Salon Details

Monday 16th August

Science, Imagination, Desire

Mon, 16 Aug 2021 13:00

Salon Host: Merrilees Roberts

Salon Description: Science, Imagination, Desire

This Salon is for participants interested in ‘the medical humanities’, the science and culture of sexual experience and in eighteenth-century and Romantic science more generally. There is a fast-growing body of work on these topics, and I am particularly interested to discuss Richard Sha’s recent book ‘Imagination and Science in Romanticism’, which argues that the Imagination was not a concept locked into one side of a science-humanities divide, but a way of operationalising forms of knowing which must tread the uneasy path between fantasy and reason. I am interested in thinking through, in conversation, how these ideas which extend the function of ‘Imagination’ might relate more particularly to the individual experience of desire, love and sexuality. I am also especially interested to talk with people who are knowledgeable about the science behind the entrenched assumption in this period that exercises in fantasisation, (such as reading novels) could “inflame” the imagination and diminish the power of reason. This seems like a rich and curious part of the history of biology and culture; one which must surely have a certain resonance for us today due to the growing awareness of the role of inflammatory processes in many aspects of health, particularly in Covid infections and acute long-covid problems.

Romanticism and Translation

Mon, 16 Aug 2021 14:00

Salon Host: Brecht de Groote

Salon Description: Romanticism and Translation

The cosmopolitan, even proto-globalist character of the period that coined the concept of world literature has now been so thoroughly described and assessed that it amounts to a critical given. Work on national Romanticisms has long been joined by a postcolonial and transatlantic studies, and there has recently been a further expansion to cosmopolitan, global and planetary perspectives which have put decisive pressure on the exclusionary construction of Romanticism as a national or, more often, ‘Big Six’ phenomenon. Amid all this work, however, the question of translation has long remained curiously underexamined. While corrective lines of influence have been drawn that now encompass most of the globe, an examination of how such networks operated on a mechanical level, has often beed evaded, especially where questions of linguistic difference are concerned. Recent publications—by Diego Saglia, Padma Rangarajan, and Kristina Mendicino, to name only a few—suggest that translation is now poised to claim a role of importance, however. Translation particularly opens new ways to establish new and reinvigorate extant links across national or disciplinary traditions, and to inspire a much closer consideration of minor and marginal languages or writers.

The purpose of this salon is to informally connect researchers currently working on or towards, or interested in, questions of translation both practical and theoretical, and to discuss initiatives that may help to propel work in this field forward.

Edgeworth Networks Past & Present

Mon, 16 Aug 2021 16:00

Salon Hosts: Susan Egenolf, Ros Ballaster, and Jessica Richard

Salon Description: Edgeworth Networks: Past and Present

The organisers of the Maria Edgeworth Letters Project (MELP) and the Digital Edgeworth Network (DEN: Digital Edgeworth Network: invite scholars interested in any aspect of correspondence in Edgeworth’s fiction and life to join us for a salon. Embracing the BARS 2021 theme of Romantic Disconnections/Reconnections, we would like to think about the vast networks Edgeworth developed in her lifetime and her uses of letters in her fiction. We envision this as a jumping-off point for a more wide-ranging conversation about Edgeworth. We would like to encourage contemporary networks of Edgeworth scholars across disciplines and across the globe. Both DEN and MELP are engaged in enhancing access to Edgeworth’s manuscripts through remediation in digital platforms. We welcome discussion of the ways in which our projects might intersect with your research interests and discussion more generally about your work on Edgeworth and her networks. How would increased access to Edgeworth letters and manuscripts facilitate your work? What kinds of research questions would you ask of digital collections of Edgeworth letters and manuscripts? What kinds of assignments for students would access to such resources enable?

A Ridiculous Salon

Mon, 16 Aug 2021 17:00

Salon Host: Andrew McInnes

Salon Description: A Ridiculous Salon

The part of conferences I miss the most are those conversations over coffee or other beverages which might not be on the subject of the conference at all: shaggy dog stories, pop cultural recommendations, gossip. This salon is for people who are ‘capable of being in uncertainties’ not necessarily because we’re going to discuss Keats’ negative capability (though we’re not *not* going to discuss Keats) but because what we’ll discuss has not been decided in advance. What we’ll discuss will remain uncertain, resembling Keats’ ‘Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact & reason’. This salon aims to satisfy the conference theme of reconnection by exploring the pleasures of disconnection.

Economies and Ecologies

Mon, 16 Aug 2021 18:00

Salon Hosts: Siobhan Carroll, Jeremy Davies, Eric Gidal, Nigel Leask, and Jon Mee

Salon Description: Economies and Ecologies

This salon is hosted by the authors of ‘An Inventive Age: Writing of the Industrial Revolution, 1770–1830,’ a forthcoming special issue of Studies in Romanticism. We warmly invite participation from colleagues with interests in economic change, energy history, improvement, and ecocriticism.

Our central interest is in connections between literary and economic history, deployed to examine questions of Romanticism and the environment. Recent work on economic developments during our period—we have been influenced by Sven Beckert, Maxine Berg, Andreas Malm, Joel Mokyr, and E. A. Wrigley, among others—speaks to the accelerating pace of anthropogenic transformation of natural systems, a transformation that often goes by the name of the Industrial Revolution. In dialogue with studies of literary and print culture, fine-grained economic history can foster new thinking about the connections between representation and the reorganization of ecosystems. The same interdisciplinary combination is a way to situate British Romanticism within global circuits of empire, labour, and extraction.

At this salon, we hope to hear from Romanticists with a broad range of related interests. Discussion topics might include the ‘energy humanities’; the histories of transport, trade, and technology; the economics of colonialism, the Atlantic system, and ‘Eastern’ commerce; urbanism and consumer culture; the classical economists from Smith to Ricardo; labouring- and working-class writers, or writing from the industrializing North and Midlands; and, especially, new thinking in Romantic ecocriticism and environmental criticism. The (short) draft introduction to ‘An Inventive Age’ will be circulated as pre-reading.

Tuesday 17th August

22 St James’s Place

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 10:00

Salon Hosts: Charlotte May and Amy Wilcockson

Salon Description: ‘The Gate Shall Fly Open’: 22 St James’s Place

Join us at the most popular literary salon in Romantic-era London, 22 St James’s Place: the home of the bestselling banker-poet, Samuel Rogers. Surrounded by antiquaries and masterpieces, his breakfast table was where Romantic sociability flourished. Partakers of the infamous breakfasts included Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, J.M.W. Turner, and Caroline Norton, to name just a few!

You can see an imagined meeting of memorable men (although, of course, women were frequent guests too!) at Rogers’s breakfast table here.

Led by Charlotte May and Amy Wilcockson, we look forward to welcoming you to a virtual 22 St James’s Place. Bring your best breakfast, choicest beverage, and the hottest gossip about the goings-on in Romantic literary, political, and artistic circles.

This salon is in conjunction with the panel ‘Speaking freely…of the Byron’: Scandal and Byronic Gossip in the Romantic Period.

Romantic Paratexts and Marginality

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 12:00

Salon Hosts: Corrina Readioff and Alex Watson

Salon Description: On the Edge: Romantic Paratexts and Marginality

Paratext studies now influences every area of literary study, often appearing around the margins of other specialisms. This salon addresses how paratexts in Romantic-era literature were used to assert and construct identity, and contest or consolidate different forms of social and political marginality. Suggested texts for discussion include the paratextual material of both Charlotte Smith’s Elegiac Sonnets (1784) and Mary Prince’s autobiographical The History of Mary Prince (1831). Jacqueline Labbe has drawn attention to how Smith’s footnotes engage with male-dominated discourses of botany, ethnography and natural history, claiming that ‘the notes bolster the poems with a new version of female selfhood, a subterranean challenge to culture’. (Ma(r)king the Text, 2000). More recently, Jennifer Wawzrinek has argued that Prince’s editor Thomas Pringle arranges multiple paratexts (preface, supplement, footnotes and appendices) of History to provoke debate about slavery. Wawrzinek asserts: ‘Pringle’s paratexts…work in conjunction with Prince’s difficulties…to create spaces of potential insurgency and transformation’ (2020). This salon invites participants to consider questions such as: What do paratexts enable writers and editors to do that they cannot in the “main text”? What role do paratexts play in both enabling and impeding the entry of marginal voices into the public sphere? How do paratexts construct layered textual identities?

Attendees are invited to briefly identify their own research interests in the Zoom chat feature to facilitate networking (particularly for students and ECRs) and are encouraged to share short examples of relevant paratexts from their own research.

Smith available here.

Prince available here.

British Romantic Theatre

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 13:00

Salon Host: Sarah Burdett

Salon Description: British Romantic Theatre

After a period of critical neglect, British Romantic theatre is now a burgeoning area of scholarly enquiry. Across the past three decades, invaluable contributions to fields including closet drama (Burroughs, Richardson, Crochunis), illegitimate theatre (Moody, Saglia, Buckley), Gothic drama (Townshend, Gamer, Saggini), adaptations of foreign plays (Mortensen, Burwick, Cox), the eighteenth-century actress (Straub, Brooks, Nussbaum, Pascoe), and the relationship between theatre, nationalism and political revolution (O’Quinn, D. Taylor, G. Taylor, Russell, Valladares), have catapulted Romantic drama and theatre into academic limelight, showing investigations of the theatrical world to impact crucially scholarly understanding of Romantic period culture. This salon looks to capitalise on the rich critical debates which continue to emerge in this field by bringing together scholars working within any area pertaining to British Romantic theatre and drama. Discussions look to centre on (but are not limited to): Romantic theatre and genre (melodrama, German drama, gothic drama); Romantic theatre and gender (cross-dressing, travesty roles, negotiations of masculinity/femininity); Romantic theatre and adaptation (revivals of older and/or foreign plays); Romantic theatre and revolution (engagements with American Revolution, French Revolution, Irish Rebellion, Napoleonic wars); Romantic theatre and nationalism (Europhobia; depictions of Britishness; depictions of Englishness, Irishness and Scottishness).

Archives and Extraordinary Bodies

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 15:00

Salon Hosts: Jennifer Lemmer Posey, Chris Mounsey, Miriam Wallace, and Betsy Golden Kellem

Salon Description: Archives and Extraordinary Bodies

Hosts representing different institutions and academic interests will start a conversation inspired by a selection of objects and images from the Ringling Museum of Art’s Circus collections. Our goal is first to open a discussion of the depictions and performances of extraordinary bodied persons from the Romantic era, 1750-1850. Secondly, we want to explore how to talk about and think through the kinds of materials housed in the museum’s collection—which includes an extraordinary range of material from early modern prints of anomalous bodied persons and exotic animals, balloons, and equestrian skills to later artifacts of famous performers including calling cards and clothing to posters and handbills. These materials are both fascinating and potentially “politically toxic” in some cases, where racialized and exoticized human bodies are combined with cant narrative accounts. And yet, these kinds of archives are among the richest sources of material evidence of these persons lives. References to other period images that resonate are welcome and invited.

The Gravestone Project

Tue, 17 Aug 2021 18:00

Salon Hosts: The Gravestone Project (Emily B. Stanback, Polly Atkin, Rebecca Schneider, Amy Giroux, et al.)

Salon Description: Death and Data: The Gravestone Project and Romantic Memorialization

This salon, convened by The Gravestone Project (TGP), will consider how digital humanities methods can expand possibilities for teachers and researchers exploring Romantic-era practices of memorialization–especially the spaces, objects, and texts linked to memorial practices. TGP is a digital humanities collective that foregrounds humanities methodologies and engages the public in investigating seventeenth- to nineteenth-century memorialization.

We hope that this salon will generate lively discussion, and our conversation will follow the methodological, ethical, and literary interests of participants. In addition to thinking through how digital humanities can practically expand our teaching and research, we hope to discuss two other key questions. Firstly, how can we better acknowledge, and account for, forms of memorialization beyond those available to people with cultural and financial capital (e.g. gravestones, plaques, obituaries)? How can considering such texts as oral histories, asylum records, and plantation records complicate our understanding of memorialization in the Romantic era? Second, what can memorial objects in this broader sense–especially those that are related to individuals without personal historical significance–teach us about ideas of salience beyond studies of memorialization, such as embodiment, illness, disability, national identity, and empire?

Wednesday 18th August

Romantic Period Book Circulation

Wed, 18 Aug 2021 11:30

Salon Hosts: Katie Halsey and the Books and Borrowing Project Team

Salon Description: Which books were really circulating in the Romantic Period?

We invite anyone interested in the history of reading in our period (c. 1770-1840) to sign up for this salon, in which we will hope to have some exciting and stimulating discussions about the books that were circulating in our period.

In advance of the salon, we will invite attendees to look at 5 images. Each of these constitutes a page of borrowings from a different Scottish library in the Romantic period, and we hope that looking at the books that were actually being borrowed will spark some interesting and provocative discussions about how we conceive of Romanticism itself. These images, with some explanatory text that describes the context of the library and the register from which the page comes, will be hosted on our project website, and will be made available to anyone who wishes to look at them two weeks in advance of the salon, though they will also be shown during the salon itself for those who haven’t had time to look in advance. We hope that discussions during the salon might then focus on what how what we are seeing might differ from (or indeed confirm) what we might have expected to see, although we also very much hope that this will also lead us into some much broader issues.

Global Romanticism

Wed, 18 Aug 2021 13:00

Salon Hosts: Yu-Hung Tien, Pauline Hortolland, and Li-Hsin Hsu

Salon Description: Global Romanticism

In this salon ‘Global Romanticism’, we welcome participants from all disciplines who are interested in any aspect of the transcultural receptions of British Romanticism. The consistent scholarly investment in the transnational nature of Romanticism manifests itself in a number of recent publications concerning East-West reception studies, such as British Romanticism in Asia: The Reception, Translation, and Transformation edited by Alex Watson and Laurence Williams, Romantic Legacies: Transnational and Transdisciplinary Contexts edited by Shung-liang Chao and John Michael, China from the Ruins of Athens and Rome : Classics, Sinology, and Romanticism, 1793-1938 by Chris Murray, Forms of Modernity in Romantic England and Republican China by Emily Sun, to name just a few. In the ‘Introduction’ of Romantic Legacies, Shung-liang Chao and John Michael Corrigan emphasise the ‘transnational’ and ‘transdisciplinary’ nature of the Romantic Movement, while recognising ‘transnationalism’ as a critical approach which now ‘lies at the heart of Romantic studies’. In the same essay, Chao and Corrigan echo such earlier scholars as Michael O’Neill by seeing Romantic legacies as a reciprocal pattern of influences. Building upon these scholarships, in this salon, we would like to investigate further the ways in which British Romanticism, or Romanticism more broadly, has been transmitted, adapted, regenerated, or misread, in productive ways, in other cultural contexts. We would also like to invite all the participants to rethink the ways in which such transcultural transmission, adaptation, or appropriation may help reshape, and even redefine our understandings of what Romanticism is.

Networking the Salon

Wed, 18 Aug 2021 14:00

Salon Hosts: Dr Carmen Casaliggi and Dr Maximiliaan Von Woudenberg

Salon Description: Networking the Salon

This panel invites an informal discussion on the role of the ‘group’, ‘circle’, or ‘coterie’ as a way of understanding network and networking in British and European salons and possible influences on Romantic literary productions. The discussion will explore the way in which Romantic writers exist not merely or even primarily as distinct or solitary voices but rather as members of a series of self-consciously defined groups or networks that pay particular attention to international mediations, inter-salon diversity, conflict, and tactical connections.

Possible topics of discussions include, but are not limited to, the social transnational networks created by the literary salon; the physical networks occasioned by travel and infrastructural developments; the material networks developed by correspondence, newspaper reprinting, book exchanges, manuscript paratexts, art and music collections, museum displays; the role of the salonnière; the significance of specific rooms in the salon (i.e. the library). Examining these transnational interactions in the context of salon culture as a network, and highlighting the dynamic tensions inherent within them, will allow us to rethink the paradox of the cosmopolitan framework: how the quest for transnationality appears to reinforce feelings of national identity in the literature of the period.

Maker Romanticism

Wed, 18 Aug 2021 17:00

Salon Host: Jessica Roberson

Salon Description: Maker Romanticism

For this salon, I would like to invite into a digital space anyone interested in Romanticism, making, materiality, tactility, and craft. I envision a conversation about our own crafty pursuits, especially during quarantine (do you knit, sew, throw pottery, make zines or books?) and perhaps examples of Romantic-era makers, as well as sharing hands-on pedagogical ideas and speculative connections to theories of Romantic community. The “makerspace,” generally speaking, is a space dedicated to tinkering, to playing with materials, designing knowledge, community and creativity – I think we can also see a makerspace, or any maker community, as a productive site for what Stephen C. Behrendt has described as an engaged Romantic praxis: public action coupled with the expansion of the mind. In that vein, I hope that this conversation also resonates with ongoing current efforts to remake the Romantic coterie into a Romantic collective, emphasizing the collaborative nature of sharing a space, tools, and ideas. What kinds of new Romanticisms can we engage through these kinds of spaces and activities, for our students and ourselves? How do we challenge problems of access and equity that arise in maker communities, on campus or elsewhere? I look forward to fellow makers and tinkerers joining me in exploring those possibilities.

Austen After 200

Wed, 18 Aug 2021 18:00

Salon Hosts: Daniel Cook, Annika Bautz, and Kerry Sinanan

Salon Description: Austen After 200: New Reading Spaces

Reading Austen has never been more popular while, at the same time, academic scholarship, from many different angles, on her works and on her afterlives, is flourishing. Based on the forthcoming essay collection Austen After 200: New Reading Spaces (Palgrave Macmillan, 2021), edited by Annika Bautz, Daniel Cook, and Kerry Sinanan, this salon explores new spaces for reading and responding to Austen that cross the academic and the public, incorporating fandoms alongside traditional scholarly spaces. The bicentenaries themselves were full of events that allowed these varied Austen communities to think, work and talk alongside each other and so this volume registers the ways in which Austen spaces are evolving and probes our contemporary relationships with Austen’s novels in the wake of the celebrations. Among other topics, we will discuss the wide appeal of the novels in different fora and investigate our current responses to her works both inside and outside the academy. Questions will include: in what ways is Austen’s style read in different online and physical spaces? How are we being asked to read Austen by reviewers after the bicentenaries, and how does review culture relate to or challenge critical work on Austen? What kind of reading feeds into film adaptation, blogging about Austen, or into new digital cultures? What priorities are emerging in the digital classroom as we teach Austen to a diverse student body? What communal spaces can be opened up for the benefit of a wide and inclusive readership, and how?