an edited collection (Modern Sports Writing) on contemporary sports writing, as well as essays on Byron, Keats, visual culture, Gerhard Richter, and the sense of the “real” in Romanticism.

For more information about Regier's talk or the Fletcher Lecture series, please contact Ron Broglio:

Watch previous lectures in the Ian Fletcher Memorial Lecture Series

2014-2015: Pamela K. Gilbert [VIDEO]  |  April 14, 2015 @ 5:30 p.m., University Club, ASU Tempe campus. "'A Mild Erection of the Head': The Meaning of the Blush in Nineteenth-Century Britain" 

2013-2014: Richard C. Sha [VIDEO]  |  April 9, 2014 @ 5:30 p.m., University Club, ASU Tempe campus. "Romantic Science and Romantic Imagination"

2012-2013: Regenia Gagnier [VIDEO]  |  April 11, 2013 @ 6 p.m., Memorial Union La Paz Room, ASU Tempe campus. "World Literatures and What It Means to Be Human in the Niche of Nature, Culture, Technology"

2011-2012: Mary Poovey [VIDEO]  |  April 12, 2012 @ 6 p.m., University Club, ASU Tempe campus. "Risk, Uncertainty, and Data: Managing Risk in Early Twentieth-Century America"

2010-2011: John Kucich [VIDEO]  |  April 28, 2011 @ 6 p.m., University Club, ASU Tempe campus. "The Unfinished Historicist Project: In Praise of Suspicion"

2009-2010: No lecture

2008-2009: Anne Mellor [VIDEO]  |  April 22, 2009 @ 5 p.m., Memorial Union Alumni Lounge (MU 202) ASU Tempe campus. "Mothering Monsters: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein"

2007-2008: Catherine Gallagher  |  September 27, 2007 @ 6 p.m., University Club (UCLUB), ASU Tempe campus. "Jane Austen and the British Slave Trade: An Imaginary Conversation from Mansfield Park"

2006-2007: No lecture

2005-2006: Jerome McGann [VIDEO]  |  March 28, 2006 @ 7 p.m., University Club (UCLUB), ASU Tempe campus. "Information Technology and the Troubled Humanities"

2004-2005: Steven Mailloux  |  October 26, 2004 @ 6:30 p.m., Memorial Union Gold Room (MU 203), ASU Tempe campus. "Thinking with Rhetorical Figures: Racial and Disciplinary Identities in Late Nineteenth-Century America"

2003-2004: Lennard J. Davis [VIDEO] |  November 13, 2003 @ 4:40 p.m., University Club, ASU Tempe campus. "Race, Disability, and the New Genomics"

2002-2003: Patrick Brantlinger [VIDEO]  |  October 24, 2002 @ 7:30 p.m., University Club, ASU Tempe campus. "Cannibals and Missionaries"

2001-2002: Wlad Godzich  |  October 24, 2001 @ 7 p.m., University Club, ASU Tempe campus. fletcherlecture2001.pdf

2000-2001: Mary Louise Pratt [VIDEO] |  February 21, 2001. "Modernity and Globality or What Brought the Virgin of Zapopan to Los Angeles?"

1999-2000: Louise Rosenblatt  |  October 27, 1999 @ 7 p.m., University Club, ASU Tempe campus.

Ian Fletcher as a young man. Photo courtesy Lorraine Fletcher.

Ian Fletcher was a much-beloved Victorianist, a specialist in the literature of the 1890s, who spent the final six years of his career at Arizona State University during the 1980s. A remarkably productive scholar much appreciated for his edition of Lionel Johnson's poems, his much-quoted guide to Walter Pater, and his late study of Aubrey Beardsley published in 1987, Ian produced a host of books and articles that have been read and re-read many times in the past 40 years. In fact, his Collected Poems were published in 1998: ten years after his unfortunate death. This lectureship honors his memory and his importance in the field of Victorian Studies.

—Dan Bivona
Associate Professor, Department of English