Jeff Strabone works primarily in the British eighteenth century and Romantic era. His research focuses on the rise of cultural nationalisms within the United Kingdom, poetics and literary form, media theory, and problems of race, nation, and empire on a global scale.
Professor Strabone's teaching at the College covers a wide range of material including British poetry and prose from the Elizabethan era to the present, African literature, modern drama, and media studies. For his senior seminar on Jane Austen, he usually leads a class trip to England for spring break. He is also the director of the concentration on Media, Rhetoric, and Communication.
His book Poetry and British Nationalisms in the Bardic Eighteenth Century: Imagined Antiquities offers a radical new theory of the role of poetry in the rise of cultural nationalism. With equal attention to England, Scotland, and Wales, it takes an Archipelagic approach to the study of poetics, print media, and medievalism in the rise of British Romanticism. It tells the story of how poets and antiquarian editors in the British nations rediscovered forgotten archaic poetic texts and repurposed them as the foundation of a new concept of the nation, now imagined as a primarily cultural formation. It also draws on legal and ecclesiastical history in drawing a sharp contrast between early modern and Romantic antiquarianisms. Equally a work of literary criticism and history, the book offers provocative new theorizations of nationalism and Romanticism and new readings of major British poets, including Thomas Gray and Samuel Taylor Coleridge of England, Allan Ramsay of Scotland, and Evan Evans and Iolo Morganwg of Wales.
Professor Strabone's articles and reviews have been published in ELH, Eighteenth-Century Life and elsewhere. His essay “The Afterlife of Annotation: How Robert of Gloucester Became the Founding Father of English Poetry” appears in the volume Annotating Poetry in the 18th Century, edited by Michael Edson.
He is a member of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, the British Association for Romantic Studies, the Eighteenth-Century Scottish Studies Society, and the Friends of Coleridge. In 2011, he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh. He was also a member of the organizing committee for two international conferences: Historical Poetics in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries (2019) and Historical Poetics Now (2021).
In 2012, he co-founded New Brooklyn Theatre, a 501(c)(3) non-profit theatre company based in New York, and served as its chair of the board until 2021. The company’s site-specific production of Edward Albee’s “The Death of Bessie Smith” inside Interfaith Medical Center in the Bed-Stuy neighborhood of Brooklyn has been credited with saving the hospital from closing. His original adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, set in twenty-first-century West Virginia, premiered in 2014. In 2018, the company merged with the feath3r theory, the name by which it is now known.
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