BARS Exchange

BARS Exchange

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

Archive for February 2017

Summer Workshops

By dustinfrazierwood

Dr Elizabeth Savage, RIN fellow-traveller and Lecturer in Book History at the Institute of English Studies, University of London, will convene two workshops in summer 2017 that may be of interest to RIN members. Full details of each course, including how to apply, are on the following pages:

‘The History of Printed Book Illustration’, Bodleian Libraries Centre for the Study of the Book, 26-30 June

The course is for those who work with early books as in any academic or professional capacity. In addition to seminars and examination of items from Bodleian collections, students will be instructed in the practical processes used to illustrate early printed books, in the Bodleian’s hand-press printing workshop. Practical printing instruction will be supervised by Richard Lawrence.

‘History of Colour Printing’, London Rare Books School, 10-14 July

This interdisciplinary, introductory course provides an overview of colour printing techniques in the West from manual techniques c.1400 through the development of chromolithography in the mid-1800s. Discussions will be based on the close analysis of many kinds of content, including text, images, music, diagrams, maps, scientific tools and mathematical figures. By discussing colour-specific issues in the design, production and use of printed material across diverse kinds of content, …read more


Event: Female Networks – British Women Artists 1750-1950 Postgraduate / Early Career Study Day

By dustinfrazierwood

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

British Women Artists 1750-1950
Post-graduate/Early Career Study Day

—-Female Networks—-

University of Glasgow & Glasgow School of Art


Thursday, 29 June 2017

British Women Artists 1750-1950, a Sub-Group of Tate’s British Art Network was founded in 2015 to provide opportunities for knowledge exchange between University-based scholars and museum/gallery-based curators/researchers and stimulate new thinking and exhibition projects around women’s art works. On 30th June 2017, the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art will jointly host the Fifth Meeting of the Sub-Group on the theme of ‘Female Networks’, especially the kind of informal networks through which women furthered their study and practice as artists, designers and craft workers.

To mark the occasion, a postgraduate/early career study day is planned to take place on Thursday, 29th June to encourage reflection upon this rich topic in new and diverse ways. Questions might include: Why did women find networking necessary/desirable…

…read more


‘Flashes upon the inward eye’ : Wordsworth, Coleridge and ‘Flashing Flowers’

By Paul Kleian

Elizabeth Linneaus

by Fred Blick

Few readers will be aware of the ‘Elizabeth Linnaeus phenomenon’ today; yet over a span of almost two hundred years botanists, gardeners and scientists speculated about it. Elizabeth was the eldest daughter of the famous botanist, Carl Linné, known as Linnaeus.

One evening in the early 1760s, she was enjoying her father’s summer garden at Hammarby, near Uppsala, Sweden. She noticed how the “yellow … brilliant” flowers of the nasturtium appeared to gleam unexpectedly brightly in the half-light: so much so that they appeared to be emitting flashes or sparks. So confident was she in her repeated observations that she shared them with her learned, botanist father and other philosophers and in particular with the celebrated electrical expert, Johan Wilcke. The latter concluded that the scintillations could be “related to ubiquitous Electric materials”. Although she was only nineteen, Elizabeth published her findings in an article entitled “Om Indianska Krassens Blickande” (“On the twinkling of Indian Cress”). This was recorded in the Acts of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for 1762.

In 1783, a Natural History lecturer, Lars Haggren, conducted further experiments and confirmed the phenomenon of ‘flashing’ flowers. He found that the marigold of “orange or flame …read more


Behind Closed Doors: a month of maintenance and conservation at Dove Cottage

By Paul Kleian

Assistant Curator Anna Szilagyi and Collections Trainee Millie Taylor packing away objects in the sitting room

For one month a year, in January, Dove Cottage is closed to the public. A small team of staff have just four weeks to carry out essential conservation and maintenance work on the fabric of this historic building and the precious objects it holds. This year I worked with Mark Ward (Guide & Estates Worker) and Millie Taylor (Collections Trainee) to complete this important and complicated task.

We started on a dark Monday morning at the beginning of January and our first job was to remove the familiar domestic accessories that make Dove Cottage so homely – the cheery gingham curtains, the delicate china on Wordsworth’s washstand, the storage jars in the pantry, the brightly coloured rag rugs on the floor – as they all needed to be thoroughly and carefully, cleaned.

Assistant Curator Anna Szilagyi and Collections Trainee Millie Taylor packing away objects in the sitting room

Cleaning some objects is hard physical work and it made us think about how women must have been very fit – and probably very tired – in the days before vacuum cleaners and other modern labour-saving devices. The rag rugs all had to be beaten by hand in true old-fashioned style before I …read more


BARS Postgraduate Representative – Applications Open Now

By Anna Mercer

Please see below for a call for expressions of interest in the role of postgraduate representative on the BARS Executive.

Supporting postgraduate and early career researchers has always been an important part of the remit of the British Association for Romantic Studies, and we are currently looking for a postgraduate student to come on board to represent our postgraduate members and students in the field more generally.

The postgraduate representative serves for a term of two years (renewable according to the status of their studies), during which they will attend four executive meetings and will have the opportunity to co-organise special postgraduate events at the BARS international conferences. They will also work with the current postgraduate representative, Honor Rieley, to organise the next biennial postgraduate and early career conference, which will be held in 2018.

The position offers valuable experience in conference organisation, together with excellent networking opportunities. Most importantly, it offers the chance to help shape and support the postgraduate community within Romantic studies. The post is unpaid, although travel expenses are met by the Association.

Eligibility: We are especially keen to receive applications from students who expect to have postgraduate status until the summer of 2019. The new representative will officially stand …read more


Ian Newman on Taverns as Institutions

By msangster

(Our first contribution looking forward to the ‘Institutions as Curators’ workshop is from Ian Newman of the University of Notre Dame, to whom we’re very grateful for these wide-ranging reflections on taverns as literary institutions.)

Samuel Johnson’s Club, founded at the Turk’s Head Tavern in Gerrard Street in 1764, was frequently referred to by its members the “literary club.” As Charles Burney explained, it was Johnson’s wish that the Club “should be composed of the heads of every liberal and literary profession that we might not talk nonsense on any subject that might be started, but have somebody to refer to in our doubts and discussions, by whose Science we might be enlightened.”[1] Exactly what Burney meant by “liberal and literary professions” or indeed “Science” isn’t entirely clear, but given the presence in the Club of musicians like Burney himself, artists like Joshua Reynolds, actors like David Garrick, and aesthetic theorists and politicians like Edmund Burke, it is evident that the lines between disciplines were far less anxiously patrolled than they would become later, and “literariness” was a helpfully capacious quality which might encompass every possible subject.

The breadth of what “literature” could mean in the eighteenth …read more


Moving Forward…

By msangster

We’re now fairly well advanced with programming the first two Institutions of Literature workshops, and will be releasing the full programme for the Glasgow event, ‘Institutions as Curators’, in the next few days. We’ll also be publishing a series of reflections from participants in the weeks running up to the workshop to get our discussions underway. We’re keen to include contributions from anyone who’s interested in the network; if you’d like to get in touch, please email

…read more


Gender and Image Workshop

By dustinfrazierwood

The Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837 will host its 2017 workshop on 6 May, on the theme ‘The Fruitful Body: Gender and Image’.

Attendees are welcome from any discipline and period covered by the group. Each attendee is asked to bring a 5-minute presentation on some topic exploring the workshop theme. Suggested topics include (but aren’t limited to): caricature, texts, novels, conduct manuals, medicine, philosophy, motherhood and women artists.

In addition to presentations and discussion, there will be a keynote address by Karen Hearn (UCL) on ‘Women, agency and fertility in early modern British portraits’.

Full details, including registration information, are available on the …read more


Call for Papers. William Godwin: Forms, Fears, Futures. 24 June 2017

By Anna Mercer

Please see the CfP below for the conference ‘William Godwin: Forms, Fears, Futures’ to be held at Newcastle University on 24 June 2o17. The deadline for abstracts is 15 March 2017.

William Godwin: Forms, Fears, Futures

24 June 2017

Newcastle University

Confirmed plenary speakers: Professor Mark Philp (Warwick) and Dr David O’Shaughnessy (Trinity College Dublin)

Registration fee: £20 (waived for Newcastle staff and students)

Postgraduate bursaries available

Abstracts are invited for a one-day conference and debate on the work of William Godwin, to be hosted by Newcastle University on 24 June 2017.

We aim to foster a spirit of lively discussion and structured debate and to explore the full range of Godwin’s thought, writing, and influence. Abstracts are sought for twenty-minute papers which respond to one of the three panels: Forms, Fears, and Futures.

William Godwin is perhaps today best-known for his 1793 political treatise Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and its Influence on Morals and Happiness, and for the novel which explored the ideas developed in Political Justice, Things as They Are; or, The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794). As a Romantic-period author and figure, however, he is often subsumed within his family circle and the drama of their overlapped personal lives and works.

This event aims instead to …read more


Book Announcement: Coleridge and Contemplation

By Matthew Sangster

Congratulations to Peter Cheyne and his contributors on the forthcoming Coleridge and Contemplation collection, which Peter describes below. BARS helped to support a workshop that was part of the book’s development process.

Book announcement: Peter Cheyne (ed.), Coleridge and Contemplation, OUP, 2017

A collection of essays on Coleridge’s contemplative philosophy written by philosophers, intellectual historians, and leading literary authorities on Coleridge.

The editor and authors of Coleridge and Contemplation would like to thank BARS for a grant that assisted a workshop at the University of Cambridge English Faculty, 10–11 August, 2015. The workshop enabled contributing authors of Coleridge and Contemplation to present their research so that internal connections within the overall work could be better understood and developed.

Sarah Hutton, Graham Davidson, and Matthew Gibson were present as auditors, providing the authors with keen interrogations and constructive criticism. Further reviews of papers as they developed into book chapters were provided by romanticists Anthony J. Harding and Alan P. R. Gregory, philosopher Stephen Priest, and the two anonymous Coleridge scholars arranged by OUP.

The book is now available for order, and Oxford University Press have provided a 30% discount code, AAFLY6G, which can be used at the OUP webpage for the book. …read more