This volume offers a fresh perspective on teaching, re-reading, and expanding the Romantic canon by shedding light on the period from a distinctively Cultural Studies point of view. The discourses reflected in this range of contributions open a window into the social inequalities of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, be they in generational, class, gender, sexual or ethnic terms, as well as intersections thereof.

We see a significant parallel between the ethics and literary activism of Romantic writers and the ‘wokeness’ of activists in Western contemporary cultures, especially given the criticism surrounding their works which either celebrates their progressive impetus or unveils the underlying shortcomings of their performative activism and intrinsic close-mindedness. The essays reveal that Romantic ideas echo into contemporary controversies surrounding questions of white privilege, gender and sexual inequalities, human rights, and the increasing marginalisation of vulnerable groups in the face of global crises.