Berkeley English Faculty

Amanda Jo Goldstein

Amanda Jo Goldstein

Associate Professor; Placement Coordinator

Wheeler Hall 462
On leave from teaching; Office Hours by Appointment
ajgoldstein@berkeley.edu


Professional Statement

I specialize in Enlightenment and Romantic literature and science, with particular interests in rhetoric and poetics, pre-Darwinian biology, and materialist theories of history, poetry, and nature. My first book, Sweet Science: Romantic Materialism and the New Logics of Life (University of Chicago Press, 2017), shows how writers from William Blake to Goethe, Percy Shelley and the young Karl Marx revived ancient atomist science to argue for poetry as a privileged technique of empirical inquiry, especially when it came to representing the new problem of biological life in its dependency upon broader social and natural histories. The book has been awarded the Kenshur Prize for an outstanding monograph of interest to eighteenth-century scholars and the MLA Prize for a First Book (2018). A new research project takes up the ecology of utopia in the early socialist projects dubbed “Romantic” and “Utopian”; another seeks the poetic and scientific roots of the “new” concepts of biosemiosis and plasticity in the long history of epigenetic neuroscience.

Before joining the Berkeley faculty, I worked as an assistant professor of English at Cornell University (2012-17) and a postdoctoral fellow in Biopolitics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2011-12). I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (English, German, French) from U.C. Berkeley in 2011.

I teach undergraduate courses such as “Romanticism and the Culture of Experiment,” “Age of Revolution: U.S./France/Haiti,” “The Lunar Society: Science, Poetry, and the Politics of Enlightenment,” and "The Ecology of Utopia." Graduate seminars include "Radical Enlightenment?,"  “Materialisms,” and “Romanticism and the Life of Things.”


Books
Sweet Science: Romantic Materialism and the New Logics of Life
Sweet Science: Romantic Materialism and the New Logics of Life

Winner of the Kenshur Prize for an outstanding monograph of interest to eighteenth-century scholars and the MLA Prize for a First Book, 2018. ....(read more)


Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

"The Seasons of Romanticism," Keats-Shelley Journal, forthcoming. "England in 1819 in 2019" Issue.

"Utopian Pastoral and The Inhuman Trade," Romantic Circles/PRAXIS, forthcoming. "Political Ecology" issue, ed. Kir Kuiken.

"Attracting the Earth: Climate Justice for Charles Fourier," diacritics 47.3 (2019). "Terraforming" issue, eds. Karen Pinkus and Derek Woods, pp. 74-105. 

"Nerve Poetry and Fiber Art: Biosemiosis and Plasticity in Erasmus Darwin," Literature Compass 17.3-4 (2020), pp. 1-23. 

“William Blake and the Time of Ontogeny,” in Systems of Life: Economics, Politics, and the Biological Sciences 1750-1850, ed Warren Montag and Richard Barney, (Fordham UP, 2018).

"Epigenesis by Experience: Romantic Empiricism and Non-Kantian Biology," History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40.13 (2017).

“Reluctant Ecology in Blake and Arendt: A Response to Robert Mitchell and Richard Sha,” The Wordsworth Circle 46.3 (Summer 2015), special issue on “Experiment,” 143-155.

“Growing Old Together: Lucretian Materialism in Shelley’s ‘Poetry of Life,’” Representations 128.1 (Fall 2014), 60-92.

“Irritable Figures: Herder’s Poetic Empiricism,” in The Relevance of Romanticism: Essays in German Romantic Philosophy, ed. Dalia Nassar, (Oxford UP, 2014).

“Obsolescent Life: Goethe’s Journals on Morphology,” European Romantic Review 22.3 (2011), 405-14.


Current Research

Nerve Poetry and Fiber Art 

Industrial Attraction: Natural Technology in Socialist Utopia


Recent English Courses Taught
spring, 2021

203/3

Graduate Readings: Radical Enlightenment

fall, 2019

45B/1

Literature in English: Late-17th Through Mid-19th Centuries

45B/101 -- discussion section

Struhl, Abigail

45B/102 -- discussion section

Wang, Jacob

45B/103 -- discussion section

Struhl, Abigail

45B/104 -- discussion section

Wang, Jacob

45B/105 -- discussion section

Yniguez, Rudi

45B/107 -- discussion section

Yniguez, Rudi

200/1

Problems in the Study of Literature

fall, 2018

165/4

Special Topics: The Ecology of Utopia

190/4

Research Seminar: William Blake

spring, 2018

166/2

Special Topics: Romantic Science

203/1

Graduate Readings: Radical Enlightenment?