Romantic Realignments is one of the longest-running research seminars in Oxford.

Past speakers have included Marilyn Butler, Gerard Carruthers, David Chandler, Heather Glen, Paul Muldoon, Philip Shaw, Fiona Stafford and Peter Swaab, to name but a few.

All are very welcome to submit an abstract — we aim to provide a friendly 'workshop' setting in which speakers can try out new papers as well as more finished pieces, and in which lively discussion can flourish.

Held on Thursdays at 5.15pm, Seminar Room A, St Cross (English Faculty) Building.

If you would like to send us an abstract or suggest a speaker, please contact the current convenors Katherine Fender, Sarah Goode and Honor Rieley at:



Swedenborg Hall, 20 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH
Saturday 27th November 2010.

10.30-11             Coffee
First Panel: Lamb Abroad           

‘Writing Empire: Lamb and the East India Company’
Dr. David Higgins, University of Leeds

‘Imagination and the Traveller: the Psychogeography of Charles Lamb’s essays for the
London Magazine
Dr. Susan Oliver, University of Essex

12.30-2.30             Lunch at local restaurant (participants to make their own arrangements)

2.30-3.30              Graduate Panel

‘“Too much of the boy-man”: Charles Lamb and the Uses of Childishness’
Peter J. Newbon, University of Cambridge

‘“I forlorn do wander”: Introspective melancholy in Lamb's contributions to Sonnets from Various Authors (S.T. Coleridge, ed, 1796)’
Katy Beavers, University of Greenwich

3.30-4                         Tea

4-5.30                         Third Panel: Politics and Poetry

‘Lamb's poems for The Champion
Dr. John Gardner, Anglia Ruskin University

‘From autograph to print: Lamb's Album Verses, with a few others
Dr. Samantha Matthews, University of Bristol



>>Week 7 Thomas Pfau on Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister

Please come along and join us at Oriel's MacGregor Room for a paper entitled:

“Virtually Rational: Play, Teleology, and the Modernity of Goethe’s Wilhelm Meister.”

by Prof. Thomas Pfau


>>No Realignment this week. Get your Romantic Fix at 10am

Kate Barush on 'Blake's Illuminated Manuscripts'
10am Thursday 3 June, English Faculty, LT2

Blake printed his poetry in a unique, striking, and beautiful manner, and the experience of his works as artefacts and artistic productions as well as text is crucial to understanding them. This lecture will introduce and explain the methods through which Blake produced his illuminated books and their importance to his mythopoesis, as well as providing the interpretative tools necessary to discuss and analyse Blake's unique composite art. Blake's artistic background and training will be explained, key works examined, and his oppositional iconography and stylistic devices explored. This will be an engaging and valuable session to those interested in Blake and/or illuminated texts.


>>Week 5: Female Crusoes

Carl Thompson from Nottingham Trent University is coming to give a paper called 'Female Crusoes: Tracing a Minor Literary Motif, and its Feminist and Anti-Feminist Implications, across the 18th and early 19th Centuries'

See you there


>>Week 4: Pugin and the Gothic - Rosemary Hill - All Souls, Oxford.

This week Rosemary Hill will give a paper entitled:

"To Stones a Moral Life', Pugin and the Gothic."

This paper will be on Pugin, whose work, Rosemary argues, brought a romantic sensibility, belatedly, to architecture.

All welcome as always.


>>Week 3 - Romantic Beauty

"The Persistence of Romantic Beauty." By Dr Matthew Scott, Reading University.


>>Week 2 - Shelley's "Familiar Style"

Come to listen to Dr. Tony Howe's paper on:

‘Shelley's “familiar style”’.

HILARY TERM '10 (for the record)


28 January. Catherine Alexander, The Shakespeare Institute, Birmingham. 'Elizabeth Montagu: a connected life.'

4 Feb: Dr Helena Kelly, University of Oxford. 'Austen and the enclosure movement or, Why does Knightley want to marry Emma?'

11 Feb: Dr Greg Leadbetter, Oxford Brookes University. 'Looking for "another God": Coleridge's "The Wanderings of Cain."'

18 Feb: Dr Emily Bernhard Jackson, Visiting Fellow at Wolfson College, Cambridge. 'Melancholy, Sex, and Bloodsuckers: A History of Lord Byron's Image'.

25 Feb: Dr Chris Reid (Queen Mary, University of London)

4 March: Prof Philip Shaw (Univeristy of Leicester)-'Suffering and Sentiment in Romantic Military Art'

11 March: Dr Tilottama Rajan (University of Western Ontario) "Whose Text?: Godwin's Editing of Wollstonecraft's The Wrongs of Women."


Professor Nigel Leask on Burns and Pastoral

Please join us at Romantic Realignments on the 29th April for:

'The Annals of the Poor: Robert Burns and Pastoral'

by Prof. Nigel Leask


One-day Postgraduate and Early Careers Forum: Women, History and Sexuality

April 1st 10.30 am, Bishop Otter Campus, University of Chichester, H144

South Coast Eighteenth-Century and Romantic Research Group (SCERRG)

We are pleased to announce a one-day postgraduate forum on 'Women, History and Sexuality'. The conference is interdisciplinary, combining approaches from the fields of English, history and philosophy, and discussing both contemporary feminism and the literature and history writing of the long eighteenth century. The theme is a 'light' one with speakers presenting on a variety of topics.

Plenary speakers are: Dr Sue Morgan (Chichester), editor of The Feminist History Reader; and Dr Nina Power (Roehampton), author of One Dimensional Women (2009), speaking on issues in contemporary feminism. Entry is free and all are welcome. To register an interest, contact Fiona Price ( or Debs Brown (

In Austen’s Northanger Abbey (1818), her naive but ingenuous heroine Catherine Moreland notoriously pronounces that ‘real solemn history ‘either vex[es] or wear[ies]’ her: ‘the men all so good for nothing, and hardly any women at all’. Nonetheless, the eighteenth-century saw a rapid expansion in the forms of historical discourse, including a new emphasis on histories about and by women, and an invigoration of fictionalised forms of history. This forum will examine women’s often troubled relationship with the discourses of history and sexuality.

Preliminary Schedule

10.30 Introduction: Dr Fiona Price, 'Romantic women writers and the fictions of history: some introductory remarks';

10.40 - 11.10 Short plenary and questions: Dr Susan Morgan 'Duty and desire: historicising women and sexuality';

11.15-12.30 panel 1 ;

12.30 - 1.15 lunch;

1.30-2.45 panel 2;

2.45-3 tea break;

3-4.15 Plenary 2: Dr Nina Power 'One-Dimensional Woman: Work and the Illusion of Emancipation'.


Open University Romantic Period Seminar

A reminder of the next two meetings of the new Romantic Period Seminar in London organised by the Open University in conjunction with the Institute of English Studies this spring, part of the initial series of three seminars organised under the title ‘Romantic Women Writers Revisited’. Full details of location and speakers are available at, but in summary:

17th February 2010: Dr Julian North (Leicester), ‘Letitia Landon: Biography and the Poetess’

10th March 2010: Prof Jacqueline Labbe (Warwick), ‘Reading Jane Austen after reading Charlotte Smith’

Sessions will run from 5.30 through to 7.30. Discussion of the formal paper will be informed by short readings relevant to the paper. These reading-lists are available on the website. All are very welcome, especially postgraduate students.

Questions, expressions of interest, and further inquiries may be directed to the organiser, Dr Nicola J.Watson (’


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