Stephen Copley Research Report: Jordan Welsh in Oxford

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The next deadline for applying for a Copley Award is 15 December. Please see details of how to apply here.

The following report is by Jordan Welsh, PhD Candidate at the University of Essex.

The prospect of any research trip during the COVID-19 pandemic seemed like a distant dream back in February 2021 when I was awarded the Stephen Copley Research Award. I had proposed to use the award to travel to Oxford in order to undertake research at various sites across the University and the city. My PhD thesis focuses on the Romantic and Victorian periods, with a particular emphasis on nature and religion in the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christina Rossetti, and Gerard Manley Hopkins. My trip to Oxford was an attempt to understand more about the High Anglican Oxford Movement who I have been using to tie my three central writers together. 

After much waiting and a lot of email exchanges, I was granted permission to access the archives of Keble College. The college’s collection provide a wealth of papers, letters and documents relating not just to John Keble (one of the key figures of the Oxford Movement) but also other significant individuals including John Henry Newman, Edward Pusey, Isaac Williams, and Richard Froude. In fact, I was only the second person to have been allowed into Keble’s archives after it had been shut to visitors for a number of months due to the pandemic. 

It was exciting to find in the archives two letters written by William Wordsworth, and whose handwriting was much clearer to read than Keble’s! Curiously, a letter from Keble during a visit to the Lake District provided a completely new perspective for my research as it showed that Keble and Wordsworth had met in person much earlier than I had originally thought. Another letter showed how Keble visited members of the Coleridge family in Ottery St Mary following the death of their elderly aunt. Keble was a close friend of the family, particularly John Taylor Coleridge (nephew of STC) who would go on to write a memoir about Keble in 1869.

Two letters from 1832 are written to Keble from Robert Southey who by this point was the Poet Laureate. The letters consider the threat from the establishment on the church as well as lavishing praise on Keble’s poetry collection The Christian Year (originally published in 1827) which was a popular publication and a best seller. Further letters also showed how Keble was consulted about the wording of the Wordsworth Memorial at Grasmere Church, which itself was a translation of the Latin oration given by Keble when Wordsworth received an honorary degree from Oxford in 1839. 

I also visited the University Church of St Mary from where Keble and Newman (and others) gave the sermons and talks that defined the High Church Oxford Movement. I was particularly interested to see that the guidebook and historical information in the church still refer to the pulpit as “Newman’s Pulpit.” It was from the same church a hundred years earlier that John Wesley had preached several sermons, including one that criticised the spiritually apathy of some of the University’s members.

In addition to joining the Bodleian Library, I also made a point of visiting the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. The neo-gothic building blends the influences of science, art, architecture and arguably religion too. It was here that a debate took place in 1860 on the topic of evolution headed by the biologist Thomas Huxley and Samuel Wilberforce, the Bishop of Oxford. A highly significant debate, it was but one of the many conflicts and controversies surrounding the position and importance of religion that occurred in Oxford during the nineteenth century.

My five-day trip to Oxford proved to be so valuable to my thesis and has provided a wealth of material and information for me to process and write about. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to BARS and the Stephen Copley Research Bursary. The entire prospect of travelling, being in an archive, and visiting museums still feels like a huge novelty and I am extremely grateful for the support I was given and encourage others to apply for this wonderful funding opportunity. 

– Jordan Welsh (University of Essex)

Coleridge Conference 2022. 25-29 July at Kilve Court.

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 The Coleridge Conference is back – in time for the 250th anniversary of STC’s birth year, and in Somerset, where, in that annus mirabilis 1797-98, he was living alongside William and Dorothy Wordsworth, writing ‘The Ancient Mariner’ and ‘Frost at Midnight’, and welcoming as visitors John Thelwall, William Hazlitt, Charles Lamb and Thomas Wedgwood.   

Our venue, Kilve Court, is the Georgian country house with ‘broad and gilded vane’ that is mentioned in ‘Anecdote for Fathers’. Its wooded grounds are ideal for strolling between papers or after the conference dinner and bar.  They nestle under the Quantock hills and near the ‘smooth shore, by the green sea’. Holford Combe and Alfoxden House are nearby, and we shall walk there in Coleridge’s footsteps.

As usual, we aim for intense but informal discussion – genial criticism indeed – whether in the lecture hall, the dining room, on the green lawns or in the The Hood Arms, the seventeenth-century inn just across the road.  

 Proposals are welcomed for 20 minute papers (the majority of which will be plenary) on all aspects of Coleridge and/or his circle, then and since.  Some will be published in the 250th anniversary number of The Coleridge Bulletin.

 Cost will be in the region of £390/$540.   There will be some part-cost bursaries for grad students and the unwaged.

 Send your paper proposal to AND TO


Tim Fulford

Conference Director

#Shelley200 – Interview with Sharon Ruston

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In the fourth in our series of #Shelley200 interviews, Shelley Conference Postgraduate Helper, Laura Blunsden, speaks with Shelley Conference advisor, Professor Sharon Ruston, about her first encounters with Shelley, science, radicalism, and scandal in the Shelley circle, Shelley and Humphrey Davy, and much more. Watch the interview here.

Also see our Call for Papers here!

BARS Digital Events – Zany Romanticism, Online Roundtable, 18 November 2021, 17.00-18.30

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The first event in our new season of BARS Digital Events 2021-22. As the field of Romanticism in the past few decades has broadened to allow more comedy into understandings of it, we believe it’s time for an increasing sophistication in our attention to comedy, including to its particular manifestations and embodiments, including in the zany. Building on the work of other scholars who’ve illuminated our sense of Romantic satire, theater, and other comic writing, this roundtable will focus on Zany Romanticism drawing greater attention to the ways that Romantic writers understand aesthetic production as a tense commingling of “artful play” and “affective labor.” More broadly, a commitment to examining Zany Romanticism helps bring into greater view more of the period’s various “beset agents” and their forms of often ignored or unrecognized labor.

Our speakers will be Brian Rejack (Illinois State), Rebecca Schneider (Fort Lewis College), Kate Singer (Mount Holyoke), and Michael Theune (Illinois Wesleyan University).

Book your tickets on Eventbrite here

#Shelley200: Shelleyan Fragments, Online Talk, 29 November 2021

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This free roundtable event, to be held on Zoom, gathers a distinguished line-up of Shelley scholars and editors to discuss Percy Bysshe Shelley’s textual fragments and legacy ahead of the 2022 Shelley Conference in London.

The speakers at the event will include Carlene Adamson, Nora Crook, Mathelinda Nabugodi, and Alan Weinberg. 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.

Click here to book your tickets on Eventbrite.

For future events and the 2022 Shelley Conference, visit

Twitter: @ShelleyConf2022


#Shelley200: The Jane Poems, Online Talk, Wed, 26 January 2022

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This free roundtable event, to be held on Zoom, gathers a distinguished line-up of Shelley scholars to discuss Percy Bysshe Shelley’s last lyrics, the ‘Jane Poems’, ahead of the 2022 Shelley Conference in London.

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

Click here to book your tickets on Eventbrite.

For future events and the 2022 Shelley Conference, visit

Twitter: @ShelleyConf2022


CFP – Romantic Ecologies

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The 19th international conference of the Gesellschaft für englische Romantik (Society for English Romanticism)
will be hosted by the Chair of English Literature of the University of Augsburg and held as a residential conference at ‘Haus Sankt Ulrich’ in Augsburg.
Augsburg, September 29 – October 2, 2022

Romanticism is characterized by a new understanding of nature and environment. Nature does no longer function as a mere purpose-oriented setting, but rather as an affective and emotional context of communication with the observing or experiencing subject. The numerous aesthetic ways in which this dialogical interrelationship between subjective experience and scenic object of nature is captured in Romantic literature / art makes Romanticism a ‘proto-ecological’ movement, and today, in times of a world-wide ecological and environmental crisis, Romanticism’s critical explorations of the complex interdependencies between humankind, nature, the environment and aesthetics seem to be relevant as never before. Scrutinizing Romanticism’s strong affinity towards environmental issues allows for an insight into the fragile and precarious networks between various ecosystems, human agency and (post-)industrial society in the Anthropocene.

This conference aims to address this new understanding of nature inherent to British Romanticism, explore its relevance for the discourse of environmental humanities in the twenty-first century, and also to reconsider the relation between humankind, nature / the environment / ecology and aesthetics in (and through) British
Romanticism both in (meta-)theory and practice. With our focus on “Romantic Ecologies”, understood as a wide and plural concept, we invite a multicity of theoretical approaches and readings. This broad conception of ecology may thus encompass political and socio-historical issues, such as the impact of ecology / the environment / biosystems in the contexts of (post)colonialism and (trans)atlantic dialogues alongside
societal ideas in the light of a re-evaluation of the relationship between humankind, the environment, sustainability and capitalism. Further focus areas comprise the role of various biosystems together with their (inter)dependencies and symbioses as well as aspects of non-human agency and materiality. Not least, we aim at revaluating the formal-aesthetic level by encouraging readings and theories that center around the
idea of sustainability and regeneration in / as art. This may include questions of autopoiesis, art as renewal (e.g. productive melancholia), sustainability / regeneration of genre(s), or aesthetic sustainability as manifested for example in structures of repetition and difference. We also invite reflections on the teaching of Romantic
literature and on its uses and limits in sustainability education.

We invite proposals for papers in English of 20 minutes length. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • eco-politics: (post)colonial and / or (trans)atlantic perspectives
  • Romantic concepts of nature, ecology, (post)capitalism and (post)industrialism
  • Romantic ecologies and ethics
  • Romantic biosystems and their (inter)dependencies: animal studies, plant studies, urban ecologies, theories and practices of space / place
  • ecology and materiality
  • the body: disease, contagion, affect
  • disease as deconstructive force
  • beyond (ecocritical) theory: Romantic ecologies in the light of environmental humanities; Romantic meta-ecology; Romantic ecologies and poststructuralism
  • sustainability and regeneration in aesthetics and art: autopoiesis, imagination, repetition and difference
  • the sustainability / regeneration of genre(s) and form in Romanticism
  • approaches to teaching Romantic literature in ecocritical contexts
    Abstracts (300 words) for papers proposed should be accompanied by a short biographical note, plus full address and institutional affiliation.
    Deadline: 15 January 2022.
    Send to: Martin Middeke ( and David Kerler (

Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. Research Grants 2022

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The Pforzheimer Grants are awarded each year to support research in British Romanticism and literary culture, 1789-1832. Preference is given to projects involving authors and subjects featured in The Keats-Shelley Journal, the Association’s annual publication. Advanced graduate students, untenured faculty, and independent scholars working outside the academy are eligible. The grants do not support time off for writing or for travel to conferences.

The awards honor Carl H. Pforzheimer, Jr. (1907-1996), past president, vigorous advocate, and most generous benefactor of our Association. An investment banker and philanthropist, he also served as head of The Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Foundation, established by his parents. The Foundation has long been distinguished for funding scholarship in early nineteenth-century English literature.

The Keats-Shelley Association awarded the first Pforzheimer Grants for tenure in 2000. Our roster of winners, who have ventured as far as Ghana and Jamaica in pursuit of their subjects, continues to grow and flourish.

The deadline for 2022 awards is November 1, 2021.

Eligibility: Advanced graduate students, independent scholars, and untenured faculty.

Purpose: To provide funding for expenses related to research in the field of British Romanticism and literary culture between 1789 and 1832, especially projects involving authors and subjects featured in the Keats-Shelley Journal.

Application Procedures

A complete application must include:

·         Application Form (see link below).

·         Curriculum vitae.

·         Description of the project, not to exceed three pages. This brief narrative should clearly describe your project, its contribution to the field, and your plan for use of the money.

·         A one-page bibliography of publications that treat the topic.

·         Two letters of reference from people who know your work well and can judge its value. These letters should be sent directly by your referees to the Chair of the Grants Committee before the application deadline.

Please email complete applications in pdf format to the Chair of the Grants Committee, Professor Olivia Loksing Moy at:

Report to the Association: The Keats-Shelley Association expects awardees to file project reports by the following December describing how the grants furthered their research.

More details available here.

Research Assistant – De Montfort University

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The School of Humanities and Performing Arts, De Montfort University, Leicester, UK,  wishes to appoint a temporary 0.4 FTE AHRC Research Assistant for 48 months to start on 1 January 2022.

As Research Assistant (AHRC) you will be expected to assist the research and editorial work of Prof Tim Fulford (De Montfort) and Dr Dahlia Porter (University of Glasgow) on their scholarly edition of the Collected Letters of the late 18th-century chemist, doctor, geologist and poet Thomas Beddoes (Cambridge, 2026).


Your duties will include researching towards biographies of correspondents and scholarly annotations, making archival visits with the editors to check transcriptions against MS letters; making and checking transcriptions, corresponding with archives, updating and ensuring the accuracy of the project’s databases and protocols; scheduling, attending and taking minutes at Advisory Board meetings; drafting promotional material for mounting on project webpages.

In your new role, you will contribute to the School’s research profile through independent research activity and deliver research findings in conference papers and peer reviewed journals.

Ideal Candidate

To be successful, you will have, or be in the final stages of, a PhD in history of science or literature concentrating on the eighteenth and/or nineteenth centuries. Desirable attributes include experience with eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century manuscripts, experience in constructing editions, publications in a field related to Beddoes, reading and writing German and/or Latin, the ability to work independently and as part of a team, a high degree of accuracy and consistency in a research context, a willingness to undertake further training and professional development, as appropriate.

For any informal enquiries please contact Professor Tim Fulford by emailing

For full details about this role, please view the job description, person specification and application route here.