New Romantic Textualities Special Issue

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Romantic Textualities are pleased to publish a special issue on The Minerva Press and the Literary Marketplace, guest edited by Elizabeth Neiman and Christina Morin, after an extended hiatus of some three years.

Excerpt from the editorial:

Romantic Textualities has enjoyed a long, fruitful association with research into William Lane’s Minerva Press, whose heyday spanned the 1780s to the 1820s. any of the journal’s early issues shared bibliographical research that emerged from collaborative projects between Cardiff and Paderborn Universities. These partnerships resulted in the publication of two bibliographies (The English Novel, 1770–1829 [2000] and 1830–1836 [2003]) and a database (British Fiction, 1800–1829 [2004]). As the most prolifiic publisher of fiction during the Romantic period, Minerva figured substantially in our research, demonstrating that the early history of the novel was very much the history of the Lane’s press. Our bibliographic updates were supplemented in Romantic Textualities by standalone essays and reports on the Minerva Press, but such items tended to be occasional pieces. So, it is with much satisfaction that we now present readers with an entire issue dedicated to Minerva and its contribution to the Romantic literary marketplace.

For more details of the issue and to read this excellent collection of articles, click here.

Jane Austen Society UK Graduate and Early Career Researcher Essay Prize 2020

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This prize is inaugurated in 2020 by the Jane Austen Society to promote scholarship on Jane Austen among postgraduate and early career researchers at universities in the United Kingdom. It is supported by donations to the Society’s Jane Austen 250 Fund.

The prize is designed to promote scholarship on Jane Austen by Graduate and Early Career Researchers in any discipline at universities across the United Kingdom.

First prize is £200, and also includes publication of the winning essay, and one year’s free membership to the Jane Austen Society.

Judges:

Professor Joe Bray, University of Sheffield

Professor Emma Cleary, Uppsala University

David Richardson, Trustee of the Jane Austen Society

Deadline for submissions 31 December 2020.

Please circulate the poster and share the link with post-graduates and ELCs currently working on Jane Austen.
Full details and guidelines on the Jane Austen Society UK website here.

BARS Digital Events Series 2020/21 – Call for Contributions

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The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) would like to formally launch its BARS Digital Events 2020/21 series. We envisage the BARS Digital Events Series to be broad-ranging and we hope it will reflect the interests of our members. The series draws upon the collaborative spirit of the Romantics, fostering a convivial atmosphere through discussions of literature, history and culture. Through scholarly roundtables and Q&A sessions, the series will review what Romanticism means, recent developments in the field, and consider how it is still relevant today. The discussions will not just celebrate Romantic writing but will invite participants to turn a critical eye on established historical narratives and the study of our period in general.

To launch our series, we have planned three roundtables entitled ‘Perspectives on the Field’, ‘Digital Editions’, and ‘Teaching Romanticism’. Following these, we are gladly opening up the call for contributions. 

The Digital Events committee invites proposals from scholars of the Romantic period to present an individual paper or a curated roundtable session as part of this BARS Digital Events Series. These proposals will be to feature in the 2021 series. We envisage the first 2021 session to be in late January or early February. From then on, events will be roughly once per month. 

Proposals may be on topics including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Ecocritical and environmental studies
  • Romanticism and disability studies
  • Bicentenary celebrations and discussions
  • Romanticism and pedagogy
  • Romanticism and gender studies 
  • Digital Romanticism and online collections and resources 
  • Special editions and editing
  • Romanticism and race
  • Author studies
  • Romanticism and the gothic
  • Romanticism in the 21st century
  • Romanticism and mobility
  • The relationship between academia, heritage sites, museums, and libraries 

Interdisciplinary panels are welcomed. BARS is committed to offering a platform for early career scholars alongside more established researchers. All events must include at least one PG/ECR speaker. If you are submitting an individual paper proposal, the BARS Digital Events Committee will ensure that a PG/ECR speaker is assigned to your event. Please indicate if a member of your panel will act as chair, or if you would like the BARS Digital Events Committee to assign a chair from the BARS Executive.

Events are 80 minutes and will take place via Zoom at 5pm UK time on a weekday. Events will either contain 3-4 speakers in a ‘roundtable’ format (7 mins per talk, then discussion amongst speakers, then Q&A from audience), or 2-3 longer papers followed by a Q&A. In order to promote inclusivity, and to be of particular appeal to postgraduate researchers and unwaged scholars, the events will be free and open to all. 

We are all aware that opportunities to meet with colleagues and friends face-to-face are restricted and many of us have missed a summer of conferencing. The BARS Digital Events Series will foster and support new conversations online and provide an accessible format for discussion. We hope the digital format will be an appropriate method by which to continue the missions of BARS: to provide a voice for Romantic Studies within higher education and more generally and to advocate for the importance and interest of the Romantic period by providing platforms for all scholars for the fostering, dissemination and promotion of excellent research.

Please note: all sessions will take place on Zoom and will be recorded.

How to apply:

Please send your proposal to BARS.DigitalEvents@gmail.com by Friday 13 November 2020. 

We expect all applicants to be members of BARS and are always extremely happy to welcome new members! For more information about the benefits of being a member and how to apply, please visit our website.

Individual Proposals:

Please send a paper proposal of less than 300 words detailing the content of your paper. Your final paper should not exceed 15 minutes in length.

Roundtables:

Please send a proposal for a roundtable of less than 600 words, including all speakers (3-5 individuals). An example format would be: 40 minutes of presentations, 10 minutes discussion, 30 minutes Q&A. The papers should be connected by one core subject for discussion and/or a central question for the panel to answer.

Events to be scheduled following this open call will begin in early 2021. The BARS Digital Events Committee has arranged three pre-organised sessions to begin the series. We welcome feedback on these events – please do get in touch if you have any comments. 

Details of the first session, ‘Perspectives on the Field’, can be found here.

BARS Digital Events Committee

Amanda Blake Davis

Colette Davies

Francesca Killoran

Anna Mercer

Matthew Sangster 

Contact: BARS.DigitalEvents@gmail.com
Twitter: @BARS_DigiEvents 
Facebook: BARS.DigiEvents

BARS Digital Events: ‘Romantic Studies in 2020: Perspectives on the Field’

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The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) is delighted to announce the first session of our new Digital Events programme. Please join us on Thursday 5 November at 5pm GMT on Zoom for a roundtable discussion between Professor James Chandler, Professor Ian Duncan, Dr Katie Garner, Professor Essaka Joshua, and Professor Fiona Stafford on the topic of ‘Romantic Studies in 2020: Perspectives on the Field’, chaired by BARS Vice President Dr Gillian Dow. During this 80-minute session, our guests will present perspectives on their current research and teaching before discussing the challenges faced by scholars and students of Romanticism in 2020, after which the audience will be invited to take part in a moderated Q&A session.

You must register to attend this session. Please register on Eventbrite, here.

About our Guests:

  • Professor James Chandler is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago, General Editor of Cambridge University Press’s Studies in Romanticism series, and the author of several publications on Romantic literature and politics, including England in 1819: The Politics of Literary Culture and the Case of Romantic Historicism (1998) and An Archaeology of Sympathy (2013). 
  • Professor Ian Duncan is the Florence Green Bixby Chair in English at the University of California, Berkeley, General Editor of the Collected Works of James Hogg, Co-Editor of the Edinburgh Critical Studies in Romanticism series, and the author of numerous publications on Romanticism and the novel, including his monographs Modern Romance and Transformations of the Novel: The Gothic, Scott, Dickens (1992), Scott’s Shadow (2007), and Human Forms (2019). 
  • Dr Katie Garner is a lecturer in nineteenth-century literature at the University of St Andrews, Reviews Editor for Romanticism, and the author of various publications on Romanticism and Arthurian writing, including Romantic Women Writers and Arthurian Legend: The Quest for Knowledge (2017). She is currently working on a Carnegie-funded project, Romantic Underwater Worlds and the Literary Imagination.
  • Professor Essaka Joshua is an Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame, a Fellow of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, and the author of numerous publications on Romantic and Victorian literature with a specialisation in Disability Studies, including her forthcoming monograph with Cambridge University Press, Physical Disability in British Romantic Literature (November 2020).
  • Professor Fiona Stafford is a Fellow of Somerville College, University of Oxford, an expert in Romantic literature, and the author of several publications on Romantic poetry, Scottish and Irish literature, the novel, and place and nature writing, including Local Attachments (2010) and The Long, Long Life of Trees (2016).

The BARS Digital Events Series aims to foster a sense of community during these difficult and isolating times. We hope to provide a global gathering of students and scholars across disciplines to discuss new perspectives, publications, topics, and trends within Romantic studies. Our three initial sessions will focus upon developments within Romantic studies in 2020, from perspectives on the field to digital teaching and editions, after which we will host sessions from our public Call for Contributions.

Twitter: @BARS_DigiEvents

Facebook: BARS.DigiEvents

Contact: BARS.DigitalEvents@gmail.com

Assistant / PhD Position in English or American Literature

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The Institute of English Studies at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, is looking to hire a full-time assistant / doctoral student for a four-year teaching and research position, with the possibility of a fifth year. The candidate will be expected to teach between two and four hours a semester, and write a dissertation under the supervision of Prof. Patrick Vincent.

Profile

Candidates should have completed an MA degree in English or Comparative Literature, or be near completion. They should have an excellent track record in literary studies and a demonstrated ability to write in English. They should also be highly organized, able to work independently, and passionate about literature.

We especially encourage candidates with a demonstrated research interest in one of the following, or similar areas: the long Romantic period; Wordsworth; Byron; Romantic women writers; 19th century American literature (especially Thoreau and the Transcendentalists); travel literature; cultural exchanges between Great Britain, Europe and America; cultural history of the Alps; literature and political theory; literature and environment; 20th century American poetry.

Responsibilities

Half of our assistants’ workload is dedicated to the research and writing of a doctoral thesis. They are required to teach one or two sections of our first-year “Literature and Writing Workshop” per semester (2/h week), which focuses on close analysis of texts and composition. They are also expected to participate in light administrative duties such as book orders and planning of academic and social events.

Conditions

Save in exceptional circumstances, candidates cannot apply more than five years after obtaining their MA. The position is renewed yearly, based on the successful fulfilment of work duties and the satisfactory progress of the thesis. The starting monthly salary is CHF 5’381.50.

Workplace 

The Institute of English Studies at the University of Neuchâtel is a small but vibrant community of researchers, teachers, and students devoted to the study of English linguistics and literature. We offer BA- and MA-level programs in English, and we participate in the Swiss CUSO doctoral school. For more on the Institute, click here.

Neuchâtel is a pleasant town in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, tucked in between a lake and the Jura mountains. For more on the University and town of Neuchâtel, click here.

Application

  • a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position, and indicating your research interests
  • a CV, with an academic reference who can be contacted
  • an academic transcript
  • a writing sample (e.g. an academic essay or, if relevant, a published article)

Please submit your application before 15 November 2020

For questions and to submit your application, please write to Patrick Vincent (patrick.vincent@unine.ch)

Romantic Circles Reviews and Receptions

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Romantic Circles Reviews and Receptions is delighted to announce the publication of reviews of no fewer than ten new books – on Romanticism and psychoanalysis, Napoleonic Italy, Irish, Welsh, and English Romanticism, the gothic, and much more besides – along with a roundtable on Romantic scholarship and teaching, Covid-19, and uprising with Carmen Faye Mathes (University of Regina), Rebecca Schneider (University of Colorado Boulder), and Anna Shajirat (Quincy University), hosted by RC R&R editors Alex Gatten (University of Connecticut) and Lenora Hansen (New York University).

Please click here for all of this excellent material.

And should you wish to have your book reviewed in RC R&R, to review a book, or to propose ideas for other kinds of content, then email Ross Wilson (rmw24@cam.ac.uk) in the first instance.

CFP – Black Studies & Romanticism Virtual Conference

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Sponsored by the Mount Holyoke English Department & the Critical Social Thought Program
June 24-25, 2021

Hortense Spillers suggests that a new “grammar” for thinking and instigating Black liberation from white history is necessary. With this conference we offer a platform, one virtual but intimate, for people interested in seeking what new grammars we in the eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and present centuries need to learn from Black Studies in our period-bound disciplines. Our hope for the conference is that it will address the white power structures that support anti-blackness in the larger world and in the field of Romanticism. Romanticism entails a history of promised but failed revolutions, a history that terrorizes as much as it transforms. While the field has long been shaped by histories and discourses of whiteness and patriarchy, this conference avows and solicits new and ongoing scholarship on race, anti-slavery, abolition, and indigeneity.

In that regard, we hope the conference also continues the conversations about the future, if there is one, of Romanticism. We hope to press forward with conversations about Romanticism and anti-racist studies in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-centuries already underway, to work collaboratively to find new grammars and narratives, and to press mutually on the theoretical foundations of each period. Such a project might include looking at abolitionary and anti-racist discourses within the period, drawing on contemporary critical race theory, and contemplating anti-blackness in modern scholarly methods. We know that no future is possible without a restructuring of the field that decenters whiteness and systemic racism. Our other hope, then, is that by undertaking the work of this conference we can bring together a range of scholars, both inside and outside of Romanticism, to ensure a vitality of voices are heard with work that takes the form of solidarity and collective action.

What new narratives might nineteenth-century, eighteenth-century, and romantic-era texts furnish to develop our own anti-racist future? How is Black Studies necessary to rethinking those fields in the development of this future? How might Black Studies show a history in this constructed period not constituted by whiteness? In other words, how might Black Studies help us as we reconfigure Romanticism as a site of vital contemporary scholarship, pedagogy, and activism? How might Romanticism and Black Studies meet in other ways, in other speculative futures?

Conference papers and panels will be punctuated by three plenaries. The first will feature Bakary Diaby (Skidmore), Annette Joseph-Gabriel (U Michigan), and Nicole Aljoe (Northeastern) in conversation; the second, Eugenia Zuroski (McMaster), Kerry Sinanan (UTSA), and Matt Sandler (Columbia) in conversation; and the third will feature a talk by Zakiyyah Iman Jackson (University of Southern California).

Topics are open but might include papers or think pieces on Romantic-era texts and Black Studies writers such as C. L. R. James, Fred Moten, Saidiya V. Hartman, Frank B. Wilderson III, Christina Sharpe, Cedric Robinson, Hortense J. Spillers, Frantz Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, R. A. Judy, Calvin L. Warren, Jared Sexton, Dionne Brand, Marquis Bey, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Achille Mbembe, Jennifer C. Nash, Keguro Macharia, M. NourbeSe Philip, David Marriott, Tiffany Lethabo King, Joshua Bennett, and Zakiyyah Iman Jackson, among others. We welcome pieces that explore Black Studies in relation to transatlantic, indigenous, transgender, nonbinary, queer, feminist, disability, abolitionist, and decolonization scholarship, pedagogy, and activism. We especially welcome papers on underread or unknown Romantic-era authors, authors from the longer nineteenth century or Black Atlantic, and authors outside the time period who nonetheless connect to it. We encourage papers, presentations, and performances of creative scholarship, in any way you’d like to define it.

We’ll ask participants either to record or post papers, performances, presentations, or collaborations a week before the conference. (Individual papers should aim for 15 minutes; collaborations might be longer.) There will be space for online commenting, but submissions will be grouped and then discussed synchronously at the conference.

We will also have a special, separate forum designed to showcase undergraduate work done this year on these topics. If you’d like to have your students participate in some way, please indicate your interest in your proposal.

Selected papers, presentations, and other work will be collected in a special issue of Romanticism on the Net.

Proposals of 350-500 words should be sent to black-studies-romanticism-2021@mtholyoke.edu by December 15th. Details on acceptance will follow shortly thereafter. Please send any and all questions to the conference co-organizers, Kate Singer (Mount Holyoke College) and Chris Washington (Francis Marion University).

On This Day in 1820: What Did Byron Really Look Like?

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The BARS ‘On This Day’ Series celebrates the 200th anniversary of literary and historical events of the Romantic period. Want to contribute a future post? Get in touch.

Today we are delighted to share a post co-authored by Geoffrey Bond (former Chairman of the Byron Society) and Christine Kenyon Jones (King’s College London). This post marks 200 years since Byron wrote a letter in October 1820 about the gossip suggesting he had been seen in London when he was actually thousands of miles away. It also celebrates the publication of their new book (click link to get your own copy!): Dangerous to Show: Byron and His Portraits. Enjoy!

On this day in 1820

‘A new ghost story for you’[1]

What did Byron really look like?

In October 1820, in Ravenna, doppelgangers were much on Byron’s mind. His publisher John Murray had told him that someone had just bet 100 guineas that they had seen Byron in London. And this was nothing new. In 1810, Byron told Murray, when he had actually been at Patras, he had apparently been encountered twice in St James’s Street, London by his schoolfellow Robert Peel and his brother — and had also been ‘seen by somebody to write down my name amongst the Enquirers after the King’s health – then attacked by insanity’. 

And just recently, Byron added, he had met a man at Ferrara who asked him if he knew Lord Byron. ‘I told him no – (no one knows himself you know) “then” says he – “I do – I met him at Naples the other day”.’

What was it about Byron that made people feel they knew him and what he looked like, even when they actually didn’t? The question of how he really appeared, and why he seemed both so individual and so chameleon-like, was one of the main motivations for Geoffrey Bond and me when we were writing our new book: Dangerous to Show: Byron and His Portraits (just published by Unicorn). 

Verbally, Byron’s poems are full of his personality, of course. And visually there seems to have been a combination of strong, individual facial features with a set of characteristics that indicated ‘Byron’ – even when in fact the image might look nothing like him.

So in 1822 Lorenzo Bartolini spent many hours face-to-face with Byron sculpting this fine clay bust – described by Thomas Medwin as ‘an admirable likeness’.[2]

Lorenzo Bartolini, ‘Terracruda’ bust of Byron, 1822. Courtesy of Libson & Yarker.

But the only version that Byron himself ever saw of the finished sculpture was this engraving by Raphael Morghen, 

Raphael Morghen, engraving of the Bartolini bust of Byron, 1822. Private collection.

which, he complained ‘overlooked seventy’ and ‘exactly resembled a superannuated jesuit’.[3]

Similarly, this sketch from life by George Harlow in 1816 

George Harlow, profile sketch of Byron, 1815. Private collection

went through generations of engravings until it emerged looking like this 

Gottfried Engelmann, engraved frontispiece for English Bards and Scotch Reviewers (Paris: Galignani, 1819).

and was described by Marianne Hunt as ‘a great schoolboy who had been given a plain bun instead of a plum one’.[4]

Sometimes all that was needed to signify ‘Byron’ was an open shirt-collar, curly hair, strong jaw and a receding hairline,

Joseph West, ‘Lord Byron, from a sketch taken on his leaving England’, engraving, c. 1816. Private collection.
Maxim Gauci, ‘George Gordon, Lord Byron, To Chandos Leigh Esqr.’ (c.1819). Private collection.

Indeed ‘puzzle prints’ such as this one 

Henry Burn, ‘The Spirit of Byron in The Isles of Greece’, 1825. Private collection.

played on these features by inviting viewers to spot the open white collar, Byronic profile and the characteristic hairline, hidden among the vegetation of ‘The Isles of Greece’.

‘I have often seen engravings prefixed to the works of his Lordship,’ remarked Captain Forrester, who met Byron in Greece in 1824, ‘but great was my astonishment, although prepared to make a fair allowance to artists, to see before me a being bearing as little resemblance to the pretended fac-simile, as I to Apollo.’[5]

After Byron’s death, the variety became even more pronounced, and Byron in the form of memorabilia both acquired a perm, as in this ceramic plaque of 1850, 

Unknown artist, after Thomas Phillips, Staffordshire ware porcelain plaque, c. 1850. Private collection.

and became distinctly bald, as in this Staffordshire figure of the same period.

Unknown artist, Staffordshire ware bust, c.1850. Private collection.

One practical point is that Byron was very fat at some stages of his life and painfully thin at others. A lifelong dieter and possible anorexic, as a teenager Byron was observed by his neighbour Elizabeth Pigot in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, using strenuous exercise such as cricket, and ‘boiling himself’ in the hot bath, in order to reduce his portly frame by more than sixty pounds.[6]

Elizabeth Pigot, ‘The Wonderful History of Lord Byron & His Dog’, 1807. Harry Ransom Research Center, University of Texas at Austin.

And, while in 1822 William Edward West portrayed his Lordship looking decidedly chubby, 

William Edward West, Lord Byron, 1822. Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

only a year later, in this sketch by Count Alfred D’Orsay, he appeared painfully thin and weak, with his clothes hanging off him.

Count Alfred D’Orsay, Lord Byron fait à Gènes en 1823. John Murray Collection.

On the one hand, we have his mother’s opinion that the George Sanders portrait of 1807-9 was ‘very like’ Byron at twenty, 

George Sanders, Lord Byron and Robert Rushton, 1807-9. Royal Collection Trust.

and the view of his mistress Teresa Guiccioli that this miniature (taken nearly ten years later) was ‘the most striking likeness I ever saw of him’.[7]

Girolamo Prepiani, Byron, 1819. Biblioteca Classense, Ravenna.

On the other hand, however, this well-known 1813 portrait by Thomas Phillips

Thomas Phillips, Portrait of a Nobleman, c, 1818. Newstead Abbey Collections.

was declared by Byron’s best friend John Cam Hobhouse to have ‘no resemblance’ to him whatsoever.[8]

In 1816 the caricaturist George Cruikshank made Byron resemble Napoleon, with knee-breeches and a pot belly, sailing off into exile as the Emperor had done just a year earlier.

George Cruikshank, Fare Thee Well, 1816. British Museum, London.

But in the same year, George’s brother Robert Cruikshank seems to reflect a first-hand knowledge of Byron’s real clothes, when he shows and exaggerates the style of baggy trousers that Byron actually wore.

Isaac Robert Cruikshank, Lobby Loungers, 1816. Private Collection.

The illustrators of Byron’s works, including Thomas Stothard in 1814, presented Byron’s protagonists such as the Giaour, 

William Finden after Thomas Stothard, ‘The Giaour’, 1814. John Murray Collection.

clothed as a facsimile of Byron himself, as portrayed in his ‘Albanian’ costume painted the same year by Thomas Phillips.

Thomas Phillips, Nobleman in the Dress of an Albanian, 1814, Government Art Collection, Athens.

We chose as the frontispiece for our book this miniature painted in about 1817 by Girolamo Prepiani:

Girolamo Prepiani, Byron, c. 1817. Newstead Abbey Collections.

which – because it was created as an intimate portrait for Byron’s sister by an Italian artist not familiar with other images of Byron — presents him as an ordinary person rather than a celebrity or Romantic poet. It’s also unusual in showing the right side of Byron’s face, which had a smaller eye (the size of a sixpence, while the left one was said to be the size of a shilling – he was known as ‘eighteenpence’ because of this at school at Harrow). Here he looks very real and slightly sheepish, as if he might bite his nails (which he apparently did). 

But whether this is the REAL Byron, any more than the other 100-plus images shown in our book, is very much open to question. To quote Winston Churchill, (speaking of Russia in 1939), perhaps all one can say of Byron when trying to define him, either verbally or visually, is that he was ‘a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma’. 

Geoffrey Bond is a former Chairman of the Byron Society and author of Lord Byron’s Best Friends. He lives in the Nottinghamshire manor house that was Byron’s home from 1803 to 1808. 

Dr Christine Kenyon Jones is a Research Fellow in the Department of English at King’s College London. Her previous books include Kindred Brutes, and Byron: The Image of the Poet.


[1] Byron’s Letters and Journals, ed. Leslie A. Marchand, 13 vols (London: John Murray, 1973–94).

[2] Dangerous to Show, page 98.

[3] Dangerous to Show, page 98.

[4] Dangerous to Show, page 74.

[5] Dangerous to Show, page 63.

[6] Dangerous to Show, page 24.

[7] Dangerous to Show, pages29 and 92.

[8] Dangerous to Show, page 60.

New BARS Digital Events Fellow

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The BARS Online Lectures Committee are delighted to announce that Francesca Killoran, a PhD student at the University of York, has been appointed as the BARS Digital Events Fellow. We received many impressive applications and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all the applicants for their interest in and support for BARS. We look forward to sharing details of our future virtual events with you very soon! Follow us on Twitter @BARS_Official and on Facebook.

Disparate Romantics

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This year digital technology has brought us closer together than ever. With geography no object, we’re inviting experts on the Romantic era from all over the world to tell us all about the exciting things they’re up to. We’ll be exploring their thoughts on everything Wordsworthian, from poetry and artefacts to nature and the modern world, as well as finding out about their new books and research. We’ll also be investigating some of the themes raised in the free online course William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place. They’ll bring their enthusiasm, we’ll bring the questions – and we’d like to share your questions with them too!

This series is hosted by Jeff Cowton, Curator & Head of Learning at Wordsworth Grasmere, and Simon Bainbridge, Professor of Romantic Studies at the University of Lancaster.

For further information, please contact Hannah Catterall, Events Officer at Wordsworth Grasmere, at h.catterall@wordsworth.org.uk

Disparate Romantics: Jonathan Bate

8 October, 7.30pm, £5

Professor Sir Jonathan Bate, award-winning biographer, joins Jeff Cowton and Simon Bainbridge to talk about his new book Radical Wordsworth, which explores Wordsworth’s radical life as a thinker and poetical innovator. He will reflect on what he learned when making his BBC Radio 4 series ‘In Wordsworth’s Footsteps’.

Jonathan Bate CBE is Professor of English Literature at Oxford University and Foundation Professor of Environmental Humanities at Arizona State University. He is also a Senior Research Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford, where he was Provost from 2011 to 2019.

Book details here

Disparate Romantics: Stephen Gill

22 October, 7.30pm, £5

Professor Stephen Gill joins Jeff Cowton and Simon Bainbridge to discuss his new edition of William Wordsworth: A Life, what it’s like to revisit this work after nearly three decades, and how far his understanding of Wordsworth has changed.

Stephen Gill is Professor Emeritus at Oxford University and Supernumerary Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford, and a long-serving member of the Wordsworth Trust. His publications include The Salisbury Plain Poems, which inaugurated the Cornell Wordsworth Series, Wordsworth and the Victorians, Wordsworth’s Revisitings, and edited collections including William Wordsworth: Selected Poems and William Wordsworth: The Major Works.

Book details here

Disparate Romantics: Kerri Andrews

12 November, 7.30pm, £5

Dr Kerri Andrews joins Jeff Cowton and Simon Bainbridge to discuss her new book Wanderers: A History of Women Walking, which traces the footsteps of ten women over the past three hundred years who have found walking essential to their sense of themselves, as people and as writers – including Dorothy Wordsworth.

Kerri Andrews is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at Edge Hill University. She has published widely on women’s writing, especially Romantic-era authors, and is a keen hill-walker and member of Mountaineering Scotland.

Book details here

Disparate Romantics: Robert Morrison

26 November, 7.30pm, £5

Professor Robert Morrison joins Jeff Cowton and Simon Bainbridge to discuss his new book The Regency Revolution, which has been longlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association prize for the best in non-fiction historical writing.

Robert Morrison is British Academy Global Professor at Bath Spa University and Queen’s National Scholar at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He is the author of several books including The English Opium-Eater: A Biography of Thomas De Quincey.

Book details here

Disparate Romantics: Saeko Yoshikawa

3 December, 7.30pm, £5

Professor Saeko Yoshikawa joins Jeff Cowton and Simon Bainbridge to discuss her new book William Wordsworth and Modern Travel, and the history of tourism in the Lake District.

Saeko Yoshikawa is a professor in the Department of English Studies at Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan. She is also the author of William Wordsworth and the Invention of Tourism: 1820-1900.

Book details here

Disparate Romantics: Nick Mason

10 December, 7.30pm, £5

Professor Nick Mason joins Jeff Cowton and Simon Bainbridge to discuss William Wordsworth’s Guide to the Lakes and his work on the new digital edition hosted by the Romantic Circles website. He will also be talking about editing an edition of Dorothy Wordsworth’s Lakeland writings with Professors Paul Westover and Michelle Levy.

Nick Mason is Professor of English at Brigham Young University. He specializes in 18th- and 19th-century British literature (especially Romanticism), book and periodical studies, and contemporary European literature and culture.

Book details here