Young Researchers Grant (UB)
1 October 2018 – 30 September 2019
Bio: Dragoş Ivana is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Bucharest. His main research interests are British literature, comparative literature, critical theory, intellectual history, and city studies. He is treasurer of the Romanian Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Ivana’s book entitled Embattled Reason, Principled Sentiment and Political Radicalism: Quixotism in English Novels, 1742-1801 was published by Rodopi/Brill: Amsterdam & US in 2015. He was the recipient of a number of doctoral research scholarships at the University of Kent, the Bodleian Library and the British Library. He was also a visiting fellow at Chawton House Library (2014) and a Fulbright Postdoctoral Fellow at Vanderbilt University (2016). In 2006, he obtained a trainer certificate issued by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Conference Interpreting. In April 2010, he was awarded the “Bologna Professor” Distinction by the Romanian National Student Association. In 2018 he has been awarded the title of “Fulbright Ambassador” of the University of Bucharest.
Project title: Crossing the Atlantic: Representations of Quixotism in the Early American Novel
Project description: The project focuses on representations of quixotism in early American thought and literature, with particular focus on the novelistic genre. It aims to examine the popularity of Don Quixote in the early North American cultural context, an issue tackled in passing and generally confined to Cervantic influence, which literary criticism has approached only to frame the rise of the American novel. Moving beyond a mere inventory of textual, structural and narratological similarities and character identification with the original, my goal is to demonstrate that both Cervantes’s novel and its main protagonist – acculturated in the early American republic through English translations (Tobias Smollett’s being the most famous) – were employed by early American novelists in order to shed light not only on the production of American quixotic novels and the American literary marketplace at the time, but also on why early novelists developed a fascination with Cervantes. I will regard quixotism as a “transatlantic genre” (cf. Eve Tavor Bannet) in an attempt to develop an original approach to the project theme by the mere fact that the quixotic fictions in question expose and address issues of national identity filtered through the lens of major socio-political, economic and cultural concerns brought forth by the New World authors.