Dr. Samuel Baker, Associate Professor of English, The University of Texas at Austin, will present on “Walter Scott, The Stuarts, and Stewardship” in the Armstrong Browning Library Lecture Hall on Friday, November 4 at 3:30.
Dr. Baker’s research covers the diverse fields of British Romantic poetry; historical fiction, science fiction, and the gothic novel; media studies, informatics, the environmental humanities, and the cultural analysis of the built environment now becoming known as infrastructure studies. His first book—Written on the Water: British Romanticism and the Maritime Empire of Culture (University of Virginia Press, 2010)—argues that British poet-critics like William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, and, later, Matthew Arnold developed what would become the idea of modern culture by modeling that idea on Britain’s imperial command of the sea. His talk at Baylor stems from his book in progress, Gothic Care: Walter Scott and the Stewardship of Antiquarian Romance. Analyzing Scott’s pathbreaking historical fictions, this study proposes a new model for understanding his achievement: a model in which authorship and kingship ultimately matter less for his work than does an ethos of stewardship, remediating literature and life alike.