Call for papers: Philosophy and Jena Romanticism

German romanticism begins in Jena in the 1790s when a group of philosophers, poets and literary critics formed around the brothers Friedrich and August Schlegel and their partners Dorothea and Caroline Schlegel; the group included Novalis, Hölderlin, Ludwig and Sophie Tieck, Schelling and Schleiermacher. The philosophical attraction of Jena was the university’s pioneering focus on Kant, with Karl Leonhard Reinhold occupying the first chair of Critical Philosophy in 1787 until his replacement by Fichte in 1794. The central figures of Jena Romanticism all took a keen interest in developments in Kantian philosophy, especially the radical new emphasis on freedom which Fichte offered; Isaiah Berlin regarded Fichte as “the true father of romanticism”. Nevertheless Hölderlin, Novalis and Friedrich Schlegel were all highly critical of Fichte, with their incorporation of philosophy into poems, novels, aphorisms and ‘fragments’ (F. Schlegel) more indicative of a reaction against, rather than continuity with, the foundational theorizing of German Idealism.

In this issue of Human Affairs, we invite papers on all aspects of the philosophical ideas of the Jena Romantics, their influences, and their legacies. Among questions that might be addressed are:

  • Do the philosophical ideas of the diverse figures who contributed to Jena romanticism have anything significant in common?
  • How do the philosophical views of the Jena Romantics relate to Kantian and post-Kantian idealism?
  • What has been the main philosophical legacy of Jena romanticism? Does it have any relevance to contemporary philosophy, either in its ideas or its practice?

We invite extended abstracts of 1000 words (maximum – excluding bibliography, if you include one). Authors of the abstracts we select will be invited to submit a full paper (4000 words maximum, excluding bibliography). Papers will be subject to peer-review, and those selected will be published alongside invited papers.

  • Abstracts are to be submitted online:
  • Deadline for Abstracts: 31 December, 2022 
  • Deadline for Full Papers: 31 May, 2023