Tristram Wolff (PhD University of California at Berkeley, 2013) teaches and researches in the fields of British and Comparative Romanticisms, critical theory and theories of language, and the environmental humanities. His dissertation, Romantic Etymology and Language Ecology, was a co-winner of the 2015 ACLA Charles Bernheimer Award for best dissertation in the field of comparative literature, and is the basis for his current book project of the same name. Reading texts across a long trans-Atlantic Romanticism, the book argues that when figures such as Herder, Blake, Wordsworth, and Thoreau turned their attention to “natural” temporal processes hidden by linguistic forms, they produced an alternative etymological poetics, one that replaced theories of a primitive linguistic origin with visions both ordinary and revolutionary of language’s constantly changing shape.
His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Essays in Romanticism and European Romantic Review, and he is currently completing articles on the contemporary relevance of poetic animations of stone, and on the history of “emotivism” in the development and practice of close reading. In 2016, he will co-edit (and contribute to) a special issue of Representations on “Language-in-Use and the Literary Artifact.” Additional research and teaching interests include theories of comedy, the ethics of speech, and the poetics of the ordinary.