Romantic Locations (British Association for Romantic Studies Early Career and Postgraduate Conference), 19th-21st March 2014

full name / name of organization: 
Dove Cottage and the Jerwood Centre, Grasmere, UK

Keynote Speakers: Professor Simon Bainbridge, Lancaster University and Professor Nicola Watson, Open University.

The desert, forest, cavern, breaker's foam,
Were unto him companionship; they spake
A mutual language, clearer than the tome
Of his land's tongue, which he would oft forsake
For Nature's pages glass'd by sunbeams on the lake.
- Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage Canto the Third, ll. 113-117 (1816)

'There is no stretch of land, no cave, no tree which does not arouse again in my heart that sweet and pathetic desire which always accompanies the unlucky exile far from home.'
- Ugo Foscolo, Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis (1817)

The BARS Early Careers and Postgraduate Conference for 2014 invites submissions for FIFTEEN MINUTE papers on 'Romantic Locations'. We are delighted that we will be addressing this theme in one of the most famous Romantic locations – Wordsworth's home in Grasmere, where the Wordsworth Trust will host what we hope will be an inspiring and convivial gathering. Our format for 2014, in which each paper will be delivered to all delegates attending, is designed to foster geniality and inclusivity, in keeping with BARS' ethos. As part of this approach, BARS' Early Career and Postgraduate conference will, for the first time, be held over three days and two nights. We hope that this will offer our delegates time to engage with and befriend contemporaries as well as opportunities to hone critical skills and discover new developments in the field.

This conference will broadly be concerned with the roles played by places, spaces and the local in Romantic-period texts and thought. However, we invite delegates to address the theme creatively, reconsidering and challenging traditional interpretations of the importance of location for Romantic-era authors. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

- The roles played by places and spaces in the shaping of Romantic literature
- Rural and/or/versus urban locations
- The role of the local in the production of literary texts
- The influences of nationalism, imperialism, transnationalism, cosmopolitanism and globalisation
- The challenges and opportunities faced by marginalised authors, subjects and places
- Literary networks of influence and competition
- Literature's changing locations in relation to other fields of knowledge (science, medicine, history etc.)
- Challenges to the association of authors with a single place e.g. Wordsworth and the West Country, rather than Wordsworth and the Lakes
- The roles played by the digital humanities in enhancing our understandings of relationships between authors, texts and places
- Exiles and diasporas

Along with panel sessions and two keynote addresses, the conference will feature a session on manuscripts run by the Curator of the Wordsworth Trust, Jeff Cowton.

Each panel paper will last fifteen minutes. Please send abstracts of up to 200 words to: For more information as it becomes available, including advice on accommodation and travel, please see:

Deadline for abstracts: 15th November 2013. We aim to notify successful speakers by mid-December 2013.

Organizers: Matthew Sangster (St Andrews), Helen Stark (Newcastle) and Matthew Ward (St Andrews).