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): email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Thanks to Freya Gowrley for sending in this exciting new Call for Papers.
CfP: Collage, Montage, Assemblage: Collected and Composite Forms, 1700-Present (University of Edinburgh, 18-19 April 2018)
Deadline for abstracts: 1 December 2017
This two-day multidisciplinary conference will explore the medium of collage across an unprecedentedly broad chronological range, considering its production and consumption over a period of more than three hundred years. While research on paper collage plays a key role in histories of modern art, particularly of the 1920s and 1930s, its longer history and diverse range of manifestations are often overlooked within art historical scholarship. Though important work is being done on collage at both the level of the individual work and the medium more broadly, this has often overlooked collage’s multitudinous forms and assorted temporal variants. This conference accordingly aims to tackle this oversight by thinking about collage across history, medium, and discipline. Employing an inclusive definition of the term, the conference invites papers discussing a variety of material, literary, and musical forms of collage, including traditional papier collé alongside practices such as writing, making music and commonplacing, and the production of composite objects such as grangerized texts, decoupage, quilts, shellwork, scrapbooks, assemblage, and photomontage.
In so doing, the conference will situate histories of modernist collage in relation to a much broader range of cultural practices, allowing for productive parallels to be drawn between the cultural productions of periods that are often subject to rigid chronological divisions. Reciprocally, the conference will encourage a consideration of collage made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries against key concepts and methodologies from the study of modernism and postmodernism, such as the objet trouvé or assemblage. From papier collé to the digital age, the conference will highlight collage’s rich history and crucial role in cultural production over the last three hundred years.
We invite contributions from scholars working in the fields of art history, history, music, material culture studies, and literature. We also welcome and encourage papers from practitioners working in any medium whose practice is influenced by collage, assemblage, and/or montage. Potential topics could include, but are not limited to:
Collage as medium
Collage, assemblage, montage: terminologies and categories
Collage and identity
Collage and intention: chance, agency, intentionality
Collage and the modern/pre-modern/postmodern
Collage in art historical writing/literary criticism
Guest Editors: Dr Katie Faulkner (The Courtauld Institute of Art and Arcadia University) Dr Freya Gowrley (University of Edinburgh)
This special issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies will use ‘craft’ as a framework for understanding how various forms of masculinity were constructed and expressed during the long nineteenth-century (1789-1914) in Britain and internationally.
Deadline for completed manuscripts: 30 October 2017
CFA: Making Masculinity: Craft, Gender, and Material Production in the Long Nineteenth-Century
Narratives focusing on the heroic male artist and privileging the ‘fine art’ over the ‘decorative’ emerged in the nineteenth century and were perpetuated by modernist writers and formalist art historians throughout the twentieth century. Yet the continuing preoccupation with the male genius and his masterpieces has been challenged by feminist interventions in art historical scholarship, often by reintroducing the significance of craft, and its female practitioners, into histories of material production. This endeavour has found a particular ally in material culture studies. Unburdened by art historical divisions between the fine and decorative arts, high art and craft, a substantial literature on the relationship between women and material culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has recently emerged (see for example Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin’s four-part edited collection on Women and Things: Gendered Material Strategies, 1750-1950 (2009), Material Women, 1750-1950: Consuming Desires and Collecting Practices(2009), Women and the Material Culture of Needlework and Textiles, 1750-1950 (2009), and Women and the Material Culture of Death (2013)). Despite this historiographical richness, the figure of the male crafter is noticeably absent from the history of nineteenth-century art and culture, aside from notable exceptions associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement, such as William Morris and Charles Robert Ashbee, and organisations like the Art Worker’s Guild.
Nevertheless, the ideas and practices of craft permeated the very fabric of everyday life in the nineteenth century. As a material category, craft encompasses a diverse range of objects, the production of which was central to a number of professional and personal masculine identities. Produced within or outside of the art academy or studio, made singly or collaboratively, and used to express both public and private selves, craft provides a compelling metaphor for thinking about how nineteenth-century masculinity was itself ‘made’. Focusing on objects and figures that have previously been overlooked within scholarship, the issue will reveal forgotten narratives and ignored identities, thereby providing an alternative material record of masculinity in the long nineteenth century.
This interdisciplinary special issue will explore the material and metaphorical role of craft in constructing nineteenth-century masculinities, enriching an already vibrant secondary literature on gender and material culture. We encourage submissions of 5,000-8,000 words on any aspect of the relationship between masculinity and craft during the period 1789-1914. Submissions that are accepted will be subject to blind peer-review. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:
tensions between domestic practices and professional craftsmanship
collaboration and homosociability
craft and queer masculinities
craft and emotion
craft and recuperation
the arts and crafts movement
craft made by prisoners, soldiers, and sailors
craft as an elite hobby/craft as a labouring class pursuit
craft in the age of mechanical reproduction
craft and dress
craft as/and self-fashioning
craft as activism
the idea of masculinity as ‘crafted’
Images: Rodolphe Christen, George Sim in His Workshop, Aberdeen, 1890, oil on canvas. Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums & J.M.W. Turner, An Artists’ Colourman’s Workshop, c. 1807, oil on wood. Tate.
International Conference, Clermont-Ferrand, 5-7 April 2018
Université Clermont-Auvergne – CELIS
« ‘with shut eyes, but acute mental vision’: Dream and Literary Creation in Women’s Writings in the 18th and 19th Centuries »
In June 1816, in a house on the shores of Lake Geneva, a young girl of barely 19 had a dream which would turn out to be the source of one of the greatest contemporary myths of modern times. This pivotal dream has remained prominent thanks to the preface that Mary Shelley wrote for the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, in which she describes a vivid, integrally visionary experience: “I saw – with shut eyes, but acute mental vision, – I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together […].” In a lesser-known dream, a year earlier, Shelley brings her premature, unnamed first-born back to life: “Dreamt that my little baby came to life again; that it had only been cold, and that we rubbed it before the fire, and it lived. Awake and find no baby” (19th March 1815).
Dreams in Frankenstein are at the heart of the writing process but they also constitute the diegetic substance of the narrative. Victor’s nightmare, which follows the opening of the Creature’s “dull yellow eye” (Volume I, chapter 4), is difficult to overlook in any critical consideration of the importance of dreams in the novel. To mark the bicentenary of Frankenstein’s publication in 1818, this conference will re-examine the previously-recognised oneiric facets of the novel and develop fresh perspectives on dreams and dreaming in Mary Shelley’s fiction. Proposals with a special focus on those three dreams, as well as on other works by Mary Shelley in which dreams are often premonitory (Valperga, Matilda, “The Dream” for example), are particularly welcome. Discussion may also extend to analyses of day-dreaming which Mary Shelley also refers to in her preface when she distinguishes between her youthful fancies, “all [her] own”, and her fiction, destined to be read by others.
In addition, the oneiric character of Frankenstein is particularly relevant in any reappraisal of the textuality of dreams and their link to women’s creativity and creation as a whole. Accounts of real dreams in diaries and letters may interrogate the paradox of the invasion of Self by a radically Other force (“My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me”, wrote Mary Shelley), when the passive dreamer turns into a waking creative subject. Ontological alterity may be considered as being located at the core of such processes. Is there a specifically female understanding or expression of this encounter with the Other within? Literary dreams, whose putative oneiric nature needs further clarification, oscillate between narrative dexterity and the expression of possibly subconscious scenarios. How significant is a character’s dream? Is it radically inconsistent and heterogeneous? We therefore also invite papers on these, and other, connections between dream and fiction in novels written by Shelley and other female novelists.
Thus, the central issue of authorial intention in novels (or in poetry or plays if relevant), published from the end of the 17th century to the late 19th century, is the line of enquiry which this conference hopes to pursue. How is Mary Shelley’s creative outlook and experience mirrored in the writing of her contemporaries’ (Frances Burney’s or Ann Radcliffe’s for example), or in that of female authors who came before or after her (Jane Barker and the Brontë sisters for example)? Approaches developed by Margaret Anne Doody (“Deserts, Ruins and Troubled Waters: Female Dreams in Fiction and the Development of the Gothic Novel”, 1977), Ronald Thomas (Dreams of Authority, 1990, on the Gothic and nineteenth-century novels) or Julia Epstein on Burney (The Iron Pen, 1989) may be particularly pertinent here.
Papers may be given in English (preferably) or in French.
Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.
– Oscar Wilde
Beauty is desired in order to be befouled. Not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaning it.
– Georges Bataille
Beauty has many contradictory associations, from ephemerality to permanence, the natural to the artificial. When we attempt to locate the beautiful, notions of ‘conventional’ beauty often conflict with individual assessments of what is beautiful. We are told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder(s), but is beauty only ever a perception, or can it be an intrinsic quality of objects and people? Is it possible to define the nature of the aesthetic experience? Beauty may trigger philosophical or spiritual contemplation, but it can also evoke possessiveness and lust. Historically, beauty has been admired as virtuous and feared as dangerous. Do judgements about beauty do a disservice to their object, or do they elevate it?
This special issue of MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities aims to consider the wealth of ways in which notions of beauty have been expressed, represented, and critiqued across literatures and cultures. From literary depictions of beauty, to those expressed in philosophy, art, architecture, film, photography, and music, this collection of essays will scrutinise the beautiful in its myriad forms, across geographical and temporal boundaries. Responses to the theme might be theoretical (perhaps considering movements such as New Aestheticism or Cultural Materialism), (inter)artistic, or sociological.
We invite proposals covering a range of periods (from the medieval and early-modern to the twenty-first century) and across different national contexts (including French-, Hispanic-, Germanic-, Italian-, Slavonic- and English-speaking cultures). We hope to attract scholars working in a variety of fields (Modern Languages, English Studies, Comparative Literature, Cultural History, Film and Media Studies and Digital Humanities, Performance and Reception History, History of the Book and of Print Culture, and others). Interdisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome.
Topics could include, but are not limited to:
Art, aesthetics and ekphrasis
Gender and sexuality
Youth and aging
The role of the senses
Class, wealth, and prejudice
Inner beauty, morality, and religion
Adornment, body modification and fashion
The natural world
Measure, the golden ratio, mathematics
Beautiful books, treasure bindings, deluxe editions, book fetishism
Ugliness, the ‘grotesque’
We invite proposals for papers of up to 4,000 words in MHRA style, with completed essays to be delivered to the editors by 15 September 2017. Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent, accompanied by a short biographical statement on the same page, to email@example.com by 1 June 2017.
Please see the CfP below for the conference ‘William Godwin: Forms, Fears, Futures’ to be held at Newcastle University on 24 June 2o17. The deadline for abstracts is 15 March 2017.
William Godwin: Forms, Fears, Futures
24 June 2017
Confirmed plenary speakers: Professor Mark Philp (Warwick) and Dr David O’Shaughnessy (Trinity College Dublin)
Registration fee: £20 (waived for Newcastle staff and students)
Postgraduate bursaries available
Abstracts are invited for a one-day conference and debate on the work of William Godwin, to be hosted by Newcastle University on 24 June 2017.
We aim to foster a spirit of lively discussion and structured debate and to explore the full range of Godwin’s thought, writing, and influence. Abstracts are sought for twenty-minute papers which respond to one of the three panels: Forms, Fears, and Futures.
William Godwin is perhaps today best-known for his 1793 political treatise Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness, and for the novel which explored the ideas developed in Political Justice, Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794). As a Romantic-period author and figure, however, he is often subsumed within his family circle and the drama of their overlapped personal lives and works.
This event aims instead to place Godwin and his works squarely centre-stage. While we acknowledge the value of reading Godwin as part of a kin- and friendship coterie that included Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron and Thomas Peacock among others, we are interested in what happens when we consider Godwin first and foremost as an author and thinker in his own right. What new perspectives and readings are afforded us? What texts and approaches have been overlooked – or overstudied? What is Godwin’s legacy, and where next for Godwin studies?
The day will be structured as three themed panels, followed by a roundtable led by Professor Matthew Grenby (Newcastle) on the topic ‘the future of Godwin studies’. Each panel will be opened by a plenary address on the panel topic, followed by up to three papers.
We ask that abstracts respond to one of the three panels. Topics might include, but are by no means limited to:
Formal experimentation in Godwin’s works
Godwin and genre
Godwin’s other forms: biography, history, the essay, children’s literature, or drama
Familial, social, or national forms
Godwin and the Revolutionary decade
Godwin’s political thought
Domestic, economic, social, or national fears
Godwin’s speculative thought
Godwin ‘after’ Romanticism
Godwin’s reception history
Godwin and the idea of the future; Godwin’s utopias/dystopias
Godwin and time
Abstracts for twenty-minute papers should be no more than 250 words, should include your name and institutional affiliation and position (if relevant), and should clearly state which panel you wish to be considered for. Please send abstracts to firstname.lastname@example.org by 15 March 2017.
We have a limited number of postgraduate travel bursaries of £50 available. Bursaries will be offered on the basis of financial requirements; should you wish to be considered for one, please include alongside your abstract a statement of no more than 100 words explaining why you would benefit.
The conference is intended to act as a springboard for an edited collection of essays, to which speakers will be invited to contribute following the event. We are currently in discussion with Palgrave Macmillan.
Eliza O’Brien (Newcastle), Helen Stark (Queen Mary), and Beatrice Turner (Roehampton)
See below for a CfP from NARS (Nordic Association for Romantic Studies).
CALL FOR PAPERS: Romantik: Journal for the Study of Romanticisms, vol. 6.
The forthcoming 2017 issue welcomes all article submissions that fit within the general scope of the journal. See here for submission guidelines.
DEADLINE: 1 March 2017 (full articles).
Questions and article suggestions based on abstracts may be directed to Robert W. Rix.
Romantik: Journal for the Study of Romanticisms is a multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to the study of romantic modes of thought. The articles range over the full variety of cultural practices, including the written word, visual arts, history, philosophy, religion, music and theatre during the romantic period (c. 1780–1850). Since the romantic era was characterised by an emphasis on the vernacular, the title of the journal has been chosen to reflect the Germanic root of the word. We emphasise that the journal is interested in all European romanticisms – and not least the connections and disconnections between them – hence, the use of the plural in the subtitle.
Romantik is a double blind peer-reviewed academic journal, published once a year. The journal promotes innovative research across disciplinary borders. It aims to advance new historical discoveries, forward-looking theoretical insights and cutting-edge methodological approaches.
We look forward to seeing and publishing your work.
This special issue of Nineteenth Century Gender Studies will bring together two crucial aspects of identity formation and experience, age and gender, in order to consider the ways in which each may be mutually-informed by the other. Both gender and categories of ageing provoke similar questions about their own social construction, and the role of nature or biological determinacy. Literary, artistic and historical engagements with the social imperatives that sought to proscribe their nature and scope reveal much about the dynamic ways that both gender and age impacted on life and subjectivity across the century.
Age studies forms a compelling basis for new developments in literary-historical work, and as such is gaining momentum across several disciplines from the humanities and social sciences. This edition of NCGS invites engaging new scholarship in revealing intersections of gender and age, and how conceptions of ‘age’ and ‘ageing’ are used to produce differentiations of race, class, and sexuality in the years between 1789 and 1914. As Kay Heath has argued, ‘To exclude the concept of age is not only to ignore, but also to deny, its pervasive influence on the way culture constructs our identity as humans and by such denial to remain unconscious of and therefore vulnerable to age’s hegemonic intensity.’ The consciousness of ageing, and the cultural significance and ‘hegemonic intensity’ that such consciousness upholds, consequently informs the construction and development of views on gender identities in the period, and essays are therefore invited for this special issue which embrace Heath’s proposal about the ‘pervasive influence’ of age in light of gender studies.
This issue of NCGS will address a range of gender issues through the lens of age studies, and vice versa. In doing so, such a dualistic approach will highlight the complementary modes of study that each of these theoretical frameworks employ. Both age and gender are understood in terms of social construction and performance, and speak clearly to one another in the clarification and development of a pliable self-identity. Both can be explored in relation to subjection or marginalisation and power or agency, and both are largely involved in the articulation of body image and representation (to include disability), as well as engaging closely in debates about sexuality, developments in education, theories of evolution or recapitulation, and the political landscape of nineteenth-century Britain and her colonial outposts. When examined together, then, gender and age can both speak eloquently to the construction of selfhood throughout the nineteenth century (in addition to providing comparative opportunities for considering similar issues in our own society).
The guest editor of this special issue invites scholars working on any aspect of the nineteenth century to submit critical analyses on the intersections of age and gender. Some topics for articles might include (but are not restricted to):
Progress, futurity and modernity
Evolution, and its effect on conceptions of age, degeneration, recapitulation
The eroticisation or desexualisation of age
Age and gender stereotyping or resistance
Historical conceptions of age (the classical tradition, Romantic/anti-Romantic)
Periodization and ageing in crisis, legacy
Perceptions of ageing and productivity: genius, creativity, sterility, mundanity
Developing concepts such as ‘adolescence’ or ‘midlife’
The effect of age on the gendering of agency and desire
Nostalgia, memory and reminiscence
The function of age in literary forms such as the elegy, pastoral, Bildungsroman, auto/biography, serialisation, New Woman fiction, the gothic
Inter-generational relationships in art, literature, or history
Gender and the ‘queering’ of age, liminality or transgressive age/gender formulations
Gender roles and age in relation to economic mobility, spatial occupation, social class, familial ties, friendship, material culture, and empire.
Please send articles of 5-8,000 words to email@example.com by Monday 10th April 2017 (earlier submission is encouraged). Adhere to MLA style, using endnotes rather than footnotes. Please include a coversheet that includes your contact information and a short (100-150 word) bio with your article submission. Enquiries about potential essay topics are welcome.
The strange place of ecocritical discourse concerns the question of the materiality of nature as cultural artifact, or not. Paper topics for the panel may include writers as case studies to address the topic such as: Charlotte Smith, Wordsworth, Keats, Clare, Thoreau, Emerson, Dickinson, Heaney, Lowell, Bishop, Berry among others.
Lawrence Buell’s The Future of Environmental Criticism (2005) states, “The emergence of contemporary environmental criticism is in part the story of an evolution from imaging life-in-place as deference to the claims of (natural) environment toward an understanding of place-making as a culturally inflected process in which nature and culture must be seen as a mutuality rather than as separable domains” (67, emphasis mine). Accordingly, Buell identifies two place-holders within the polemic of what he calls “environmental criticism”: “life-in-place” referring to the actual, natural, physical, and material aspects in the environment; and “place-making” indicating the cultural, socially-constructed, and often political aspects involved in what Andrew J. Hubbell has called “cultural ecology.” On one hand, a redwood stands tall and majestic as a host for fern in a biome, as John Muir observed. On the other hand, that same redwood is part of Muir Woods National Monument authorized to preserve the redwoods.
The panel session invites paper proposals that take up discussion about the strange place of ecocritical discourse concerning the question of the materiality of nature as cultural artifact, or not, often represented through the production of articles, monographs, and editions. Papers may be interdisciplinary, transhistorical, transatlantic, or, more broadly, transnational.