Posts Tagged books

BARS 2015: Romantic Imprints – 1st Call for Papers

Tintern Abbey

Proposals are invited for the 2015 British Association for Romantic Studies international conference which will be held at Cardiff University, Wales (UK) on 16–19 July 2015. The theme of the interdisciplinary conference is Romantic Imprints, broadly understood to include the various literary, cultural, historical and political manifestations of Romantic print culture across Europe, the Americas and the rest of the world. Our focus will fall on the ways in which the culture of the period was conscious of itself as functioning within and through, or as opposed to, the medium of print. The conference location in the Welsh capital provides a special opportunity to foreground the Welsh inflections of Romanticism within the remit of the conference’s wider theme. The two-hundredth anniversary of Waterloo also brings with it the chance of thinking about how Waterloo was represented within and beyond print.

The confirmed keynote speakers for Romantic Imprints will be John Barrell (Queen Mary, London), James Chandler (Chicago), Claire Connolly (Cork), Peter Garside (Edinburgh) and Devoney Looser (Arizona State).

The conference is open to various forms of format:  we encourage proposals for special open-call sessions and for themed panels of invited speakers as well as individual proposals for the traditional 20-minute paper. Subjects covered might include:

  • Nation and print: the British archipelago; cities of print; transatlantic and transnational exchanges; Romantic cosmopolitanism and print; translation; landscape and/in print; Wales and its Romantic contexts; national (especially Welsh) patterns of influence and exchange in the international context.
  • Producing and consuming print: Romantic readerships; publishers; circu­lating print; legislation, copyright and print; technologies of print; plagiarism, forgery and piracy; popular and subaltern cultures of print; periodicals and journalism; gender and genre; print as new and old, ephemeral and collectable objects; print beyond reading (paper money, cards, etc.); the fate of print as ‘rubbish’.
  • Intertextual exchanges: politics and print (e.g. revolution and radicalism, war, Napoleon, Waterloo); satire and parody; science and print culture; performance and print; Romantic visual cultures (including art and illustration); representations of print and printing; fashion; adaptation and remediation; the Romantic essay; print and its others – epitaphs, manuscripts, marginalia, etc.; print and imprint as Romantic metaphor or ideology; popular pastimes.
  • Textual scholarship: editing texts; bibliography and book history; manuscripts, correspondence and diaries; analysis and quantification; digital humanities.
  • Romantic legacies: physical traces and imprints; architecture; Romantic anti­quarianism; Victorian Romanticism; Romanticism and modernity; Romanticism and new media; Romantic biography; lives in print; Romantic afterlives; celebrity and print; adapting the Romantics (film, art, literature).

Format of conference proposals

  • Traditional 20-minute paper proposals (250-word abstracts), submitted individually.
  • Poster presentations showcasing innovative projects or digital outputs (250-word abstracts), submitted individually.
  • Proposals for open-call sessions (350-word descriptions of potential session, outlining its importance and relevance to the conference theme). Accepted open-call sessions will be advertised on the BARS 2015 conference website.
  • Proposals for themed panels of three 20-minute or four 15-minute papers (250-word abstracts for each paper with speakers’ details and an outline of the panel’s rationale from the proposer).

Deadline for open-call and themed panels: 13 October 2014. You will be notified of acceptance by 10 November 2014. Accepted open-call sessions will be advertised from 1 December 2014.

Deadline for all other submissions: 31 January 2015. Submissions can comprise proposals for individual papers, poster presentations and submissions to open-call panels (which will be published online from 1 December 2014). If you are applying to an open-call session, you should include the name of the session on your proposal.

All proposals should include your name, academic affiliation (if any), preferred email address and a biography of 100 words. Please send proposals and direct enquiries to the BARS 2015 conference organisers, Anthony Mandal and Jane Moore (Cardiff University) at

For the latest updates about the conference, follow us on Twitter @2015BARS. (The conference website will be going live later this summer.)

Download a PDF copy of the Call for Papers here.

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Visiting speaker, 6 May 2014: Justin Tonra on Ossian Online

Justin Tonra (NUI Galway) will be presenting his paper, ‘Ossian Online: Building an Interdisciplinary Research Environment’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 6 May 2014. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.

2013.08.tonraThis presentation will introduce the early stages of Ossian Online, a new research initiative to archive and edit James Macpherson’s profoundly influential work of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century European culture. The project will deploy digital technologies to pilot a new crowdsourcing model of scholarly collaboration. Ossian Online will build a multinational online interpretive community through the establishment of a virtual research environment.

The talk will introduce the works of the Ossian canon and describe the desired outcomes of the new project. The work is much discussed but rarely read, so the paper will outline the rationale for returning the focus of Ossianic discourse to the original texts and print culture in which it first appeared. Progress on digitising and encoding major editions from Macpherson’s lifetime (between 1760 and 1773) is ongoing, and plans for completing a new critical edition which will visualise the development of the work’s texts across this period will be discussed.

A central part of Ossian Online will involve building an online research environment to facilitate crowdsourced annotation and interpretation of Ossian, harnessing the interdisciplinary reach and appeal of the work. The project’s ultimate objectives are to use digital technologies to challenge national and disciplinary models of previous literary criticism which have impeded full appreciation of the cultural importance and significance of Ossian.

About the speaker
Dr Justin Tonra is University Fellow in English at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He has research interests in literature of the Romantic period, digital humanities, and book history. He has spent periods of postdoctoral work at UCL (where he worked on Transcribe Bentham) and the University of Virginia. His work has been published by Literary and Linguistic Computing and an article on Thomas Moore’s early poetry is forthcoming (late 2014) in European Romantic Review.

Download a flyer for the talk (PDF).

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The experiment: Engaging undergraduates in advanced university research


It started out as an experiment. We took the brains of a dozen undergraduate students and carefully placed them into the flailing bodies of several research projects; we fired up the electricity (well, actually, set up a webpage) and … the Project Management and Research module was born.

I have become very fond of what we have all created this year. Anthony and I have worked together on projects for over a decade now (hard to believe, I know) and it seemed like a good idea to share some of what we have learned along the way and pass on our genuine enthusiasm for project-based work. In an academic environment that is increasingly stressing employability and the transferability of skills, this module ticks all the boxes. I hope that it has given our first cohort of students a taste of research in an academic context and the opportunity to exploit the talent they have and bring out new talents they never knew they had. Read the rest of this entry »

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Visiting speaker, 18 Mar 2014: Matt Rubery on the early history of audiobooks

Matthew Rubery (Queen Mary, London) will be presenting his paper, ‘How to Read a Talking Book’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 18 March 2014. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.

2013.06.ruberyThe United States Library of Congress’s Talking Book Service was established in 1934 to provide books for war-blinded soldiers and blind civilians who could not read braille. The first recordings included the Bible, Shakespeare’s plays and best-selling novels. This presentation traces a series of controversies that arose soon afterward among the blind community over the appropriate way to narrate a talking book. Audiences faced a choice between a deliberately understated style that privileged the printed book and a theatrical style that took full advantage of the phonograph’s sound. Such disputes raise fundamental questions about the legitimacy of reading practices among people with visual disabilities and, ultimately, what it means to read a book. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rosie Johns, Publishing in the Modern Era: Interview with John Adler, Part 1

This blog post is the second post of an ongoing series by Rosie Johns, exploring the challenges and opportunities involved in book publishing in the current 21st Century environment. These posts are being written as part of Rosie’s second project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University.

Interview with John Adler, Part 1: Background

John Adler, Sole Trader of Herbert Adler Publishing and Pomegranate Books

John Adler, Sole Trader of Herbert Adler Publishing and Pomegranate Books

John Adler founded Pomegranate Books in 1999 and established his subsequent imprint, Herbert Adler Publishing, in 2008. He has over 20 years’ experience in journalism and photography, and his skills and experience enable him to manage most aspects of publishing in-house. During his time at the University of Bristol he combined lecturing with arts administration; he edited New Theatre magazine, as well as writing the 8-volume Responses to Shakespeare. The following are extracts from a transcript of the interview that I conducted with John on 3 February 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rosie Johns, Publishing in the modern era: Introduction

This blog post is the first of a series by Rosie Johns, exploring the challenges and opportunities involved in book publishing in the 21st-century environment.  These posts are being written as part of Rosie’s second project on the Project Management and Research Undergraduate module at Cardiff University.


IMG_92242Reading is a near-essential, and vastly enjoyable, part of our lives.  Humans have been creating written records for thousands of years, from the clay tablets of Mesopotamia (accredited as the earliest form of writing, dating back to 3500 BC) to the hardback and paperback books we are familiar with today.

Since the introduction of the Kindle just over five years ago, eBooks have come to represent a new era in publishing – the digital era.  Books are now able to be published without manual labour, without materials and to a limitless quantity.  Publishing companies have begun, and will continue, to develop vastly different technology to adapt to the new digital demands.

This series of blogs will explore the advantages and limitations of the new digital age of book publishing.  I will provide anecdotal accounts, from a student perspective, of all facets of the publishing industry.  Questionnaires and interviews with professionals from all sectors of the publishing industry will be drawn upon to produce a one-of-a-kind resource, which I hope will be far removed from the detached observations made by other blogs, newspapers and studies.

Publishing is a field greatly affected by digital advancement, and the question of what the future holds for book publishing is one that I am keenly interested in, both on an intellectual and personal level.  This blog series seeks to give a detailed and accurate account into publishing and provide answers to questions of interest, regardless of whether (like me) you aspire to enter the field of publishing, or are simply curious about books and how they are produced.

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Lucy Ellis, The Kindle: My Experience

This blog is the first of a series focused on the Kindle, drawing on the experiences and perspectives of final-year English Literature student, Lucy Ellis. These blog posts are being written as part of Lucy’s first project on the Project Management and Research undergraduate module at Cardiff University.

Part 1

A woman reading Kindle on the Tube.

This academic year, Cardiff University’s English Literature department has piloted a brand new module, in which third year students can contribute to the university’s academic projects and get a first hand taste of how research at Cardiff works. My name is Lucy, and this semester I will be blogging for Cardiff Book History on a subject of my own. Cardiff Book History provides a wide variety of information on speakers, workshops, interviews and general points of interests ranging from native cosmopolitanism to women and gardens in the eighteenth century. However, I wanted to think outside the box.

Being a blog site dedicated to the history of the book, I wished to focus on how books and the methods people use to read have transformed significantly over the last couple of decades – most obviously with the phenomenon of new technology, exemplified by the Amazon Kindle. Through this technological revolution, the popularity of reading has been revitalised; casually reading a Kindle one-handed on a busy London tube is a day to day sight. According to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Taking Part 2011/12 Adult and Child Report, around three quarters of the UK population read in their spare time, beating gardening, cinema trips and theatre. It is the ultimate cultural hobby. This is why I’ve decided not to talk about what we read, but the way we read, and there’s no better starting point than to discuss my own personal experience with the Kindle. Read the rest of this entry »

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