Nersessian, Anahid

Associate Professor

Kaplan 242 / E-mail



B.A., Yale University; Ph.D., University of Chicago



I’m a Romanticist whose writing and teaching also engage seventeenth- and eighteenth-century poetry, contemporary art, and the history of literary criticism. My first book, Utopia, Limited: Romanticism and Adjustment (Harvard, 2015) is about formal and political practices of renunciation or self-containment, while my current monograph, The Calamity Form takes up figurative perspectives on economic-ecological crisis. I am the editor of the Broadview Press edition of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s long poem, Laon and Cythna; or, The Revolution of the Golden City and a former managing editor of the open-access journal Environmental Humanities. With Nan Z. Da, I founded and co-edit the Thinking Literature imprint published by University of Chicago Press.


The Calamity Form (University of Chicago Press, forthcoming April 2020).

Utopia, Limited: Romanticism and Adjustment (Harvard UP, 2015).

Ed., Laon and Cythna; or, The Revolution of the Golden City (Broadview, 2016).


Response to Michael Warner, “Environmental Care and the Infrastructure of Indifference,” 2018 Tanner Lectures on Human Values at UC Berkeley (in preparation for Oxford University Press)

Romantic Difficulty.” New Literary History 49.4 (2018)

Romantic Ecocriticism Lately.” Literature Compass 15.1 (2018): 1-16.

What is the New Redistribution?” PMLA 132.5 (2017): 1220-1225.

Literary Agnotology.” ELH 84.2 (2017): 339-360.

Form and Explanation,” with Jonathan Kramnick. Critical Inquiry 43.3 (2017): 650-69, reprinted in Kramnick, Paper Minds: Literature and the Ecology of Consciousness (U of Chicago P, 2018): 37-53. With “Forms and Explanations: A Response to Our Critics.” Critical Inquiry 44.1 (2017): 164-174.

Utopia’s Afterlife in the Anthropocene.” The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities, ed. Ursula K. Heise, Jon Christensen, and Michelle Niemann (Routledge, 2017): 91-100.

Romanticism as Method.” Romantic Circles Praxis (December 2016).

Two Gardens: An Experiment in Calamity Form.” MLQ 74.3 (2013): 307-329.

Romantic Liberalism and the Juridical Comedy.” Studies in Romanticism 50.4 (2012): 639-659.

Radical Love: Shelley after the Jacobin Novel.” ELH 79.1 (2012): 111-134.

Empire and Attachment: A Transnational Tale.” European Romantic Review 22.3 (2011): 339-346.

Reviews and Other Writing

Traveling Light: Farewell to Leonard Cohen.” Los Angeles Review of Books. November 15, 2016.

Form Fatigue.” Open Set: Art, Humanities, Culture. September 30, 2015.

Who Cares?” We, Reading, Now digital colloquy at Arcade: Literature, Humanities, and the World, Stanford University. July 10, 2015.

A Conversation Between Friends.” Interview with Michael Robbins, Los Angeles Review of Books. January 27, 2015.

Short Cuts.” Public Books. January 15, 2015

Review of Forest Pyle, Art’s Undoing: In the Wake of a Radical Aestheticism (Fordham UP, 2013). The Wordsworth Circle 45.4 (2014): 313-314.

Animal Studies.” Public Books. April 8, 2013.

Review of Orrin Wang, Romantic Sobriety (Johns Hopkins UP, 2011). Modern Philology 111.2 (2013): 229-231.

Poetry at the Tipping Point.” Review of Michael Robbins, Alien vs. Predator (Penguin, 2012). Contemporary Literature 53.3 (2012): 599-605.

Courses taught at UCLA

Graduate: Blake and Baraka; Formalisms; Romantic Difficulty.

Undergraduate: Early Ecologies; Earlier Romantic Literature; History of Aesthetics and Critical Theory; Later Romantic Literature; Literature and Philosophy; Literatures in English, 1700-1850; Nature Poetry; Romanticism and Revolution.

Interest Areas
• Eighteenth-C. British Literature
• British Literature & Culture, 19th C. – Present
• Critical Theory
• Modern & Contemporary Poetry