Romanticism Goes to University

deadline for submissions: 
February 2, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Dr Andrew McInnes / Edge Hill University

Romanticism Goes to University

A Two Day Symposium, hosted by Romanticism @ Edge Hill University, including workshops on editing the Romantics, teaching Romanticism, digital humanities, and impact in and of long nineteenth century studies

19th-20th May 2018

Byron’s bear, kept in his student room to challenge the ban on pets – Shelley’s expulsion from Oxford, for refusing to recant the atheism expressed in his provocative pamphlet – Victor Frankenstein as the undergraduate from hell – women writers debarred from university tuition but developing new models of mentorship in relation to Dissenting academies and other institutions: the university has an awkward reputation within Romantic period writing, becoming a symbol of authority and tradition to be resisted and challenged. On the other hand, ‘Higher Education’, broadly considered, occupies a significant space within Romantic thought, offering the potential for self-betterment and social improvement in revolutionary ways, from poetry embodying a radical call to arms and prose reconceptualising individual and national identity to print culture more generally offering a newly democratic public space of opinion formation.

            ‘Romanticism Goes to University’, a two day symposium hosted by Romanticism @ Edge Hill University, aims for a two-fold focus: firstly, a space for discussion and debate about the role of higher education – pedagogy, didacticism, the Romantic lecture and essay, and the university as an institution – in the Romantic period itself; and secondly, an opportunity to scrutinize the state of the discipline in today’s university: what does it mean to teach and research Romanticism now? How is the Romantic period presented in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes? What are the major trends in Romantic research at the moment? To what extent does what is taught in Romantic period courses reflect and / or motivate research?

            Alongside academic papers and panels, our symposium will offer a space to discuss teaching and research concerns through a mixture of expertly led workshops and roundtable discussions. These workshops will be of especial interest to Postgraduate and Early Career Researchers, although more established staff would be more than welcome to attend.


Keynote Speakers and their Workshops:

Prof. Anthony Mandal, Cardiff University: Editing the Romantics

Dr. Katie Garner, University of St. Andrews: Teaching Romanticism

Prof. Judith Pascoe, Florida State University: Digital Romanticism

Prof. Alice Jenkins, University of Glasgow: Post-Romantic Impacts


Proposals for individual papers, panels of 3 speakers and a chair, or innovative presentation formats, are invited on the following topics (although they are certainly not limited to them):

- the Romantic University as institution: authority, tradition, renewal, resistance, challenge

- education in the Romantic period: children’s literature, pedagogy, didacticism, self-improvement, social development, democracy, alternatives to traditional educational spaces

- the Romantic lecture and / or the Romantic essay: creative non-fiction, oral culture, table talk, conversation

- poetry, prose, and print culture with educational and / or otherwise transformative aims

- the Romantic period in the undergraduate and / or postgraduate classroom: canonicity, representation, diversity, the challenges of the Teaching Excellence Framework, student satisfaction and its alternatives, employability

- impact and public engagement with a Romantic period / long nineteenth century focus

- new approaches to Romantic studies, including, but not limited to: digital humanities, the spatial turn, the international turn, the affective turn, medical humanities and disability studies

- publishing and / or editing in and on the Romantic period


Please submit abstracts of 250 words for individual papers, or panel proposals / innovative presentation formats of 500 words (including a brief introduction and

details of each paper), along with a short biography of presenters, to by Friday 2nd February 2018.


There will be the opportunity for selected papers to be revised for a special edition of Romantic Textualities, as well as the publication of themed entries in the blog series ‘Teaching Romanticism’.


Edge Hill University has an excellent reputation for teaching and research in Romantic Studies. ‘’Romanticism Goes to University’ will build on the success of our previous symposia, ‘Edgy Romanticism’ (2016) and ‘Romanticism Takes to the Hills’ (2017), as well as the Romanticism @ Edge Hill research seminar series (EHU 2010-present) and our postgraduate conferences, co-hosted with Keele University: the Student Byron Conferences (EHU 2011-13), ‘Byron and the Romantic World’ (Keele 2016), and ‘Writing Romantic Lives’ (EHU 2017).