Embodying Romanticism: Romantic Studies Association of Australasia 2019 Conference

deadline for submissions: 
June 30, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Romantic Studies Association of Australasia
contact email: 

Embodying Romanticism

Romantic Studies Association of Australasia 2019 Conference

21 - 23 November 2019

UNSW Canberra Northcott Drive

Canberra ACT 2600 Australia


Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Professor Will Christie, Australian National University

Professor Kevin Gilmartin, California Institute of Technology

Associate Professor Kevis Goodman, University of California Berkeley

Professor Clara Tuite, University of Melbourne



Call for Papers

Although the body has preoccupied literary scholarship for some time, there has been a renewed attention in Romantic studies to the complex ways in which literature encodes and reproduces our awareness of embodied experience. Challenging views of Romanticism as bounded by visionary and idealist expression, such work reflects a reorientation of criticism around the materiality of Romantic culture, whether configured as part of the age of sensibility or in relation to the era’s natural and social sciences. The Romantic period was, moreover, a time when control of the body emerged as a key political issue in workshops, homes, battlefields and colonies, when bodies were subject to rapidly evolving ideas of gender, class and race, while new bodies of knowledge and corporate political bodies emerged to regulate the affairs of nations and empires. This was a period when bodies were subject to ever more intensive modes of analysis and management, at the same time that bodies imposed their transgressive physicality through new understandings of environments, vitalism, trauma, slavery, disease and taste. Attentive to such developments, Romantic studies in turn dovetails with a broader materialist emphasis that explores how bodies are shaped in relation to affect, biopolitics, speculative realism, post-humanism and eco-criticism. Alain Badiou has recently proposed that our modern, liberal ideology can today only perceive two objects: bodies and language. Aligning itself at the conjuncture of these two terms, this conference invites papers that broadly consider how embodiment was evoked, challenged and understood in Romantic cultural life.

We invite proposals for 20-minute papers on any aspects of Romanticism and embodiment. Proposals may be for individual papers or for panels of 3-4 papers.

Topics might include:

 •            Affects and embodied emotions

•             Sensibility and materialist epistemologies

•             Materials, objects, things

•             Life, organicism, vitality

•             Theatre, bodies on stage, celebrities

 •            Labour, work, maternity

•             Sexuality and gender

•             Corpses, death, graves

•             Race, empire, colonialism

•             Disabled bodies, monsters, illness

•             Spaces, environments, atmospheres

 •            Planetary bodies, heavenly bodies, cosmology

 •            Architecture, buildings and the body

•             Medicine, surgery

•             Slavery and transportation

•             Biopolitics/biopower and the body politic

 •            Texts and paratexts

•             Bodies of knowledge

•             Animals and humans

•             Organisations and institutions


Abstracts of approximately 250 words are due by 30 June 2019. Please send abstracts to the conference convenor, Neil Ramsey, at n.ramsey@unsw.edu.au

Postgraduate bursaries are available. See the conference website for details: https://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/conferences/rsaa