Report: PGR/ECR Workshop – Meet the Editors of Gothic Studies, 3 November 2022.

By Amy Wilcockson

In conjunction with the ‘Nineteenth-Century Narratives of Horror’, the North West Long Nineteenth Century Research Network organised a Meet the Editors session with key editorial members of the Gothic Studies journal: editor Dr Emily Alder and book reviews editor Dr Sorcha Ni Fhlainn. This event was very well received, and as it was online, attracted PGRs/ECRs from far and wide. After a brief welcome and introduction from our hosts, Dr Emma Liggins and Dr Sonja Lawrenson, editor Dr Emily Alder introduced the remit of the journal, outlined her role, and provided a detailed overview of the submission process for an article, offering some general tips for those new to journal article publishing along the way.

Gothic Studies publishes three issues per year working with a rolling deadline for article submission, the process from submission to acceptance to publication taking somewhere between six and twelve months. More generally, articles are usually no longer than six thousand words, sent directly to the editor and once provisionally accepted are then submitted to the peer review process. Writers are encouraged to contact the editor ahead of submission to discuss their ideas, check the style guide and peruse other articles as it is important to ensure …read more


Report: ‘Nineteenth-Century Narratives of Horror’, 2 November 2022

By Amy Wilcockson

On 2 November, the North West Long Nineteenth Century Research Network hosted a special seasonal event: ‘Nineteenth-Century Narratives of Horror’. Three speakers explored diverse ways of thinking about horror in nineteenth-century narratives, drawing on ecocritical, postcolonial, and theological approaches. The speakers considered ways of representing horror and/ or haunting in relation to slavery, monstrosity and sustainability in both non-fiction and fiction from across the nineteenth century. The event was a hybrid one, as is becoming more popular in a post-pandemic landscape. The organisers successfully managed to cater for both in-person participation and the wider audience joining online who were positioned perfectly with a front-row seat, and with one of the speakers also connecting in virtually from the U.S., it felt very inclusive.

Following a welcome and introductions from Dr. Emma Liggins, Professor Katey Castellano presented a paper exploring abolitionist narratives through the lens of postcolonial geographies. Focusing on The History of Mary Prince (1831) and Robert Wedderburn’s Horrors of Slavery (1824), Castellano argues how Wedderburn, the mixed-race son of an enslaved mother and plantation owner, champions his enslaved mother’s disruptiveness as a member of the higgler community as demonstrating the advocacy of Black freedom. The higgler knowledge of island routes and …read more


Charles Dibdin and Popular Song in the Romantic Period

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By Emily Paterson-Morgan

In 1829 a large marble monument to Charles Dibdin (1745-1814) was erected in Greenwich Hospital, paid for by a public subscription. Still there today, it incorporates a bust of Dibdin himself, looking like a Roman senator, set on a column before which kneels a ‘Weeping Muse’. The plinth below describes him as the ‘Author of the National Naval Ballads’.

This was perhaps the high-water mark of Dibdin being recognized as a ‘classic’, a household name who had made an almost immeasurable cultural impact. By 1829 the less savoury aspects of his life had largely been forgotten, along with the less successful of his numerous works. What remained were a few operas (we would probably call them musicals if they were performed today) that had become part of the standard theatrical repertoire, dozens of songs which had the same sort of cultural currency as the Beatles’ songs do now, and a deeply pervasive legacy that meant hardly anyone could write or sing an English song without being influenced in some way by Dibdin. Most of all, Dibdin was known for those ‘National Naval Ballads’, the sea songs widely credited with having played a significant role in Britain’s victory in the Napoleonic wars. …read more


PGR and ECR Spotlight – Introducing the BARS PGR Reps

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By Francesca Killoran

Cleo O’Callaghan Yeoman and Yu-Hung Tien begin this new series on the BARS blog which aims to shine a spotlight on the work being done by postgraduates and early career researchers in Romanticism Studies.

In May 2022, we (Cleo O’Callaghan Yeoman and Yu-Hung Tien) were delighted to take up the role
of Postgraduate Representatives (PGR Rep) for the British Association of Romantic Studies (BARS),
and to join the BARS Executive. Since stepping into these roles, the central value that we have held is
to congregate, and most importantly, to support postgraduate and early career researchers (ECR) from
different professional and cultural backgrounds within the BARS community. This goal is expected to
be fulfilled through the diverse events that we have been planning to run throughout our tenure.
Among them, the next BARS Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher conference, titled Romantic
Boundaries, to be held at the University of Edinburgh, 15th-16th June 2023, has forged the primary
focus for our first year.

Alongside a great pleasure to exchange the fruitful academic paths that both of us have gone through,
our first responsibility was to confirm the venue, dates, and theme of the conference. Something that
was especially nice to find out upon accepting the role of PGR Rep was that both …read more


CFP: “Romanticism and Its Media”

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By Emily Paterson-Morgan

Leipzig, 5-8 October, 2023

The 20th international conference of the Gesellschaft für englische Romantik (Society for English Romanticism) will be hosted by the English Department at Leipzig University.

Local organisers: Prof. Dr. Ralf Haekel & Julia Heinemann
Venue: Bibliotheca Albertina, Beethovenstr. 6, 04107 Leipzig
Date: 5-8 October 2023

Confirmed keynote speakers
• Andrew Burkett (Union College)
• Christina Lupton (University of Warwick)
• Tom Mole (Durham University)
• Sharon Ruston (Lancaster University)

In the past decades, particularly due to the influence of New Historicism and Gender Studies, Romantic Studies has significantly widened its scope by massively expanding the literary canon as well as investigating a broad range of topics and issues. Today the discipline of Romantic studies is more diverse than it has ever been. The focus on the socio-historical conditions of the Romantic period has also led to a renewed interest in the conditions surrounding the production and reception of literature and the changing mediascape of the years between 1780 and 1830. What is often seen as a media revolution also created the mass readership – particularly of the novel – of the 19th century, and it profoundly influenced the development, and transformation, of literary genres. Furthermore, the development of the modern scientific system with its disciplines and sub-disciplines …read more


BARS 2024 International Biennial Conference: Call for Expressions of Interest

By Amy Wilcockson

Deadline: 17 February 2023

Send your EoI to the BARS Secretary, Jennifer Orr (, and any questions to either the Secretary or to the BARS President, Anthony Mandal (

THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION FOR ROMANTIC STUDIES is pleased to invite Expressions of Interest for the 2024 International Biennial Conference. Following the postponement caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, our last conference – hosted jointly with the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism – at Edge Hill University in Summer 2022, was our largest and most varied yet. BARS/NASSR 2022 followed three successful conferences (Cardiff 2015, York 2017, Nottingham 2019), as well as an online-only ‘Romantic Disconnections/Reconnections’ international conference in summer 2021. These recent gatherings have seen our attendance grow and diversify over the past decade, and delegate feedback has been very positive.

Building on this momentum, we are very much looking forward to working with institutions in continuing to build on and to diversify the successful BARS model. Please consult the programmes for Cardiff, York and Nottingham as guides for your proposal. (As a joint BARS/NASSR conference, the Edge Hill conference took …read more


Stephen Copley Research Report: Jessica Fay on George Crabbe’s Passion for Particularity

By Amy Wilcockson

Here we have the latest report from Jessica Fay, the most recent winner of the Stephen Copley Research Awards, for more information about how to apply, please see here.

George Crabbe is best known for the harsh realities of his long poems The Village (1783) and The Borough (1810). Inhabitants of The Village are subject to punishing working conditions, poverty, and sickness while the characters that populate the fictional Borough, such as Peter Grimes and Ellen Orford (vividly reimagined in Benjamin Britten’s 1945 opera), commit and endure extreme cruelty. Heartbreak, loneliness, and ruin pervade the flattest and drabbest of landscapes. This relentless realism puzzled contemporary readers. Crabbe seemed to lack imaginative power; he was simply copying provincial human lives without adding any of the uplifting colour that makes poetry pleasurable.

Commenting on The Village in a letter to Samuel Rogers of 1808, Wordsworth wrote that ‘nineteen out of 20 of Crabbe’s Pictures are mere matters of fact; with which the Muses have just about as much to do as they have with a Collection of medical reports, or of Law Cases’ (29 September 1808). Hazlitt made the same point, complaining that too much ‘literal’ description gives Crabbe’s verse a ‘repining’ …read more


Five Questions: Francesca Mackenney on Birdsong, Speech and Poetry

By Matthew Sangster

Francesca Mackenney is currently undertaking an AHRC International Placement at the Library of Congress. Her monograph, Birdsong, Speech and Poetry: The Art of Composition in the Long Nineteenth Century, which we discuss below, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022. Alongside her research on birdsong, her attention has increasingly focused on exploring the role that literature can play in environmental education. With funding from Creative Scotland, during lockdown she created an educational podcast about birdsong for young people ( When she returns from the US, she will begin her new role as a postdoctoral researcher on an AHRC-funded collaborative project, jointly hosted by Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and Cardiff University: ‘The Sound of Nature: Soundscapes and Environmental Awareness, 1750-1950′.

1) How did you first become interested in birdsong, and how did you come to decide you wanted to write a book on its representations and implications?

Many moons ago, when I was still at school, I read King Lear and for some reason the king’s words to his daughter have always stayed with me: ‘Come, let’s away to prison | We two alone will sing like birds i’ th’ cage’. I don’t know why …read more


London-Paris Romanticism Seminar: Robbie Richardson, Friday 18 November 2022, Senate House, London


To launch our 2022-23 series, we are delighted to welcome as our guest speaker Professor Robbie Richardson of Princeton University, a leading scholar of eighteenth-century British and transatlantic literature and a pioneer in the field of Indigenous studies. His talk, entitled Etuaptmumk, or, Two-Eyed Seeing: Sympathy, Relationality, and Collecting the Dead in the Eighteenth Century, will take place on Friday 18 November 2022 at 17.30 in Room G4, Senate House (ground floor). An abstract appears below. The seminar, which will include a question-and-answer session, will be chaired by Dr Rowan Boyson (King’s College London). It will be followed by a wine reception to which all are warmly invited.

The seminar is free and open to everyone, including postgraduates and members of the public. There is no need to register in advance. (For those attending hybrid seminars from January, prior registration will be necessary). By holding this first seminar exclusively in person, we hope to reunite with our regular audience who came to seminars in Senate House before we went online during the pandemic. Please rejoin us, or join us for the first time, and pass on the word to others who might be …read more


CFP: Feeling in the Long 19th Century

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By Emily Paterson-Morgan

Cambridge, UK, 13 – 14 January 2023 @RRRJournal

Since increased critical attention paid to ‘affect’ in the 1990s, studies of the experience of feeling have grown exponentially across a range of disciplines. As various emotions historians have shown, passions, feelings, emotions, sentiments and affections were equally at the forefront of the minds of nineteenth-century thinkers from Wordsworth to Darwin. This international, interdisciplinary conference will explore how these contemporary and modern affective debates have impacted, and continue to impact, the ways in which we think about feeling.

Papers of 10-15 mins are invited on feeling in the broadest sense (“to perceive or be affected by”, OED v.1a), in or about the long nineteenth century (1789-1914). We welcome papers from disciplines across the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and from scholars at any stage in their academic careers.

Topics can include but are not restricted to:
Terminology and language of feeling
Radical and transgressive feelings
Mind vs Body; modes of perception
Sensation and the senses
Medical feelings and pathology
Affect theories; phenomenology
The aesthetics and poetics of feeling
Communities of feeling; affective networks
Nonhuman affects; ecological feelings
Ugly feelings and unfeeling
Writerly and readerly feelings
Intuition; supernatural feelings
New frameworks for feeling
The limits of affect

Abstracts (250 words) and bios (75 words) should be submitted to by …read more