CFP: “Romantic Identities,” BARS Early Career Conference 2011, London

British Association for Romantic Studies

Early Career and Postgraduate Conference 2011


Romantic Identities

Selves in Society, 1770-1835

Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London


Friday 13th May 2011


When I charged you with depraved morality, obscenity, and indecency, I spoke not of Leigh Hunt as a man.  I deny the fact, – I have no reason to doubt that your private character is respectable; but I judged you from your works

– ‘Letter from Z. to Mr Leigh Hunt’, Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Jan 1818


The British Association for Romantic Studies invites proposals for papers for its 2011 Early Career and Postgraduate conference on the theme of Romantic Identities.  Political and military conflict, the proliferation of print culture, and the diverse aesthetics espoused by competing authors all served to make the Romantic period one in which creating, assuming and redefining different kinds of identities was of critical importance.  Increased interest in the lives and characters of writers, particularly in periodicals, constrained certain authors while provoking others to develop new forms of self-expression.  Effectively manipulating identities was also critical to the period’s burgeoning theatrical culture, in debates about hierarchies of forms and genres, and in the works and reception of female and working-class writers.  The interplay of these competing self-presentations has had wide-ranging and continuing consequences, including the posthumous canonisation of certain writers of the period as Romantics while others remain neglected.


We welcome proposals for papers on any aspects of the ways that writers and works of the period construct, construe and project identities and/or on the ways such identities have been received.  Topics might include, but are not limited to: theatre and theatricality; nationalism; imperialism; femininities and masculinities; gender and sexuality; class; authorial masks and personae; censorship; criticism and politics; fame and celebrity; conceptions of Romanticism; ideas of literary value; identities in visual arts; characters and lives; auto/biography; genres; archetypes; iconography and worship; modes of education; publicity and promotion; periodical culture; anonymous and pseudonymous authorship; forgery and authenticity; genius and hack writing.


In addition to panel sessions, the conference will feature a keynote address by John Whale (University of Leeds) and a roundtable session on conceiving, co-ordinating and working on large-scale academic projects with Sharon Ruston (University of Salford) and Simon Eliot (Institute of English Studies).


Papers at the conference will last twenty minutes.  If you are interested in presenting a paper, please email an abstract of up to 250 words to  Please also direct any queries or questions to this address.


Deadline for abstracts: 15th January 2011


Organisers: Matthew Sangster (Royal Holloway) & Daniel Cook (Bristol)


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