CFP: British Association for Romantic Studies: Romantic Voices – Deadline 20th December 2015

British Association for Romantic Studies

Call for Papers

Romantic Voices, 1760-1840

The Early Career and Postgraduate Conference for the British Association for Romantic Studies.

22nd – 23rd June 2016, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Oxford, in association with TORCH, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.

Keynote Speakers:

Dr Freya Johnston (University of Oxford)

Professor Simon Kövesi (Oxford Brookes University)

‘The present is an age of talkers, and not of doers’ (William Hazlitt)

‘Thus did I dream o’er joys & lie / Muttering dream songs of poesy’ (John Clare)

‘Coleridge came to the door. I startled him with my voice’ (Dorothy Wordsworth)

‘[Mary Wollstonecraft] is alive and active, she argues and experiments, we hear her voice and trace her influence even now among the living’ (Virginia Woolf)

Although the meditative insights of the “Great Romantic Lyric” have often been considered to be the voice of Romanticism, this conference will also explore and uncover different types of voices in Romantic literature, ranging from the loud chatter emanating from coteries and coffee-houses, to the marginalised voices of the disabled and dispossessed. It will understand ‘voice’ from a variety of perspectives: as the sound of communication; as the oral and written word; as a mode that anticipates an audience, even if only that of an internal listener; as the fashioning of the self, and the forming of communal identities; as a tool for disseminating knowledge and political opinions publicly and privately. We invite proposals for themed panels, as well as proposals for the traditional individual twenty-minute paper. Applicants might reflect on some of the following areas, though we also encourage you to interpret the theme more widely:

  • The self-constructed image of the poet as Bard
  • The lyric form
  • Dissenting voices
  • The rise of the periodical press
  • Voicing national and regional identities
  • Disjunctions between the oral, written, and published word
  • The politics of conversation and debate
  • Forums of exchange – from intimate and close-knit communities to literary salons and public institutions
  • Literary inheritance – the interplay between first- and second-generation Romantics, the impact of eighteenth-century voices on Romanticism, and the afterlife of Romantic thought
  • Non-linguistic modes of communication, and their relation to aesthetics, sensibility, morality, and politics
  • Reform debates and the relationship between literary and political representation
  • Narrative voice

As well as the plenaries and panels, we aim to include seminars led by early career scholars on some of the following: political dissent, poetics, letter-writing, the periodical press, scientific voices. We also anticipate that delegates will have a rare opportunity to see some Romantic manuscripts from the Bodleian Library.

Please send abstracts of up to 750 words for themed three-person panels, including details of all proposed speakers, and 250 words for individual papers to: The deadline for abstracts is December 20th. We aim to notify successful speakers by the end of January 2016. More information will appear on the BARS blog ( and website ( in due course.

Organisers: Honor Rieley (Oxford), Matthew Ward (St Andrews), Jennifer Wood (Oxford).

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