Keynote speaker Professor Jerome McGann (University of Virginia).
Professor McGann, one of the world’s leading Byron scholars for over thirty years, is not only editor of Byron’s Complete Poetical Works, but has also written a huge range of critical essays and books on Byron and his poems.
Published anonymously in the summer of 1819, the first two cantos of Byron’s ‘satirical epic’ Don Juan provided the reading public with a work which self-consciously raised and challenged received ideas about fame, originality, and literary merit and was admired and reviled in almost equal measure. The first two cantos became an overnight sensation, inspiring countless attacks against their sexual and religious infidelities, the bitingly acerbic social and political commentaries, the horrifying burlesquing of scenes of death and destruction, and the generalised irreverence. While some were shuddering with outrage, others saw the significant commercial opportunities offered by Byron’s ‘Donny Jonny’, with parodies, musical adaptations, and ‘new’ Cantos flooding the market alongside the numerous pirated copies.
Submissions relating to any aspect of Don Juan are welcome, however papers connected with the first two cantos are of particular interest. Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
Byron’s sources, influences and inspirations for Don Juan
Techniques, conventions and tropes used in Don Juan
The contemporary reception of Don Juan (critical reception popular and
working-class reception, male vs female reception, metropolitan vs rural
reception, reception in Britain and other countries) and Byron’s responses
Later critical and creative responses to Don Juan
Imitations and adaptations of the poem
Questions of ownership, piracy and anonymous publication
The poem’s place in Byron’s oeuvre with an especial emphasis on its continuing
Special Issue on Ecologies of the Atlantic Archipelago
Seán Hewitt & Anna Pilz
Ellen Hutchins, Fucus ovalis, collected on Whiddy Island, 1805, Trinity College Dublin
Studies of the intertwined histories of Great Britain, Ireland, and their associated islands have given rise to the notion of ‘archipelagic studies’. As in John Kerrigan’s seminal work Archipelagic English, the cover of which shows the familiar image of Great Britain and Ireland on a map tilted, reaching out from mainland Europe and into the Atlantic, this involves a new perspective on geography, identity, and the relations between nations. Central to this field of criticism are concerns regarding land and the natural world.
Nineteenth-century developments resulted in dramatic shifts within the archipelago, with attending drastically-altered human-environment relationships. There were numerous instances of famine, subsistence crises, demographic change, and altered pressures on land and systems of tenure. Connective technologies of the modern world spread to sparsely populated regions, complicating notions of centre and periphery as well as tradition and modernity. Unprecedented infrastructural developments via roads and railway networks connected rural and urban geographies, resulting in increased tourist traffic; the expansion of ports further enhanced trading networks with Europe and beyond; and the spread of the colonial project led to various productions of knowledge of the natural world.
Alongside the British project, various nationalisms looked to the natural world as a way of arguing for racial, cultural and geographical distinction. Islands and coastlines, the ‘untouched’ places, were loaded with radical potential. The folk revivals, and the attention paid to local cultures, had political as well as ecological consequences. A pan-Celtic cultural movement sought to offer new visions of the natural world which might alter, supplement or correct Anglo-Saxon narratives. Thus, nature became a temporal category within the imperial project.
Within the archipelago, the ‘Celtic’ nations contributed both to the larger British scientific project and to individual, national attempts to consolidate a vision of cultural and geographical identity through nature. While civic science and natural history bloomed alongside folklore collection, the boundary between scientific and literary writing remained productively porous. Networks of knowledge exchange proliferated.
In ecocritical studies which respond to the notion of the Anthropocene, an emphasis has been placed on the transnational capacity of environmental crisis to break down, and spill over, national borders. Likewise, ways of seeing the world which were posited as outmoded, belated, or ‘primitive’ by the rationalising project of nineteenth-century Europe are being re-examined and explored as beneficial to reconsidering human/non-human relations in the twenty-first century. Thus, animism, pantheism and vitalism have all recently been posited as radical correctives to Western thought.
This issue aims to bring into focus interconnection, idiosyncrasy, and the ways in which national boundaries were simultaneously made porous and more distinct by writers and artists who sought to engage with the new visions of nature which the nineteenth-century offered. How does ecological disaster prompt shifts in artistic production? How were ecological relationships linked with colonialism and its legacies withinthe archipelago? How does contested religious thought and identity affect relationships with the natural world? How are natural histories and national histories bound and interlinked? Literary considerations of the archipelagic environment, and archipelagic ecological relationships, are varied and multitudinous.
To focus on nineteenth-century contexts of archipelagic ecologies enables the tracing of connections and the identification of shifts in perception that might not easily align with literary periodisation of Romantic, Victorian and early Modernist writing. New developments in ecocriticism, from new materialisms to notions of the Anthropocene, shed light on the innovations of nineteenth-century cultural responses to environmental shifts and scientific work.
ARTICLES MIGHT FOCUS ON (BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO):
urban environments and their cultural productions
folk revival and ‘local’ literature
discoveries of archipelagic environments
environments in children’s literature
natural history and education
writing natural history
nature and regional languages / dialects
writing environmental catastrophe
nature, environment, and genre
poetics of place
nature writing and regional environments
literary geographies and environment
travel writing and environment
nature as a museum of the past
nature and its regenerative potentials
colonial networks within and outside the archipelago
periodical culture, agricultural reform, and environmentalism
We invite 600-800-word abstracts for a 31 January 2020 deadline. The commissioned articles (of no longer than 9,000 words, inclusive of footnotes) will be due on 31 August 2020. All article submissions will undergo peer review and may include illustrations with copyright to be secured by the author (colour for online publication and black and white for print).
Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons seeks essays that address a wide range of topics, methods and themes related to the teaching of Romanticism. For the past several years we have published special volumes that speak to a specific issue within Romanticist pedagogy, such as ‘Romanticism and Technology’, ‘Teaching Global Romanticism’, or ‘Teaching the Romantic with the Contemporary’. For this volume we’d like to issue more broad and open call for essays that offer innovative approaches to teaching Romanticism. We are especially keen on approaches that consider Romanticism as methodology or practice and seek to reproduce it in the classroom.
‘Wanderer above the Sea of Fog’, Caspar David Friedrich (c.1818)
Possible topics include but should be in no way limited to:
Teaching specific Romantic-period authors through an engagement with their poetics or aesthetic practices
Teaching Romantic-era pedagogy, for example, Rousseau or the Edgeworths
Teaching Romanticism in the 21st-century classroom
Teaching Romanticism collaboratively
Teaching Romanticism as an act of resistance
Please submit 300-word abstracts to email@example.com by June 30. If accepted, completed drafts would be due by September 30.
The Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons is a peer-reviewed online journal dedicated to the presentation of essays about teaching that offer sample teaching materials as well, from printable handouts to ‘digital-born’ teaching materials.
Organisers: Dr Alice Crossley, Dr Amy Culley, and Dr Rebecca Styler
Plenary Speaker: Prof. Devoney Looser, Arizona State University
‘Ageing in Public: Women Authors in the Nineteenth Century’
This conference responds to the burgeoning critical interest of humanities scholars in age, ageing, and stages of life from childhood to old age in the nineteenth century.
The figure of the child and the imaginative investment in the idea of childhood are the focus of seminal studies of ageing in this period.
However, recent critical engagements have suggested the value of exploring ageing identities and cultural articulations of age across the life course, in dialogue with one another, and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives.
In light of this development, this conference seeks to address the experiences, conceptions, and representations of the ageing process in the literature and culture of the nineteenth century.
We welcome papers from all humanities disciplines (including, but not restricted to, English, History, Art History, and Religious Studies) and covering a diverse range of media, forms, and genres, such as fiction, poetry, drama, life writing, conduct literature, children’s literature, religious writing, periodicals, portraiture, photography, satirical prints, material culture, medical literature, institutions and their discourses, longevity literature, advertising, elegy.
Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:
Relationships between stages of the life course: childhood, adolescence, maturity, midlife, old age, longevity, premature ageing, infantilization
Ageing and relationships: inter and intra-generational friendship, age heterogamy, familial roles (mothers, fathers, grandparents), sociability
Ageing and intersectionality (gender, class, sexuality, race, religion, nation)
Developments in critical gerontology, view of the field in relation to C19th studies
Ageing and authorship: juvenilia and ‘late style’, age and critical reception
Materiality of ageing: souvenirs, tokens, evocative objects
Ageing and the body: health, illness, puberty/menopause, sexuality
Ageism, gerontophobia, ageing as decline and counter-cultural narratives
Ageing as cultural performance, age-consciousness and (dis)identification
Nostalgia, recollection, memory
Ageing in the light of faith/doubt
Ageing and a sense of place: home, travel, institutions, nature, revisiting and returning
The London Victorian Studies Colloquium is an annual residential colloquium for postgraduates and postdocs working in Victorian Studies, to be held at Royal Holloway Centre for Victorian Studies, from 26-27th April, 2019.
This is a relatively informal weekend of postgraduate papers, plenary talks, and training and professionalisation workshops, allowing generous space also for participants to socialise and study in the beautiful surroundings of the college. We hope to include a viewing of the Victorian art collection in the Royal Holloway picture gallery.
This year’s event will include:
Plenary talks from Dr Carol Jacobi (Curator of British Art, 1850-1915, Tate Britain) and Dr Helen Goodman (Bath Spa University)
Research Beyond the Article with Professor Redell Olsen (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Joanna Taylor (University of Manchester)
Panel Discussion on Academic Careers and the Place of ECRs in the University
Training in Nineteenth-Century Collections and Designing Innovative Teaching
Participants do not have to present a paper but we will be looking for a small number of speakers to give short papers (20 minutes) on any topic. For details of the CFP, please see below.
The Centre for Victorian Studies is grateful to the techne consortium and Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London for supporting this event.
The colloquium is open to Masters, doctoral students and postdocs from the UK or abroad, working on any nineteenth-century topic.
This year’s event is free to techne students. Please use the dedicated ticketing link.
The deadline for applicants is 5.00pm on Friday 29th March, or as soon as places are full.
The Art and Science of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century Europe Edited by Dr. Arlene Leis and Dr. Kacie Wills
Sarah Stone, Perspective Interior View of Sir Ashton Lever’s Museum in Leicester’s Square, watercolor, London, March 30, 1785.
We are inviting chapter abstracts for a collection of essays designed for academics, specialists and enthusiasts interested in the interrelations between art, science and collecting in Europe during the long 18th century. Our volume will discuss the topic of art, science and collecting in its broadest sense and in diverse theoretical contexts, such as art historical, feminist, social, gendered, colonial, archival, literary and cultural ones. To accompany our existing contributions, we welcome essays that take a global and material approach, and are particularly keen on research that makes use of new archival resources. We encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and are especially interested in essays that reveal the way in which women participated in art, science, and collecting in some capacity. The compendium will consist of around 15 essays, 6000 words each (including footnotes), with up to four illustrations. In addition to these more traditional essays, we are looking for shorter (circa 1,000 words) case studies on material objects pertaining to collections/collectors from that period. The subject of art, science and collecting will also be central to these contributions. These smaller pieces will each include one illustration. The following topics/case studies are particularly desired:
• Women’s collecting interests
• Histories and methodologies of collecting, taxonomies,
cataloging, arrangement, and modes of display
• Cabinets of curiosities/Wunderkammer
• Collections housed in art and/or science institutions
• The boundaries between the natural and the artificial
• Scientific and artistic tools and instruments
• Seriality vs. rare objects
• Transitional objects
• Collecting networks
• The artist collector
• The scientist collector
• The overlapping of science, art and collecting in domestic
• Antiquarian collections
• Print culture
Call for Papers – New edited essay collection: Byron Among the English Poets
Byron felt deeply that literary tradition mattered. Less wedded to notions of ‘originality’ and ‘genius’ than many of his contemporaries, he instead wrote passionately – and unfashionably – about the value of imitation, allusion, and a thorough acquaintance with past masters. He used poetic forms because he thought of them as embedded in historical moments and circumstances, and he wrote with other voices sounding in his head: Horace and Juvenal, Shakespeare, Milton and Pope amongst them. He was a fierce champion of poets whom he saw as having contributed most to sustaining the English tradition, and he could be correspondingly withering on the subject of contemporaries whom he felt were actively engaged in diluting it. Sometimes he felt attraction and repulsion in equal measure: for all the ridicule in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers and Don Juan of the ‘Lakers’, his writing would have looked very different without the powerful influence of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey. Perhaps because of his own openness to the idea of being (for better or worse) part of a literary community, many nineteenth- and twentieth-century poets found points of contact with his writing. He was imitated both by writers who admired him as a Romantic lyricist and by those who felt ambivalent about their Romantic inheritance: poets ranging from Swinburne to Auden embraced and wrestled with the powerful sway of his writing, acknowledging the magnetism of his style by ambivalent acts of imitation, parody, and conversation.
Portrait of Byron by Thomas Phillips, c. 1813. (c) Newstead Abbey; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Our edited collection, Byron Among the English Poets, expands on previous work on Byron and poetic influence and carves out a number of paths for future work in Byron studies. It already has an impressive roster of contributors, including Bernard Beatty, Madeleine Callaghan, Anna Camilleri, Richard Cronin, Simon Kövesi, Tom Lockwood, Michael O’Neill, Fred Parker, Seamus Perry, Christopher Ricks, Diego Saglia, Jonathon Shears, Jane Stabler, Clara Tuite, Ross Wilson, and Sarah Wootton. Its editors, Clare Bucknell and Matthew Ward, are currently finalising its submission to Cambridge University Press and looking for a new contributor to offer a chapter on Byron and a post-1945 poet (or poets). The selected chapter will be c. 7000 words and may deal with any aspect of the literary relation between Byron and post-1945 poetry (chapters that focus on form and poetic style will be especially welcome).
CFP: Keats’s Odes at 200: A One-Day Bicentenary Conference (1819-2019)
1 February 2019, University of Caen (France)
Plenary speaker : Stanley Plumly (University of Maryland). Acclaimed poet and author of Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography (Norton, 2008), The Immortal Evening: A Legendary Dinner with Keats, Wordsworth, and Lamb (Norton, 2014), winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism, and Elegy Landscapes: Constable and Turner and the Intimate Sublime (Norton, 2018).
In the spring of 1819, living in the recently built Wentworth Place on the edge of Hampstead Heath, John Keats wrote five of the six poems now commonly referred to as the ‘Great Odes’, a group of texts whose hyper-canonicity can sometimes make it difficult to appreciate the precarious, unlikely circumstances under which they came into being – let alone to say anything new about them today. Over the course of the last two centuries, countless readers have found themselves enthralled by, and moved to comment on, Keats’s Ode to Psyche, Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode on Melancholy, Ode on Indolence, and ode To Autumn (composed in September 1819), generating a vast body of scholarly criticism, as well as a number of reuses or reimaginings of the odes in popular culture. Yet, not unlike the Hellenic urn which permanently remains, in its cold silence, ‘a friend to man’, the magic of the odes remains undiminished after all these years – and the depth and originality of Keats’s texts remain, miraculously, to be accounted for, still ‘teas[ing] us out of thought’. It is the aim of this one-day bicentenary conference not only to celebrate but also to continue to probe, question, and rethink the nature of Keats’s achievement in writing, at the height of his young artistic powers, these six ‘Great Odes’; to reexamine their past uses, and speculate on their lives to come, while teasing out (and, no less fruitfully, being teased by) their ostensible timelessness.
Speakers are invited to approach the odes from any number of angles, including (but not limited to) questions concerning: the composition and editing of the texts (their manuscript drafts, their multiple versions in print and digitization…); the critical reception of the odes in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries (in Britain, America, France, and elsewhere); Keats’s sources of inspiration, and of rupture; the odes and other forms of art (sculpture, music, painting); reuses and reimaginings of the odes in popular culture; their modern adaptations (cinema, fiction), etc.
The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) is looking for contributors to write for our blog: an online collection of news/notices and longer posts, all of which celebrate and promote research in Romanticism. Would you like to contribute to a) The ‘Archive Spotlight’ series or b) The ‘On This Day’ series?
Please get in touch by sending a short pitch of what your post will include, and a short bio. Final posts should be around 1000 words.
Further details: ‘ArchiveSpotlight’:
Posts should be a blog about your experience of using an archive. You could use the space to discuss one or two things of interest you found at the archive, perhaps things that are intriguing, but that you cannot fit into your thesis, book, or other written work.
The post could also be an account of the archive itself as well as some things you’ve studied there that relate to the Romantic Period (1770-1830). You could focus more on the latter if you prefer. Previous examples can be found here.
‘On This Day’:
This is a Romantic bicentenary series that has been running since July 2015. We have been inspired to create this series following the popularity on Twitter of the ‘OnThisDay’ hashtag. We want to present a catalogue of #OnThisDay blog posts that relate to events happening exactly 200 years ago. The premise of the blog is to give readers a snapshot of 1818 in 2018 (and on into 2019 and beyond!), relevant to that month or even that particular day. The series is also a part of #Romantics200.
The best way to get a feel of this series is to read our excellent posts from past contributors. You can see all the posts here.
If you have any questions or would like to make an informal enquiry about writing for us, please get in touch with Anna Mercer (BARS Blog Editor): firstname.lastname@example.org
The Italian Byron Society is pleased to announce the 44th International Byron Conference to be held in Ravenna from 2 to 7 July 2018. Website here.
Byron’s most famous use of the word “mobility” is in Don Juan, Canto 16, stanza XCVII, where he uses it to describe Lady Adeline Amundeville, adding a footnote in which he defines it as “excessive susceptibility of nimmediate impressions”. Since then the word has been taken up by critics and biographers from Thomas Moore and Lady Blessington onwards, to refer to what seems an essential quality of Byron’s personality and poetry (and, particularly in more recent years, politics). The word has sometimes been linked with the notion of improvisation, especially when considering the spontaneity (or apparent spontaneity) of his verse: “I rattle on exactly as I’d talk / With any body in a ride or walk.” (Don Juan, 15, XIX). The conference will welcome 20-minute papers on topics including, but not necessarily limited to:
– formal experimentalism and improvisation
– multiplicity of voices
– hyphenated identities
– genre hybridity
– experience and imagination, fact and fiction
– geographical mobility
– cosmopolitan visions and identities
– political mobility and improvisation
– reinterpretations of Byron’s mobility in later periods
The organisers also welcome prospective delegates to suggest ready-formed panels (of three 20-minute papers) on the following topics: Byron and Ravenna; Byron and Italian politics; Byron and Italian art.
Please send 250-word abstracts for individual papers or ready-formed panels to email@example.com by 1 March 2018.
Information on conference registration and accommodation as well as on the cultural programme of the conference will be posted later on the Conference website.