Colleen English was one of a number of BARS members who were awarded Stephen Copley Research Awards earlier this year. Below, she gives an account of the research that the award assisted her with completing.
The Stephen Copley Research Award partially funded my research trip to London in mid-June 2016 to consult manuscript and print materials in the British Library and the Wellcome Library. The Award enabled me to consult material crucial both to my monograph project, “Writing the Dead: Epitaphs, Elegies and Communities of Sentiment in Romantic Ireland” and to an article I am preparing for publication on John Keats’s poetry and the scientific process of embalming corpses.
My monograph project, based on my PhD thesis, examines how the preoccupation with grief and loss in Irish poetry of the Romantic and early Victorian periods is informed by shifting historical contexts as well as by intellectual history, especially British empiricist philosophy. In moving away from the strict taxonomies of elegy toward a modal understanding of the poetics of mourning, this project focuses on the ways in which Irish poets, namely Mary Tighe, Thomas Moore, and James Clarence Mangan understood grief as a type of sympathy that enabled cross-cultural exchange …read more