The mood is happy – “too happy in [its] happiness”? – yet also dark. A bright canvas full of shadows and suspicions. Professional actors have been employed to mingle with the crowd, their task to attempt to enlist visitors to state-sponsored surveillance programmes; the aim is to gauge loyalty – those that fail the test are invited to look within themselves, with scant regard, perhaps, to the psychological effects. These are polarizing times.
government infiltrators also move among the assembly of over 9,000 – given the radical, in some cases fugitive, status of several of the event’s key speakers, it would be naive to assume otherwise. One of the orators is already imprisoned, able to address the crowd only through the means of technology; others live as exiles, their movements logged, their apartments surveilled. At packed press conferences, agents for major newspapers are filing copy on the contents of these speeches. Some of world’s best-known companies are being forced to issue formal responses to damning evidence that has been revealed
Please see below for a new Call for Papers for a fascinating-sounding conference on literary periodisation, to be held at All Souls College, Oxford on the 3rd of June 2014. Clare Bucknell, one of the organisers, writes:
“We want to start an academic conversation about the categories in which scholars, critics, institutions and anthologies subdivide literary history, and we intend to scrutinise the kinds of social or disciplinary bias that underlie the boundaries of literary-historical study. We hope that the subject will be of great interest to Romantic scholars, as there are many provocative questions it might raise – for instance:
– when does ‘late eighteenth-century’ become ‘Romantic’?
– what does the institutional history of ‘the Romantic period’ say about the interests and biases of English as an academic discipline?
– are certain genres and forms conceived to be characteristic of ‘the Romantic period’? If so, why – and what does this tell us about the thinking behind periodisation?”
The full CfP is below; abstracts are due on February 1st.
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PERIODISATION: PLEASURES AND PITFALLS
A one-day conference at All Souls College, Oxford, June 3rd 2014
Keynote Speaker: Professor James Simpson, Harvard
What do we mean by ‘medieval’? When does ‘late