The Romantic Heirs Research Network is pleased to announce its second conference and networking event, to be held at Durham University on 18th July 2013 on the theme of ‘Romantic Victorians’. The conference is free to attend and will include: plenary talks by Mark Sandy (senior lecturer at Durham University, co-editor Romantic Echoes in the Victorian Era (2008) and author of Romanticism, Memory, and Mourning (forthcoming, 2013)) and Anna Barton (lecturer at the University of Sheffield and author of Tennyson’s Name: Identity and Responsibility in the Poetry of Alfred Lord Tennyson (2008)), roundtable discussions centred on the conference theme, lunchtime refreshments, and a post-conference dinner.
The conference organisers encourage postgraduate students and early-career researchers to submit proposals of 200-250 words for short position papers (1500 words) to be discussed at roundtable sessions. Topics might include:
- ‘Third-generation’ Romantic writers;
- The boundary between Romantic and Victorian periods;
- Responses to Romanticism in Victorian writers/poets/artists/musicians;
- The historical/cultural/philosophical legacies of Romanticism in the nineteenth-century;
- The developing notion of a ‘Romantic period’ throughout the nineteenth-century;
- Critical legacies of Romanticism in the Victorian period.
The deadline for submitting proposals is 14th June 2013. Completed position papers should be submitted approximately one week before the conference so that they can be circulated among participants in advance.
‘Making a Darkness Visible: The Literary Moment 1820-1840′
The next three instalments of this British Academy series are as follows:
Dr John Gardner (Anglia Ruskin) on ‘Radicalism after Peterloo’
Friday 19 April, 5-7pm, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Literary & Philosophical Society
Dr Gregory Dart (UCL) on early Dickens
Friday 24 May, 5-7pm, Birley Room, Hatfield College, Durham University
Prof John Plotz (Brandeis) on short narrative forms
Monday 10 June, 5-7pm, Birley Room, Hatfield College, Durham University
The events are free to attend. All are welcome. Queries to either Dr Peter Garratt (Durham) or Dr David Stewart (Northumbria).
Cultivating Community? A Case Study of Lord Armstrong and the Victorian North East
Applications are sought for an AHRC-funded public engagement training project
What is ‘public engagement’? What importance might public engagement projects have for the local community or the region? How can we create research with partners outside academia? How can we ensure that the knowledge generated is genuinely meaningful to the public we seek to reach out to? What can we do to ensure public engagement initiates two-way conversations that enhance our research as well as deepening public understanding and interest? This AHRC-funded project seeks to address these questions and more through offering postgraduate participants a comprehensive training programme and the opportunity to design, plan and run a public exhibition exploring local industrialist Lord Armstrong’s role as a philanthropist and civic figure in the North East.
Engaging with the wider community opens up exciting opportunities to acquire and share skills, and to create innovative new research. This training project will provide postgraduate students with a programme of workshops, field trips and practical experience, with the twin aims of encouraging participants to think about how to make public engagement as meaningful as possible for both researchers and the
By Jo Taylor
“This game has loads of bloom in it.”
So declared my boyfriend, as he watched me play his new computer game Bioshock Infinite (Irrational Games, 2013). I turned around, somewhat dumbstruck. “Why, yes… it has,” I replied [NB: some expletive expressions of shock have been edited out of this conversation], “I didn’t know you’d been listening to me talk about him.”
Confusion ensued, until we realised we had crossed our wires somewhat. He was talking about bloom
, the lighting effect used in some video games to mimic the effect of a bright light on vision as experienced through a camera. I was talking about Bloom
– Harold Bloom, the [in]famous theorist whose most well-known academic legacy is the always-contentious theory of the ‘anxiety of influence’ (all poets are influenced by a previous poet, and they’re all unhappy about it) and whose best-known extra-academic legacy is his 1994 publication The Western Canon: The Books and School of the Ages
, and with whose works I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time lately.
Bioshock Infinite: a potentially Coleridgean vending machine
By Andrea H. Everett
The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of electronic editions of our first installment of Blake’s letters, the correspondence of his last two years, 1825-27, mostly with his friend, benefactor, and fellow artist John Linnell, who sponsored such projects as Blake’s engraved Illustrations of the Book of Job (1826) and Illustrations to Dante, on which he was still working when he died.
About ninety of Blake’s letters survive—an unknown fraction of the total. The surviving correspondence begins rather late in his career, in October 1791, the month before he turned 34, and ends, as far as we know, the month before his death at age 69 in August 1827—just three sentences to Linnell, to thank him for sending ten pounds and to indicate that his “journey to Hampstead on Sunday brought on a relapse . . . . however I am upon the mending hand to day & hope soon to look as I did for I have been yellow accompanied by all the old Symptoms.”
Blake traveled seldom and not very far, and he was little known beyond a small circle of British contemporaries, most of them in London. His circle of correspondents
By Rachel Lee
[Cross-posted with the Blake Archive’s submission to the official Day of DH blog!]
The Blake Archive has editors and assistants working at various campuses around the US, including a group at the University of Rochester. In residence at the University of Rochester, we have:
- Morris Eaves, co-editor of the William Blake Archive
- Esther Arnold, PhD student (English) and project assistant
- Laura Bell, PhD student (English) and project assistant
- Duncan Graham, undergraduate (Economics) and undergraduate intern/project assistant
- Sarah Jones, Managing Editor, Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly
- Gabi Kirilloff, MA student (English) and project assistant
- Rachel Lee, PhD student (English) and project coordinator
- Hardeep Sidhu, PhD student (English) and project assistant
- Lisa Vandenbossche, PhD student (English) and project assistant
Working off-site, we have:
- Andrea Everett, PhD student (English) and project assistant
- Ali McGhee, PhD student (English) and project assistant
- Nikolaus Wasmoen, PhD student (English) and project assistant
The Blake Archive team at the University of Rochester, affectionately known as BAND (Blake Archive, Northern Division) collaboratively authored this document; below you’ll find accounts from several people at different points throughout the day.
Esther Arnold (~ 9:00 AM on April 8, 2013):
Hello from the University of Rochester’s division of the William Blake Archive, where our focus has been on creating digital editions of Blake’s manuscripts and typographical
By Catherine Redford
During the course of my work on Of course, the first book I looked up on this database was Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, and despite being in the fourth year of a PhD on Last Man texts I was really pleased to find a couple of references which I haven’t come across before. Alongside some familiar references to the novel from Mary Shelley’s own letters, I found observations on The Last Man from the correspondence of Washington Irving, Mary Leadbeater, and Lady Louisa Stuart. The list of advertisements for the novel was comprehensive and clearly set out, and the information from circulating-library catalogues was similarly well presented and useful.
Without very much effort at all, undergraduates can use this site to enhance their understanding of an author or specific text, quickly accessing information about the contemporary reception and availability of a huge number of works. Likewise, postgraduates and other researchers should find it a helpful starting point when approaching a work of fiction from this period. From Jane Austen to Sophia F. Ziegenhirt, this database covers both canonical names and lesser-known authors, and offers some really nice features, such as the ability to browse by publisher.
By Jo Taylor
Perhaps the best-known definition of the sublime is from Edmund Burke’s 1757 work A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful. Here, Burke described the now-familiar dichotomy between the “feminine” beautiful and the “masculine” sublime. Beauty is found in objects or landscapes which are visually ‘smooth’ (rolling hills, for example); beauty is “that quality or those qualities in bodies by which they cause love, or some passion similar to it”. The sublime, on the other hand, is accessed through experiences of the ‘terrible’; that is, objects, landscapes or experiences which invoke fear or notions of vastness: “it is impossible to look on any thing as trifling, or contemptible, that may be dangerous”. Felix Baumgartner’s recent jump from space may be identified as a sublime experience: his view from the top of the jump incorporated the vastness of the globe, and the jump itself was undeniably sublimely terrifying.
Clearly, not all of us – not even most of us – are able to access sublime experiences in this way. Like the Romantic poets before us, we must find more everyday ways of locating the sublime. Unlike the
By Jo Taylor
In her memoir
|Samuel Taylor Coleridge, 1795
Old Sam was only a poet, you know, never did anything practical that was any good to anybody, actually not thought much of in the family, a bit of a disgrace in fact, taking drugs and not looking after his wife and children. Of course STC must have been a wonderful man – in a way – he was somehow clever enough to take in so many great men – but why a young girl like you should spend your time on the old reprobate, I can’t think! All those badly-written scribblings – couldn’t even write a decent hand that ordinary people can read – full of stuff and nonsense. But all you pedants live on this sort of thing. Useless knowledge, perfectly useless. Now I at least know something about beef cattle…
Lord Geoffrey unwittingly encapsulated the trouble with his great-great-uncle: simultaneously ‘a bit of a disgrace’ and a ‘wonderful man
‘, Samuel Taylor cannot be an easy ancestor to bear the brand of. His surname could act as a powerful talisman for the Coleridges who followed him. His daughter Sara suggested that they would be of interest to posterity only as ‘psychological curiosities’,