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The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) was set up in 1989 by academics to promote the study of the cultural history of the Romantic period. Since then, BARS has organised eight International conferences at various locations in the UK, has published the BARS Bulletin and Review twice-yearly, and currently has more than 350 members.

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Link to PDF Call for Papers: Poetry and Belief Conference 24-25 April 2009, University of Lancaster

Poetry and Belief
A Two-Day Conference
University of Central Lancashire
24-25 April 2009
This two-day conference aims to explore connections and/or disconnections
between poetry and belief, so to determine their currency in recent academic
debate and poetic practice. The term ‘belief’, here, serves a broader purpose than
to simply identify a particular poet’s religious (or political) affiliations, and it is
hoped that papers will seek to sound the range of its applications both to the
reading and the writing of poetry. Above all, it comprehends attitudes to time
and eternity, beauty and truth, self and other, which condition the poetic process,
tense as this is with pressures that concomitantly attenuate belief. The conference
will include an evening of public readings by poets who, in their different ways,
have engaged with these matters, with papers and panel discussions on the
Friday and Saturday.
Papers are invited on any aspect of poetry and belief, and on any poet, ancient or
modern. Papers on any of the poets reading at the conference would be especially
welcome. Possible points of focus may include (but are not restricted to):
(in-)sincerity; ambiguity; doubt and uncertainty; hope and despair; silence;
negation; alienation; the otherness of God; waiting; spiritual journeying; mystical
experience; vocation; self-sacrifice; the role of the reader/the relation of the
reader to the poem; poetry and prayer; Romantic aesthetics (eg. Coleridge’s
‘willing suspension of disbelief’, Keats’s ‘negative capability’); I. A. Richards’s
and T. S. Eliot’s theories of poetic belief; secular responses to religious poetry and
poetics; theological approaches to poetic language; politically-inflected
conceptions of belief.
Papers submitted for the conference will be considered for publication in a special
issue of Literature and Theology.
250-300 word abstracts for 20 minute papers should be emailed to
TADay@uclan.ac.uk by 30th of November 2008.
Confirmed plenary speakers: Michael O’Neill (Durham)
Eric Griffiths (Trinity College, Cambridge)
Michael Edwards (Collège de France)
Poetry readings from: Michael Edwards, UA Fanthorpe, Michael Hulse,
Michael O’Neill, Deryn Rees-Jones, Michael Symmons Roberts
For further information on the conference and/or to request a booking or please
contact:
Emma Kelly, Conference Officer, Conference and Events Management University of
Central Lancashire, Foster Building Rooms 10, Preston PR1 2HE, UK. Tel: +44 (0)1772
892654 Fax: +44 (0) 1772 892977 Email: eakelly1@uclan.ac.uk