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:


Dr Monika Class on Narratives of mental illness

Dear all, 

Please join us this Thursday evening to welcome our speaker, Dr Monika Class, who will be presenting on "Narratives of mental illness: the psychological case histories of K. P. Moritz".

Late 18th and early 19th-century British physicians praised Karl Philipp Moritz’s collection of psychological case histories, compiled and published in his Magazine for the Study of the Experience of the Soul (Magazin zur Erfahrungsseelenkunde, 1783-93). The author of Inquiry into the Origin and Nature of Mental Derangement, Alexander Crichton observed that ‘in this work, I found what I had not found in any other publication, a number of well-authenticated cases of insane aberration of mind, narrated in a full and satisfactory manner, without a view to any system whatever’ (1798, p. 162). Building on recent insights in the history of scientific observations, the paper elucidates the unique characteristics of Moritz’s case narratives and places them within the tradition of medical case records that began with Hippocratic practices. To this end, the paper compares parochial variations of printed medical case histories in England and the German states in the long eighteenth century. Subsequently, the paper uncovers how some of Moritz’s ‘sad stories’ travelled across the border to Britain in the early nineteenth century. The paper concludes with an interpretation of Charles Dickens’s ‘Doctor Marigold’s Prescriptions’ arguing that it conveys striking similarities with Moritz’s magazine with regard to the education of children with hearing impairment, sign language and the healing effect of the exchange of psycho-somatic experience.'

As always, all are welcome to the seminar, and to join us for drinks and dinner, starting at Chequers from 7pm.

Hope to see you all there!


Charles Lamb Day Conference in London


Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London, WC1A 2TH
Saturday 17 November 2012

10.30-11 Coffee

Elian Reading and Welcome by Chair

11-1 First Panel: Lamb’s Readings

Lamb’s Reading Habits
     Dr. Tom Lockwood, University of Birmingham

Lamb and Horace
Professor Richard Gaskin, University of Liverpool

1-2.30 Lunch at local restaurant at participants’ own expense

2.30-4.15 Second Panel: Lamb’s Readers

'Beyond whist sobriety: the Lambs, Crabb Robinson, and their discourse on literature'
     Philipp Hunnekuhl, Queen Mary, University of London

'Charles Lamb's letter-readers and the 'Essays of Elia'' 
     Heather Stone, Brasenose College, Oxford.

4.15-4.45 Tea

4.45-5.30 Round Table Discussions

If possible, we would appreciate knowing in advance if you intend to come; RSVP to
Felicity James (, School of English, University of Leicester, LE1 7RH.


TERMCARD Michaelmas 2012

Welcome & welcome back!

 We have consolidated the term card for Michaelmas 2012! Below is the poster schedule for this term's fantastic line up, including talks on Coleridge's relatives, Shelley, Clare, F.J. Gall and Johnson! Please do come!


Note the change of venue -- RR will now be held every Thursday at 5:15pm in Lecture Room A at Magdalen College.

Looking forward to seeing you there! Undergraduates welcome.
As ever, your convenors,
Judyta & Olivia

Week 1, Oct 11th: Peter Swaab, UCL
 "Sara Coleridge as a Critic of Wordsworth"
Week 2, Oct 18th: Stephanie Dumke, Durham University
"Shelley's search for a new drama"
Week 3, Oct 25th: Robin Schofield, Independent Scholar
" ‘Guardian of My Father's Doctrine’: Sara Coleridge's re-presentation of STC‘s misinterpreted genius"
Week 4, Nov 1st: Ewan Jones, University of Cambridge
" ‘Some transition, in the nature of the imagery or passion’: Metre and Affect in Christabel"
 Week 5, Nov 8th: Simon Kovesi, Oxford Brookes
"John Clare, Gadamer and horizons of history"
Week 6, Nov 15th: Tim Chiou, Balliol, Oxford
" ‘A friend is far more than himself’: Toward an Ethic of Remembrance in Romantic Commemoration"
Week 7, Nov 22nd: Monika Class, King College London
"Narratives of mental illness: the psychological case histories of K. P. Moritz and F. J. Gall"
Week 8, Nov 29th: Daniel Hitchens, Wolfson, Oxford
"Disliking Dr Johnson, 1784-1831"


Realigning Romantic Realignments

Dear all,

As of Michaelmas 2012, the format of Romantic Realignments will be changing slightly. Rather than being held every second week, Romantic Realignments is now a joint endeavour with what used to be the Romantic Graduate Forum (run by Jessica Fay and Lucy Kellett). Thus, there will be a Romantic Realignments every Thursday of term, at the usual time of 5:15pm.

On all odd weeks (1, 3, 5, 7) we will welcome well-known professors and lecturers to give a 1 hour talk, followed by a discussion. All (including undergrads) are welcome for the lecture and drinks & dinner afterwards!

On all even weeks (2, 4, 6, 8) we will host 20-30 minute papers by graduate students (from Oxford and elsewhere - if interested, please contact Jessica or Lucy) followed by lengthy discussion. The purpose of these sessions will be to give students a conference-like setting to run by papers, and provide lots of feedback. As usual, there will be drinks afterwards for those wishing to join us!

The new termcard will be posted shortly. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Yours sincerely,

Olivia Reilly and Judyta Frodyma, 2012-2013 convenors.


PhD Studentship in Women's Writing at Leicester University


Susanna Watts and Elizabeth Heyrick: Women's Writing in the Midlands 1750-1850

The University of Leicester and the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester, and Rutland are pleased to invite applications from outstanding postgraduates for an AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD studentship, to commence October 2012. The studentship will pay full-time University UK/EU tuition fees and include an annual tax free stipend at standard AHRC rates (currently £13,590 a year).

Research Areas and Supervision
This collaborative doctoral project will investigate networks of correspondence and creativity in the Midlands in the 18th and 19th centuries, with particular emphasis on women writers who were religious Dissenters.

The project will begin with a focus on a specific archival collection in the Record Office: the papers of two local writers, Elizabeth Heyrick and Susanna Watts, women who, through their poetry, letters, and pamphlets, contributed to many of the major debates concerning human (and indeed animal) rights in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This study will be a starting point for the student's own exploration of other communities and creative practices, analysing the role of women in industrial culture, circles of provincial writers, and the importance of religious affiliation. One of the long-term aims of the project will be to engage schools, community groups and the general public with archival holdings and current research.

While the project should have a strong literary focus, it will be of interest to applicants with backgrounds in gender studies, cultural/religious history, and/or archival work as well as English literature.

The successful applicant will be supervised by Dr Felicity James (School of English, University of Leicester), with Professor Roey Sweet (School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester), and Jess Jenkins (Record Office for Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland).

Entry Requirements
Applicants must have a first-class or high upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in English or other relevant discipline and meet the University's standard English language entry requirements. Applicants should be able to demonstrate a committment to interdisciplinary research and it is expected that applicants should also have a Masters degree with merit or distinction in English or other relevant discipline or be able to show evidence that they will achieve this before October 2012.

The studentship is only available to applicants who are eligible to pay the UK/EU tuition fee - i.e., those who are permanently resident in the UK or another EU country. Please note that applicants from the EU (excluding the UK) must have been resident in the UK for at least three years prior to commencing the studentship to receive both the stipend and fee components of this award; EU applicants who do not meet this criteria will receive the fee waiver component only.

Applicants from outside the EU are not eligible for the studentship unless they have been granted permanent UK residency/citizenship. For more advice on applicable eligibility criteria, please see the AHRC Guide to Postgraduate Funding.

The studentship is for full-time study only and applicants must be able to commence their studies in October 2012.

Informal Enquiries
Informal enquiries are welcomed - please contact: Dr Felicity James, +44 (0)116 252 2199

Apply Now
To apply, please go to and follow the instructions to apply online.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 18:00 01 August 2012. It is anticipated that interviews will be held w/c 20 August 2012 and applicants should be available for interview at that time. Interviews will take place at the University of Leicester, but interview by telephone/Skype may be possible.



Dear All,

Unfortunately, our last Romantic Realignments this term has been cancelled -- please look to our forthcoming 2012-13  schedule for Dr Simon Kovesi's talk. There will be no talk tomorrow, Thursday 7th June.

We would instead like to invite you to the Romantic Graduate Forum, held at the Bajpai Room at Balliol College at 5:30pm on Tuesday, 12th June for a presentation by our very own Lucy Kellett! Refreshments will be provided!

Hope to see you all there, and an annual concluding dinner/drinks!

Thanks for a wonderful year,


John Mullan's Jane Austen

For all of you that missed John Mullan's wonderfully interactive talk last Thursday, the Guardian has recently published his article on his forthcoming book, What Matters in Jane Austen?

& for those of you that were in attendance, it contains the answers to his tricky questions!

The article can be read here.


Trinity Term 2012

Dear all,
Welcome back to a not-so-sunny start of term! Let's not let the weather get the better of us, as we dive right into our line-up for Trinity:

1st Week: Please note this will be a joint event with St Anne's College, held on Friday, 27th April at 5pm in Seminar Room 5, 48 Woodstock Road.
Professor Jocelyn Harris, Otago, New Zealand
'Sanditon', the Duke of Clarence, and Sarrtjie Baartman, the 'Hottentot Venus.'

3rd Week: 10th May
Professor John Mullan, UCL, UK
Jane Austen's Quirks and Tricks

5th Week: 24th May
Professor Mary Favret, Indiana University, USA
Reading in the Dark; Keats's Vision

7th Week: 7th June
Dr Simon Kovesi, Oxford Brookes University, UK
John Clare: Violence, Peasantry and Reform

The remainder of the talks this term will be held in our usual location and time, Thursdays at 5:15pm in the English Faculty, Seminar Room A. 

Looking forward to seeing you all there! 


Easter Holiday Special (at Brookes University)

Dear faithful Romanticists,

Thank you all for a very successful term of Romantic Realignments, from Picadilly Bookshops to the Ecchoing Wye! We look forward to seeing you all in Trinity Term (lineup TBC).

In the meantime, our fellow Romanticists at Brookes University are hosting Professor Gerard Carruthers, Reader at the University of Glasgow and a visiting fellow of All Soul's College, Oxford. He will be giving a talk on 'Romantic Scotland: Britain's Paradox' this Friday, March 23rd, in the Music Room at Headington Hill Hall, at 5:00pm.

All welcome!


Double bill this week!

Dear all,

This week Romantic Realignments presents a double bill! On our regular Thursday slot, 1st March, our very own Dr Fiona Stafford will speak on 'Wordsworth and the Ecchoing Wye'. Dr Stafford, recipient of the British Academy Prize, will be talking about her research into Wordsworth's 'Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey' and the literary significance of rivers; focusing on the difference between landscapes and places. We look forward to see you all there! 

Our second speaker for this week is Dr Marshall Brown, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Washington. We are extremely fortunate to have Dr Brown join us from overseas and offer to speak on to the title: 'The Voice of the Sod: Keats's Nightingale from Below'.

This talk will take place in our usual location, Seminar Room A, at 3:30pm this Friday, 2nd March. 

Wordsworth enthusiasts, Wye travellers, ornithologists, nature lovers and Keatsians alike - please feel free to come to one or both of these wonderful talks! Everyone welcome - we look forward to seeing you there! 


This Romantic Realignments, we will have the very distinguished Professor Frederick Burwick joining us from UCLA to speak about 'Shakespearean Pantomime: the Dumbshow of Kemble and Siddons'. 

We urge all interested to come along - you do not have to be a Romanticist or an English student! We hope to have a large turnout and welcome Fred in the UK. After the seminar, we will be convening for drinks and continued conversation at a local watering hole and invite all that wish to join us for dinner!

See you all tomorrow, 5:15pm in the English Faculty, Seminar Room A!


Preparatory Reading for this week's Seminar
Thursday 2nd February

'The Keats Brothers' by Professor Denise Gigante (Stanford University)

In preparation for this seminar there are a few pages of reading from Professor Gigante's latest book, 'The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George' (Harvard UP, 2011). If you are interested in attending and would like to receive the preliminary reading (of no more than about ten pages) please email

As usual, everyone is welcome to attend, from Romantic graduates to unRomantic undergraduates!


Welcome to the real New Year and your resolution to attend as many Romantic-related events as possible! We hope our schedule this term makes that resolution easier to keep... We really look forward to seeing you there!
English Faculty Seminar Room A, Thursdays of odd weeks, 5:15pm

1st Wk - 19th January: 'The "monster in human shape", the "sneaking literary shrimp", and the Piccadilly bookshops', Dr. David Fallon (Oxford University)

3rd Wk - 2nd February: 'The Keats Brothers', Professor Denise Gigante (Stanford University)
- N.B. Professor Gigante would like attendees to read some passages from her latest book 'The Keats Brothers: The Life of John and George' (Havard UP, 2011) as preparation for this more interactive seminar.  We will let you know further details as soon as possible. 

5th Wk - 16th February: 'Shakespearean Pantomime: the Dumbshow of Kemble and Siddons', Professor Fred Burwick (UCLA)

7th Wk - 1st March: 'Wordsworth and the Ecchoing Wye', Fiona Stafford (Oxford University) 

Friday 2nd March, 3:30pm, Seminar Room A: 'The Voice of the Sod: Keats's Nightingale from Below', Professor Marshall Brown (University of Washington)