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Dr. Roman Alexander Barton



Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies

Raum    02 005c

Telefon +49 (0)761 203-97380







Roman Alexander Barton studied Cultural Studies, German, English and European Literatures at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and King’s College London. From 2013-2016 he worked as a research associate at the SFB 644 “Transformationen der Antike” where he carried out a PhD project on the Making of the Sympathetic Imagination in the British eighteenth century. Currently he investigates the relation of mimesis and enumeration as a postdoc at the ERC-funded project “LISTLIT: Lists in Literature and Culture”. His research interests include Theories of Literary Representation, Affective Poetics and The Ethics of the Novel.


Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • The Making of the Sympathetic Imagination: Transformations of Sympathy in British Eighteenth-Century Ethics, Poetics, and Fiction, Berlin/New York: De Gruyter 2019 (forthcoming).
  • “‘A fellow-feeling makes one wond’rous kind’: Spectatorial and Narrative Sympathy in Adam Smith, Lord Kames and Oliver Goldsmith”, in: Sympathy in Transformation: Dynamics between Rhetorics, Poetics and Ethics, eds. Roman Alexander Barton/Alexander Klaudies/Thomas Micklich, Berlin/New York: De Gruyter 2018, 177–194.
  • “Radicalising Sympathy: William Godwin’s Reading of Shaftesbury”, in: Shaping Enlightenment Politics: The Social Impact of the First and Third Earls of Shaftesbury, ed. Patrick Müller, Berlin: Peter Lang 2018, 275–290.



Mimesis and Enumeration: List-Making between Figuralism and Experientiality in Early Modern British Literature

My research project explores how changes in the concept of mimesis in the Early Modern period are negotiated in the literary list. The project builds on the observation that due to its outward form, its being vertically or horizontally dimensioned on the page, the list is always already indicative of two alternate modes of representation. Elaborating on the studies of Erich Auerbach and Hayden White, I investigate the figuralism and experien­tiality of lists from Spencer to Sterne in an attempt to demonstrate that crucial changes in ‘listory’, the history of the literary list, are closely tied to transforming understandings of how to adequately represent ‘reality’ in literature.