CFP British Romanticism and Europe conference

23-26 June 2022, Monte Verità conference center, Ascona, Switzerland

(initially planned for 2020 but delayed due to the pandemic)

Keynote Speakers: Christoph Bode, Biancamaria Fontana, Paul Hamilton, and Nicola Moorby

British Romanticism is part of European Romanticism and British writers drew inspiration from personal and cultural links with mainland Europe as well as the many forms of Continental travel. This international conference will explore the manifold relations between Britain and Europe during the Romantic period, taking advantage of recent work on transnational circulations and exchanges and a growing interest in comparative methodology. The conference will question stereotypes of Great Britain as insular by highlighting the island-nation’s European identity and its participation in a pan-European Romanticism shaped by transnational cultural dialogue and the cross-fertilization of art forms and disciplines. The aim is to uncover the channels and mechanisms by which Romantic ideas and influences were conveyed across national and disciplinary boundaries and to examine the role of individuals, communities and institutions in this complex transmission process. As well as directing attention to the often-overlooked international dimension of British Romanticism, the conference aims, by bringing together scholars working in Britain and on mainland Europe, to help develop the expanding research network on European Romanticism. Held at Monte Verità, an international conference centre in Ascona in the Swiss canton of Ticino which was formerly the site of a utopian community attracting intellectuals from across Europe, the conference will be divided between plenary lectures, invited panels, and open panel sessions. There will also be a public lecture on J.M.W. Turner and the Italian Lakes, as well as an excursion to Lake Como.

To fill the open panel sessions, we invite proposals for 20-minute papers on any aspect of the conference topic, including:

  • European Romantic networks
  • Romantic mediations and mediating figures 
  • Romantic salons, communities, and constellations
  • Romantic disseminations and circulations
  • Romantic theories of ‘Europe’
  • European Romantic politics
  • European Romantic aesthetics
  • Romantic Europhobia and Europhilia
  • Romantic exile and displacement
  • British relations with Northern, Southern, and Eastern Romanticisms
  • British Romanticism and Continental philosophy
  • British Romanticism and Continental science 
  • British Romanticism and European travel
  • Britain’s Four Nations and Europe

We encourage junior scholars from mainland Europe to apply, and in order to cut down on carbon emissions, urge attendees to travel by train.

Abstracts of approximately 250 words are due by 1 March 2022. Please send abstracts to

Conference site here.

Organizing committee:

                     Patrick Vincent, University of Neuchâtel

                     David Duff, Queen Mary University of London

                    Simon Swift, University of Geneva

Our Subversive Voice: The History and Politics of the English Protest Song

‘Our Subversive Voice: The History and Politics of the English Protest Song’ is a two-year research project funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council. It is based at the University of East Anglia, and involves colleagues from the universities of Warwick and Reading. We are investigating the use of song to register protest through the ages, from 1600 to 2020.

This website allows you to follow the work of the project. You will find case studies of particular songs and themes; interviews with songwriters and experts; a bibliography of scholarship and anthologies; and contributions from other writers with an interest in the history and politics of the protest song – both English and otherwise.

We are interpreting ‘English’ loosely (and contentiously) as meaning either written by an English national, or having a particular bearing or influence upon specifically English political culture.

The core of the website is its database of 750 protest songs from 1600–2020, of which 250 are showcased as the most distinctive and important. 

We hope that this resource will prove of interest to Romanticists. It features many abolitionist songs, reworkings of Shelley and Byron, and a whole platoon of labour poets and radical writers. We welcome suggestions from BARS members, particularly ideas for guest blogs.

CFP – Freethought in the Long Nineteenth Century: New Perspectives

How did atheist, secularist, and humanist ideas circulate within and across nations in the long nineteenth century? This conference seeks to consider this question at both micro and macro scales, exploring the local, national, and international networks that enabled freethought to flourish. The nineteenth century was a period during which developments across physical and social sciences, politics and activism, technology and travel gave rise to new ways of conceiving the universe and humanity’s place within it. While it is abundantly clear that this did not lay an uncomplicated path towards secularisation, there were many individuals who through their lives, writings, and actions sought to establish a secular age.

The question of terminology is often fraught and, as Nathan Alexander (2019) observes, the terms used to frame the field of historical unbelief can often serve to reinscribe particularly Western concerns. Although the category of freethinker (or Freidenkerlibre-penseursfritänkare etc.) is not exempt from such difficulties, we use it is a multivalent term that speaks more broadly to the freedom of thought, speech, and action that liberation from religious frameworks can instil. Furthermore, it was used in the nineteenth century to encompass a range of positions, from militant, antagonistic atheists to those with pantheist and deist beliefs that sit outside traditional religious frameworks, via many forms of doubt and agnosticism.

There has been a tendency for Anglophone freethought to be considered separately from European traditions, and both are often cut off from, and can overshadow, wider global currents. Recently, significant steps have been taken in making connections across such boundaries through edited collections such as the internationally orientated Cambridge History of Atheism, ed. by Stephen Bullivant and Michael Ruse (2021), and Freethinkers in Europe: National and Transnational Secularities, 1789−1920s, ed. by Carolin Kosuch (2020). This conference builds upon such publications, and as such we warmly welcome proposals which explore how freethought discourses in the period c.1789–1914 operated on a global scale, and how the legacies of these persisted across the twentieth century and through to the present.

This will be a multidisciplinary conference, with contributions welcomed from those working in the fields of history, literature, art history, politics, religious studies, sociology, anthropology, law, media studies and so on. Topics might include, but are not limited to: 

·      Blasphemy, heresy and iconoclasm

·      Class and sociocultural divides

·      Deism, pantheism, and alternative theist traditions

·      Freethinking communities and societies

·      Freethought and gender

·      Freethought press and popular media

·      Freethought spaces and practices

·      Freethought, the state, and the law

·      Global and transnational networks and exchanges

·      Humanism

·      Morality and ethics

·      Race and empire

·      Radicalism and militancy

·      Science and freethought

·      Sex and relationships

·      Socialism and communism

·      The art, literature, and music of freethought

·      The conceptual history of unbelief

·      The legacies of nineteenth-century freethought

The conference will be held on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 September 2022 at Queen Mary University of London. It is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and organised in partnership with the International Society for Historians of Atheism, Secularism and Humanism and Humanists UK. 

Please submit a 300-word proposal for a 15-minute paper plus a 50-word biography in Word format to by Tuesday 1 March 2022. We are also interested in proposals for panels or presenting work in alternative formats, please get in contact directly to discuss these prior to submission.

Organisers: Clare Stainthorp (Queen Mary University of London), with Anton Jansson (University of Gothenburg) and Madeleine Goodall (Humanists UK)

BARS Digital Events available on Youtube

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Just a little reminder to our readers that all of the past BARS Digital Events 2021-22 are available on our Youtube channel, click here to visit, and don’t forget to subscribe.

If you missed the ‘Irish Women, Bodies, and the Gothic Tradition‘ or ‘Zany Romanticism‘, then you can catch up on them here, along with other events from our back catalogue.

Re-envisioning Romantic Publishing
Dialogues and Receptions
State of the Arts: Reframing the Visual in the Romantic Period
Geo & Eco-Criticism: Returning to Romantic Italy
Romantic Forms
Romanticism and the Museum
The Late Mary Shelley
Burns Night Supper 2021
Digital Teaching in Romantic Studies
Digital Editions in Romantic Studies

And don’t forget to sign up on Eventbrite for our Digital Burns Night 2022 event, coming up on 27 January.

Stephen Copley Research Awards 2021 (round two)

The BARS Executive Committee established the Stephen Copley bursary scheme in order to support postgraduate and early-career research within the UK – we have extended this to a second round per year. The bursaries primarily fund expenses incurred through travel to libraries and archives necessary for the applicant’s research, but the remit was this year expanded to include other research-focused costs, such as (but not limited to) photocopying, scanning, and childcare. Please do join us in congratulating the very worthy winners. 

Ashleigh Blackwood (Northumbria University)

Bethany Brigham (Northumbria University)

Charlotte Goodge (University of Kent)

Deven Marie Parker (Queen Mary University of London)

Francesca Killoran (University of York)

Hayley Braithwaite (University of York)

Lewis Roberts (University of Cambridge)

Once they have completed their research projects, as far as the bursary scheme is concerned, each winner will write a brief report. These reports will be published on the website and circulated through our social media. For more information about the bursaries, including reports from past winners, please visit our website:

Daniel Cook
Bursaries Officer, BARS
University of Dundee

14 January 2022

The Scottish Romanticism Research Award 2021/22 Winner Announcement

The executive committees of the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) and the Universities Committee for Scottish Literature (UCSL) are delighted to announce the winner of the fourth annual Scottish Romanticism Research Award: Gerard Lee McKeever, a postdoctoral scholar currently based at the University of Stirling. During this award, Gerard will be conducting archival research related to his forthcoming edition of The Autobiography and Literary Life of John Galt for The Edinburgh Edition of the Works of John Galt (General Editor: Angela Esterhammer).

BARS and UCSL have established the annual award for postgraduates and early career scholars to help fund expenses incurred through travel to Scottish libraries and archives, including universities other than the applicant’s own, up to a maximum of £300. A postgraduate may be a current or recent Master’s student (within two years of graduation) or a PhD candidate; a postdoctoral scholar is defined as someone who holds a PhD but does not hold a permanent academic post. If appropriate, UCSL will endeavour to assign the awardee an academic liaison at one of its partner universities in Scotland.

Recipients are asked to submit a short report to the BARS Executive Committee, for publication on the society’s website, and to acknowledge BARS and UCSL in their doctoral thesis and/or any publication arising from the research trip. Please join us in congratulating Gerard on this award. We look forward to hearing more about his latest research.

For further information about this scheme, please contact the BARS bursaries officer, Dr Daniel Cook at

Call for Applications – short postdoc in “Radical Translations”

Applications are invited for a 6-month postdoctoral research position on the AHRC-funded project ‘Radical Translations: The Transfer of Revolutionary Culture between Britain, France and Italy (1789-1815), based at King’s College London. The start date will be February 14 2022. In

*** Closing Date for applications January 24, 2022, with online interviews provisionally scheduled for February 3rd.

You will assist the Project Team in researching new material for the database; updating the project website; identifying new avenues for further research and helping organise and deliver associated impact activities. Reading knowledge of French required. Read the full description and apply here.

For more information on the project, please visit the website or contact

Call for Applications: Keats-Shelley Journal Reviews Editor

The Keats-Shelley Journal invites applications for the position of Reviews Editor. Launched in 1952, the Keats-Shelley Journal is a peer-reviewed journal published annually by the Keats-Shelley Association of America, both in print form and on digital platforms.  As a leading publication venue in the field of Romantic studies, KSJ has sought in recent years to build on its traditional focus—Percy Shelley, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, Leigh Hunt, and their circles of mutual influence and contact—to widen and deepen scholarly conversations about the nature and value of Romantic-period literary work.  Informed by the K-SAA’s expressed commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the journal welcomes all approaches and methodologies that contribute to the scholarly understanding of Regency-era writers and their circles, including canonical and non-canonical figures, influences and afterlives.  We publish articles, notes, brief “flash-essays,” that offer scholarly interventions and provocations in the field, and reviews of multiple kinds. 

Successful candidates will have a demonstrated substantial interest in K-SAA terrain and will be highly collaborative. Beyond commissioning some 12-15 reviews each year of scholarly books, performances, and other media relevant to the journal’s interests, the Reviews Editor will work closely with the journal Editor to shape the content and direction of KSJ, and will assist going forward with content development for a new online platform, KSJ+.  Appointment will begin in early 2022 and be for an initial term of three years.

Please submit a brief letter of interest along with a curriculum vitae to the Keats-Shelley Journal editor, Jonathan Mulrooney, at Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Upcoming #Shelley200 Events

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The Jane Poems Roundtable

26 January 2022

As we approach the bicentenary of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s death on 8th July 1822, our panel of leading Shelley scholars will gather to discuss the poet’s last lyrics to Jane Williams. This event will be chaired by Shelley Conference organiser Amanda Blake Davis.

The speakers at the event will include Madeleine Callaghan, Kelvin Everest, William Keach, and Merrilees Roberts.

Book the event here.

See recordings of previous events, here.

Shelley and Travel

21 March 2022

This free roundtable event, to be held on Zoom, gathers a distinguished line-up of Shelley scholars to discuss Percy Bysshe Shelley’s actual and imagined travels and travel writing ahead of the 2022 Shelley Conference in London.

The speakers at the event will include Nahoko Miyamoto Alvey, Benjamin Colbert, Cian Duffy, and Anna Mercer. Following a stimulating roundtable discussion, the audience will be invited to participate in a Q&A session. This event will also be recorded and shared online, welcoming further discussion.

Book here.

For future events and the 2022 Shelley Conference, visit

BARS Digital Events: Digital Burns Night II

Thu, 27 January 2022

17:00 – 18:30 GMT

All welcome, book here.

After the success of the first Digital Burns Night Supper, this event is returning in 2022. Our virtual Burns Night will follow the order of toasts and entertainments at a traditional Burns Supper to structure an academic event celebrating Burns, Scotland, and Romanticism. We invite the audience to come prepared with examples of poetry to read aloud or perform.

Our participants include Andrew McInnes (Edge Hill University), Jennifer Orr (Newcastle University), Gerard McKeever (University of Stirling), Rita Dashwood (Edge Hill University), Zayneb Allak (Edge Hill University), Ainsley McIntosh (Independent scholar), and Angela Wright (University of Sheffield).