De Quincey’s Confessions at 200
Location: The Jerwood Centre at The Wordsworth Trust
Date: 13–14 May 2022
Keynote lecture by Robert Morrison (Bath Spa University, British Academy Global Professor)
In September and October 1821, the London Magazine published a remarkable text. Republished as a book in 1822, Confessions of an English Opium-Eater: Being an Extract from the Life of a Scholar was an instant sensation, launching its writer, Thomas De Quincey, on a long and richly varied career in literature. Negotiating between London and the Lakes, between prose and poetry, and between a dizzying range of discourses and disciplines, the Confessions invented the genre of addiction literature and redefined what it meant to write Romantic prose. Above all, through his Confessions, De Quincey asserted himself amongst the Lake Poets, particularly situating himself alongside and against Wordsworth and Coleridge.
To mark this singular text’s bicentennial, we invite papers for an international conference on De Quincey, his Confessions, and the Lake Poets. Suggested topics include:
- De Quincey on the Lake Poets/the Lake Poets on De Quincey
- De Quincey’s later oeuvre
- The literature of addiction
- Romantic (auto)biography
- The Confessions at 200 in light of other Romantic bicentennials
- Romantic essay writing: Charles Lamb, William Hazlitt, Christopher North, etc.
- Disciplines and discourses in the Confessions and beyond: philosophy, political economy, politics and ideology, the urban sublime, etc.
- Reception and legacy of the Confessions: Woolf, Baudelaire, Poe, etc.
- Magazine culture
We welcome proposals for standard 20-minute conference papers (max. 250 words), as well as for three-person panels (three abstracts of max. 250 words). Experimental formats will also be considered. Please include your name, affiliation and email address in your proposal.
The conference will take place in De Quincey’s onetime home in the Lakes, on 13 and 14 May 2022. The fee, excluding residence costs, will be in the region of £100. There are many B&Bs and hotels in Grasmere within walking distance of the venue.
Please send proposals and any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is 15 November 2021.
Organisers: Brecht de Groote (Ghent), Tim Fulford (De Montfort), and Matt Sangster (Glasgow).