BARS Exchange

BARS Exchange

Aggregated blogs on Romantic Studies – please click through to read full posts.

The People’s Voice: Scottish Political Poetry, Song and the Franchise, 1832–1918

By Anna Mercer

Please see the following announcement from the BARS Early Career Representative Honor Rieley (University of Glasgow):

Launch Event for The People’s Voice: Scottish Political Poetry, Song and the Franchise, 1832–1918

15 February 2018, Trades Hall of Glasgow

This conference marks the launch of the People’s Voice website, funded by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland and created by staff at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde.

This is a free online resource essential for anyone interested in the popular political culture of Scotland in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, containing details of over a thousand poems as well as song recordings, essays and schools resources. On 15 February, we will celebrate the culmination of our work on this project with a programme of international speakers and musical entertainment. Please join us!

Our speakers will include: Florence Boos (University of Iowa), Alison Chapman (University of Victoria, Jon Mee (University of York) and Mike Sanders (University of Manchester).

The conference is free to attend but registration is required. Tickets available here.

Click here to see our website.

Twitter: @PeoplesVoiceSco

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Five Questions: David Fallon on Blake, Myth and Enlightenment

By Matthew Sangster

David Fallon is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton. He has published widely on topics including the debates surrounding the French Revolution, London bookselling and Romantic-period notions of sociability, but has a particular interest in William Blake, on whom he has published a series of articles and book chapters that have now culminated in his first monograph, Blake, Myth, and Enlightenment (Palgrave, 2017), which we discuss below.

1) How did you first become interested in Blake’s tangled relationship with Enlightenment thought?

I’d originally got interested in Blake through music and he seems to combine the dreamy utopianism of psychedelia with the hard-headed opposition and disillusionment of punk. I was always drawn to Blake as a contradictory writer and artist, whose difficulty to pin down was part of his fascination. From my undergraduate days I found him sitting uneasily with traditional notions of Romanticism. I’d always been captivated by the deep and creative spiritual vision in his poetry and art, but I felt that Blake was too hard-headed to simply be a flaky mystic dreamer, in the way he can sometimes be dismissed. The work of …read more


Romantic Novels 1818 Seminar Series: Programme and Bursaries

By Anna Mercer

The London and Southeast Romanticism Seminar presents a new series entitled ‘Romantic Novels 1818′.

This exciting bicentenary project includes several academic guest speakers, starting with James Grande (KCL) on 25 February 2018. You can view the full programme here.

A limited number of bursaries are also available. Please see the following announcement from Susan Civale:

Call for Applications – BARS PG/ECR Bursaries – Romantic Novels 1818

Romantic Novels 1818 is pleased to be able to offer a limited number of BARS PG/ECR Bursaries to support postgraduate and early career scholars in attending our seminar series. Six bursaries of £50 each will be available in 2018 for scholars who are currently pursuing postgraduate study or are within five years of the award of the PhD. The BARS PG/ECR bursaries are intended to contribute to the expenses of scholars whose financial resources are limited. Bursary recipients will be asked to write a short blogpost entry on the session for our webpage.

To apply for a bursary, please send your full name, affiliation, stage of study, and contact details, along with a statement of no more than 300 words explaining how your attendance at the session fits in with your research, to Susan Civale and Claire Sheridan …read more


The University of Huddersfield English Literature and Creative Writing PhD Scholarships

By Anna Mercer

Opportunities in Yorkshire for those applying to study for a PhD in Romantic writing. Via Ildiko Csengei.

The University of Huddersfield English Literature and Creative Writing PhD Scholarships

The University of Huddersfield is set in the heart of Bronte country, with good transport links to Shakespeare country, London, and the rest of the UK. English Literature and Creative Writing at Huddersfield has a strong international record of research excellence and is ranked fourth in the UK for the quality of its research publications (REF 2014). This international team has a diverse range of interests including British and American contemporary literature, Renaissance studies, Victorian studies, the Romanticism and the long eighteenth century, philosophy and literature, and the twenty-first century composite novel. Our research staff includes distinguished poets, novelists and script-writers who lead a cohort of creative writers. We are home to the Ted Hughes Network, which promotes the work and life of this important poet and those closely associated with him. We have a close connection with the Huddersfield Literature Festival. The University of Huddersfield’s unique location and excellent transport links make the UK’s vast public and private research resources easily accessible.

We provide our research students with excellent facilities, world-leading …read more


Conference Report: Writing Romantic Lives at Edge Hill University

By Anna Mercer

Thank you to Oliver Thomas for this report from the BARS-sponsored conference ‘Writing Romantic Lives‘, which took place at Edge Hill University on 25 November 2017.

You can see the conference Twitter feed here.

Conference Report: Romanticism Lives!

by Oliver Thomas, MA student at Edge Hill University

The BARS-sponsored Writing Romantic Lives symposium was aptly titled, as the sterling keynote speech from Dr Felicity James demonstrated. Including fascinating elucidations on her own researches, James succinctly and stylishly laid the groundwork for the event. Our foci were collaboration, autobiography and its myriad forms, and the writing of lives, in the sense of writing the self and writing’s relationship to the (Romantic) Self.

Thus we embarked on our first engaging panel. Marvin Reimann’s presentation, ‘S.T. Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria and the Dynamic Process of Self-knowledge’, expounded on a powerful theme resonant throughout the conference, that the formation of a Self is a fluid concept dependent upon the construction of an ideal state defined against an original state, and the continuous transgression from one to the other. Jérôme Chemin of the Université de Lorraine illuminated this and other metaphysical concepts in his paper ‘From Poetic Experience to Metaphysics’. Chemin clarified the murky relationship between …read more


The BARS Review, No. 50 (Autumn 2017)

By Matthew Sangster

George Cruikshank, ‘Death or Liberty!’ (1819). ©Trustees of the British Museum. Used under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license.

The Editors, led from this number forward by Mark Sandy, are pleased to announce the publication of the 50th number of The BARS Review, the eighth available in full online through the new website. The list of contents below includes links to the html versions of the fifteen articles, but all the reviews are also available as pdfs. If you want to browse through the whole number at your leisure, a pdf compilation is available.

If you have any comments on the new number, or on the Review in general, we’d be very grateful for any feedback that would allow us to improve the site or the content.

Editor: Mark Sandy (Durham University)
General Editors: Ian Haywood (University of Roehampton), Susan Oliver (University of Essex) & Nicola J. Watson (Open University)
Technical Editor: Matthew Sangster (University of Glasgow)


Neil Ramsey and Gillian Russell, eds., Tracing War in British Enlightenment and Romantic Culture
E. J. Clery
Timothy Campbell, Historical Style: Fashion and the New Mode of History, 1740–1830
Jane Taylor
J. A. Downie, ed., The Oxford …read more


Cancellation Notice – 19th Century Studies Seminar

By dustinfrazierwood

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the London 19th Century Studies Seminar originally scheduled for this Friday, 8th December will be rescheduled for 2018. A revised date will follow from the IES and 19th Century Studies Seminar.

Please repost and retweet: @IES_19 @BirkbeckC19 @Icale2 …read more


Wordsworth’’s poem ‘The Primrose of the Rock’: From Pythagoras and Pantheism to Christianity

By Lynn Shepherd

Rydal Mount

by Fred Blick

Wordsworth’s contemplation of the primrose, as seen in ‘The Primrose of the Rock’ of 1831/5, illustrates the development of his spiritual beliefs concerning death and renewal. The poem reveals a change from a playing with the idea of continuity by Pythagorean transmigration of the soul to a conventional belief in orthodox, Christian Resurrection; from Pantheism to Christianity. The result was, as can be seen below, one of the most touching of his ‘spots of time’ poems. This ‘spot’ was recorded in Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal for 24 April 1802 only a few days after she had memorialised the daffodils of Ullswater.

In a subsequent, unfinished poem, the doom-laden ‘The Tuft of Primroses’ of May-autumn 1808, Wordsworth clearly associates the primrose with illness and death, but also with relief in the thought of survival and renewal (see ll. 1- 20). Mary Wordsworth sister, Sara Hutchinson had become terribly ill in May 1808. Her illness is referred to in lines 37- 48 as ‘a Friend’ to whom ‘ … came danger with disease’. Worse, Wordsworth’s brother John had died in a shipwreck in 1805. His death is also referred to in the poem – ‘how much is gone’ (ll. 72-4), …read more


Anne H. Stevens on Circulating and Subscription Libraries: Institutions as Creators of Genres

By msangster

(Many thanks to Anne Stevens for providing an edited text of the brilliant talk that she gave at the ‘Institutions as Actors’ workshop, along with a copy of her PowerPoint.)

Circulating and Subscription Libraries: Institutions as Creators of Genres

Anne H. Stevens, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

In his opening remarks at the first of the “Institutions of Literature” workshops, in Glasgow, Matthew Sangster talked about the fundamental role of institutions in shaping literature through networking, validation, funding, dissemination, and commemoration. To this list I would add, as the title of my paper suggests, genre creation. That is, I see the creation of genres as fundamentally a collective effort, one in which institutional actors play a significant role. While individuals create works, institutions and the networks in which they are enmeshed create genres.

In his Course in General Linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure describes a similar dynamic in relation to the way languages change over time. An individual can coin a new word, but that coinage does not become a part of a language until other members of the linguistic community utilize the word and institutions validate it. Just as languages are not the product merely of individual creativity …read more


Institutions as Actors: In the Books

By msangster

The ‘Institutions of Literature, 1700-1900′ network’s final event, ‘Institutions as Actors’, took place last Friday and Saturday in York. We’d like to express our gratitude to our speakers, who gave uniformly excellent papers, and to all those who attended, who facilitated genuinely productive discussions in a friendly environment. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing some posts on the final workshop as this phase of the network wraps up, but we’ll also be looking forward to our next steps. We’ll be announcing one follow-up project that will begin relatively quickly, but have further plans to take forward the network’s discussions, in both the short and longer terms.

…read more


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