Romantic Circles Praxis Volume Announcement

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Romantic Circles is pleased to publish a new Praxis volume: The Sundry Faces of Nineteenth-Century Anglo-Jewish Literature, edited and introduced by Karen Weisman.

This volume brings together essays that highlight the breadth of nineteenth-century Anglo-Jewish writers’ engagement with thematic and aesthetic preoccupations. Exploring aesthetic choices of Jewish writers whose political and cultural contexts put pressure on such choices, this collection features essays by Michael Scrivener, Heidi Kaufman, Sarah Gracombe, and Meri-Jane Rochelson.

You can find these new essays here.

Call for Papers – The Hazlitt Review 14 (2021)

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The Hazlitt Society is currently inviting contributions to the fourteenth issue (2021) of The Hazlitt Review.

Articles on any aspect of William Hazlitt’s work and life, or relating Hazlitt to wider Romantic themes and circles, are welcome. Submissions should be between 4000 and 9000 words in length, and follow MHRA style.

Please email submissions by 1 March 2021 to Philipp Hunnekuhl (philipphunnekuhl@gmail.com), to whom you may also direct any queries.

The Hazlitt Society on Twitter: "Out now: The Hazlitt Review, vol. 12, ' Hazlitt and His Circle', with contributions from @DrFelicityJames, Michael  Steier, David Woodhouse, Mario Aquilina, and @saglia_dyg. For subscription  details, please


Funded Doctoral Award – Under the Volcano: Visitors to Vesuvius in the Romantic Era

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Applications are invited for an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award at the University of Oxford, in partnership with Dove Cottage, Grasmere.

Supervisory team: Professor Catriona Seth (Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages, University of Oxford) and Jeff Cowton MBE (Dove Cottage)

Wordsworth famously wrote ‘On the Departure of Sir Walter Scott from Abbotsford, for Naples’. Like the author of Ivanhoe, French-language writers, among them Staël, Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Bonstetten, Gautier… visited Naples and were inspired by the town and its surroundings. The environment drew them to evoke the sea and volcanic eruptions, to reflect on the inscription of history in the landscape, from Antiquity to contemporary upheavals. To many of them, setting foot on Neapolitan soil, things were both familiar and exotic. The port was a gateway to Africa, a hub for exchanges between North and South. The archaeological surveys in Pompeii and Herculaneum with the uncovering of frescoes and artefacts drew tourists back to their cultural heritage. The vedute painted by Volaire, John Warwick Smith and other (often less talented) painters graced many a wall throughout Northern Europe.

There is no study of Naples as viewed by late Enlightenment and Romantic French-language visitors. Noli’s 1928 Les romantiques français et l’Italie, Montègre’s massive 2011 La Rome des Français and the rich 2012 edited volume Dupaty et l’Italie des voyageurs sensibles (ed. Herman, Peeters and Pelckmans) give an indication of the importance of the French presence in Southern Italy, but also of the amount of work still to be done. There are considerable resources both in the form of ego-documents (travel notes, letters, memoirs etc.) and novels and poems. Many but by no means all have been published. Documents like letters held in Dove Cottage and the unpublished (and as yet never studied) visitors’ book kept between 1792 and 1804 by the ‘hermit’ who lived halfway up the slopes of Mount Vesuvius with its entries for hundreds of (famous and forgotten) visitors from throughout Europe offer considerable scope for research.

Under the supervision, in Oxford, of Professor Catriona Seth FBA, the student will transcribe and study these documents including the Album de l’hermite du Vésuve in order to gain invaluable elements for the thesis and to engage in a subsequent series of knowledge exchange events with Dove Cottage and the Maison de Chateaubriand, working with the curatorial and outreach teams.

There will be considerable scope for the student, who will have a good degree in French, possibly with another subject like Italian, English, Classics, History, Anthropology, Linguistics, Geography or History of Art, to shape the thesis subject according to their strengths and interests. Starting from the work on the Album, it might deal with depictions of the volcano in French and English texts of the period or look into French as a lingua franca for travellers in Italy at the time and at contemporary multilingualism. It could include prosopographical presentations of the visitors or reflect on the ‘Album’ format as a para-literary genre for instance.

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact Professor Catriona Seth with questions and for any guidance before submitting their application.

Applicants must following the guidance for those applying for studentship funding through the University of Oxford. Applications should be submitted for the DPhil in Medieval and Modern Languages by 8 January 2021.

Full details are available here.

BARS Digital Events – ‘Romantic Studies in 2020’ Recording Now Online

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The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) is delighted to announce that the first session of our new Digital Events programme is now available as a recording on YouTube.

Thank you to everyone who joined us over 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 session, our guests presented perspectives on their current research and teaching before discussing the challenges faced by scholars and students of Romanticism in 2020, after which the audience were invited to take part in a moderated Q&A session.

Read more about the speakers here.

Find out about the next session on ‘Digital Editions in Romantic Studies’.  Please join us on 26 Nov at 5pm!

CALL FOR PAPERS: Special Issue “Romanticism and the Public Humanities”

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Editor: Dr. Elizabeth Effinger (University of New Brunswick) e.effinger@unb.ca

This proposed special issue of Romantic Circles Pedagogy Commons will explore the relationship between Romanticism and the public humanities. The public humanities is an engaged scholarship that is meaningfully informed by the public, one that, as Julie Ellison and Timothy Eatman write, “contributes to the public good and yields artifacts of public and intellectual value” (“Scholarship in Public,” iv).

A core belief to this kind of pedagogy is that the public humanities works to imagine a more just future. How, as students and teachers of Romanticism, might our academic area help us dream together? What does a public humanities informed by Romantic thought look like? How does the public shape the research in our field? How have Romantic scholars turned their work to be public facing? What are the benefits and challenges in making our field and our classrooms more public facing? How can teaching Romanticism inspire community building and civic change? Can making Romanticism more public collude with the aspirations of the undercommons, the name that Fred Moten and Stefano Harney give to those scholars resisting and unworking the neoliberal and (neo)colonial university? These are some of the questions that papers in this collection might address.

The aim of this collection is to gather the stories of some of our field’s innovative scholar-teachers who are actively engaged in the praxis of the public humanities. Papers should be pedagogy-focused reflections on publicly engaged initiatives from a class that was recently taught (or will be taught). This might include coursework or projects that involve community engagement and learning outside the university (e.g., public lectures, op-eds, podcasts), that partner students with community members (e.g., non-profits, prison artivism), that develop engaged public programming or experiences (e.g., speaker series), or that establish supports for engaged scholarship (e.g., degree programs, funding opportunities, curriculum redesign).

Contributors from any stage of career are welcome, as are collaborations that feature the blended perspectives of faculty, students, community members and partners.

Articles should be between 5000-7000 words in length. Accepted finished essays will be due by August 2021. Potential Contributors should send proposals of 350 words and any questions to Dr. Elizabeth Effinger (e.effinger@unb.ca) by January 15, 2021.

Five Questions: Katherine Bergren on The Global Wordsworth

Katherine Bergren is an Associate Professor of English at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, where she teaches courses covering subjects including British Romanticism, postcolonial literature and the environmental humanities. Her research interests centre on the ways in which people around the world read and remake British poetry in their novels, essays, exams, imitations and parodies. Her first monograph, The Global Wordsworth: Romanticism Out of Place, which we discuss below, was published by Bucknell University Press in 2019.

1) How did you first become interested in Wordsworth’s global reach?

I was always interested in Wordsworth’s reception. I loved him when I first read him as an undergraduate, and my classmates hated him. Just that fact struck me. But when I was older, I remembered that I had had an earlier encounter with Wordsworth – when my cat had died in high school, my aunt had read aloud “I wandered lonely as a cloud” at our little cat funeral, and I remembered thinking, “this is an awful poem.” I didn’t know who Wordsworth was back then, and the memory only resurfaced in graduate school. So I had personal experience loving and hating Wordsworth and was generally interested in the extremities of those reactions.

In graduate school, I started noticing Wordsworth in places I didn’t expect – first in Lydia Maria Child’s anti-slavery writing, and I was confused to see her quoting Wordsworth with praise because I knew him to a pretty uncommitted abolitionist. Then I just kept collecting weird Wordsworth appearances. I was always playing with the tension between his strong association with a specific place at a specific time, his anti-cosmopolitanism, and his permeation into different contexts all around the world.

2) In your introduction, you ask ‘What can we see more clearly about Wordsworth’s poetry – and the Romanticism it has been taken to represent – when we return his poetry’s global travels to the picture?’  With the understanding that if this was straightforward, you wouldn’t have written a book to address the question, how might you sketch the main answers you identified?

For nearly thirty years, work in global Romanticism has been revealing just how deeply colonial practices and imperial ideologies permeated British Romantic literary culture. Every year at NASSR, Romanticism seemed to get more and more global. But the punchline was always “well, except for Wordsworth lol.” And since I had read The Excursion and The Guide to the Lakes, I knew that wasn’t quite right. The general distaste for Wordsworth’s later poetry (bad) and his later politics (reactionary) makes a lot of people reluctant to engage with the texts where he was actually reckoning with how the vast, global movement of goods and people and plants was affecting English workers and the English countryside. 

It took me a while to figure this out, but I treat his afterlives as a methodology. Like, instead of doing the historicist thing of reading Guide to the Lakes alongside Repton and Burke and all that British landscape picturesque stuff, what happens if we read it alongside Jamaica Kincaid’s gardening essays? What happens if we read The Excursion next to American abolitionist texts? How do these excellent readers of Wordsworth, speaking from radically different subject positions from my own, repurpose his poetry? What do they see that I don’t, and what can they help me to see?

3) How did you settle on your three principal case studies: Lydia Maria Child, J.M. Coetzee and Jamaica Kincaid?

For many years, I was just collecting data. So many people fed me examples – they probably don’t remember it, but I remember exactly who told me about Lucy, about Henry Ford, about Edwidge Danticat, about Toru Dutt, about J. M. Coetzee, about Barron Field.  

The three case studies emerged because of their complexity. I didn’t understand them at first. Child, Coetzee, and Kincaid knew Wordsworth well – they were reacting not just to Wordsworth the monolith but to specific aspects of his poetry. And as the book took shape, I liked that these three represented very different contexts in the long history of Wordsworth’s reception. 

I actually had to kick out a fourth case study called “The Wordsworth Family Business” about Jonathan Wordsworth and his two-part Prelude, and Richard Wordsworth and his Wordsworth conference, which really didn’t make sense as part of a book called “The Global Wordsworth.” It was more of a pet obsession. Cutting it helped me to sharpen my understanding of what the other three case studies were doing.

4) While your book focuses on Wordsworth, the success of your approach suggests there’s a lot of untapped potential in exploring the global reach of Romanticism.  Which other writers or aspects of the Romantic period do you think would benefit particularly from being reconsidered in a global context?

That’s a great question. Definitely. I think Burns and Scott make a lot of sense in this way (Ann Rigney has written about Scott, and Murray Pittock has edited a collection about Burns). Byron and Austen come to mind. I also think this work is already being done well – my book is in conversation with Nikki Hessell’s and Manu Chander’s. And I think Nikki’s work suggests how important it will be for scholars doing this work to do it in multi-lingual archives, and to develop the skills and collaborations necessary for working with such archives.

5) What new projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on an article about the racial politics of anonymous parodies in the nineteenth-century U.S, focused on parodies of Byron printed in newspapers. For a few years, I’ve also been digging in an archive of colonial matriculation exams, and I’m working on an article about their pedagogical presentation of Romantic poetry. Further afield, I’m also really interested in the canon of high school literature in the United States: its history, its shifting ideological commitments, and most of all, what teachers and students right now understand themselves to be learning from these texts. 

BARS Digital Events: ‘Digital Editions in Romantic Studies’

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Following the success of our first session on ‘Perspectives on the Field’, the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) is delighted to announce the second session of our new Digital Events programme.  Please join us on Thursday 26 November at 5pm GMT on Zoom for a roundtable discussion between  Professor Lynda Pratt, Dr. Sophie Coulombeau, Dr. Corrina Readioff, and Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull on the topic of ‘Digital Editions in Romantic Studies’, chaired by BARS President, Professor Anthony Mandal. During this 80-minute session, our guests will introduce and discuss the work they have undertaken on creating and providing digital collections, their rationales for doing so, any challenges faced by such projects, and the benefits and advantages of digital editions and digital networks in research, in teaching, and in outreach and dissemination. After this, the audience will be invited to take part in a moderated Q&A session. 

Book tickets via Eventbrite here.

Propose your own event for the BARS Digital Events series by 13 November 2020. Full details here.

About our invited speakers:

Dr. Corrina Readioff is a recent graduate of the North West Doctoral Training Partnership, graduating with her PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2019. She is currently an Honorary Fellow at the University of Liverpool. Dr. Readioff co-founded the ‘Eighteenth Century Paratext Research Network’ which offers to bring scholars of paratexts together, circulate bibliographies, submit panels at conferences, and publish blogs.  


Lynda Pratt is Professor of Romanticism at the University of Nottingham. She is a General Editor of the born-digital, open access edition of The Collected Letters of Robert Southey (publication ongoing at Romantic Circles) and has published extensively on Southey and his circle. 


Dr. Sophie Coulombeau is a Lecturer in eighteenth-century and Romantic literature and culture at the University of York. In 2019, she was part of a team awarded a large AHRC grant for the project, ‘Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers’, based at the John Rylands Library. This project will provide an open access scholarly edition of Hamilton letters and diaries. She is also a novelist.  


Ben Wilkinson-Turnbull is a D.Phil Candidate in Mansfield College, University of Oxford. His doctoral research focuses on the materiality of women’s writing between 1580 and 1830. Ben is a Research Assistant on the ‘Opening the Edgeworth Papers’ Project. This project will explore and analyze the manuscript archives of Maria Edgeworth and the Edgeworth family, and intends to work towards and provide a digital remediation and analysis of the Edgeworth archive. Ben is also a contributing editor for the Cambridge Works of Jonathan Swift. He has previously worked as a research assistant on the Oxford Traherne Project, where he helped to develop The Traherne Digital Collator.

Queen Caroline in Caricature – October 1820

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In October 1820 the trial of Queen Caroline drew towards a close and the political tensions of the nation reached a fever pitch. For over two months, normal parliamentary business had been paralysed by the daily spectacle of Caroline’s procession to the House of Lords. As George IV and Prime Minister Lord Liverpool became increasingly nervous about the verdict, Caroline’s supporters grew ever more vocal.

To read more about the ritualistic acts of political theatre which culminated in a dazzling array of satirical prints, “the vox populi at its most resonant and effectual”, read the new piece by Ian Haywood (University of Roehampton) on the Romantic Illustrations Network.

Click here to read more about this fascinating topic (and chortle over the ridiculous, the rude, and sometimes downright risqué satirical prints).

Table Talks 1: New Approaches to Romanticism and the Natural World

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BOOKING NOW OPEN

Booking is now open for the first of of the ‘Tables Talks’, part of ‘The Romantic Ridiculous’ project funded by the AHRC (details of the project here).

‘Table Talks’ were a famous genre of literature in the early nineteenth century, recording the conversation of well-known writers, such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Hazlitt, and Charles Lamb. Edge Hill University will host a series of modern Table Talks – interactive workshops led by relevant scholars in the field of Romantic Studies, with an aim to explore new perspectives on Romantic aesthetics, Romantic engagement with nature, society, and childhood, as well as later representations of Romantics and Romanticism. These ‘Table Talks’ will be structured as informal workshops bringing together established academics with postgraduate students and early career scholars to discuss new methodologies in Romantic Studies.

Join an excellent group of academics on Wednesday 16th December from 6pm to 8 pm for an evening of close readings highlighting new approaches to nature in Romantic Studies.

Bring your own mulled wine and mince pies or seasonal alternative.

Register via the link for this free, online event – open to all! Click here to register


Palgrave Advances in John Clare Studies: book launch symposium

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19 November, 5-7pm GMT

All BARS members are welcome to a free online symposium, launching a new paperback collection of essays just published, Palgrave Advances in John Clare Studies, edited by Erin Lafford and Simon Kövesi. Most of the authors of essays in this book will present short versions of their papers at the symposium, and all attendees will be given a discount code offering 20% off the cover price of the book, via the Palgrave website. All are welcome – so please do pass on the invitation to anyone with an interest in Clare.

Please register for a ticket for the symposium here.

And please ask your librarian to buy a copy of this fabulous, affordable collection of vibrant, cutting-edge essays on Clare, further details here

Palgrave Advances in John Clare Studies : Simon K vesi : 9783030433734