BARS Digital Events ‘Re-envisioning Romantic Publishing’

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8 July, 5pm BST

This roundtable will address trends in Romantic and Romantic-period studies journal publishing, and help demystify the practices of journal publishing. Ideal for graduate students and early career researchers. Please e-mail us at with any questions to be pre-circulated to the panel by Thursday 1st July!

Our speakers will include Jonathan Mulrooney (College of the Holy Cross), Charles Mahoney (University of Connecticut), Lucy Morrison (University of Nebraska), Jennifer Reed (Boston University), Alexander Regier (Rice University), Alan Vardy (Hunter College, CUNY), Matthew Sangster (University of Glasgow), Emma Hills (University of Southampton) and Paul Youngquist (University of Colorado).


Five Questions: Mark Sandy on Transatlantic Transformations of Romanticism

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Mark Sandy is Professor in the Department of English Studies at Durham University. He has published extensively on Romantic poetry and its legacies, including the monographs Poetics of Self and Form in Keats and Shelley (Ashgate, 2005) and Romanticism, Memory, and Mourning (Ashgate, 2013; reprinted by Routledge, 2019). He has also curated a series of edited collections on Romantic echoes from the nineteenth century to the present day, decadence, Venice and, most recently, the spectral (Ghostly Encounters: Cultural and Imaginary Representations of the Spectral from the Nineteenth Century to the Present (Routledge, 2021), co-edited with Stefano Cracolici). He is currently the editor of The BARS Review. His new monograph, Transatlantic Transformations of Romanticism: Aesthetics, Subjectivity and the Environment, which we discuss below, was published earlier this year by Edinburgh University Press.

1) How did you come to realise you wanted to write a book on the influence of British Romanticism on American literature?

Although my primary research interests have been in Romantic poetry, I have always been fascinated by how you can trace the legacies of Romanticism (positive and negative) in the literary culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This, coupled with my love of reading and teaching American literature, made me wonder whether the writings of Blake, Byron, Keats, and Shelley were as important to the formation of American literary culture as, say, the writings of Coleridge and Wordsworth. This question stayed with me, especially as I had often felt the presence of these other Romantic writers in the works of Emerson and Thoreau, as well as later twentieth-century American writers. This haunting sense of the Romantic presences of Blake, Byron, Shelley, and Keats in nineteenth- and twentieth-century American writing formed the first seeds of what became this book.

2) Many of your chapters invoke nature prominently.  Is nature, for you, at the heart of the legacy of British Romanticism in the United States?  If so, to what extent would you figure this as a positive inheritance?

For me, at least, nature – in all its varied forms sublimely beautiful and sublimely terrifying – is central to the British and American Romantic Imagination but also, inextricably, bound up with these ideas and representations of nature are questions about the self and identity. You can see, for example, in the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman how they adapt models of nature from British Romanticism to capture the vastness of America’s land- and seascapes in ways that also voice the newly emergent sense of individual and collective identity that these writers experienced.  I think that the influence of British Romanticism in the United States is, on the whole, positive. Whether Romantic ideas about the self and nature are emulated, transmuted, transduced, or shunned, they remain a vital wellspring for the American Imagination. ‘The romantic ought to be everywhere’, Wallace Stevens claims and then, paradoxically, continues (embracing both negative and positive Romantic legacies), ‘But the romantic must never remain.’   Stevens’s conundrum, I think, perfectly captures and embraces the double-bind of positive and negative Romantic influence on the American literary imagination.  

3) Which U.S. authors did you begin the project with the strongest interest in examining?  Which writers surprised you the most as you traced their interactions?

As Keats has been a Romantic poet who has featured prominently in my research into other aspects of Romanticism, I was very keen to revisit the question of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Keats.  It is well known through Fitzgerald’s letters, novels, and other writings that he was a great admirer of Keats and many of his works of fiction make both direct and indirect allusion to the poet’s work. There are also many biographical parallels between Fitzgerald and Keats (as Jonathan Bate’s recent book underlines), despite the historical distance between them.  For my part, I wanted to think through the extent to which Keats’s ideas about negative capability helped shaped Fitzgerald’s mode of narration, especially in The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night, but also elsewhere. More surprisingly or, at least, less obviously, there are also important lines of Romantic influence (and response) that can be traced in the writings and thinking of two of the most important twentieth-century American novelists, Saul Bellow and Toni Morrison.  The extent and depth of their engagement with Wordsworth in particular, and Romanticism more generally, is truly remarkable.

4) The majority of the book’s chapters pair British poets and U.S. prose writers.  What did you find most revealing about exploring influence not only across the Atlantic, but also across forms?

In traversing the Atlantic and the traditional critical boundaries of prose and poetry, my study reasserts the significance, in particular, of second-generation Romantic poets for American literary culture by reassessing our understanding of Romantic inheritance and influence on post-Romantic aesthetics, subjectivity, and the natural world in the American imagination. As with the negative and positive inheritance of Romanticism, tracing the imaginative exchanges between British Romantic poetry and later American novelists reveals a similar story of continuities and discontinuities, as well as augmenting a stylistic impulse towards the poetic in these American writers (especially the works of Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Bellow, and Morrison).

5) What new projects are you currently working on?

My continuing fascination with questions of Romanticism’s bequests and its haunting presence in the post-Romantic literary imagination will inform a new book-length study that I plan to write, provisionally titled Ghostly Presences in Romantic and Victorian Poetics: From Wordsworth to the Brownings.

BARS Digital Events: ‘Dialogues and Receptions’ Recording Now Online

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This roundtable traces the conversations and legacies surrounding Romantic writers such as William Blake, Percy Shelley, William Hazlitt, Alexander Pope, Mary Shelley and Lord Byron.

Our speakers were Bysshe Inigo Coffey (Newcastle University), Daniela Farkas (The Pennsylvania State University), Eleanor Booty (Durham University), and Octavia Cox (University of Nottingham). Chair: Mark Sandy (Durham University).

The next event is Re-envisioning Romantic Publishing on 8 July 2021. Tickets here.

One-year Lectureship in C19th Studies

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English & Creative Writing
Salary:  £35,845 to £40,322
Closing Date:  Friday 25 June 2021
Interview Date:  Monday 19 July 2021
Reference:  A3392

The Department of English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster University is a world-class department currently ranked 1st for Creative Writing and 11th for English Literature in the UK (The Complete University Guide), with 40% of our research rated as 4* in REF 2014.

We seek to appoint a full-time, fixed-term, one-year Lecturer in Nineteenth-Century Studies. You will contribute to lectures and seminars on established courses in the second year: Victorian Literature and/or British Romanticism. You would also contribute teaching in one other area: theory; film and media; or creative writing. These additional contributions would likely involve teaching on one or more of the following: the second-year core module The Theory and Practice of Criticism; and/or the second-year module Literature, Film and Media; and/or the second- or third-year core Creative Writing modules.

You will be able to demonstrate excellent teaching abilities at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, be willing and able to give lectures and seminars, and have the potential to supervise postgraduate students.
You should have a strong research profile with the potential for publication in top journals and the making of successful grant applications. Your research should also be able to contribute to larger impact within society and culture through public engagement and professional networking activities.

Full details available here.

Informal enquiries may be made to Professor Sharon Ruston, Head of Department:

Job advertisement: Research and Teaching Fellow, Leeds

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Research and Teaching Fellow in Romantic Literature
School of English, University of Leeds

Full-time, fixed-term for 12 months, 1 September 2021 to 31 August 2022
Salary: £33,797 (grade 7)
Closing date: Tuesday 22 June
Apply here
Enquiries: Dr Jeremy Davies ( & Prof. Andrew
Warnes (
Online interviews are provisionally scheduled for Friday 2 July

What does the role entail?
As a Research and Teaching Fellow you will:
• Contribute to the AHRC-funded project ‘Experiments in Land and Society, 1793-1833,’ with a special focus on research in archives relating to Robert Owen (New Lanark; the University of Glasgow; the National Co-operative Archive, Manchester) and/or to John Thelwall (the Jerwood Centre, Grasmere; Derby Library);
• Write or co-author one or more publications based on your research, and present your findings at conferences;
• Work with Wordsworth Grasmere and Lancashire Wildlife Trust on public-facing events and resources arising from project research;
• Take lead responsibility for organising an online conference, ‘Culture and Environment in Britain, 1688–1851’;
• Design and deliver small-group seminar teaching to provide a stimulating and supportive learning environment for students; prepare high quality learning resources; and write and present accessible and academically rigorous lectures;
• Prepare students for assessment tasks through appropriate guidance; assess written work; and provide timely, constructive feedback in accordance with published marking criteria;
• Gather and respond to feedback from students and colleagues, and evaluate teaching in the light of experience and students’ achievement;
• Maintain accurate records of students’ attendance; ensure accurate record-keeping in relation to assessments; and punctually complete administrative tasks associated with module delivery;
• Contribute to School and Faculty policy and practice in teaching and maintain your own continuing professional development.
These duties provide a framework for the role and should not be regarded as a definitive list. Other reasonable duties may be required consistent with the grade of the post.

What will you bring to the role?
As a Research and Teaching Fellow you will have:
• A first degree and PhD (completed or very close to completion) in English Literature or a related discipline;
• A proven ability to conduct excellent research in eighteenth- and/or nineteenth-century studies, and to complete original research projects to a high standard;
• An interest in environmental approaches to the study of literature and culture;
• Experience of teaching English Literature in a university environment, and of interacting with students in ways that enhance the student experience;
• Good time management and planning skills, excellent written and verbal communication skills, and a proven ability to manage competing demands effectively and to work well as part of a team;

You may also have:
• A track record of research, published or of publishable quality, that makes use of archival or manuscript sources; contributes to environmental or ecocritical fields of study; and/or examines the history of radical thought;
• Experience of organising collaborative academic events, workshops, or conferences, or of contributing to the running of academic associations;
• Experience of working with non-academic partner organisations in a university environment;
• A higher education teaching qualification;
• Experience of successfully delivering lectures in a university environment.

Five Questions: Lucy Cogan on Blake and the Failure of Prophecy

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Lucy Cogan is Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Literature at University College Dublin, Ireland. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender, politics and religion in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century writing. She has published articles on Sarah Butler and Charlotte Brooke and edited Charlotte Dacre’s Confessions of the Nun of St Omer for the Chawton House Library Series. Her particular passion is William Blake, on whom she has published several articles and book chapters and who is the subject of her first monograph, Blake and the Failure of Prophecy, which has just been published by Palgrave Macmillan and which we discuss below.

1) How did you first become interested in William Blake?

Back when I was doing an MA in Modernity and Culture and thinking naïvely that I might do a PhD on imagist poetry or something, I took a module run by the eminent Coleridge scholar Jim Mays on intertextuality which featured Milton’s Paradise Lost, Blake’s Milton and Allen Ginsburg’s Howl. Mays had chosen the Tate facsimile edition of Blake’s Milton as the set text but you couldn’t get it anywhere and I became mildly obsessed with hunting it down. After traipsing all over London I finally tracked down a battered copy in the Tate gift shop and then opened it to find the strangest work of literature I’d ever come across. It was the sense that this mad vision was always on the point of making transcendent, mind-blowing sense that hooked me and it’s that same quality that still has me coming back to Blake today.

2) How did Blake’s understanding of the role of the prophet differ from the way we’d commonly conceptualise that figure today?

I think that as literary scholars it’s hard to escape the habit of treating prophecy primarily as a rhetorical stance or mode out of a kind of squeamishness with its claims to have access to a “divine vision” or whatever you want to call it. But to track the shifting significance of prophecy in Blake’s oeuvre means accepting that for him prophecy was a kind of action you do in the world. Yet if we accept that his prophetic poetry is performative and its purpose was to change the world then by his own standard his life’s work was an utter failure. In the book I wanted to try to capture how this trauma plays out across his career, as he tries to recover that unity of action and purpose he had felt in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak of the French Revolution.

3) In your Introduction, you argue that Blake’s ‘awareness of divergent temporalisations of prophetic action allowed him to adjust his use of the prophetic form as his understanding of his authorial mission evolved over time’.  Where in his milieu would you locate the starkest of these adjustments?

I’m not sure if this is the ‘starkest’ but maybe the most consequential of the shifts I discuss is from the Old Testament model of prophetic temporality to an apocalyptic model. In the popular consciousness they tend to be treated as interchangeable but there is an important distinction in how these models understand the relationship between prophecy and time that had major consequences for Blake and his sense of himself as a prophet.

For the Old Testament prophets like Isaiah and Ezekiel, who influenced Blake’s earliest articulations of the power of prophecy, the outcome of the prophet’s judgment was a matter of negotiation between God, his prophet, and his people. In other words, the future could be changed if the people listened to the prophet and altered their course. For apocalyptic prophets, on the other hand, the future is set. The end of the present world is coming and you can’t do anything about it. All you can do is wait for the fireball of righteous judgment to consume you like that guy in the car in Independence Day. So when Blake moved towards an apocalyptic model with works like “A Song of Liberty” and America he was expressing more than his confidence, he was signalling his certainty, that the end for all the corrupt regimes of Europe was imminent come what may. But then it didn’t happen. In the book I consider the ways he attempted to reinvent his prophetic system over and over again across the rest of his career, moving between these models, as he tried to think through how and why he had been so wrong.

4) Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutics are one of the book’s inspirations: what for you were the most exciting elements of Blake made visible by the book’s development of Ricoeur’s insights?

Ever since I was a Philosophy undergrad I’ve had a thing for Ricoeur because his theory of hermeneutics has always struck me as a profoundly humane way of thinking about our predicament, flailing around trying and failing to understand each other and our world. Ricoeur is often lumped in with Derrida as just another post-structuralist for whom the notion of truth is subject to deep suspicion. But for Ricoeur it’s not that there is no truth, just that it is multifaceted, perhaps endlessly so, since we are constantly changing and our perspective on the truth changes with us.

One of Ricoeur’s explanations of the hermeneutic method, in particular, helped me to conceptualise both my own analytical process and also Blake’s poetic practice. Ricoeur describes our attempts to grasp the truth when we perform hermeneutics as moving in a spiral pattern with each attempt approaching the truth at a different level or angle. Failure is therefore built into this process since each revolution reveals only part of the truth and the whole truth remains stubbornly elusive. For me, this is how Blake came to understand his own prophetic method, which is (if you are familiar with his later work especially) often maddeningly repetitive. I argue that these repetitions in his poetry reveal it to be a reiterative hermeneutic practice through which he attempts to work through his previous failed attempts to discern that visionary truth he was chasing throughout his career.

5) What new projects are you currently working on?

Something completely different! I’m currently putting together a Medical Humanities podcast with a UCD colleague (Alice Maugher, School of History) called The Demon Drink, which looks at Ireland’s fraught relationship with alcohol from the 1600s through to 1922 (the founding of the Irish state). The podcast should be coming out in late-July/August. This developed out of my work on my second monograph which is focused on drunkenness in eighteenth and nineteenth century Irish literature.

BARS Review Book Reviewer Recruitment

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The BARS Review is the review journal of the British Association for Romantic Studies, providing timely and comprehensive coverage of new monographs, essay collections, editions and other works dealing with the literature, history and culture of the Romantic period, broadly conceived.

The BARS Review is looking to widen their pool of book reviewers. Reviewing for BARS includes publication in the biannual BARS Review, receiving a copy of the book (ebook or print depending), and becoming an active member of the BARS academic community.

You can view and complete the form here. Thankyou!

If you have any technical issues with this form, please email Katie Harling-Lee at If you have any other queries relating to the BARS Review, please email Mark Sandy at

Lectureship in Romanticism (10 months fixed term), QMUL

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The Department of English in the School of English and Drama in Queen Mary’s Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences seeks to appoint a full-time (1.0fte) Lecturer in Romanticism. This 10-month fixed-term Lectureship is to provide cover while Dr James Vigus is on a Fellowship at the Hamburg Institute for Advanced Study, and also to contribute to our general teaching provision where appropriate. The successful applicant will be able to contribute to the development and delivery of team teaching in the Romantic period and beyond, and to demonstrate that they have an innovative approach to the current state of the field. Modules to be taught may include: Romantics and Revolutionaries; Terror, Transgression and Astonishment: The Gothic in the Long Nineteenth Century; Romantic Travellers in Europe; Victorian Fictions.

About You
The successful candidate will hold a PhD (or equivalent) in English, or a related field, and must have a growing or established research profile and substantial plans for future research. They will join a Department committed to an interdisciplinary and global approach to Anglophone literary studies, with significant expertise in Romanticism. Experience in teaching at undergraduate and/or postgraduate levels in large and small group settings is an essential requirement. Applicants who identify as Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic or Global Majority are encouraged to apply as these groups are underrepresented at this level in the Department.

About the Department
The Department of English at Queen Mary University of London is one of the country’s leading centres for innovation in the study of English, with a large and highly diverse student community and an international reputation for high-quality research and excellence in teaching. The Department was ranked fifth in the last national Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

About Queen Mary
Queen Mary University of London is one of the UK’s leading research-focused universities and a member of the Russell Group, with an outstanding reputation in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Queen Mary aims to be the most inclusive university of its kind, anywhere.

We offer competitive salaries, access to a generous pension scheme, 30 days’ leave per annum, a season ticket loan scheme and access to a comprehensive range of personal and professional development opportunities. In addition, we offer a range of work life balance and family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements, and campus facilities including an on-site nursery at the Mile End campus.

The post is based at the Mile End Campus in London. It is full time and fixed term with an expected start date of 1 September 2021. The starting salary will be Academic and Education Grade 5 point 35 £42,433 inclusive of London Allowance.

Queen Mary’s commitment to our diverse and inclusive community is embedded in our appointments processes. Reasonable adjustments will be made at each stage of the recruitment process for any candidate with a disability. We are open to considering applications from candidates wishing to work flexibly.

For more information and to apply, click here.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Professor Rachael Gilmour, Head of English, at

The closing date for applications is 30 June 2021. Interviews are expected to be held shortly thereafter.

Call for Applications: Communications Fellows for the K-SAA, 2021/22

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The K-SAA is inviting applications for three fellowships. The fellowships are: two Communications Fellows and one Keats-Shelley Journal+ Fellow (details here).

These fellows will be in post for a period of one year, beginning August 1 2021.

To apply: please send an academic CV and personal statement (1 page) explaining why you are best placed to undertake the duties below to by July 1 2021. Please indicate in your application which fellowship you wish to apply for.

Fellows will be awarded an honorarium for their time of $1,000 USD. Working hours and tasks will be flexible in order to ensure a balance alongside other work commitments.

Applicants should be a postgraduate or early-career researcher, have a strong interest in Romantic literature, and should have previously used social media for academic/professional purposes. They will be able to demonstrate their ability to write and edit academic blog content similar to what is currently presented on the K-SAA Blog. Experience using WordPress and editing websites is desirable. We’d especially like to hear from applicants who have ideas about how expand our community on Twitter and Facebook. This is a highly collaborative post and you will also work closely with the other fellows as well as the Director of Communications to engage new audiences and present innovative content.

Communications Fellowships x 2

Fellows will assist the Director of Communications and the K-SAA Secretary in engaging with, and creating content for, academic and non-academic communities interested in the Romantic period – especially those interested in the second generation of Romantic authors. This content will appear on the K-SAA Blog and social media.

Keats-Shelley Journal+ Fellowship x 1

This fellow will also serve as liaison between the KSJ Editorial Team and K-SAA Comms Team. The position will help produce content for the journal’s online presence, including KSJ+, a platform that will supplement and highlight features from the journal’s print version.

Duties may include:

– To create engaging and informative online content designed to promote the understanding and celebration of the lives and works of the Keats-Shelley circles, most broadly understood. Fellows will be knowledgeable and passionate about the Romantic period, especially the second generation of Romantic writers
– To set up regular appropriate content for the Twitter and Facebook feeds, applying relevant experience of using social media for professional purposes
– To respond to enquiries on social media
– To use WordPress to publish and edit blog posts for the K-SAA Blog
– To design and curate these blog posts, including soliciting authors from the academic and non-academic communities and other interested parties
– To develop the success of the above initiatives and to research further potential developments, and be willing to work independently and to maintain professional communications at all times
– To attend regular online meetings with the Director of Communications Anna Mercer and be able to work collaboratively with colleagues to share ideas and modify technique(s) accordingly
– To learn and develop individual knowledge of the K-SAA and to create content that supports the association’s aims.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Anna Mercer ( Please do get in touch if you have a question!

Promotional Offer: Complete Poetry of Shelley, Volume VII

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An announcement to BARS members from Nora Crook and Neil Fraistat, General Editors:

Johns Hopkins University Press is offering a 30% discount to UK and EU customers for a limited period (until 30 September 2021) for Volume 7 of the Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, just out in the US, due to be published in Europe on 29 June 2021.  Details of how to take advantage of this offer are below.  You can order by post, phone, or email from the UK distributor, Wiley, but it isn’t possible to order on-line. 

The Complete Poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Volume 7
edited by Nora Crook
Neil Fraistat and Nora Crook, General Editors
European publication 29th June 2021 – Johns Hopkins University Press
1040 pages, ISBN: 9781421437835 £103.50/€124.20

Available at a special discount of 30% off the RRP (£72.45/€86.94 – postage, packing and local taxes extra), when purchasing direct from Johns Hopkins University Press only.

c/o John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Distribution Centre,  1 Oldlands Way, Bognor Regis, West Sussex, PO22 9NQ, UK  Tel: +44 (0) 1243 843291 Email:

Please quote JPBS to obtain 30% discount.  Offer expires 30th September 2021.

This offer is specially for UK and EU customers.  After 30 September 2021, the  30% discount offer will continue to be open to all customers, US or overseas, who order directly from Johns Hopkins’s website, quoting a different code (HTWN), but for overseas customers the more expensive US overseas postal rates will then operate for hardback orders.

For a description of the volume, including Contents List and reviews of previous volumes in the series click here.