The conference will take place the old university
town of Groningen,
an easy two-hour train journey north of Amsterdam.
Information on travel
to Groningen and about
(click through to Groningen) is available
Details about hotel accommodation, registration fees, and
so on will soon be available on the conference website
Nancy Armstrong (Brown University)
Claudia L. Johnson (Princeton University)
Robert Miles (Sheffield Hallam University)
Call for papers:
This conference will map the multiple critical journeys
taken in studies of the Romantic-era novel in the years since 1972,
when Robert Kiely defined the genre of the Romantic novel. Recent critics
have moved away from Kiely’s attempt to define the Romantic novel as
a complementary category for Romantic poetry. Instead, as new work on
Austen and Mary Shelley, the Gothic novel, Scott and Burney demonstrates,
contemporary readings of the period’s fiction are informed by theories
of post-colonialism, feminism, and new historicism, and attend to the
complex relations between prose fiction and nationalism, economics,
politics, and scientific discourses, amongst others. The conference
will be an opportunity to take stock of advances in this field and to
consider aspects of the genre still neglected.
Issues to be debated include:
- What is the relation between the novel and “Romanticism”?
- Is the novel of this period cosmopolitan or provincial?
- What is the impact of new scholarly editions, especially
of the work of women writers?
- What was the role of circulating libraries?
- What was the significance of Minerva and other popular presses?
- What are the roles of the subgenres which flourished in
the latter part of the period, such as the Newgate novel and
the Silverfork novel, as well as hybrid genres, such as the
verse novel and the travelogue?
- How is the woman of genius, vision, and imagination represented?
Contributions are particularly welcomed on the international
dimensions of novel production, such as translations, and cosmopolitan
exchanges and influences, including the export of sentimental discourses
We welcome the submission of proposals for individual
papers, not to exceed 20 minutes
We also welcome proposals for special sessions; these
should include a session title, a chairperson, and abstracts of 3
In addition, there will be special sessions on the following topics.
Papers for these sessions should be submitted directly to session
chairs; if they are not accepted for these sessions, they will be
considered for inclusion in other sessions.
- La Nouvelle Heloise and the Romantic Period:
Rousseau's novel was first published in England in 1761, yet
it was not until the 1790s that the text aroused in readers
its most passionate and extravagant responses; in the Romantic
period, then, it emerged as central focus for and object of
cultural debate. In novels by Mary Hays, Mary Wollstonecraft,
and Amelia Opie, for example, Heloise is the text which
directly inspires heroines to understand acts of transgression
as acts of ideal virtue - a misunderstanding which invariably
leads to their downfall. Those interested in participating
in this panel should e-mail a short abstract of their proposed
paper to Mary Peace at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Woman of Genius and Vision: Much Romantic criticism,
especially that focusing on poetry, identifies the female
as source for male vision and consolation from the strains
of (male) visionary activity but treats the female herself
as incapable of transcendent vision. Yet novels such as Madame
de Stael's Corinne and heroines such as Radcliffe's
suggest that the female visionary can exist. This session
sets out to explore how such a woman gets represented in fiction
of this period, and/or what kinds of work she - the woman
of genius - creates. Is she a contradiction in terms? Must
she become an other-worldly sybil in her role as female visionary?
And to what extent do fictions containing such a character
challenge the gendering of vision and the restriction of it
to certain genres? Those interested in participating in this
panel should send a short (500-word) abstract to Julie Shaffer,
English Studies, Sheffield Hallam University, 32 Collegiate
Crescent, Sheffield S10 2BP or by e-mail to email@example.com.
- Figuring Property in Novels by Women: In Married
Women's Separate Property in England, 1660-1833 (1990),
Susan Staves argues that, during the eighteenth century, the
right of women to own property was steadily eroded until `woman'
and `ownership' came to be separate categories. How does this
impinge on the novels of the period, especially those that
feature inheritance or the rightful ownership of en estate
as essential to plot development? If women can't `own' property,
can they still lay claim to their imagination - to their intellectual
property? Papers are invited on any aspect of `property' in
the female-authored novel, including those that problematize
or interrogate the categories of `ownership' and `inheritance'.
Please send abstracts of not more than 400 words to Jacqueline
Labbe, School of English, University of Sheffield, Sheffield
S10 2TD, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
For submissions for other panels, please send 500-word abstracts
or complete papers, before 17 June 1999, to the conference organisers
BOTH the Universities of Groningen AND Sheffield Hallam:
School of Cultural Studies
Sheffield Hallam University
36 Collegiate Crescent
Sheffield S10 2BP