About Romantic Imprints

Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy, and the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, are proud to be hosting the 14th international conference for the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS).

The Romantic period was characterized by the consolidation of a professional culture of print that witnessed important changes in the production, circulation and reception of literature: the dominance of the novel genre both in its high and low manifestations, changes in copyright legislation, the emergence of big publishing houses that cater to a variety of readerships, popular and polite. In no small measure, these developments led to a heightened sense of complex and interlocking identities (national, regional, political), themselves shaped by the convergence of a number of historically significant and culturally transforming events: the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, the Act of Union, Catholic Emancipation, the changing face of European Imperialism, political agitation and the advent of industrialization.

This changing landscape of print culture manifested in the increasing popularity of travel writing, antiquarianism and folklore, and regional literatures—whether they be the ballads and melodies of Scotland, Ireland and Wales, the lyric poetry of Wordsworth, Clare, and Hemans, or the prose histories and national romances of the likes of Scott, Owenson and Edgeworth. It was in this period that publishing, especially of novels, vastly increased its exports and consequently witnessed the consolidation of a truly trans-European network of print culture, in the large number of translations to and from English. Furthermore, we see the emergence in this period of a global marketplace for literature, evident, for instance, in the importation of British books into America and India, in a manner that would coalesce more fully in the international literary markets of the later nineteenth century.

BARS 2015: Romantic Imprints pulls together these interlinked strands through its consideration of the ways in which a discernibly Romantic cultural consciousness was shaped and inflected by increasingly sophisticated networks of print and other communication cultures. This is to say, the period saw the emergence of books as intercultural objects, reified through the interconnections of print, visual, aural and theatrical cultures. The global context notwithstanding, it is important to attend to the specific local manifestations of this Romantic moment and, given its setting in Cardiff, the conference hopes to complement its international perspective with a focus on Welsh print culture, for example the antiquarianism of Iolo Morganwg, the picturesque of William Gilpin and the travelogues of Thomas Pennant. The conference organizers aim to incorporate this local perspective with at least one special panel on Wales as represented in the period.

Conference Organizers: Dr Anthony Mandal, Dr Jane Moore (Cardiff University).

Conference Organizing Committee: Dr Gillian Dow (Chawton House Library/University of Southampton), Professor Ian Haywood (University of Roehampton), Professor Nicola Watson (Open University).

Excursion Organizers: Dr Jamie Castell (Cardiff University), Dr Maximiliaan van Woudenberg (Sheridan Institute of Technology).

Outreach Co-ordinator: Dr Nicky Lloyd (Bath Spa University).

Conference Administrator: Helen Clifford (Cardiff University).

Conference Assistant: Harriet Gordon (Cardiff University).

Conference Helpers: India Cole, Dr Laura Foster, Michael Goodman, Felicity Holmes-Mackie, Amber Jenkins, Siriol McAvoy, Akira Suwa, Thomas Tyrrell, Alex Wills (Cardiff University).

Conference Technicians: Dean Burnett, Nathan Heslop (Cardiff University).

Website Design: Dr Rhys Tranter, Dr Anthony Mandal (Cardiff University).