Associate Faculty — Ph.D., 2001, University of Chicago
In his just-published book, Written on the Water: British Romanticism and the Maritime Empire of Culture (http://amzn.to/d2SDMV), Professor Baker argues that the Romantic idea of universal culture took shape within imaginative horizons fundamentally shaped by Britain’s maritime-imperial aspirations. Dr. Baker is also writing a series of essays on ethical dispositions in the Romantic novel, tracking how stoicism and skepticism, among other attitudes, ceased to refer to specific philosophical schools and began to be seen as general psychological orientations.
Before returning to academia to take his Ph.D., Professor Baker worked as a journalist and book reviewer, as well as in museums and libraries. These experiences left him something of a generalist, and he maintains broad interests in literature and art, in film and media studies, and in politics. His current enthusiasms include works by Samuel Prout, Elizabeth Bishop, and Raul Ruiz. On a more conceptual level, he is preoccupied by the artistic evocation of place, especially as it intersects with the shaping of collective and individual subjectivity; by ethical theory, especially in relation to politics and gender and sexuality; and by problems in the aesthetics and sociology of representation.
Baker, S. (2010) "The Transmission of Affect: Philosophy, Feeling, and the Media of Udolpho." J. Staiger, A. Cvetkovich & A. Reynolds (Eds.), Political Emotions: Affect and the Public Sphere. New York: Routledge.
Baker, S. (2010) Written on the Water: British Romanticism and the Maritime Empire of Culture (Charlottesville: The University of Virginia Press).
Baker, S. (2009) "Scott's Stoic Characters: Ethics, Irony, and Sentiment in The Antiquary, Guy Mannering, and the Author of Waverley." MLQ: Modern Language Quarterly 70:4, 443-471.
Baker, S. (2009) "Teaching the Waverley Novels: An Intertextual Approach." In E. Gottlieb & I. Duncan (Eds.), Approaches to Teaching Scott's Waverley Novels. New York: Modern Language Association.
Baker, S. (2008) "The Maritime Georgic and the Lake poet Empire of Culture." ELH: English Literary History, 75(3), 531-563.
Baker, S. (2006) "Animated Looks: The Romantic Literary Sketch and the Unfinished Project of Modern Transparency." Symbolism: An International Annual of Critical Aesthetics, 6, 73-95.
Baker, S. (2006) Book Review. Romanticism and War: A Study of British Romantic Period Writers and the Napoleonic Wars. European Romantic Review 17(5), 636-640.
Baker, S. (2003) "Wordsworth, Arnold, and the Maritime Matrix of Culture." The Wordsworth Circle, 34(1), 24-29.
Baker, S. (2002) Book Review. The Poetics of Spice. The Keats-Shelley Journal 51, 231-233.
Baker, S. (2000) Book Review. Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief. Modernism/Modernity 7(1), 183-184.
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