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!