Romantic Connections: Networks of Influence, c.1760-1835 - Friday 1st June 2012

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British Association for Romantic Studies Early Career and Postgraduate Conference at Newcastle University, UK
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"Sometimes when I think of them I seem
Two consciousnesses – conscious of myself,
And of some other being." (William Wordsworth, The Two Part Prelude, II, 29-31)

"Let us live in as small a circle as we will, we are either debtors or creditors before we have had time to look round." (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Elective Affinities, Book II, Chapter 4)

"If I listened to the words of my mouth, I might say that someone else was speaking out of my mouth." (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophic Investigations)

Keynote Speaker: Professor Jon Mee (Warwick)

The BARS Early Careers and Postgraduate Conference for 2012 invites submissions for 20-minute papers on the theme "Romantic Connections," which is to be understood broadly as covering literary, personal, and social interactions both within the Romantic period and between the period and its legacies. In particular, this conference seeks to counterpoint the myth of the solitary genius by inviting delegates to locate the writers of the period in the contexts of the networks, ideologies, correspondences and communities with which they were engaged. Webs of influence, literary and sociable, entangle all writers and writing, and this conference seeks to explicitly engage with these connections and with the recent advances in scholarship and technology that have rendered their importance increasingly apparent.

Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Echoes, allusions, and intertextuality
• Social versus poetic influence
• Writing partnerships, communes and communities
• Urban versus rural writing
• Groupings such as the Hunt Circle, the Bluestockings and the Lakers
• Satire and literary squabbling
• The role of 'minor' writers
• Modes of dissemination for literary works
• Magazine culture and periodical networks
• Notions of original and solitary genius
• Personal and poetic interactions
• Celebrity culture
• Benevolence versus egoism
• Conversation and sociability
• Connections between genres and forms
• The influence of the theatrical world
• Popular culture and the market-place
• Challenges faced by and opportunities accorded to female and working-class writers
• Competition and anxiety
• Literature's links with other fields, such as politics, philosophy, art, science and music
• Passions, and / or romantic attachments
• Correspondences
• Local, national and international networks
• Biography and life-writing
• Canon formation
• Textual revisions and reversions

Along with panel sessions and the keynote address the conference will also feature a roundtable on collaborative works, the aim of which will be to offer practical advice on how to work in partnership in the field of Romanticism. In light of current changes in the Arts and Humanities, we hope to speak to this uncertain moment by offering positive ways in which early career academics and PhD students might collaborate with individuals and organizations and open up a dialogue with the public as well as their academic peers. Speakers taking part in this roundtable will include Kerri Andrews (Strathclyde), Matthew Grenby (Newcastle), Gary Kelly (University of Alberta) and Jeff Cowton (Curator, Wordsworth Trust).

Each panel paper will last 20 minutes. Please send abstracts of up to 250 words to:

Deadline for abstracts: 30th January 2012. We aim to notify successful speakers by the beginning of March 2012.

Further information available on the conference website:

Organizers: Matthew Sangster (Royal Holloway), Helen Stark (Newcastle University), and Matthew Ward (University of St Andrews).