The BARS Executive, 2019-2023

The BARS Executive

BARS is administered by an Executive Committee whose roles are described in the Association’s Constitution.  The current executive was elected at the 2022 conference at Edge Hill University and in a special online election in early 2023.  Its members will serve two-year terms under ordinary circumstances.  Members of the Executive can be contacted by email using the links in the names below.


President: Anthony Mandal (Cardiff University)

After serving as a co-opted member of the Executive since 2013, Anthony Mandal was elected Vice President of BARS in 2015 and President of BARS in 2019.  As Vice-President, he sat on the award committee of the second BARS First Book Prize; reviewed applications for the BARS and Marilyn Butler Fellowships at Chawton House Library; arranged the preparation of the BARS postcards; and developed BARS funding awards with the Executive.

Vice President: Gillian Dow (University of Southampton)

Gillian Dow is an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Southampton. After co-organising the 2013 BARS conference, she was co-opted to the Executive, and has served on the committee since then, working on a variety of conference and fellowship-related initiatives. From 2014-February 2019, she was Executive Director of Chawton House Library, and she continues her interest in the Heritage sector and women’s writing. Her current monograph project focuses on women writers and Romantic-Period translation. She was elected Vice President in July 2019.

Secretary: Jennifer Orr (Newcastle University)

Jennifer is Lecturer in Eighteenth Century Literature at Newcastle University.  She has been Secretary of BARS since March 2018, supporting the President and Executive in the smooth running of the organisation’s business, record-keeping and meetings.  Through her current research project on Romantic Betweenness she is compiling a digital edition of the David Bailie Warden papers, a who’s who of early nineteenth century transatlantic intellectual networks.

Treasurer: Cassie Ulph (University of Manchester)

Cassie is Research Associate in Reading Practices on the AHRC-funded ‘Unlocking the Mary Hamilton Papers’ project at the John Rylands Research Institute, University of Manchester.  As Treasurer, Cassie is responsible for the financial reporting of the Association, and managing its day-to-day finances, working closely with the Membership Secretary.  Cassie has previously served as Treasurer and Conference Officer for the Burney Society (UK).

Membership Secretary: Tess Somervell (Worcester College, Oxford)

Tess Somervell is a Lecturer in English at Worcester College, Oxford.  Her current research project is on georgic poetry of the long eighteenth century.  She joined the Executive as Membership Secretary in 2019, and is responsible for progressing BARS membership applications and managing membership records.

Past President: Ian Haywood (University of Roehampton)

Ian was elected President in 2015 and before that served for four years as Vice-President.  During his presidential term, he oversaw and supported the introduction of numerous new initiatives such as the Wordsworth Trust Fellowship, the foundation of European Romanticisms in Association (ERA), the Nineteenth-Century Matters Fellowship, and the Scottish Romanticism Research Award, as well as expanding many of BARS’ activities.

Ordinary Members

Editor of The BARS Review: Mark Sandy (Durham University)

Currently Professor in English at Durham, Mark brings his wide experience of Romantic Studies to bear on The BARS Review.

Communications Officer: Anna Mercer (Cardiff University)

In the new role of Communications Officer, Anna runs the Association’s mailbase and edits the BARS Blog.  She began working on the blog in 2015, when she started the ‘On This Day’ series, and has been editing the blog since 2016. She is currently a Lecturer at Cardiff University and is working with Keats House on their #Keats200 project.

Bursaries Officer: Daniel Cook (University of Dundee)

Daniel has served on the Executive for several years; he manages most of the BARS bursary schemes, including the Copley Awards and the Scottish Romanticism Research Award.  With Matt Sangster and Anna Mercer, he fronts our Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Website Editor: Matthew Sangster (University of Glasgow)

Matt lectures at the University of Glasgow has been on the Executive since 2009 in a number of roles.  His initiatives as Website Editor include the creation of the Blog and the Exchange, the ‘Five Questions’ interview series with academics about recent books and research projects and the continuing development of the site.  Matt is also technical editor of The BARS Review, having overseen the transition to the new online format.

Early Career Representative: Paul Stephens (University of Oxford)

Paul is a Junior Dean and DPhil student at Lincoln College, Oxford (2016-2020).  He is treasurer of both the Charles Lamb Society and Oxford’s Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies (RECSO) Network, and co-organised the BARS Postgraduate Conference in 2018.  On the BARS Executive, he currently represents the interests of early career scholars, and is BARS contact for the BARS/BAVS Nineteenth-Century Matters Early Career Fellowship.

Postgraduate Representative: Amanda Blake Davis (University of Sheffield)

Amanda Blake Davis is a PhD candidate at the University of Sheffield researching androgyny in the poetry and prose of Percy Bysshe Shelley.  She was a Communications Fellow for the Keats-Shelley Association of America (2018-2019) and now serves as a Social Media Associate.  She led the School of English’s PGR Mentorship Scheme (2018-2019) and represents the School of English in the University of Sheffield’s Mentoring Network.

Postgraduate Representative: Colette Davies (University of Nottingham)

Colette is a PhD student at the University of Nottingham.  Her research focuses on the Minerva Press and female authorship primarily in the 1790s.  Colette co-founded the UoN Romanticism reading group at Nottingham and is currently one of the contributors for the Romantic Novel section for the Year’s Work in English Studies.  She also was part of the Conference Organising Team for the BARS 2019 Conference hosted by the University of Nottingham.

Co-Opted Positions

As well as its elected members, the Executive include a number of co-opted specialists who bring particular expertise to the association.  The co-opted members for 2019-21 are:

Outreach and Impact: Jeff Cowton (Wordsworth Trust)

Jeff is responsible for the Wordsworth Trust Fellowship and for developing liaisons with similar partners.

Education and Schools Liaison: David Fallon (Roehampton University)

David is Senior Lecturer at the University of Roehampton, with a focus on long eighteenth-century and Romantic literature. His book Blake, Myth, and Enlightenment: The Politics of Apotheosis was published by Palgrave in 2017 and with Jon Shears he has co-edited a special issue of Romanticism on Romanticism and Ageing, forthcoming in Autumn 2019. He is currently working on a monograph on literary sociability and London bookseller’s shops from 1740 to 1840. He is keen to forge relationships between BARS, exam boards, and schools to promote the teaching and understanding of Romantic-period literature in secondary education.

Conference Lead: Andrew McInnes (Edge Hill University)

Andy is the principal organiser for the 2021 BARS International Conference, ‘New Romanticisms’.

Book Prize Chair: Francesca Saggini (Università degli Studi della Tuscia)

Fran is Chair of the 2021 BARS First Book Prize.