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BARS Blog

News and Commentary from the British Association for Romantic Studies

Posts filed under Fellowships and Funding

BARS/Wordsworth Trust Early Career Fellowship 2020

We would like to invite Early Career Researchers who are not in permanent employment to apply for a one-month residential Fellowship with the Wordsworth Trust at Grasmere.

The Wordsworth Trust is centred around Dove Cottage, the Wordsworths’ home between 1799 and 1808, where Wordsworth wrote most of his greatest poetry and Dorothy wrote her Grasmere journals. The Trust’s collection comprises over 68,000 books, manuscripts and works of art, and at its heart remains the poetry, prose and letters of William and Dorothy.

This Fellowship will take place during one of the most exciting and transformative times in the Wordsworth Trust’s history. Our major HLF-funded project ‘Reimagining Wordsworth’ is due for completion in time to celebrate Wordsworth’s 250th birthday on 7 April 2020. ‘Reimagining Wordsworth’ seeks to raise awareness and change perceptions of Wordsworth’s life and work, furthering his own wish for his poetry to help people ‘to see, to think and feel’.

To help achieve this, we are transforming our site (which will include a redesigned and extended museum, a new learning centre, a newly interpreted Dove Cottage and two new outdoor spaces) alongside an extensive programme of engagement and activities in Cumbria and beyond.

The Wordsworth Trust is also committed to embracing the Creative Case for Diversity in all that we do. We believe that by welcoming a wide range of influences, practices and perspectives, we can better understand our own collection and the stories it can tell, thereby enriching our public programmes. The purpose of this Fellowship is to help us achieve just that – to examine our collection from a different perspective, and to use that perspective and knowledge to help an audience of your choice better understand and engage with Wordsworth’s life and work. We are open to discussing what form this might take (a workshop, or online activity, for example) and what would work best for the audience you choose. The impact of this Fellowship will be substantial, not only in helping us shape the direction of our public programmes, but it also has the potential to foster positive in change the way people see Wordsworth, the world and themselves.

You will receive advice and training from the Collections and Learning team, led by Jeff Cowton (Curator and Head of Learning). The activity could be delivered within a workshop setting, or online – or whatever you think works best for the audience in question. There will also be opportunities to develop your own research.

We welcome applications from anyone whose research interests will help us to re-imagine Wordsworth and to embrace the Creative Case for Diversity. We particularly welcome applications from candidates that are under-represented, including candidates from low-income backgrounds, and/or candidates with disabilities (we are happy to discuss any reasonable adjustments that we can make).

The Fellowship provides on-site self-catering accommodation for one month; we would prefer the residency to take place between January and March 2019. The Fellowship also provides £100 towards travel expenses. All applicants must be members of BARS.

Application procedure: on no more than two sides of A4, provide your name, email contact details, institutional affiliation (if relevant), current employment status, a brief biographical note, a description of your PhD thesis, details of the proposed research and audience based activity, and preferred period of residence (from November 2019 to the end of March 2020). The successful applicant will show enthusiasm for audience engagement and for exploring Wordsworth’s life and work in new ways, demonstrated in initial ideas of their proposed project.

Send the application as an attached Word file to Jeff Cowton (J.Cowton@wordsworth.org.uk) and  Dr Jennifer Orr (Jennifer.orr@ncl.ac.uk) no later than 31 October 2019. The successful candidate will be informed within two weeks.

Stephen Copley Research Report: Jonathan Taylor on Alexander Runciman

This report is by Jonathan Taylor (University of Surrey), a recipient of the Stephen Copley Research grant. Find out how to apply for this BARS award here.

My Stephen Copley Research Award funded a trip to Edinburgh to consult the National Records of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery’s collections of letters and drawings by the painter Alexander Runciman (1736-85).

What interests me about Runciman — who is best known as the creator of the first (now sadly lost) decorative scheme based on James Macpherson’s Ossian epics — is his heroic treatment of female characters from the epic tradition. Whereas other late eighteenth-century artists (most notably Angelica Kauffman) had pioneered painters’ treatment of women as heroic subjects, they also tended to circumscribe the heroism of female epic characters, such as Andromache and Penelope, to passive acts of suffering and endurance. In several instances, Runciman went a step further, representing the suffering of female epic heroes not as something in which they have no agency, but something that they bravely elect to undergo. This is most obviously the case in Runciman’s depiction of Corgan Carglâ, a hunter from Macpherson’s Ossian, who chooses to be imprisoned in a cave for life rather than submit to her husband’s murderer.

Before my research trip, I thought I had discerned the origins of Runciman’s contemporarily unusual approach to female heroism in preparatory drawings for a rendering of the death of Dido, which appear to give Virgil’s tragic heroine more and more agency in successive sketches. The truth was, as I found out, both more interesting and more confusing. The drawings (held by the Scottish National Gallery) do gradually shift away from the passive and sentimental renderings of Dido that were popular with earlier eighteenth-century artists, in which the queen typically appears to have died as the direct result of her abandonment by Aeneas, rather than (in any obvious way) by her own hand. However, while what appears to be the final drawing shows Dido very much alive, clutching the sword with which she will end her own life and evidently weighing her options — an artistic choice which emphasises her agency and tacitly associates her with the Classical tradition of tragic but heroic suicide populated by figures including Seneca and Lucan — the painting itself rows back on these innovations and offers a conventional portrayal of Dido as a passive and inert victim.

National Records of Scotland

A year later, as I discovered in a letter held at the National Records of Scotland, Runciman was contemplating an even more drastic return to the gendered conventions of male heroism and female passivity that typify the epic. His original plan for what he would later turn into the Ossian decorative scheme at Sir John Clerk’s Penicuik House (near Edinburgh) was an uncompromisingly manly and conventionally heroic scheme based upon the life of Achilles. The only female character Runciman proposed for this series was Achilles’ mother, Thetis, whose agency, as Runciman’s detailed description makes clear, would not even have extended to untying her own sandals.

Evidently, Runciman later opted for the Ossian illustrations, which put Corban Carglâ centre stage, but even here, he agonised over whether to represent the imprisoned hunter as an awe-inspiring figure in her own right, or as a damsel in distress saved by Macpherson’s epic hero Fingal. Two preparatory drawings (also at the Scottish National Gallery) show Runciman wavering between these options, with a muscled and armed Fingal occupying the foreground in one and a (literally towering) Corban Carglâ dominating the frame (with Fingal relegated to the background and looking up awe-struck) in the other.

My findings have made me reflect upon external factors that may have caused Runciman’s apparent flip-flopping, what his prevarication may tell us more broadly about the difficulties or potential repercussions of portraying female heroes during the Romantic period, and the particular problems he may have faced as a male artist championing this model of heroism. I am very grateful to BARS for funding what has been a very productive few days of confusion!

By Jonathan Taylor (University of Surrey)

Applications Open! Nineteenth-Century Matters Fellowship: University of Surrey 2019-20


Nineteenth-Century Matters is an initiative jointly run by the British Association for Romantic Studies and the British Association for Victorian Studies. Now in its fourth year, it is aimed at postdoctoral researchers who have completed their PhD, but are not currently employed in a full-time academic post. Nineteenth-Century Matters offers unaffiliated early career researchers a platform from which to organise professionalization workshops and research seminars on a theme related to nineteenth-century studies, and relevant to the host institution’s specialisms. The focus should be on the nineteenth century, rather than on Romanticism or Victorianism.

For the coming academic year Nineteenth-Century Matters will provide the successful applicant with affiliation in the form of a Visiting Fellowship at the University of Surrey. The fellowship will run from 23 September 2019- 1 September 2020.

The successful fellow will particularly benefit from and contribute towards the University’s expertise in nineteenth-century literature, Neo-Victorian literature, theatre, mobility studies, and the visual arts. They will also be encouraged to become involved in the activities of the Victoriographies research group, a collection of researchers in the School of Literature and Languages and curators at Watts Gallery whose research focuses on the nineteenth century. Fellows will also benefit from the University’s close connections with Watts Gallery, that houses an impressive collection of nineteenth-century paintings and sculptures produced by the artist G.F. Watts and his wife, the designer and artist, Mary Watts.

This fellowship includes a University of Surrey e-mail address, and access to its library and electronic resources for the full academic year. There is no requirement to live in the Surrey area during this time. The primary purpose of the fellowship is to enable the successful applicant to continue with an affiliation and remain part of the academic community. It is a non-stipendiary post, and the fellow will need to support themselves financially during the academic year. The fellowship will, however, include up to three week’s accommodation at the University over the summer, where the fellow will be free to develop their research and make the most of Surrey’s archives and special collections. The fellow will also be financially supported by BAVS and BARS with the organising of a research and professionalization event on a theme relevant to Surrey’s collections and/or research interests. It is expected that the fellow will acknowledge BARS, BAVS, and the University of Surrey in any publications that arise from their position.

Application Process

Applicants should submit a CV with a two-page proposal of their research topic and event, and explain why they would benefit from the fellowship. These should be sent to Briony Wickes (briony.wickes@kcl.ac.uk) and Paul Stephens (paul.stephens@lincoln.ox.ac.uk).

The deadline for applications is Thursday August 22nd 2019 (23:59 GMT). Applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by Thursday August 29th 2019.

Past fellows are listed here.

Nineteenth-Century Matters Fellow: Lancaster University 2018-19

Applications are now open for a Visiting Fellowship at Lancaster University with Nineteenth-Century Matters.

Outline

Nineteenth-Century Matters is an initiative jointly run by the British Association for Romantic Studies and the British Association for Victorian Studies. Now in its third year, it is aimed at postdoctoral researchers who have completed their PhD, but are not currently employed in a full-time academic post. Nineteenth-Century Matters offers unaffiliated early career researchers a platform from which to organise professionalization workshops and research seminars on a theme related to nineteenth-century studies, and relevant to the host institution’s specialisms. The focus should be on the nineteenth century, rather than on Romanticism or Victorianism.

For the coming academic year Nineteenth-Century Matters will provide the successful applicant with affiliation in the form of a Visiting Fellowship at Lancaster University. The fellowship will run from 1 September 2018-August 31 2019. The successful fellow will particularly benefit from and contribute towards the University’s expertise in digital and environmental humanities. They will also be encouraged to actively contribute to events being planned by the Research Centre for Culture, Landscape and Environment.

This fellowship includes a Lancaster University e-mail address, and access to its library and electronic resources for the full academic year. There is no requirement to live in the Lancaster area during this time. The primary purpose of the fellowship is to enable the successful applicant to continue with an affiliation and remain part of the academic community. It is a non-stipendiary post, and the fellow will need to support themselves financially during the academic year. The fellowship will, however, include a week’s accommodation at the University over the summer, where the fellow will be free to develop their research and make the most of Lancaster’s archives (particularly those held in the Ruskin Library) and digital resources. The fellow will also be financially supported by BAVS and BARS with the organising of a research and professionalization event on a theme relevant to Lancaster’s collections and/or research interests. It is expected that the fellow will acknowledge BARS, BAVS, and Lancaster University in any publications that arise from their position.

Application Process

Applicants should submit a CV with a two-page proposal of their research topic and event, and explain why they would benefit from the fellowship. These should be sent to Matthew Ward (m.ward.1@bham.ac.uk) and Joanna Taylor (j.e.taylor1@lancaster.ac.uk). The deadline for applications is July 31 2018.

 

 

 

Call for Applications: Communications Fellows for the K-SAA

Please see the following notice below from the Keats-Shelley Association of America (K-SAA)

The K-SAA is inviting applications for two part-time Communications Fellows for a period of one year, beginning June 2018. Fellows will assist the Director of Communications and the K-SAA Secretary in engaging with, and creating content for, academic and non-academic communities interested in the Romantic period – especially those interested in the second generation of Romantic authors.

Applicants should have an interest in Romantic literature and should have previously used social media for academic/professional purposes. They will be able to demonstrate their ability to write and edit academic blog content similar to what is currently presented on the K-SAA site. Experience using WordPress and editing websites is desirable.

To apply: please send an academic CV and personal statement of no more than two pages explaining why you are best placed to undertake the duties below to info@k-saa.org by June 5 2018.

Duties:

  • To create engaging and informative online content designed to promote the understanding and celebration of the lives and works of the Keats-Shelley circles, most broadly understood. Fellows will be knowledgeable and passionate about the Romantic period, especially the second generation of Romantic writers
  • To set up regular appropriate content for the Twitter and Facebook feeds, applying relevant experience of using social media for professional purposes
  • To respond to enquiries on social media
  • To use WordPress to publish and edit blog posts for the K-SAA Blog
  • To design and curate these blog posts, including soliciting authors from the academic and non-academic communities and other interested parties
  • To develop the success of the above initiatives and to research further potential developments, and be willing to work independently and to maintain professional communications at all times
  • To attend regular Skype meetings with the Director of Communications Anna Mercer and occasionally the K-SAA Secretary, Kate Singer, and be able to work collaboratively with colleagues to share ideas and modify technique(s) accordingly
  • To learn and develop individual knowledge of the K-SAA and to create content that supports the association’s aims

Communication Fellows will be expected to work 5 hours per week for an annual stipend of $750 USD.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr. Anna Mercer (mercerannam@gmail.com).

Report from BARS/Wordsworth Trust Early Career Fellow 2018

Dr Emily Bell is a BARS/Wordsworth Trust Fellow, living in Grasmere and collaborating with the Wordsworth Trust, researching the relationship between Wordsworth and the village community. You can follow her on Twitter (@EmilyJLB).

 

                               Thou art pleased,

Pleased with thy crags and woody steeps, thy Lake,

Its one green island and its winding shores;

The multitude of little rocky hills,

Thy Church and cottages of mountain stone

Clustered like stars some few, but single most,

And lurking dimly in their shy retreats,

Or glancing at each other cheerful looks

Like separated stars with clouds between.

(‘Home at Grasmere’, lines 117-25)

 

From March to early April I am living on Wordsworth’s doorstep in Grasmere, with a view of Dove Cottage out of my window. Behind my house, villagers and tourists alike go to watch the sun set over the lake, with its ‘one green island and its winding shores’. Every day, rural and international communities come together in this beautiful part of the world. The Wordsworth Trust has its own lively community of trainees and staff, turning Dove Cottage into a welcoming spot of warmth in the changeable March weather.

 

 

During my residency here, I am exploring this idea of ‘community’ and, specifically, neighbourliness. I am doing this by interviewing people who live in the village, collecting oral history about their relationship with the Wordsworth Trust and Dove Cottage itself, and examining how that might have changed over time. The aim is to bring oral testimony together with archival research focused on exploring Wordsworth’s own relationships with his neighbours in the village, the history of the Trust, and the development of the museum. I am also interested in comparing other eighteenth and nineteenth-century authors, how they engaged with the people around them, and the influence these relationships may have had on their posthumous reputations.

Wordsworth’s appreciation of the natural beauty of the Lake District, and Grasmere particularly, has been well studied and celebrated. What I am probing are his day-to-day interactions with the people of the area with whom, for example, he volunteered for the local regiment in 1803 (terrifying poor Mary and Dorothy). So far I have delved into newspaper scrapbooks and other items in the collections held by the Trust in the museum and the Jerwood Centre. I have also had insightful conversations with the incredibly friendly staff of the Trust and people in Grasmere, who have shared anecdotes from their friends and family, as well as their own experiences living alongside Dove Cottage.

 

 

The outcome of this fellowship will, I hope, be a rich account of the Trust’s position in the community that will feed into the 2020 ‘Reimagining Wordsworth’ project. It will draw attention to the importance of the local to Wordsworth and Dove Cottage, complement what we already know about his poetry with evidence of his interactions with specific individuals, analyse contemporary perceptions to expose the basis of Wordsworth’s reputation in the local community today, and provide opportunities to enhance and expand this relationship ahead of Wordsworth’s 250th birthday.

A bit more about Emily and her research background:

Emily completed her PhD at the University of York in 2017, and she is an Associate of the Department of English and Related Literature and the Centre for Lifelong Learning at York. Her thesis, ‘Changing Representations of Charles Dickens, 1857-1939’, examined Dickensian biographical discourse and its role in the author’s literary legacy, moving from Dickens’s speeches and journalism to biographies and reminiscences, commemorative acts by friends and family, and the formation of literary societies. Her on-going research centres on the role of communities and circles in literary identity formation in the nineteenth century, during authors’ lives and afterwards.

Research Fellowship Opportunity: The Armstrong Browning Library

An opportunity for those researching nineteenth-century literature and history, via Holly Spofford:

The Armstrong Browning Library (ABL), located on the campus of Baylor University, is a world-renowned research center and rare-collections library devoted to nineteenth-century studies.

The ABL has established a Three-Month Research Fellowship for leading scholars from outside Baylor. Prof. Dino Felluga (English, Purdue University) served as the inaugural fellow during fall 2017, and Prof. Clare Simmons (English, Ohio State University) will serve as the fall 2018 fellow.

Applications are being accepted for fall 2019, and are due by Sept. 7, 2018. $28,000 will be transferred directly to the Fellow’s home institution in three equal installments to help cover expenses incurred by this Research Fellowship. In addition, the Fellow’s initial travel to, and final return journey from, Baylor will be covered, as will lodging in well-furnished, high-quality apartments. Finalists will be notified by Oct. 10, 2018, and will be interviewed before the end of October.

Inaugural BARS Chawton House Travel Bursary Awarded

The executive committee of the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) and the trustees of Chawton House are delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural BARS Chawton House Travel Bursary: Francesca Kavanagh, who is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne. Her research project examines the production of spaces of intimacy in practices of letter-writing, annotation, and commonplacing.

All scholars working on Romantic-Period women’s writing are eligible to apply for this scheme.  The BARS Executive Committee has established this award in order to help fund expenses incurred through travel to, and accommodation near, Chawton House Library in Hampshire, up to a maximum of £500.

Recipients are asked to submit a short report to the BARS Executive Committee, for publication on its website, and to acknowledge BARS and Chawton House in their doctoral thesis and/or any publication arising from the research trip. Please join us in congratulating Francesca on her award.

– Daniel Cook, University of Dundee

Stephen Copley Research Awards 2018 – the winners

The BARS Executive Committee has established these bursaries in order to support postgraduate and early-career research within the UK. They are intended to help fund expenses incurred through travel to libraries and archives necessary to the student’s research. As anticipated, this year we received a large number of applications, many of which were of a very high quality indeed. Please do join us in congratulating the very worthy winners. Romanticism is alive and kicking, we’re pleased to say!

  • Eleanor Bryan (University of Lincoln)
  • Mary Chadwick (University of Huddersfield)
  • Lauren Christie (University of Dundee)
  • Octavia Cox (University of Oxford)
  • Valerie Derbyshire (University of Sheffield)
  • Eva-Charlotta Mebius (University College London)
  • Hannah Moss (University of Sheffield)
  • Harrie Neal (University of York)
  • Emma Probett (University of Leicester)
  • Lieke van Deinsen (Radboud University Nijmegen)

Once they have completed their research trips each winner will write a brief report on their projects. These will be published on the website and circulated through our social media. For more information about the bursaries, including reports from past winners, please visit our website.

– Daniel Cook
Bursaries Officer, BARS
University of Dundee

Report from the BARS/Wordsworth Trust Early Career Fellow 2018

Dr Lucy Linforth arrived at Dove Cottage just a few days ago to take up her position as the BARS/Wordsworth Trust Early Career Fellow. She will spend the next month living, researching and collaborating with others in Grasmere. Here’s an initial report from Lucy: 

I am visiting Dove Cottage in Grasmere for the month of February, for the BARS and Wordsworth Trust Fellowship, during which time I will be exploring Wordsworth’s material world, including his home and the objects housed there, as well as the collections held by The Wordsworth Trust in both the Wordsworth Museum and at the Jerwood Centre. Though Wordsworth is most often admired as a poet of the mind, my research will focus upon Wordsworth’s poetry and the material world: his fascination with ‘the life / In common things’, a fascination which appears so often in his poetry (The Prelude 1.117-8). Over the coming weeks, it is my hope that I will be able to suggest opportunities for connections between poems and objects at Dove Cottage, and which may ultimately result in an invitation to visitors to engage with both objects and poetry in new ways. For my first two days here, I’ve been enjoying a thorough exploration of Dove Cottage, a visit to the Wordsworth Museum and exhibitions, and I have also spent time at the Jerwood Centre, which contains a vast repository of letters, books, paintings, and artefacts. Owing to the thick layer of snow which has fallen since I’ve arrived here at Grasmere, the smoke curling upwards from the chimneys at Dove Cottage only adds to the welcoming feel of the cottage, warm and homely amidst the cold but beautiful snow-covered hills all around.

 

Lucy standing with Senior Guide Hazel Clarke overlooking Dove Cottage on the first day of her fellowship

 

A bit more about Lucy and her research background:

I have recently completed my PhD at the University of Edinburgh. My doctoral thesis, titled ‘Fragments of the Past: Walter Scott, Material Antiquarianism, and Writing as Preservation’, explored the antiquarian materiality of Scott’s fiction. Working closely with the material collections exhibited at Abbotsford, I explored Scott’s participation in contemporary antiquarian practices such as collection and conservation, and suggested that Scott’s fictions frequently acted as textual extensions of his material practices to offer spaces in which the material past could to be preserved and exhibited. My research interests lie in the material culture of late eighteenth and nineteenth-century literature, including Gothic literature, antiquarianism, graveyard poetry, and ballads. I currently work as an Education Assistant at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and also as a Heritage Engagement Assistant at Abbotsford, the Home of Sir Walter Scott in the Scottish Borders.

– Lucy Linforth