On Sunday, the 2015 BARS International Conference, Romantic Imprints, wrapped up in Cardiff after four tremendously successful days of scholarship and conviviality. Jane Moore, Anthony Mandal and the conference team did a phenomenal job for which they were justly acclaimed by over 250 engaged and joyful delegates. We’ll be publishing, I hope, a lot more about the conference over the next two or three weeks and updating the main site to provide a permanent record to sit alongside the conference’s site, Facebook page and the #2015BARS hashtag on Twitter. To begin, though, I just wanted to provide an executive summary of some major announcements made at the conference for those who were unable to attend – more details on all of these happenings will follow.
After extensive discussion among the judges, the inaugural BARS First Book Prize was awarded to Orianne Smith for her book Romantic Women Writers, Revolution and Prophecy: Rebellious Daughters, 1786 -1826 (Cambridge University Press, 2013). During the announcement at the drinks reception on the first night, Professor Emma Clery, chair of the judging panel, stressed the high quality and particular virtues of all the shortlisted books and the health of the field as a whole. We’ll be publishing the panel’s citations in the coming days.
At the BARS General Meeting, the following Executive was elected for the coming term:
- President: Ian Haywood (Roehampton)
- Vice President: Anthony Mandal (Cardiff)
- Past President: Nicola Watson (Open University)
- Treasurer and Membership Secretary: Jane Moore (Cardiff)
- Secretary: Helen Stark (Edinburgh)
- BARS Review Editor: Susan Valladares (Oxford)
- Web Editor: Matthew Sangster (Birmingham)
- Bursaries and Social Media: Daniel Cook (Dundee)
- Early Career Representative: Matthew Ward (St Andrews)
- Postgraduate Representative: Honor Rieley (Oxford)
- Mailbase: Neil Ramsey (New South Wales, Canberra)
- International Liaison: Susan Oliver (Essex)
- Conferences and Chawton House Bursary: Gillian Dow (Southampton)
- Chair of the BARS First Book Prize: Emma Clery (Southampton)
- Organiser of the 2017 Conference: Jim Watt (York)
The BGM also included announcements of the Association’s next two conferences:
The next BARS Early Career and Postgraduate Conference, Romantic Voices, will take place in June 2016 in Oxford (at TORCH – The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities). It will be co-organised by Matthew Ward and Honor Rieley, and further details and a full Call for Papers will be issued in the autumn.
The next BARS International Conference will take place in July 2017 at the University of York (specifically, at King’s Manor) and will be based around the theme of ‘Improvement’. The lead organiser at York will be Jim Watt. The full Call for Papers will be circulated in 2016.