Call for Papers: Romantic Disconnections/Reconnections – BARS Digital Conference

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As you know, the ongoing restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic mean that BARS has delayed its next international conference, New Romanticisms (to be held at Edge Hill University in partnership with the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism) until Summer 2022. 

However, BARS remains committed to keeping our community connected and talking during this difficult time, so we are delighted to invite papers for a 2021 digital summer conference, Romantic Disconnections/Reconnections, which will be held online in two instalments in August (Thursday 12th and Friday 13th and Thursday 19th and Friday 20th).

Plenary sessions will include talks by Mary Fairclough and Orrin Wang; ‘Everything is Disconnected: Ecocriticism at a Distance’, a roundtable convened by Jeremy Davies, with Joseph Albernaz, Amanda Jo Goldstein and Francesca Mackenney; and a roundtable on Heritage and Representation chaired by Gillian Dow and Jeff Cowton. 

The theme of Romantic Disconnections/Reconnections is transparently suggested by our current situation, and we welcome papers that explore disconnection and/or reconnection, broadly conceived, both in Romantic-period literature and culture and in our engagements with the Romantic period in our present moment. However, we intend this conference principally to provide a means for reconnecting members of the larger Romantic Studies community, who have experienced a long period of disconnection, so we also welcome papers on any Romantic-period subjects people would be keen to discuss. 

Aware of videoconferencing fatigue and people’s increased commitments at this difficult time, we are opting for ten-minute papers. To help make the conference accessible, we will spread the schedule over four days and plan to have relatively short programmes on each day. We will schedule sessions to try and ensure that BARS members around the world who would like to present are able to do so at a reasonable hour. 

We are putting this conference together swiftly and on a truncated timeline, so the deadline for paper proposals is Monday 28th June 2021. Abstracts should be submitted using this Google Form:

We welcome proposals for individual papers and full panels; please email us if you’d like to propose an unconventional session (on If you would like to submit a pre-arranged panel, please submit each abstract individually, including the panel title and the panel organiser’s name in the dedicated box on the form. 

Papers should be kept to ten minutes in length and should be designed to be delivered over Zoom (screen sharing will be available to presenters, so PowerPoints or videos can be used). Papers may be given live or pre-recorded and screened in the sessions. Live conference sessions will be recorded and will be made available to delegates for a limited time. 

BARS membership is required to attend or present at the conference, but there will be no registration fee. 

The conference website is; this will be updated with further information and used to publish the programme in due course. 

We hope you will all consider submitting papers and joining us in August – we look forward to reconnecting (hopefully while avoiding digital disconnections)!