CFP: “Romanticism and the Tyrannies of Distance,” Australia (RSAA), February 2011

Romanticism and the Tyrannies of Distance

10-12 February 2011

Call For Papers <>

Plenary speakers:
Deirdre Coleman (Melbourne)
Nicholas Roe (St Andrews)
James Chandler (Chicago)

Panel discussion:
Iain McCalman (Sydney)
Gillian Russell (ANU)
Clara Tuite (Melbourne)

This is the first of the biennial conferences planned for the newly founded Romantic Studies Association of Australasia (RSAA), to take place at the University of Sydney from Thursday to Saturday, 10-12 February 2011. The theme of the conference will be “Romanticism and the Tyrannies of Distance”, after the Australian historian Geoffrey Blainey’s now classic account of the way the geographical remoteness of Australia has shaped its history and identity. From here, it is a small step to seeing the way in which all kinds of distance – and the will to overcome distance – conditioned and challenged the writers and thinkers of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Indeed, in the spirit of new beginnings, scholars are encouraged to use the historical distance of the early twenty first century and the geographical and cultural distance of the Great South Land to reconceptualise the geographical and cultural field of Romantic studies.

We invite submissions covering the full range of possible meanings of “distance” in Romantic studies – including (but not limited to):

  • Transportation, travel, exploration, emigration, settlement, and repatriation
  • Transport, spiritual and material
  • Distances real and imagined: writing the remote in time and place and culture
  • The distance between social ranks or classes
  • Gender and race and generation distances
  • Linguistic distances, and cultural and textual translation
  • Generic distances: the hierarchies of art
  • Literature and science, literature and religion, science and religion
  • Overcoming distance: Romantic correspondence
  • The country and the city
  • The Romantic period itself as a strange country

Those interested in proposing 20-minute papers, or full panels of three speakers and a chair, should submit abstracts of between 250 and 400 words and a 150-word bio by 1 October 2010.


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