BARS Blog

BARS Blog

News and Commentary from the British Association for Romantic Studies

CfP: Community and its Limits, 1745­–1832

Please see below for a Call for Papers for a really interesting-sounding conference on Community and its Limits, which will be held at the University of Leeds in September next year.

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Community and its Limits, 1745­–1832

Friday 4 – Sunday 6 September 2015
University of Leeds
arts.leeds.ac.uk/community

Plenary speakers: Professor Murray Pittock & Dr Felicity James

Please send 250-word proposals for 20-minute papers to community.conference@leeds.ac.uk by Tuesday 31 March 2015.

A community needs limits: someone has to be in, and someone has to be out. What defined the limits of cultural communities—communities of writers and radicals, of artists and improvers, of faith and taste—in the long Romantic period? The theme of community has recently been powerfully invigorating for studies of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century literature and culture. What limits are there to that approach?

The School of English at the University of Leeds hosts this three-day conference on the discursive, affective, and conceptual limits of community. We welcome papers that reconstruct the making, preservation, and breaking of group identities in Enlightenment and Romantic Britain, and papers investigating communities’ temporal and spatial boundaries. Equally, delegates might reflect on critical methods for the study of community. Are ‘communities’ different from coteries, factions, or circles, for instance? We are especially interested in the prickly side of community: in papers that examine how creative and political communities could succeed or fail in negotiating discord.

Topics might include (but are not limited to):
· Metropolitan, provincial, and rural sociability
· Literary and artistic schools and cliques
· National and local communities
· Gendered communities
· Corresponding societies; literary and philosophical societies
· Improvement; radicalism; utopianism
· Religious communities and Dissenting academies
· Libraries, reading practices, and book history
· Periodical ‘wars’ and magazine culture
· Patronage and benevolent societies
· Scapegoats; conspiracies; underground sects and criminal gangs
· Leisure and consumption; assembly rooms; fashion
· Community with non-humans; community and the sublime
· Theoretical approaches to the ethics or politics of community