BARS Digital Events Series 2020/21 – Call for Contributions

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The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) would like to formally launch its BARS Digital Events 2020/21 series. We envisage the BARS Digital Events Series to be broad-ranging and we hope it will reflect the interests of our members. The series draws upon the collaborative spirit of the Romantics, fostering a convivial atmosphere through discussions of literature, history and culture. Through scholarly roundtables and Q&A sessions, the series will review what Romanticism means, recent developments in the field, and consider how it is still relevant today. The discussions will not just celebrate Romantic writing but will invite participants to turn a critical eye on established historical narratives and the study of our period in general.

To launch our series, we have planned three roundtables entitled ‘Perspectives on the Field’, ‘Digital Editions’, and ‘Teaching Romanticism’. Following these, we are gladly opening up the call for contributions. 

The Digital Events committee invites proposals from scholars of the Romantic period to present an individual paper or a curated roundtable session as part of this BARS Digital Events Series. These proposals will be to feature in the 2021 series. We envisage the first 2021 session to be in late January or early February. From then on, events will be roughly once per month. 

Proposals may be on topics including (but not limited to) the following:

  • Ecocritical and environmental studies
  • Romanticism and disability studies
  • Bicentenary celebrations and discussions
  • Romanticism and pedagogy
  • Romanticism and gender studies 
  • Digital Romanticism and online collections and resources 
  • Special editions and editing
  • Romanticism and race
  • Author studies
  • Romanticism and the gothic
  • Romanticism in the 21st century
  • Romanticism and mobility
  • The relationship between academia, heritage sites, museums, and libraries 

Interdisciplinary panels are welcomed. BARS is committed to offering a platform for early career scholars alongside more established researchers. All events must include at least one PG/ECR speaker. If you are submitting an individual paper proposal, the BARS Digital Events Committee will ensure that a PG/ECR speaker is assigned to your event. Please indicate if a member of your panel will act as chair, or if you would like the BARS Digital Events Committee to assign a chair from the BARS Executive.

Events are 80 minutes and will take place via Zoom at 5pm UK time on a weekday. Events will either contain 3-4 speakers in a ‘roundtable’ format (7 mins per talk, then discussion amongst speakers, then Q&A from audience), or 2-3 longer papers followed by a Q&A. In order to promote inclusivity, and to be of particular appeal to postgraduate researchers and unwaged scholars, the events will be free and open to all. 

We are all aware that opportunities to meet with colleagues and friends face-to-face are restricted and many of us have missed a summer of conferencing. The BARS Digital Events Series will foster and support new conversations online and provide an accessible format for discussion. We hope the digital format will be an appropriate method by which to continue the missions of BARS: to provide a voice for Romantic Studies within higher education and more generally and to advocate for the importance and interest of the Romantic period by providing platforms for all scholars for the fostering, dissemination and promotion of excellent research.

Please note: all sessions will take place on Zoom and will be recorded.

How to apply:

Please send your proposal to by Friday 13 November 2020. 

We expect all applicants to be members of BARS and are always extremely happy to welcome new members! For more information about the benefits of being a member and how to apply, please visit our website.

Individual Proposals:

Please send a paper proposal of less than 300 words detailing the content of your paper. Your final paper should not exceed 15 minutes in length.


Please send a proposal for a roundtable of less than 600 words, including all speakers (3-5 individuals). An example format would be: 40 minutes of presentations, 10 minutes discussion, 30 minutes Q&A. The papers should be connected by one core subject for discussion and/or a central question for the panel to answer.

Events to be scheduled following this open call will begin in early 2021. The BARS Digital Events Committee has arranged three pre-organised sessions to begin the series. We welcome feedback on these events – please do get in touch if you have any comments. 

Details of the first session, ‘Perspectives on the Field’, can be found here.

BARS Digital Events Committee

Amanda Blake Davis

Colette Davies

Francesca Killoran

Anna Mercer

Matthew Sangster 

Twitter: @BARS_DigiEvents 
Facebook: BARS.DigiEvents