Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry, 13-14 March 2015, Institute of English Studies, London

This two-day conference, organized by the Institute of English Studies (http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk) and Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre (http://www.brookes.ac.uk/poetry-centre/), addresses the three initiatives: New Generation Poets (1994), Next Generation Poets (2004), and Next Generation Poets 2014. It aims to examine important concerns of contemporary poetry arising from these projects, such as the relationship between poetry and the public, the promotion of poetry through initiatives such as these, and what the selection of the particular poets on these lists can tell us about the state and direction of British poetry at various stages over the past twenty years.

Thus, whilst the organizers encourage engagement with the individual poets and collections selected for each promotion (a full list of the 1994, 2004, and 2014 poets selected is available on the Poetry Book Society’s website: http://nextgenerationpoets.com), they are also keen to invite reflection upon the relationship between the works of these poets and the initiatives themselves, and will be very interested to receive paper proposals which consider how the work of the 1994 and 2004 poets has developed as a result of the promotion.

In addition to the focus upon these three groups of writers and the selection criteria for selection in the respective promotions, organizers will also be interested in papers which address the issues surrounding the publication of a first collection, as well as the relationship between poets and publishers, and encourage the participation of practising poets and working publishers from both independent and larger presses. In this way, we also encourage papers not just from those working in Literary Studies, but also from those within Publishing Studies and Creative Writing.

Other areas which might be explored in papers include:

- regional and national discourses created around the New, Next, and Next 2014 Generations
– the extent to which these poets are grounded in and shape a tradition of Britain and British poetry
– the long-term effects of these lists
– the actual or imagined ‘mentoring’ of a poet from a later ‘Generation’ by an earlier one
– the poets of these generations not included in these lists, particularly those of the ‘avant-garde’
– the influence of other contemporary poets upon those included in the promotions
– the relationship between the three initiatives and Creative Writing within universities
– the place of performance poets within these lists
– the work done by the selected poets in other media
– the particular engagement of these poets with political and/or ecological concerns
– issues of gender and sexuality which arise as a result of the lists
– issues of race and ethnicity which arise through the three initiatives
– the relationship between poetry magazines and the representation of poetry
– the possibilities and politics of reviewing poetry
– the production of new media in the promotion and reception of the lists
– the effect of promotional lists, marketing, and literary prizes upon the reading public.

Abstracts of 250 words should be sent to IESevents@sas.ac.uk and must be received by 15 November. Queries should be addressed to Niall Munro, niall.munro@brookes.ac.uk

Edward Rushton and Romantic Liverpool: A Bicentennial Conference

2014 marks the bicentenary of the death of poet Edward Rushton (1756-1814), Liverpool’s most radical voice in the Age of Revolution. Rushton was an uncompromising abolitionist and antislavery fighter, as well as a champion of human rights at large. In a varied career, he also kept a tavern, became a bookseller, edited a newspaper, campaigned against the use of the press gang and, as a blind person himself, he initiated local efforts to support the visually impaired. Liverpool is planning to celebrate his life, writing, and legacy through exhibitions at National Museums Liverpool and the Victoria Gallery & Museum, a theatrical production of a specially-commissioned biographical play, new publications from Liverpool University Press, public lectures, and other events. To coincide with these activities, University of Liverpool, in association with Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro” (Italy), is hosting a two-day academic conference (14-15 November 2014) which aims to evaluate critically Rushton’s life and works, and foster a new sense of the Romantic and radical writing that emerged within his home town during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The conference is centred upon Rushton but seeks to encourage more generally the study of Liverpool during the period of his life, when the town emerged as a place of importance in an international network of trade in objects, ideas and cultures. The conference will seek to expand our understanding of the relationship between cultures of writing, reading, publishing, bookselling, journalism and education in Rushton’s Liverpool, and explore the role of imaginative writing in the formation of local, global and civic identities. Confirmed speakers include: Professor John Oldfield (Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull), Professor John Whale (University of Leeds), Professor Lilla Maria Crisafulli (Director of the Centro Interuniversitario per lo Studio del Romanticismo, Università degli Studi di Bologna), and Professor Paul Baines (University of Liverpool). CALL FOR PAPERS Submissions for 20-minute papers from scholars of all disciplines are invited on subjects including: – the place of eighteenth/ early nineteenth century Liverpool and its writing within cultures of abolition, Romanticism, philanthropy, the maritime, scientific knowledge, radical politics – Liverpool as capital of the slave trade, and its writing of slavery, abolition and empire; Liverpool’s abolitionists; women abolitionists – Rushton’s contemporaries, in Liverpool (including William Roscoe and circle, Felicia Hemans, James Currie, William Shepherd, Hugh Mulligan, the Rathbones, Dr. Jonathan Binns) and beyond – the transnational (and especially Atlantic) exchange of thought and things, from and to Liverpool during the period – Liverpool’s emerging institutions and societies, and their role within medical practice, education, the commerce of letters, and cultures of reading and collecting – The politics of genre and form in Romantic Liverpool writing: ballad, eclogue, lyric – Theatrical culture in Romantic Liverpool – Music and the fine arts – Liverpool’s Black community and writing – Liverpool bookselling, journalism, pamphleteering, and radical culture during the period – Liverpool identities and spaces during the long eighteenth century – Romantic towns, ports, and provincial networks – Debating race, gender and class in Romantic Liverpool writing – Rushton and disability studies: eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century practices and perceptions of disability – Rushton’s legacy and the defence of human rights – Influences and afterlives of Romanticism in Liverpool Abstracts of around 250 words, together with a biography, should be sent to the organizers Greg Lynall, Franca Dellarosa and Alex Robinson via edwardrushton@liv.ac.uk, by 31st January 2014. Enquiries are welcome, and should be sent to the same address. A forthcoming conference website will provide information about costs, accommodation, travel and registration.

Edward Rushton and Romantic Liverpool: A Bicentennial Conference

rushton1Edward Rushton and Romantic Liverpool: A Bicentennial Conference
University of Liverpool, 14th November 2014 – 15th November 2014

2014 marks the bicentenary of the death of poet Edward Rushton (1756-1814), Liverpool’s most radical voice in the Age of Revolution. Rushton was an uncompromising abolitionist and antislavery fighter, as well as a champion of human rights at large. In a varied career, he also kept a tavern, became a bookseller, edited a newspaper, campaigned against the use of the press gang and, as a blind person himself, he initiated local efforts to support the visually impaired. Liverpool is planning to celebrate his life, writing, and legacy through exhibitions at National Museums Liverpool and the Victoria Gallery & Museum, a theatrical production of a specially-commissioned biographical play, new publications from Liverpool University Press, public lectures, and other events. To coincide with these activities, University of Liverpool, in association with Università degli Studi di Bari “Aldo Moro” (Italy), is hosting a two-day academic conference (14-15 November 2014) which aims to evaluate critically Rushton’s life and works, and foster a new sense of the Romantic and radical writing that emerged within his home town during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The conference is centred upon Rushton but seeks to encourage more generally the study of Liverpool during the period of his life, when the town emerged as a place of importance in an international network of trade in objects, ideas and cultures. The conference will seek to expand our understanding of the relationship between cultures of writing, reading, publishing, bookselling, journalism and education in Rushton’s Liverpool, and explore the role of imaginative writing in the formation of local, global and civic identities.

Confirmed speakers include: Professor John Oldfield (Director of the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull), Professor John Whale (University of Leeds), Professor Lilla Maria Crisafulli (Director of the Centro Interuniversitario per lo Studio del Romanticismo, Università degli Studi di Bologna), and Professor Paul Baines (University of Liverpool).

CALL FOR PAPERS

Submissions for 20-minute papers from scholars of all disciplines are invited on subjects including:
– the place of eighteenth/ early nineteenth century Liverpool and its writing within cultures of abolition, Romanticism, philanthropy, the maritime, scientific knowledge, radical politics
– Liverpool as capital of the slave trade, and its writing of slavery, abolition and empire; Liverpool’s abolitionists; women abolitionists
– Rushton’s contemporaries, in Liverpool (including William Roscoe and circle, Felicia Hemans, James Currie, William Shepherd, Hugh Mulligan, the Rathbones, Dr. Jonathan Binns) and beyond
– the transnational (and especially Atlantic) exchange of thought and things, from and to Liverpool during the period
– Liverpool’s emerging institutions and societies, and their role within medical practice, education, the commerce of letters, and cultures of reading and collecting
– The politics of genre and form in Romantic Liverpool writing: ballad, eclogue, lyric
– Theatrical culture in Romantic Liverpool
– Music and the fine arts
– Liverpool’s Black community and writing
– Liverpool bookselling, journalism, pamphleteering, and radical culture during the period
– Liverpool identities and spaces during the long eighteenth century
– Romantic towns, ports, and provincial networks
– Debating race, gender and class in Romantic Liverpool writing
– Rushton and disability studies: eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century practices and perceptions of disability
– Rushton’s legacy and the defence of human rights
– Influences and afterlives of Romanticism in Liverpool

Abstracts of around 250 words, together with a biography, should be sent to the organizers Greg Lynall, Franca Dellarosa and Alex Robinson via edwardrushton@liv.ac.uk, by 31st January 2014. Enquiries are welcome, and should be sent to the same address.

A forthcoming conference website will provide information about costs, accommodation, travel and registration.

The Heraldic Imagination

Emblems and Enigma: The Heraldic Imagination

An Interdisciplinary Symposium to be held at the Society of Antiquaries of London on Saturday 26th April 2014

In his 1844 short story ‘Earth’s Holocaust’, Nathaniel Hawthorne sees heraldic signs reaching ‘like lines of light’ into the past, but also as encrypted and obsolete. Proliferating and arcane, unique, ubiquitous, and inscrutable, the heraldic has been a major presence across the arts since medieval times; yet it remains, culturally and critically, enigmatic.

The organisers of this interdisciplinary symposium, Professor Fiona Robertson (English Literature, St Mary’s University College) and Dr Peter Lindfield (History of Art, University of St Andrews), invite proposals for twenty-minute papers on any aspect of the employment and perception of the heraldic in literature, history, art, architecture, design, fashion, and contemporary and historical practice.

The symposium will take place from 9.30 to 5 at the Society of Antiquaries of London, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. The programme will include a keynote address by Professor Vaughan Hart (University of Bath); a special session on the heraldry of Horace Walpole’s Strawberry Hill and William Beckford’s Fonthill Abbey; and papers on eighteenth-century antiquaries’ exploration of the heraldic, and on heraldry in nineteenth-century British and American literature.

Topics may include, but are not restricted to:

            – the languages and grammar of heraldry

            – armoiries parlantes, allusions and puns

            – imaginary and fantastical heraldry

            – decoration and display

            – blazonry and identity: nations, groups, individuals

            – mock- and sham-heraldics; parody and subversion

            – practices of memory and memorialisation

            – history, development, and modern practice

            – blazon and the body

            – heraldic revivalism; medievalism; romance

            – enigma, error, and absence: the bar sinister and the blank shield

            – individual designers, writers, and collectors

            – gendered identity

            – hierarchies of signs

            – international and interdisciplinary perspectives 

Proposals of 200 words should be sent to the organisers at heraldics2014@gmail.com by 10 January 2014.

Fiona Robertson and Peter Lindfield plan to edit a collection of essays arising from the symposium.

Further information will be available on the symposium website, http://heraldics2014.wordpress.com.

Tales After Tolkien: Medievalism and Genre in the Twenty-First Century

Contributions are sought for an edited collection titled Tales After Tolkien: Medievalism and Genre in the Twenty-First Century. The collection explores the ways popular genres engage with the history and literature of the Middle Ages, and with the very idea of ‘the medieval.’ What are the intersections of medievalism and genre in modern popular culture?

The questions chapters might ask include, but are not limited to: how genre conventions shape the use of medieval material and vice versa? In what ways do contemporary social, cultural and political issues intersect with the medieval in popular genres? How do authors approach the Middle Ages and medieval material? What is the role of audience expectations and beliefs? Is historical authenticity important, to whom does it matter, and how is it defined?

Chapters may focus on any popular genre, but contributions exploring romance, horror, mystery, and historical, westerns, cross-genre works or comparing genres are especially welcome. They may focus on works in any medium, e.g. fiction, film, television, graphic novels, and games, or consider multi- or transmedia medievalisms.  Chapters exploring fan communities, audiences, and adaptations are also welcome. They should focus on works first published in the twenty-first century, although series which began before that date could also be considered, as could comparisons of recent works with earlier publications.

Chapters will be 6,000 to 7,000 words, including all footnotes, references etc, with first drafts due 1st June 2014, and final versions on 1st October 2014. The volume will be offered to Cambria Press, which has expressed interest in seeing the manuscript proposal.

In the first instance, an abstract of approximately 300 words along with a brief CV should be sent to Helen.young@sydney.edu.au by 8th January, 2014. Any queries may be directed to the same address.

GWACS Artist Conversation on: “Art Riot”

You are warmly invited to a GWACS Artist Conversation on: “Art Riot”

Wednesday 13 November 2013, 6 pm – 8 pm, Room 352
University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, London W1B 2UW

As part of his research on the communities of power, including the Church and the Politburo, Riello’s artistic practice comments upon the issue of national residency as a site for the power of the State. For instance, a blown glass containing a Residence Permit shows that the State (in this case, the Italian Republic), understood as “a juridical entity that has sovereignty over a definite territory”, has the authority to grant or refuse the permit to enter the country. This could be seen as a very topical comment on war refugees fleeing Syria in search of a safer life.

Thus in an attempt to rouse us from the deep-seated indifference that keeps us from realising what is happening to people who need our help, Riello’s artistic practice uses a cruel-and-playful approach. This creative attitude is examplified by Italiani brava gente, an artwork in the form of a videogame where the player has to sink the boats of refugees approaching the southern Italian coasts, thus echoing the reality of the role of the sea-coast armament in the region, and its effects on human lives. One must read PerGraziaRicevuta, the rocket missile painted with the stories of Saint-Anthony, and KT WE, the military aircraft where Western and Eastern winged putti fight each other, in much the same way.

Riello’s new project, “Collateral Damage” (CD), deals with the rampage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or so-called “drone” attacks and their typically random, thus insidious, process and effects. These are common military tools, as they are considered to be effective and relatively inexpensive. Many military decisions are outsourced to computers and cameras, and are based on algorithms developed to detect “patterns of dangerous behaviour.”

Following the seminal research on the aesthetics of war undertaken by such figures as Paul Virolio, Guy Debord and Jacques Derrida, Riello argues, it seems urgent and vital that contemporary art, as a form of radical visual thinking, should deal with this new situation. “A sign of public defiance against the illegal use of these improper weapons should simply be our cultural duty.”

CD is a low-budget, urban public art project based on a series of outdoor installations and a campaign of visual information and protest. It takes the form of a logo of a giant bull’s-eye to be for instance stenciled on a large scale in open spaces close to social institutions or people in danger.

Antonio Riello is an eclectic artist with various interests, but he works especially with sculpture, installations, photo-montage, and digital art. He delivers courses on “Videogames Phenomenology” at several Universities. He has exhibited works and installations in art institutions and art galleries internationally

Intimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives

Saint_GeorgeIntimacy, Power and Authority in European Perspectives
RHS symposium
Friday 18 October, Bath Spa University, Corsham Court campus
Keynote speaker: Dr Joanne Bailey, Oxford Brookes University
‘English Manly Intimacy and Power in Representations of St George and the Dragon c. 1750-1950’
This symposium will approach the concept of intimacy and closeness from a range of neglected perspectives, addressing several fundamental themes in European history. Current strands in the history of emotions dwell on singular feelings, their production, and the influence of pathological and medical discourse on their expression. Few historians have sought meaning in the theoretical advances of Lauren Berlant and Kosofsky Sedgwick, whose work has profound implications for the way in which social and political relations are understood. The symposium will approach intimacy variously through sessions that explore the following themes: political cultures, (official, popular and subaltern); legal norms; ethnic and religious difference; and desire.  The relation between interior and public modes of intimacy will be explored, through consideration of the ‘advent of intimacy as a public mode of identification and self-development’ (Berlant). A second key theme will be the concept of ‘intimate publics’ in pre-modern and modern Europe. In a similar vein, the seminal work of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick has offered new perspectives on the way in which intimacy operates in tandem with looking, sexuality and bodily contact.

Invited contributors will present on: gendered intimacy and personal authority in nineteenth-century England; the subversion of political intimacies in early modern intelligence networks; and the influence of medieval ecclesiasts on the policing of intimacy in local communities; the politics of sympathy; intimacy and power in early medieval Europe.

For the full programme, and registration form, see: http://events.history.ac.uk/event/show/11390

Conference attendance:
Attendance is free, as the event is sponsored by the Royal Historical Society and Bath Spa University.
Registration (for catering purposes and room size):
Please register for a place by completing the registration form and emailing it to: b.kane@bathspa.ac.uk orkaneb@cardiff.ac.uk by Friday 11th October.

Melancholy – Pain (9-11 July, 2013)

3rd Conf.Our 2013 Embodiments international conference explores the themes of melancholy and pain, reading through different types of narratives on emotional and physical pain in dialogue with cross-disciplinary studies of melancholia in Europe and throughout the wider world. The event concerns itself with the melancholy-pain gap across geographies, genealogies, and time, conceptual portrayals of pain and melancholy in the media, varieties of genres and approaches, as well as cross-genre and cross-cultural communications of these terms and concepts. Last year, our Arts-Science conference Paranoia and Pain saw magnificent presentations from around the world. Building on the success of that inaugural event in Embodiments Research Group, we are working through journal and book chapters to be published during 2013-14.

We welcome delegates to the University of Liverpool Campus and wish everyone a very delightful time in our beautiful city. Whether you are registered and attending the conference or not, you can follow us and share ideas on tweeter @Embodiments. Dr Erik Grayson @egveitikkje is live-tweeting the event during these three days. Extended questions, comments, and discussions must be directed to painpara@liv.ac.uk

You can find more about the schedule and panels in the conference booklet, following this link: http://melancholyandpain.liv.ac.uk/?page_id=339

THE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM

William_Cowper_by_Lemuel_Francis_AbbottTHE NIGHTINGALE AND GLOW-WORM

By William Cowper (1731-1800), Written Feb., 1780.  Published 1782.

A Nightingale, that all day long
Hath cheer’d the village with his song,
Nor yet at eve his note suspended,
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite;
When, looking eagerly around,
He spied far off, upon the ground,
A something shining in the dark,
And knew the glow-worm by his spark;
So, stooping down from hawthorn top,
He thought to put him in his crop.
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangu’d him thus, right eloquent—

Did you admire my lamp, quoth he,
As much as I your minstrelsy,
You would abhor to do me wrong,
As much as I to spoil your song;
For ’twas the self-same pow’r divine
Taught you to sing, and me to shine;
That you with music, I with light,
Might beautify and cheer the night.
The songster heard his short oration,
And, warbling out his approbation,
Releas’d him, as my story tells,
And found a supper somewhere else.
Hence jarring sectaries may learn
Their real int’rest to discern;
That brother should not war with brother,
And worry and devour each other;
But sing and shine by sweet consent,
Till life’s poor transient night is spent,
Respecting in each other’s case
The gifts of nature and of grace.
Those Christians best deserve the name,
Who studiously make peace their aim;
Peace, both the duty and the prize
Of him that creeps and him that flies.

The Legacy of the Grand Tour

Portrait of Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton, on his Grand Tour with his physician Dr John Moore and the latter's son John. A view of Geneva is in the distance where they stayed for two years. Painted by Jean Preudhomme in 1774.

Portrait of Douglas, 8th Duke of Hamilton, on his Grand Tour with his physician Dr John Moore and the latter’s son John. A view of Geneva is in the distance where they stayed for two years. Painted by Jean Preudhomme in 1774.

Submissions are sought for an edited collection, tentatively entitled The Legacy of the Grand Tour: New Essays on Travel, Literature, and Culture. It has been claimed that there are really only three basic plots in all of literature, boy meets girl (or variations thereof), a stranger comes to town, and someone goes on journey. The topos of the journey is one of the oldest in literature, and even in this age of packaged tours and mediated experience, it still remains one of the most compelling. This volume seeks to examine the ways in which the legacy of the Grand Tour is still evident in works of travel and literature. From its aristocratic origins and the permutations of sentimental and romantic travel to the age of tourism and globalization, the Grand Tour still influences the destinations tourists choose and shapes the ideas of culture and sophistication that surround the act of travel. Essays examining a wide variety literature, travel literature, memoir, and culture are welcome, though the editor is particularly interested in the ways travel and ideas of “culture” overlap in destinations historically associated with the Grand Tour. Please send abstracts of about 300 words and CVs, as well as inquires, by August 1, 2013 to Lisa Colletta, The American University of Rome (l.colletta@aur.edu). If requested, full articles will be due by January 15, 2014.