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BARS Blog

News and Commentary from the British Association for Romantic Studies

Posts filed under Calls for Contributors

Mary Wollstonecraft and Dissent: A Celebration

Friday 24 April to Saturday 25 April, Newington Green Meeting House, London N16 9PR

Programme and registration here: https://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/wollstonecraft. Concessions for students and benefit recipients.

Following the success of the Celebration to mark the 260th anniversary of the birth of the great feminist thinker Mary Wollstonecraft in April 2019, join us for a second Celebration in April 2020, exploring the origins of her revolutionary ideas and their continuing relevance.

We will also be celebrating the re-opening of the Newington Green Meeting House, the oldest Non-Conformist place of worship in London. Following extensive renovation sponsored by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, this beautiful historic building will relaunch as an accessible heritage space dedicated to the legacy of the Dissenters at the birthplace of feminism. Mary Wollstonecraft established a school for girls at Newington Green in 1784, and gained inspiration and support from activists and intellectuals settled in the neighbourhood, including such Dissenting luminaries as Richard Price and Anna Letitia Barbauld.   

Talks and roundtable discussions will explore dissent, both in relation to the community of religious Dissenters in Wollstonecraft’s time and as a key aspect of feminism and progressive politics today.     

There will be a new plaque in honour of Mary Wollstonecraft, the first Annual General Meeting of the literary society The Mary Wollstonecraft Fellowship, the launch of a Wollstonecraft Walks App, art displays, a book stall, a special visit to the British Library exhibition ‘Women’s Rights: Unfinished Business’, free historical walking tours around Newington Green and Stoke Newington, birthday cake, and more…

Speakers include: Sandrine Berges, Emma Clery, Alan Coffee, Hannah Dawson, Mary Fairclough, Daisy Hay, Felicity James, Laura Kirkley, Susan Manly, Charlotte May, Jon Mee, Catherine Packham, Fiona Price, Bee Rowlatt, Alexandra Runswick, Kandice Sharren, Barbara Taylor, Janet Todd, Roberta Wedge, Joanna Wharton, Alexis Wolf.
Activists, enthusiasts, students and scholars – all welcome.

This event is held in association with the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London, and hosted by ‘Newington Green Meeting House: Revolutionary Ideas since 1708,’ with the support of the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

CFP – The 50th Anniversary Wordsworth Summer Conference

Monday 10 August to Thursday 20 August 2020

Rydal Hall, Cumbria, England

The 2020 Wordsworth Summer Conference at elegant Rydal Hall will be celebrating the 50th Anniversary since Richard Wordsworth’s inaugural conference gathering in 1970. In this celebration year we will continue the format pioneered 50 years ago by Richard, mingling lectures, papers and lively academic debate with energetic fell walking, picturesque rambles, and excursions to places of Wordsworthian and Romantic interest. Upper and Lower Rydal Falls are within the grounds of the Hall, and Rydal Mount—Wordsworth’s home from 1813 until 1850—is a two-minute walk away.

By courtesy of the Wordsworth Trust, our opening night will include a candlelight visit to Dove Cottage, now restored to reflect the interior the Wordsworths would have known when they lived there. There will be a separate opportunity to explore the treasures of the Wordsworth Trust’s collections with the curator Jeff Cowton, and Part 2 will open with a visit to Wordsworth’s Rydal Mount and garden.

In 2020 our excursions are likely to include an all-day visit to Malham Cove and sublime Gordale Scar, seen below in Turner’s 1808 sketch towards his painting. High points for energetic fell walkers are likely to include ascents of Nab Scar and Great Rigg, Bowfell, Haystacks, and the mighty Helvellyn.

Format and Costs: The Conference is in two parts of 5 days each, with a changeover day on Saturday 15 August when those participating in both parts of the conference enjoy an all-day fell walk or excursion. The registration fee for residents, which includes excursions, offers exceptional value at £290 for ten days and £210 for five days. For postgraduates, we offer twelve Youth Centre Bursaries to enable attendance at approximately half the cost to the Foundation (see ‘Youth Centre Bursaries’). All resident participants will take all meals at Rydal Hall.

Full Board is available at Rydal Hall Diocesan Conference Centre at prices from £880 to £1160 for ten nights and either £550 or £600 at the adjacent Rydal Hall Youth Centre (5-night prices pro rata).

For full details of resident and non-resident rates, our terms and conditions, galleries of past conferences, and a registration page please visit the Foundation website: https://www.wordsworthconferences.org.uk/the-conference/

For the latest news on the conference please visit:


Rydal Hall from the garden. Photo by Sharon Tai

Rydal Hall from the garden. Photo: Sharon Tai

Call for Papers

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers on all aspects of William Wordsworth, his contemporaries and the Romantic period. Papers that identify a bicentenary theme, 1820–2020, will be welcomed but this is not intended as an exclusive requirement. Please note that participants presenting papers must attend as full participants for either all of Part 1 or all of Part 2, or for the whole ten-day conference. 

Proposals: 250-word proposals for papers of no more than 2750 words, together with a brief autobiographical paragraph, unformatted, should occupy no more than 2 sides of A4 in MS Word format. Please remember to include your name, institution and e-mail address on the abstract. Please do not send proposals as a pdf file as they will be copied into a composite document. Proposals should be e-mailed by 25 April 2020 to proposal.wsc@gmail.com

Enquiries about accommodation should be e-mailed to the Conference Administrator, Irm Hollenbach, at http://wordsworthsummerconference@gmail.com

Youth Centre Bursaries for the 2020 WSC

Twelve Youth Centre Bursaries of £400 are available for the 2020 conference. These bursaries are intended to enable young scholars, principally at postgraduate and early post-doctoral level, to enjoy ten active and stimulating days in the unique environment of Rydal and Grasmere, for about half the cost of the event. Please bring this announcement to the attention of qualifying applicants.

5 Richard Wordsworth Bursaries for Postgraduate or Postdoctoral applicants working in English or Anglo-American Romanticism

5 Ena Wordsworth Bursaries for students working on William or Dorothy Wordsworth or in the Field of English Romanticism

1 Jonathan Wordsworth Bursary and 1 William Knight Bursary for Postgraduate students working on William Wordsworth or in the Field of English            

Terms and Conditions: Youth Centre Bursaries are intended to meet approximately half of the cost of attending the conference. Holders of bursaries will be so designated on the list of participants or the conference programme. The bursary will be applied in the first instance to conference fees, and the balance to accommodation in the new Rydal Hall Youth Centre, making the total cost of the conference in 2019, to a bursar, either £440 (in a 5 person dormitory) or £490 (in a 2 person dormitory) for the full ten-day conference programme and ten nights’ full board (the cost to the Foundation is c. £1,000). Costs may differ slightly for 2020. Youth Centre Bursars are expected to be resident during the conference in the Rydal Hall Youth Centre and to attend all lectures, papers and conference events: acceptance of a Bursary implies an undertaking to do so. Please note that by applying for a Youth Centre Bursary, you have indicated your agreement to be accommodated in the Youth Centre for the full period of the Summer Conference. It is not possible for Bursars to be accommodated in Rydal Hall.

Your application should be in the form of a Word attachment (not PDF) containing a paper proposal of 300 words, together with a short unformatted cv in the same file, the entire application being not more than two sides of A4 (the file will be copied and pasted into a composite file, so please avoid elaborate formatting). Applicants should also arrange for a short letter of academic recommendation to be sent independently to the same email address, verifying the applicant’s status and country of residence. Candidates need not specify which bursary they are applying for. They will automatically be considered for any bursary for which they are eligible.

Please note that we may award a bursary without having space to include the proposed paper on the conference programme: such papers may, however, be ‘taken as read’, that is, made available in print form at the conference, if the proposer so chooses.  Papers should be no longer than 2750 words (rapid delivery invariably impedes communication) and may address any area of Romanticism.

Bursary applications and references should be submitted by 25 April 2020 to proposal.wsc@gmail.com. Please be sure to identify your e-mail as ‘BURSARY APPLICATION’.

Giant Redwood Tree in Rydal Hall grounds with Nab Scar in the background. Photo: Richard Gravil

Nicholas Roe, Conference Director

Inês Rosa, Postgraduate Representative

Irm Hollenbach, Conference Administrator

We are of course monitoring the situation regarding coronavirus in the UK. At this stage we anticipate that we will run the 2020 Wordsworth Summer Conference as planned.

The Wordsworth Conference Foundation is a registered charity, number 1124319

Call for Papers: Romantic Interventions: From Idealism to Activism

February 11-13, 2021, TU Dortmund University, Germany

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Angela Esterhammer, University of Toronto
Prof. Peter Kitson, University of East Anglia
Prof. Sharon Ruston, Lancaster University

The era of Romanticism is commonly understood as a time of unrest and change, perceptibly impacting the lives of individuals as well as collective entities across multi-faceted boundaries. In “interlocking interests”, as Raymond Williams claimed in his classic Culture and Society, “a conclusion about personal feeling became a conclusion about society, and an observation of natural beauty carried a necessary moral reference to the whole and unified life of man” (1958: 48). With the French Revolution at its centre, arguably the decisive historical moment of the era, certain structures of feeling emerged in liberal and revolutionary circles on the European continent. As the breaking-apart of Europe’s ancien régimes sparked drastic changes on political and socioeconomic levels, Romantic thinkers sought to employ their texts and activities as contributions to a critical re-evaluation of the status quo. In a Wordsworthian manner, many Romantic poets understood themselves as prophets of the people, whose duty it was to intervene in dominant representational discourses and thereby challenge well-established hegemonic power structures. At the same time, however, Romantic movements must not be understood as having solely gyrated around the intellectual efforts of the elitist few. Fruitfully and mutually intersecting with the individual (and individualised) endeavours of poets, philosophers, scientists, politicians and entrepreneurs, elements of (popular) culture in a more general sense, such as consumer resistance, political cartoons, visual arts, fashion, aesthetics, or cultural rituals like the Grand Tour must also be taken into account to define the emerging formations of the time.

To understand the complex interplay of historical momentum, idealist visions of the future as well as Idealist philosophical conceptions that probed into the conditions of existence per se, and courageous activism, key concepts of cultural studies may offer valuable tools for analysis. What we seek to establish with this conference is an understanding of the sociology of Romantic consciousness via cultural materialism as a practice to recreate the zeitgeist of a historical period shaped by numerous forms of intervention. In contrast to approaches to the Romantic Era that take their cue primarily from literary studies, we would like to ask contributors to access the period via the methodologies developed by (British) cultural studies in order to consider Romantic interventions in a possibly new light. We therefore suggest to look at the decades before and after 1800 by way of concepts like: representation, discourse, power, hegemony, articulation, popular culture, identity/subjectivity, class, race, gender, age, production/consumption, place/space, etc.

While we encourage a broad interpretation of the theme of intervention, possible approaches may include the following:

  • Political Interventions (e.g. the London Corresponding Society, the Pamphlet War)
  • Social Interventions (e.g. riots, Chartism, consolidation/subversion of ideology of separate spheres)
  • Racial Interventions (e.g. the Abolitionist Movement, the Blue Stockings Society)
  • Economic Interventions (e.g. the suspension of the Gold Standard, the Great Recoinage of 1816)
  • Medical and ‘Moral’ Interventions (e.g. Moral Management)
  • Ecological Interventions (conceptualisation of Nature/Culture binary)
  • Philosophical Interventions (the politics of Idealism)
  • Historical Interventions (historiographical foundations of the idea of the nation-state)

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers and also welcome contributions by early career researchers and postgraduate students. Abstracts of 250 words and a short biographical info (name, affiliation, current research) should be emailed to romanticinterventions@tu-dortmund.de by March 31, 2020

CFP – “Symposium on Romanticism”

This is a call for papers for a small symposium on Romanticism, which wil form part of the larger Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER) Conference on Literature that is held in Athens in June each year (this year June 1-4).

The Symposium on Romanticism will be hosted by Professor William Davis of Colorado College.

Anyone interested should follow this link for all pertinent information, including the call for papers, fee structure, and housing options: https://www.atiner.gr/litrom. Registration, fees, housing, etc. are all handled by ATINER.

Anyone wishing to make a proposal will also  need to use the form provided by the ATINER website (available also through the link above).

Feel free also to direct questions regarding the symposium to Professor Davis (wdavis@ColoradoCollege.edu).

CFP – Byron in 1821: A Retrospective

This is a Call For Papers for a session at MLA 2021

This bicentennial panel, which will be held at the MLA in Toronto and sponsored by the Byron Society of America, will examine Byron’s work written or published in 1821, including Marino Faliero, Sardanapalus, Heaven and Earth, Cain, and Werner.

Please submit 250 word abstracts by 26 March 2020 to Omar F. Miranda, at the University of San Francisco (ofmiranda@usfca.edu )

The 2021 MLA Annual Convention will be held in Toronto from 7 to 10 January 2021.

CFP – Adventurous Wives in the Long Eighteenth Century: Or Virtue Reconsider’d

Day Conference, University of Southampton

19th June 2020

In Charlotte Lennox’s 1752 novel, The Female Quixote, an eighteenth-century Countess is horrified when she is asked by the romance-obsessed heroine to relate her ‘adventures’, professing: ‘The word adventures carries in it so free and licentious a sound in the apprehensions of people at this period of time, that it can hardly with propriety be applied to those few and natural incidents which compose the history of a woman of honour.’ 

The idea that during the long eighteenth century virtuous wives were increasingly relegated to the domestic/private sphere, their legal and economic identities subsumed into that of their husbands, is a long-standing one. However, recent and ongoing research is challenging the orthodoxy of this narrative and demonstrating that the roles available to married women were more complex, nuanced and dynamic than mainstream assumptions have generally allowed. For example, Elaine Chalus has explored women’s engagement with politics and the electoral process; Joanne Begiato’s examination of the divorce process has shed light on the lived experience of married women; Amy Louise Erikson has interrogated the laws relating to women’s property ownership; and Briony McDonagh has examined inter alia how landowning wives managed the combined duties of married life and estate management. However, research specifically relating to ‘wives’ is often buried amongst the wider topic of ‘women’, and cross-disciplinary patterns and conclusions relating purely to married women may be lost or go unrecognised. 

On Friday 19th June, Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies (SCECS) will host a one-day conference  to bring these revisionist narratives together and examine the role(s) of the wife as seen through the fields of literature, social and economic history, law, art history and material culture. Papers are invited on the following topics:

• The economic and financial autonomy of women following marriage
• Feme sole traders
• The visibility of single versus married women in the literature of the period
• Wives’ involvement in politics and public life
• Working wives
• Women and the divorce process
• Inheritance and the transmission of property through the female line
• Trusts, property ownership and separate estate
• Wives as educators
• Conduct literature and wives
• The married woman as literary heroine
• Quasi-marriages and kept Mistresses
• The married female body
• Material culture, fashion and taste
• Housewifery
• Wives as guardians of morality and social order
• The historiography of the wife: change or continuity?

Please submit abstracts of up to 500 words with a short bio to the conference organisers Kim Simpson & Alison Daniell adventurousc18wives@gmail.com by 1 March 2020.
For future updates follow @AdventurousWiv1


CFP – Pacific Paratexts

An interdisciplinary symposium exploring paratexts in writing from and about the Pacific

Plenary lectures: Rod Edmond (University of Kent); Anna Johnston (University of Queensland)

Meiji University, Tokyo, Japan, November 7-8 2020

This two-day interdisciplinary symposium investigates the role and status of paratexts in the mediation and representation of Pacific cultures, geography and history. “Paratext” is the label coined by theorist Gerald Genette to describe those threshold devices that help shape a text’s reception, including annotations, blurbs, cover design, epigraphs, fonts, format, front and back covers, glossaries, illustrations, indices, introductions, maps, prologues and epilogues and titles.

Paratexts have been a frequent presence in Western literary representations of the Pacific. Consider, for example, the “Preface”, annotations and glossary that accompanies Louis Antione de Bougainville’s Voyage Autour du Monde (1771); John Hawkesworth’s paratexts for his edition of Captain Cook’s An Account of the Voyages (1773); the famous marginal gloss that accompanies Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1817 version of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”; Edgar Allan Poe’s deconstructive “Preface” and footnotes for The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket (1838); Pierre Loti’s epigraphs, notes and parallel transcriptions of Tahitian and French for The Marriage of Loti (1880); and Robert Louis Stevenson’s ethnographic annotations for his Polynesian Ballads (1890). In
translations, travel writings, missionary accounts and ethnographic studies, paratexts have provided a crucial site for the mediation of Pacific cultures and the establishment of scholarly authority. Pacific writers such as José García Villa and Albert Wendt have used paratexts to create a space for their voice and assert their identities in conditions that suppress and exclude indigenous and hybridic voices. On the other hand, Patricia Grace has argued that writers from “small population cultures” should not have to “other” their languages and cultures by providing glossaries and other explanatory information in footnotes for readers.

This symposium will explore how paratexts facilitate the juxtaposition of different writings, the crossing of generic and cultural boundaries, the collision of different languages and intersections between the factual and the fictional, the creative and the imaginary and the historical and ethnographic. These devices can operate legalistically to provide documentary evidence of economic, historical, legal and political claims asserted in the core text. They can be deployed to make manageable the foreignness of a text by either domesticating it or intensifying those aspects that are considered foreign via exoticization. In some cases, paratexts are utilized to assert dominant racist paradigms and contain indigenous voices within boundaries considered acceptable. In others, they provide a surreptitious means of authenticating and archiving indigenous perspectives. Multiple paratexts also offer a means of staging contestatory and contradictory views of the Pacific and the position of the speaker in relation to it.

This symposium examines the various ways in which paratexts are used to mediate the Pacific in literary and non-literary writing in different languages. Questions for exploration include:

  • How do writers use paratexts to construct authorial identities? Why use paratexts for this purpose?
  • Are paratexts a generic expectation? If so, how did they become so? How do paratexts enable writers to place their writings in relation to other forms of writing—anthropology, ethnography, history, literature and so on?
  • How have paratexts affirmed and undermined the distinction between factual and fictional representations of the Pacific? What does it mean to assert the factual status of a cultural artefact?
  • How do paratexts differ in versions of the same text produced for different audiences?
  • What kind of threshold does the paratext offer for agents, creative and scholarly collaborators, editors, participant-observers, publishers and translators?
  • What do shifts in paratextual practices show us about changing cultural and political ideologies?
  • How are paratexts utilized to support and contest Eurocentricism and the flow of knowledge from Pacific to Western metropolitan centres?
  • How are paratexts used to create audiences for indigenous voices? When does mediation become appropriation? What hidden contributors do paratexts reveal and efface? How do cultural differences shape paratextual practice? Does it make sense to use the term “paratext” in a non-Western context? What other terms might be more useful (for instance from parergon or frame theory)?
  • Epeli Hau’ofa asserted that “our histories are essentially narratives, told in the footnotes of the histories of empires”.2 Likewise, Stevenson famously entitled his polemic against American, British and German involvement in the First Samoan Civil War (1886–94) A Footnote to History (1892). What does it mean to use paratexts as metaphors for the historical situation of the Pacific? How do paratexts situate the Pacific in relation to ideas of World geography, World history and World literature?
  • When does extratextual material—letters, interviews, book reviews, commentary on the text—fulfill a paratextual function, and how does this complicate Genette’s model? To what extent can non-written material such as conversations, correspondence, records, journals and interviews be considered paratextual?
  • How do paratexts operate in non-literary texts: comics and manga? ethnographic literature? the frame of the picture and the title of the art-work? music? News, translation and subtitles? Philosophy? Political writing? Religious texts? Travel writing? How does the shift to digital, transmedia storytelling and e-reading devices complicate our understanding of the paratext in the Pacific context?

Research that is still speculative is welcome alongside completed pieces. Please include five keywords in all proposals. The deadline for all proposals is 1 May 2020 with decisions on submissions to be circulated by 30 May 2020. Please send all submissions and queries to pacificparatexts@gmail.com.

Meiji University is located in central Tokyo, with easy access to Tokyo Haneda and Tokyo Narita airport. A list of recommended hotels of different price ranges will be provided nearer the time.

CfP: NASSR 2020 Conference at the University of Toronto

A notice about NASSR 2020 from Terry F. Robinson

Dear BARS Colleagues:

Greetings! You are invited to submit a proposal for the 28th Annual Conference of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR). The NASSR conference, which will bring together 300-400 scholars to discuss literature, philosophy, art, and culture c. 1770-1840, will take place at the University of Toronto, Ontario on August 6-9, 2020.

CONFERENCE WEBSITE

Keynote Speakers:
Elizabeth Maddock Dillon (Northeastern University)
Martin Myrone (Tate Britain)

Topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Re-envisioning Romanticism: looking back and looking forward
  • Visions and the visionary: perception, prognostication, projection, speculation, the speculative
  • Ways of looking: reading, conceptualizing, observing, peeping, gazing, categorizing, examining, recognizing and misrecognizing
  • Visual culture, philosophy, and aesthetics: objects of sight, spectacle, the spectacular, the sublime and the beautiful
  • Reading methods and histories: careful, close, distant, surface; plagiarism, copyright law
  • Print culture in its social, theoretical, and physical aspects (e.g. text, design, structure, layout); manuscripts, letters, journals, scrapbooks, books, journals, newspapers
  • The seen and the unseen: noumena, phenomena, the spirit world, apparitions and appearances
  • Romantic iconoclasm and anti-representationalism; ocularcentrism and “the tyranny of the eye”
  • Visual communication: text, numbers, notation (e.g. musical), images, sign language, placards, banners, flags, gestures, hieroglyphs, emblems, insignia
  • Questions of form and representation
  • Fashionable looking: costume, hair, makeup, manner, style, taste, places to see and be seen
  • Visualizing gender and sexuality: identity, performance, politics
  • Visual and scenic arts: sculpture, painting, illustration, graphic satire, print shops, pornography, broadsheets, dioramas, panoramas, architectural and landscape design
  • Theatre and performing arts: set design, lighting, visual effects, costume, body movement, dance, pantomime, attitudes, tableaux vivants
  • Art collection and assessment: museums and curation, connoisseurship, formal and evaluative concerns (e.g. light, color, pattern, shape, scale, proportion)
  • Visualizing class: social hierarchies and signifiers (e.g. clothing, heraldry, pageantry), occupational and economic segregation
  • Instruments of looking: lenses, spectacles, quizzing glasses, spy glasses, Claude glasses, prisms, mirrors, telescopes, microscopes, orreries, windows
  • Forms of illumination and darkness: lightning, electricity, candlelight, lamps, gas light, spotlights, limelight, torches, fireworks; shade, shadow, twilight, gloom, obscurity
  • Religious vision(s): prophecy, revelation, enthusiasm, sermons and hymns, public and private devotion, natural and revealed religion
  • The science of the eye: vision, optics, visual anatomy, medicine, pathology, disability, blindness
  • Data visualization (e.g. land, economy, population studies): mapping, cartography, geography, geolocation, charts, diagrams, categorization, numerical and pictorial statistics
  • Visualizing race: slavery, racism, racialization, minoritization
  • Vision and ecopoetics: seeing nature (vistas, prospects, the picturesque); noticing and reading features of land, water, and sky; watching weather and recognizing climate; the animal gaze
  • Envisioning space and place: the local and the global, home and abroad, the peripheral and transperipheral
  • Envisioning (the ends of) empire: imperialism, colonialism, sites and sights of war; decolonization, indigenization
  • Political and military forecasting, strategy, optics, campaigns, battlegrounds, political theatre
  • Imagining the future of Romanticism; strategizing its work in the humanities, in the university, and in society

EMAIL CONTACT: nassr2020vision@gmail.com

**The deadline for general submissions is 24 January 2020.**

We look forward to receiving your proposals!

Sincerely Yours,
Terry F. Robinson (and on behalf of John Savarese and the NASSR 2020 conference committee)

 

Call for Papers: Byron and Loss

2020 Newstead Abbey Byron Conference

24th-25th April, Newstead Abbey

2020 marks the bicentenary of a troubling year. George III had lost his life and the new king George IV was
rapidly losing what little shreds remained of his dignity, lost what little shreds remained of his dignity, pursuing
his errant wife with hypocritical vengeance during the so-called Queen Caroline Affair. The government had lost
the trust of the people, and many politicians would have lost their lives had the Cato Street Conspiracy
succeeded. Meanwhile Byron, now in the fourth year of his self-imposed exile, was rapidly losing his hair, teeth,
famous good looks, and – some might argue – his own dignity. It is against this backdrop that he became
interested in Italian politics, or rather the loss of political authority and national autonomy.


To mark the year of 1820, we welcome papers considering the theme of Byron and loss. Topics could include, but are not limited to:

  • Grief, familial loss and suicide
  • Melancholy, weltschmerz, Romantic melancholia
  • Material and aesthetic losses
  • Appetite and diet
  • Loss of status, land, and national autonomy
  • Loss of love, lovers, and spouses
  • Religious convictions and anxieties
  • Idealism and political convictions
  • Anxieties about poetic reputation and legacy
  • Writer’s block and poetic inspiration
  • Financial losses, economic instability and usury
  • Ruins and degeneration

Submissions by 1st February 2020. Send to Conference Organisers, Dr Emily Paterson-Morgan and Dr Charlotte May, email: newsteadbyronconference@gmail.com 


CFP – The Prospect of Improvement: A Bluestocking Landscape

A two-day conference at Hagley Hall, Worcestershire including a tour of the house and grounds supported by Elizabeth Montagu Correspondence Online [EMCO] and Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

8-9th September 2020

Plenary speakers

Dr Stephen Bending (University of Southampton, author of Green Retreats. Women, gardens and eighteenth-century culture (2013)

Professor Markman Ellis (Queen Mary, University of London), author of The Coffee House: A Cultural History (2005)

Dr Joe Hawkins (Head of Landscape at Hagley)

Dr Steve Hindle (Huntington Library, CA) W.M. Keck Foundation Director of Research.

Our conference puts centre stage the patriotism and patronage of George Lyttelton first baron Lyttelton (1709-1773), a strangely shadowy figure yet a fascinating eminence grise behind the art and politics of his age. We will discuss the motivation behind his extensive remodelling of his grounds and the commissioning of local architect Sanderson Miller (1716-1780) in designing a new Hagley Hall. How can the ideas of other architects and landscape reformers from the midlands such as Sir Roger Newdigate (1719-1806), Sir Uvedale Price (1747-1829) and William Shenstone (1714-1763) be brought into dialogue with Miller’s project?

As EMCO is editing the correspondence of Lord Lyttelton’s friend and literary collaborator, critic Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800), we will equally focus on eighteenth-century women’s management of estates, commissioning of art and architecture and writing associating rural retirement with moral improvement.

We invite delegates to participate in 3 panels on the following themes:

  • Concepts of Reform and Improvement in Architecture and Rural Life
  • Female Management of the Country Estate
  • The Symbolism of the Garden in Eighteenth-century Art and Literature

We also welcome papers on:

  • Whig Perceptions of the Country and the City
  • Portraiture, representations of the Country House and Landscape Painting
  • Domesticating the picturesque: creating the grotto, the wilderness and the waterfall.
  • Bluestocking Crafts and Collecting
  • Botany, Gardening and Girls’ Education
  • Agricultural Reform and the Rural Poor
  • The Lunar Society, Provincial Salons and Correspondence Networks
  • The Politics of Patronage
  • Philanthropy and the Religious Revival

Early career and unwaged researchers

We reach out especially to early career researchers by offering 6 bursaries funded by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art to doctoral students and unwaged ECRs with promising proposals for papers relevant to the conference theme. Each bursary holder is invited to review 2 x panel sessions for a report on the conference to be published online on

http://www.elizabethmontagunetwork.co.uk/the-project/

  • Bursaries covering the conference fee and accommodation are available to 6 postgraduate students and unwaged early career researchers, who have papers accepted for presentation at the conference. ‘Unwaged’ scholars may be retired, unemployed or unable to access institutional support for conference attendance. They are invited to make a personal statement in support of their application.
  • Students’ bursary application forms must be accompanied by a statement from a supervisor which is signed on university headed paper and accompanied by the university stamp.
  • The bursary award will be paid as a refund following attendance at the conference.

Special Issue

A selection of delegates will be invited to extend their papers into scholarly articles for a book-length special issue of the journal Eighteenth-century Life, to be edited by Professor Markman Ellis.

Please send proposals for papers (no longer than 350 words) and requests for bursary application forms by 14th February 2020 to Jack Orchard by email [j.t.g.orchard@swansea.ac.uk] or by post to:

Dr. Jack Orchard, Department of English Literature and Creative Writing, Swansea University, Singleton Park, Swansea, SA2 8PP.