Call for Essays: Poetry and the Gothic

      Comments Off on Call for Essays: Poetry and the Gothic

Poetry has been an integral part of the Gothic mode since its inception. However, the connection between poetry and the Gothic seems a less explored area of critical inquiry, in comparison to fiction. While the Graveyard Poets and other Anglophone poetry movements are already considered foundational to the Gothic mode, our edited collection seeks to broaden the scope of what can be conceived of as “Gothic poetry” or poetry inspired by the Gothic.

Despite geographic differences and historical contexts, the reflexive and productive capacities of  the Gothic in poetry, and of poetry itself, bring poetic works in affinity. Tragic histories are simultaneously past and present: past in the sense that events haunt us and remind us of our violent encounters but also present in the haunting as a continuation of these disaster consequences into the present. Expressing this Gothic sensibility, the poet speaks from a liminal stance. Thus poetry, perhaps, fits perfectly into the conception of a Global Gothic.

We welcome papers that take a flexible view of the Gothic, locating it in various cultural contexts and languages from the long 18th century to the 21st century. We also welcome those who take a more historicist view of the Gothic to submit their work. What constitutes a Gothic poet? How do we conceptualize Gothic poetry differently from other genres? We invite essays that rethink the connection between poetry and the Gothic. Investigations of Gothic poetry and its connection to other genres and media are also welcome.

We invite 300 word abstracts on topics related to the Gothic and poetry, broadly considered, for an edited collection to be submitted to an academic publisher. With your abstract, please include a brief 100 word bio. If accepted, you will be asked to submit a chapter of about 6000 to 7000 words by November 30th, 2024.

Please email your abstract and bio as a PDF, .doc, or .docx attachment by May 15th, 2024 to:
gothicpoetryanthology@gmail.com

Some possible topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Liminality and the Gothic
  • The numinous and spirituality
  • Poetry as foundational to the Gothic
  • Gothic and poetry in translation
  • Gothic poetry and Romanticism
  • Essays focusing on 20th and/or 21st century poets
  • Poetic Forms and Modernity
  • Poetics and Politics
  • Transcultural Poetics and the Global Gothic
  • Poetry and the EcoGothic
  • Poetry, disaster, and crisis
  • Poetry and Gothic novels
  • Lyricization and the Gothic
  • Gothic poetry and gender
  • Gothic Poets and their Biographies
  • Gothic poetry and class
  • Poetry and Multimedia/Video Games
  • Western and Non-Western Gothic poetry traditions
  • Gothic poetry and race/ethnicity
  • Postcolonial/Decolonial Approaches to Gothic poetry

Editors

Samantha Landau (The University of Tokyo, Japan), Li-Hsin Hsu (National Chengchi University, Taiwan), Thomas Leonard D. Shaw (University of the Philippines, Diliman)

Contact Email

gothicpoetryanthology@gmail.com

Note on Editors:

Li-hsin Hsu is Professor of English at National Chengchi University, Taiwan. Her research interests include Emily Dickinson studies, Romanticism, Taiwan modern poetry, and Ecocriticism. She has co-edited a number of special issues and collected volumes on Asian Gothic related topics. She is also involved in the Emily Dickinson International Society and is a co-founder of the Gothic in Asia Association.

Samantha Landau is a Project Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo (Komaba) in Japan. Her research primarily concerns Gothic fiction. She also researches at the intersection of cultural studies, music, and poetry. She is a co-founder of the Gothic in Asia Association and Tokyo Humanities Project. In addition to her academic work, she is a published poet. She is also a classical vocalist and has been performing for over 30 years.

Thomas Leonard Shaw is a faculty member at the Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of the Philippines Diliman. His latest publication is an essay on Philippine Horror Cinema included in the anthology Contemporary Horror on Screen (Springer). Thomas has several upcoming publications on Philippine gothic literature. His research interests include but are not limited to: gothic and horror studies, memory studies, and Philippine literature.

‘York and the Georgian City: Past, Present, and Future’: Conference Details

      Comments Off on ‘York and the Georgian City: Past, Present, and Future’: Conference Details

York Georgian Society and the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, University of York

Saturday 18th May 2024, 10.15-7.00

‘York and the Georgian City: Past, Present, and Future’

The aim of this conference is to re-evaluate the notion of York as a Georgian city, which was one of the founding premises of the York Georgian Society in 1939. It will examine to what extent York can be described as a ‘Georgian’ city, and whether that label is relevant or meaningful in the present day.

This is the first conference organised by the York Georgian Society, in conjunction with the Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies at the University of York. It will be held in the beautiful and historic King’s Manor just outside the city walls; historically this is the most important building in York after the Minster.

The keynote lectures will be given by Professor Rosemary Sweet of the University of Leicester, and Madeleine Pelling, historian, writer, and broadcaster. Others speakers are from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of York: Professor Jon Mee, Dr Matt Jenkins, and PhD students Constance Halstead and Rachel Feldberg. The day ends with a round table to discuss issues raised on the day and a reception.

You can find a full programme and details about the speakers on the York Georgian Society’s website, where you can register for the conference.

https://www.peoplesfundraising.com/event/cecs-ygs-joint-conference-

Tickets cost £5 for students, £15 for members of the Society and University of York staff, £25 for others. The price includes morning coffee, a light lunch, afternoon tea, and a reception.

Event: Midlands Romantic Seminar

      Comments Off on Event: Midlands Romantic Seminar

Dr. Madeleine Callaghan, 14 March

The University of Derby’s Enlightenment and Romanticism Research Cluster are thrilled to announce the return of the Midlands Romantic Seminar. 

Our first in-person speaker, Dr Madeleine Callaghan (University of Sheffield), will speak on 14th March at 6pm at the University of Derby’s Kedleston Road campus. Madeleine’s talk is titled, ”’The Magic Circle There”: Inner and Outer Worlds in Shelley’s Lyrics’. A synopsis follows below:

Shelley’s poetry enshrines struggle in terms of how the single self seeks and finds connection. That connection so often seems ‘forever sought, forever lost’, with Shelley writing speakers, selves, ‘I’s that evince an impulse, even an urge, to unity which then precipitates a fall back into the self. The story of the self and its connection to others seems like it, to borrow Adonais’s brilliantly distilled line, ‘Attracts to crush, repels to make thee wither’. What we see in Shelley’s poetry are wave-like structures that move between isolation and intimacy. We ride the crest of these waves as if with Shelley to learn the movement between an alienated selfhood and the dream of complete connection, and back again. Shelley’s poetry sways between these two poles. This talk will view the Jane poems as offering a key example of how Shelley constructs the idea of inner and outer worlds. The inner, Shelley’s intensely literary or ‘written’ universe, operates as a textual field of meaning. The outer world stands for the real biographical existence of Jane, Shelley, Mary, Edward, as real people in the actual world itself. In the Jane poems, Shelley places these distinct but connected worlds in touching distance of one another. For in the Jane poems, we seem but only ever seem to know who Jane is in relation to Shelley, how Shelley feels, and what these poems might mean to the man’s life even as we are aware of her as a fully formed person in her own right. Shelley creates inner and outer worlds, where we weave between the textual and the biographical, looking to reconcile planes that Shelley never allows to collapse into oneness in the Jane poems.

Any queries, please get in touch with the Midlands Romantic Seminar convenors, Dr Paul Whickman (P.Whickman@derby.ac.uk) and Dr Amanda Blake Davis (A.Davis2@derby.ac.uk).

We hope to see you there!

Tree Talks: Tree, Tourism, and the Lakes

      Comments Off on Tree Talks: Tree, Tourism, and the Lakes

19 March 2024, 8pm-9.30pm GMT 

Event Details

In his Guide to the Lakes, William Wordsworth famously denounces the larch tree (Larix decidua) as a ‘spiky tree’ that causes ‘injury’ and ‘deformity’ to his Lakeland landscape. The poet took issue with the ‘vegetable manufactory’ of this tree species and questioned both its visual appeal and monetary value for contemporary landowners. Using Wordsworth’s views of this tree—and representations of other tree species across his writings—as a starting point, this Tree Talk will address the relationship(s) between trees, tourism, and biodiversity in the Lake District in the early nineteenth-century. Moreover, it will consider the relevance and inheritance of these interconnected discourses to how we understand trees, their cultural significance, and ecological place within and beyond the Lakes, today.

Speakers

  • Dr John Lovseth (Principia College, USA)
  • Professor Nick Mason (Brigham Young University, USA)
  • Professor Saeko Yoshikawa (Kobe City University of Foreign Studies, Japan)

What are ‘Tree Talks’?

Tree Talks is a series of online discussions about tree-oriented research, interests, and activism in the environmental humanities and beyond. It aims to bring together experts from different research disciplines and to create a space to disseminate, explore, and forge links between a diverse range of tree topics that are relevant to our past, present, and future environments.

This series of three Tree Talks will be held in collaboration with the Wordsworth Trust. Each of the sessions will feature short talks on a tree-related topic, an introduction to a related object in the Wordsworth Trust’s collections, and will be followed with an open Q&A discussion.

Sessions are free to attend, but booking is required.

Organisers

Tree Talks is co-organised by Dr Amanda Blake Davis and Dr Anna Burton, Lecturers in English Literature at the University of Derby. Their new and collaborative project, ‘Romantic Trees: The Literary Arboretum, 1740-1840’, explores Romantic responses to a range of individual trees and tree species and pays particular attention to shedding light on the network of international and environmental contexts within which they were viewed, culminating in the opening of the first modern arboretum, Derby Arboretum, in 1840.

How to book and attend

Attendees will receive a webinar registration link shortly after booking a free ticket. This event takes place on Zoom, and automatic live captions will be provided by Otter.ai

Image: George Barret (1767-1842), Grasmere from the South End of the Lake, undated, watercolour drawing.

Share this event: https://wordsworth.org.uk/blog/events/trees-tourism-and-the-lakes/

Hundredth Five Questions

      Comments Off on Hundredth Five Questions

We’ve recently published our hundredth Five Questions interview on the BARS Blog – not quite within the blog’s first ten years, but not far off.  If you want to catch up on the blogs you might have missed, here are the latest ten to get you started:

The full archive of past interviews can be viewed here: http://www.bars.ac.uk/blog/?cat=11.

If you’ve published a monograph or completed a project that you’d be keen to discuss in this format – which covers process as well as themes and ideas – please feel free to drop an email to matthew.sangster@glasgow.ac.uk

David Bowie and the Legacies of Romanticism

      Comments Off on David Bowie and the Legacies of Romanticism

New Romantic Circles Praxis Series Volume

Edited by Matthew Sangster (University of Glasgow)

While modern scholars often focus on examining Romantic-period works’ receptions around the times of their original publications, Romanticism is in many respects an event that continues to happen. Assumptions propagated by its major texts and authors strongly determine how we think and feel about a vast range of subjects, including nature, consciousness, art, and selfhood. This volume explores such patterns of influence by focusing on an artist who was shaped in part by inherited Romantic discourses, but who was also capable both of resisting them and of realizing new aspects of their potential. While sixties rock stars often presented themselves as unreconstructedly Romantic, David Bowie offered a series of self-aware alternatives to this model, challenging many of its underlying assumptions about masculinity, sexuality, genius, aesthetics, and performance. His oeuvre engages with common Romantic-period themes—including space, childhood, identity, artistry, and the liberating power of images—but it also pushes forward in manners that iterate on, improve, and sometimes reject Romantic conceptions. Through examining this multifaceted and self-consciously constructed artist and his works, these five essays by Joanna E. Taylor, Beatrice Turner, Emily Bernhard-Jackson, Matthew Sangster, and Forest Pyle explore how Romantic-period modes of making artworks and selves constitute a living tradition that artists draw upon and challenge in seeking to improve our ways of seeing, being, and understanding.

Contents:

Introduction: David Bowie and Romanticism’s Wild Mutations – Matthew Sangster

“I Am” a “Space Oddity”: Echolocating (New) Romanticism in David Bowie – Joanna E. Taylor

“Will you stay”: “Kooks,” Hunky Dory, and Romantic Childhood – Beatrice Turner

What We Talk About When We Talk About Bowie: David Bowie and Enlightenment Philosophies of Identity – Emily A. Bernhard-Jackson

“I Can’t Give Everything Away”: David Bowie and Post-Romantic Artistic Identity – Matthew Sangster

Waiting for the Gift: Velvet Goldmine and the Bowie-Image – Forest Pyle

On This Day in 1824: The African Theatre and Ira Aldridge

      Comments Off on On This Day in 1824: The African Theatre and Ira Aldridge

On January 19, 1824, New York City’s African Theatre staged its last known production: a one-man character sketch show performed by its principal actor James Hewlett.[1] The theatre had opened in 1821, when William Alexander Brown, a businessman, theater producer, and playwright, established it as an outgrowth of the African Grove, a backyard “ice cream garden” or “tea-garden,” which offered music and refreshments and was located at 38 Thomas St. in present-day Tribeca.[2] The first to feature an all-Black acting troupe and the first created for the entertainment of New York’s Black community, the African Theatre staged its first performance on September 17, 1821: Colley Cibber’s adaptation of Richard III, starring James Hewlett.

Mr. Hewlett in Richard the third in imitation of Mr. Kean. Drawing. Theatrical Portrait Prints (Visual Works) of Men (TCS 44), Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University.

The African Theatre offered its audiences a program of opera, ballet, pantomime, and classical and modern drama, including Shakespeare’s Othello and the abovementioned Richard III; John Home’s Douglas; Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s Pizarro; John O’Keefe’s comic opera The Poor Soldier, the pantomimes of Don Juan; or, The Libertine Destroyed by Carlo Delpini, and Obi; or, Three-Fingered Jack by John Fawcett; and William Thomas Moncrieff’s Tom and Jerry, or Life in London. Brown himself authored for his company the first-known play by a Black American, The Drama of King Shotaway, based on the life of Joseph Chatoyer, the Garifuna chief who led rebellions opposing British rule on the island of St. Vincent: the First Carib War (1769-1773) and Second Carib War (1795-1797). Brown’s drama, which was never published and is considered lost, focused on the events of the Second Carib War and is mentioned as being slated for performance in the Commercial Advertiser of January 16, 1822.[3]

The African Theatre mounted several such anti-colonial and anti-slavery dramas. The January 19, 1824, performance was itself staged “For the Benefit of the Greeks” during their 1821-1829 war of independence from the Ottoman Empire—a campaign Lord Byron joined in 1823. (He died from fever a year later in Missolonghi, three months after the African Theatre’s final performance.) Keeping the African Theatre open and active had been a struggle. Brown was forced to relocate it soon after its inaugural staging of Richard III due to noise complaints, and he moved the theatre several times thereafter, often under duress. Company actors were arrested and, on several occasions, attacked, and in January and August 1822, thugs hired by Stephen Price, the manager of the neighboring Park Theatre, disrupted African Theatre performances and incited a riot, causing an estimated two hundred dollars in damage to costumes, scenery, the stage curtain, benches, and the lamp over the pit.[4] Brown’s liberal politics, the theatre’s performance of Shakespeare (the province of British high culture) and of politically charged dramas, its competition with the neighboring Park Theatre, and a climate of pervasive racial discrimination and intolerance all contributed to the African Theatre’s short yet vibrant, three-season existence. Errol G. Hill summarizes the theatre’s predicament: “Company members and Brown himself were harassed by police, physically assaulted by white roughnecks during performance, and victimized without compensatory redress in law courts.”[5]

Playbill, Harvard Theatre Collection, Harvard University, announcing a performance of “Matthews [sic] At Home,” starring James Hewlett on “Monday even’g, Jan. 19.” 1827 is penned in as the year, but January 19 fell on a Friday in 1827. It fell on a Monday in 1818, 1824, and 1829. The Greek War of Independence, to which the playbill refers, began in 1821, and the African Theatre at Mercer Street was no longer active after 1824. See Thompson p. 145.

By the date of the theatre’s last known performance, Brown had stepped down as manager of the African Theatre and was replaced by Hewlett. Just months later, Hewlett left for London, possibly to confront Charles Mathews over A Trip to America (1824), which featured caricatures of Black Americans and a scathing depiction of Hewlett’s acting.[6] Hewlett never actually met with Mathews, returning home that same year to continue his career performing dramatic excerpts and imitations of prominent actors and singers such as Mathews, Angelica Catalini, John Braham, Edmund Kean, and William Macready. But around the same time, another New Yorker with ties to the African Theatre (likely attending performances and acting there) travelled to London: Ira Aldridge (1807-1867).[7] At just seventeen years of age, Aldridge made his London debut at the Royalty Theatre on May 11, 1825, in the role of Othello.[8] It was the start of a lifelong journey that would see him become one of the most famous performers of his age and one of the most celebrated Shakespearean actors of all time. And so it was that, in Aldridge, the legacy of Brown, Hewlett, and the African Theatre lived on.

Ira Aldridge. Lithograph by Nicholas Barabas. 1853. National Portrait Gallery, London.

Terry F. Robinson is Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Toronto. https://www.english.utoronto.ca/people/directories/all-faculty/terry-f-robinson


[1] This is the last performance for which a playbill exists. See Bernth Lindfors, Ira Aldridge: The Early Years, 1807-1833 (Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press, 2011), p. 45. See also George A. Thompson, A Documentary History of the African Theatre (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1998), pp. 17, 144-46.

[2] Thompson, p. 5. See also Errol G. Hill, “The African Theatre to Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” A History of African American Theatre, ed. Errol G. Hill and James V. Hatch (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003): 24-60, p. 25.

[3] See Thompson, pp. 87-88.

[4] Lindfors, pp. 30-31.

[5] Hill, p. 26.

[6] The performance’s success leaned heavily on caricatures of Black Americans, including “Agamemnon, a fat, lazy, runaway slave; Maximilian, a jolly waiter; an unnamed itinerant fiddler; and most unforgettably, a black tragedian,” patterned after Hewlett himself (Lindfors, p. 51). In the performance, Mathews’s Hewlett, styled as “the Kentucky Roscius,” botches Hamlet’s “To be, or not to be” and Richard III’s “Now is the winter of our discontent” soliloquys and breaks into song extempore, voicing “Opossum up a Gum Tree.”

[7] Lindfors, p. 33.

[8] Lindfors, pp. 61-65.

BARS 2024: Close of Call and Leeway for Final Submissions

      Comments Off on BARS 2024: Close of Call and Leeway for Final Submissions

Dear All,

Many thanks to everyone who’s submitted proposals for papers or sessions for ‘Romantic Making and Unmaking’ – it’s been brilliant watching the flood of great research ideas come in over the past few weeks.  The conference is shaping up to be big, buzzy and exciting, both in Glasgow and online.

As we’ve approached the last hours of the call, we’ve had a few people get in touch asking for some flexibility with the deadline.  The reasons given have been good, so we’ve offered these people a bit of extra time.  In the spirit of fairness to anyone who’s in difficult circumstances and wasn’t able to email, we’ll be keeping the proposal forms open to everyone for another week (until Friday January 26th).  At that point, though, we’ll need to close submissions, as we need to lock in room bookings and work through all the abstracts so that we can get send acceptances allowing plenty of room for booking travel and accommodation.

The Call for Papers and forms to submit your abstracts are here: https://bars.ac.uk/conference2024/call-for-papers/

With best wishes,

The BARS 2024 Conference Committee

Stephen Copley Research Report: Elisa Cozzi on Italy and the Irish Romantics

      Comments Off on Stephen Copley Research Report: Elisa Cozzi on Italy and the Irish Romantics

Italy and the Irish Romantics: Networks, Nations, and Literary Encounters 1798-1848

Figure 1: Iveagh House, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, now the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. Formerly known as Mount Cashell House, the Dublin residence of the Earl of Mount Cashell.

My doctoral project explores the literary connections between Italy and Ireland in the fifty years spanning the 1798 United Irishmen Rebellion and the European waves of revolutions of 1848. It hinges on the recuperation of previously unexamined manuscript material that circulated across a series of interconnected literary networks in Ireland and Italy. The Moira House set in Dublin, the Shelley circle in Pisa, and the Accademia dei Lunatici, also active in Pisa, are among the coteries discussed in my thesis. Thanks to the support of a BARS Stephen Copley Research Award, I was able to travel to Ireland and Italy for two separate research trips: I spent three and a half days at the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin in August 2023, and another three days at the Biblioteca Labronica in Livorno (Leghorn) in December 20231. The two trips had similar aims: consulting the unpublished papers of various members of the Moira circle and the Accademia dei Lunatici looking for evidence of circulation of Irish-Italian interests and ideas. I had previously focused on the Shelley circle, so I was keen to explore two lesser-known coteries.

Figure 2: The Royal Irish Academy on Dawson Street, Dublin.

In Ireland, I examined the papers of the Irish antiquarian and Italianist Joseph Cooper Walker, whose pioneering research into the Italian literary tradition and Irish Gaelic antiquities had a pervasive influence on Irish Romanticism. A prominent member of the Whig circle of Lady Moira in Dublin, Walker left an extensive correspondence, held at the RIA. Walker’s letters to various members of his circle showcase the extent to which Italian literature, history, and current affairs were at the order of the day among the topics of discussion at Moira House, which acted as a seedbed for the development of the first wave of cultural nationalism in Ireland. Among Walker’s friends at Moira House, the Anglo-Irish writer Lady Mount Cashell (now mostly remembered as the pupil of Mary Wollstonecraft and a close friend of the Shelleys in Pisa) plays a central role in my thesis. Mount Cashell shared Walker’s interests in the recuperation of Gaelic culture, and her pioneering historical novel The Chieftains of Erin: An Historical Romance of the Days of Queen Elizabeth (unpublished) was originally inspired by Walker’s antiquarian works. Among Walker’s papers, I was thrilled to find proof of the fact that Mount Cashell had acted as a patron and supporter of some of his literary projects in the 1790s. 

Figure 3: One of the upper reading rooms in the Labronica.

After the dispersal of the Pisan circle following P.B. Shelley’s death, Mount Cashell founded an exclusively Italian coterie (active between 1827 and 1832) in her Pisan townhouse and baptised it ‘Accademia dei Lunatici’ (‘Academy of the Lunatics’). Despite the apparent levity of the Academy’s topics of conversation and literary output, Mount Cashell’s ‘Lunatici’ went on to become influential writers and politicians who played significant roles in the Italian Risorgimento, the movement for Italian Unification: Giuseppe Giusti, Angelica Palli, Giacomo Leopardi, and Francesco Domenico Guerrazzi, among others. The Guerrazzi papers in Livorno were the reason for my second trip. Guerrazzi became a transitory albeit influential member of the Lunatici during his formative years as a university student in Pisa, before rising to fame as a novelist, journalist, and revolutionary. His most popular historical novel, L’Assedio di Firenze (The Siege of Florence, 1836), set in Renaissance Tuscany, became a manifesto of the Risorgimento. Although Guerrazzi only began writing the novel after his time as an academician, I argue that the Lunatics first inspired him with the raw material and ideals that would animate his work. In Livorno, I was pleased to discover that Guerrazzi had, in fact, made use of primary historical reading material which was supplied by another member of the Academy, Mount Cashell’s son in law Bartolomeo Cini, and which informed significant portions of L’Assedio.   

Figure 4: Villa FabbricoM in Livorno, Italy, houses the Biblioteca Labronica F.D. Guerrazzi.

My time in Livorno and Dublin offered invaluable insight into the circulation of ideas, literary influences, books, and manuscripts across Italy and Ireland through the medium of coteries. I am very grateful to BARS for the Stephen Copley Research Award, which made these trips possible and allowed me to gather important primary archival material for two chapters of my thesis.

1 Both trips should have taken place in late August, but my journey to Italy was postponed due to the UK air traffic incident that occurred on 28 August.

Elisa Cozzi is a doctoral student in English Language and Literature at the Queen’s College, University of Oxford.

Twitter: @_ElisaCozzi

BARS International Conference 2024: Romantic Making and Unmaking – Update and Further Details

      Comments Off on BARS International Conference 2024: Romantic Making and Unmaking – Update and Further Details

We’re delighted to have had such a good response to our calls for ‘Romantic Making and Unmaking’ – we have an excellent array of session calls, and many fascinating abstracts already received in response to our Call for Papers.  Ahead of the deadline on Friday 19th January, we thought we’d give a few more details about the conference structure to answer some questions that have been sent to us and to give an idea of what the event will be like.

BARS is currently experimenting with different models for its conferences, trying to balance accessibility, costs and conviviality.  For the Glasgow conference, we decided to try a different digital participation model to that employed by the 2022 ‘New Romanticisms’ conference at Edge Hill.  Simultaneous streaming of all sessions works well for remote participation in nearby time zones, but is demanding in terms of facilities, equipment and on-the-ground staff (as each session ideally needs a chair and a tech).  It is also less than ideal for participants in farther-flung locations around the world (a 11am session in the UK is pretty unsociable in Australia or on the west coast of the United States).

For ‘Romantic Making and Unmaking’, therefore, we plan to record plenary sessions and ask in-person participants to record their own papers at home for upload to a conference archive that will be available for a limited time to both in-person and digital participants.  We will also have two digital days for synchronous presentations and discussions, organised by a team from the BARS Executive.  We’re running these the week after the Glasgow portion of the conference (on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd August) to avoid the issue of in-person participants having to either miss digital elements while travelling or pay for extra accommodation.  The digital days will be run in a somewhat similar way to BARS’ 2021 Romantic Disconnections/Reconnections conference, with a schedule arranged so that people can present at a time that’s reasonable for where they’re located (so we’ll look to have one day that starts early for Australia and the Far East, and one that runs later for the Americas).  We’re very glad to announce that we now have two extremely exciting keynotes for the digital days: Eugenia Zuroski (McMaster University) and Jeff Cowton (Wordsworth Grasmere).

Organising the conference in this way will allow us to keep the conference fee in Glasgow fairly low (we anticipate a full fee of around £200, with a reduced rate available for postgraduate and unwaged delegates). It will also mean that we can provide remote access to the digital elements the conference at a considerably lower fee than for the in-person elements, while allowing everyone who joins us in Glasgow free access to the digital elements.  This remains an experiment for BARS – we will keep the form of future conferences under review, and use feedback from ‘Romantic Making and Unmaking’ to guide us when organising further events.

In Glasgow, the academic programme will run from Tuesday 23rd July to Thursday 25th July, with the four plenary sessions (John Gardner, Michelle Levy, Fiona Stafford and the Textual Editing Roundtable) and a wealth of parallel panel sessions taking place across these three days.  There will also be opportunities to see Glasgow collections, a chance to hear about what BARS is doing at the BARS General Meeting (BGM) and a series of further events (currently being planned…).  On the evening before the conference (Monday 22nd July), the Byron Society will hold its Annual Scotland Lecture at the University – BARS conference delegates will be able to come along to this for free to hear from a great speaker and enjoy some wine.  On the first night of the conference (Tuesday 23rd July), there will be a drinks reception.  The conference dinner will take place on the second night of the conference in beautiful surroundings at Òran Mór.  The dinner will be a paid extra; we will also look to organise an alternative dinner for those for whom the cost is prohibitive.  On the day after the conference (Friday 26th July), we will organise a trip if there’s sufficient demand (which it seems there will be, based on responses to the survey included on the paper proposal form).  Our current plan is to go by coach to New Lanark to view both an important site of industrial heritage and the Falls of Clyde, returning by late afternoon so people can catch trains.

There is great range of reasonably priced hotels in Glasgow for delegates.  We will also be able to provide means for booking student accommodation within reasonable walking distance of the venue – this will be under £40 a night.  Hopefully this will mean that the conference is affordable for delegates, but for those worried about costs, it’s worth looking at the session calls (where the Byron Society and the Charles Lamb Society are offering support), and keeping an eye on this Blog, where we hope to advertise bursaries in due course.

As always, please contact us on the conference email address (BARSConf2024@gmail.com) if you have any questions, and hope to see many of you in Glasgow, online or both in the summer!