Romantic Circles Blog

Romantic Pedagogy Commons: Innovations

The first issue of the new peer-reviewed venue, Romantic Pedagogy Commons, called "Innovations," is now available at Romantic Circles. It offers numerous tools for teaching, some that are technologically innovative, others that make use of more traditional classroom practices but transfer them to the web (online slide shows, for instance). These tools are primarily for enhancing Romanticism classes, but some of them apply to any literature courses. Mark Phillipson presents the Wiki as an anti-authoritarian class tool: it de-centers classroom authority and participants produce an on line text book, as it were, authored collectively by the class members. Jerome McGann and Johanna Drucker describe IVANHOE, a new program (still in beta testing) that stimulates creative reading practices and interpretive activity among students in a literature course.

The inaugural issue of the Romantic Pedagogy Commons might be of wider interest, however, since it discusses new pedagogical theories and their relation to web tools (the introduction), and defines and explains "Visual Literacy" (three essays by Seiffert, Simmons, and Bjork).

Laura Mandell

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Blake Archive: Divine Comedy illustrations

The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of electronic editions of Blake's water color and engraved illustrations to Dante's Divine Comedy. Along with the illustrations to Edward Young's Night Thoughts, the poetry of Thomas Gray, and John Milton's poems, the Dante series of 102 water colors are among Blake's most important series of illustrations to another poet. Although he engraved only 7 of the designs from the water color series, these plates show that Blake continued innovative work as a line engraver into the final days of his life. The water colors can be found in the Archive by moving through the following categories: Works in the Archive, Non-Illuminated Materials, Drawings and Paintings, and Water Color Drawings. The engravings can be found by moving through the following categories: Works in the Archive, Non-Illuminated Materials, Separate Prints and Prints in Series, Plates Designed and Engraved by Blake.

The water colors were commissioned by John Linnell, the chief patron of Blake's final years. Although Linnell did not begin to pay for the designs until December 1825, at the rate of about 1 pound a week, Blake probably began work on the drawings by the fall of 1824. They were left at Blake's death in 1827 in various stages of completion, ranging from pencil sketches to highly finished water colors. Most show an expressive freedom in the handling of color washes far greater than Blake's earlier water colors. In 1826, Blake began to engrave large plates based on 7 of the designs; these were also left incomplete at his death. Like Blake's Job engravings, the Dante plates are pure line engravings without preliminary etching. The water colors remained in Linnell's collection and estate until their sale at auction in 1918. Through a scheme organized by the National Arts-Collections Fund, they were dispersed among 7 participating
institutions: Ashmolean Museum (3 designs), Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery (6 designs), British Museum (13 designs), Fogg Art Museum (23 designs) National Gallery of Victoria (36 designs), Royal Institution of Cornwall (1 design), and Tate Collection (20 designs). The engravings, first printed for sale in 1838, are reproduced from a set in the collection of Robert N. Essick.

We have also taken this opportunity to publish four more Collection Lists:Ashmolean Museum, J. Paul Getty Museum, Royal Institution of Cornwall, and Tate Collection. The last in this group is one of the largest and finest gatherings of Blake's drawings, water colors, and paintings. These lists can be found, along with the eighteen others previously published, under Resources for Further Research on the Archive's main Table of Contents (Home Page).

Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Andrea Laue, technical editor
The William Blake Archive

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Keats-Shelley Association mentoring project

The Keats-Shelley Association of America announces the inauguration of a three-year Mentoring Project. This project is designed to aid younger members of the profession in the crucial early stages of their careers by increasing the exchange of scholarly expertise and practical professional information between junior and senior scholars. If a senior scholar (who has earned tenure) would like to be a mentor (for one protégé), he or she should notify the Mentoring Committee, outlining briefly for us his or her range of scholarly or professional areas of expertise (e.g., Charlotte Smith, grant writing). Junior scholars who have earned the Ph.D. but not yet received tenure can request a mentor by describing their own scholarly interests and professional concerns. In March, the Mentoring Committee of the KSAA will match prospective mentors with prospective protégés. Mentors and protégés commit to one year of conversation (vocal, written, and/or electronic).

A fuller description can be found on the Keats-Shelley Association Website:

If you would like to participate, or have questions, contact Jeanne Moskal:

The Keats-Shelley Association Mentoring Committee
Jeanne Moskal (chair)
Alan Richardson
Gina Luria Walker

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NASSR 2005: Montreal

Proposals are now being accepted for the thirteenth annual conference of the
North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR), "Deviance and
Defiance," to be held in Montreal, Canada, 13-17 August 2005. Deadline: 15 January 2005.

The conference topic, “Deviance and Defiance," revisits Romantic transgressions and Romanticism as trangression, how Romanticism is a transgression, is transgressive, and transgresses itself. The topic engages notions of deviance and defiance from numerous perspectives, including the Romantics' defiance of and deviation from the norms of their own period, including questioning the legitimacy of what is "the norm" or "normal" in Romanticism, what is the norm of Romanticism.

- Political and aesthetic defiance
- Religious deviations and defiance
- Deviating world views at the turn of the eighteenth century
- Sexual deviance and transgression
- Textual deviants
- Deviations of nation, trangressions of nationality and nationhood
- Romantic criminal deviants and Romantic criminality
- Defiance in the public sphere
- Deviations from nature and the natural
- (Re)defining Romantic norms, normality, and the normal
- Taxonomical deviations
- Defying philosophical and scientific categories
- Defying history; gender transgressions.

We welcome submissions from all disciplines with an interest in the
conference topic. Please e-mail paper proposals (500 words) to

For the general call for papers and more information about NASSR 2005,
please visit the conference website:

For the special sessions, please visit:

Andrew Elfenbein; Tim Fulford; Michael Gamer; and Tilottama Rajan

Michael Eberle-Sinatra (Université de Montréal) and Joel Faflak (University
of Western Ontario)

Jason Camlot (Concordia University), Monique Morgan (McGill University),
Peter Sabor (McGill University), Jonathan Sachs (Concordia University), and
Tabitha Sparks (McGill University)

(This year's NASSR conference will also be dovetailed with the seventh
biennal conference of the International Gothic Association, also focusing on
deviance and defiance, which will be held from the 11th-14th of August at
the same location; see

Michael Eberle-Sinatra
Universite de Montreal

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Blake Archive: color-printed drawings

The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication this week of electronic editions of Blake's 12 large color printed drawings, designed and first printed in 1795. They are presented in our Preview mode, one that provides all the features of the Archive except Image Search and Inote (our image annotation program). They can be found in the Archive by moving through the following categories: Works in the Archive, Non-Illuminated Materials, Separate Prints and Prints in Series, and Color Printed Drawings.

Blake's 12 large color prints are often considered to be his greatest works as a pictorial artist. Both their sublime imagery and Blake's printmaking technique evolved out of his illuminated books of 1790-95. Although at least one of the designs, God Judging Adam, shows evidence of having been printed from a copperplate etched in relief, the other 11 subjects were probably printed from the unetched surfaces of copperplates or millboards (a thick cardboard). No more than 3 impressions from any one printing matrix are extant. At least 2 of the designs, and probably a good many others, were reprinted c. 1805. As with the illuminated books, each impression of the same basic image is different due to variations--some purposeful, some accidental--in both printing and hand-coloring. The selection of 23 impressions presented here includes at least one impression of each design. All 4 versions of Pity, including the small version printed from a different matrix, are included.

Modern scholars have interpreted the connections among the designs and their iconography, but no interpretation has become definitive. It seems as though the 12 subjects are not a series with a fixed sequence, but rather a group of designs centered upon images of the fallen world. Within that general group are a few companion prints, such as Elohim Creating Adam and Satan Exulting over Eve, associated in subject, design, or both. The textual sources for the images range from the Bible to Shakespeare, Milton, and Blake's own poetic mythologies of the mid-1790s.

As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no access restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is made possible through the continuing support of the Library of Congress, the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia, by a major grant from the Preservation and Access Division of the National Endowment for the Humanities, by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and by the cooperation of the international array of libraries and museums that have generously given us permission to reproduce works from their collections in the Archive.

Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Andrea Laue, technical editor
The William Blake Archive

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BARS Website

The BARS (British Association for Romantic Studies) website is now online at

The site features information about BARS conferences, calls for papers for other Romantic-period conferences, reviews from back issues of the BARS Bulletin & Review, a designated postgraduate section, information of BARS grants and bursaries, and as a list of useful links.

The site also includes a 'For Members' section, which can only be accessed by BARS members by means of individual usernames and passwords. This section of the site contains details of current projects and publications in the field, a list of the research interests of BARS members, details of whether you are up-to-date with your BARS subs, and as a list of subject-specific resources.

There is also a downloadable application form for those who wish to join BARS on the site.

Please send any content you wish to appear on the website to the moderators Sharon Ruston and Simon Kövesi

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CFP: 4th International Student Byron Conference

Call for Papers: 4th International Student Byron Conference
Messolonghi Byron Research Center, Greece
May 17-25, 2005
Theme: "Byron the Homeric Traveller"

The Messolonghi Byron Research Center solicits 20-minute papers for its fourth international student Byron conference to be held May 17-25, 2005. The conference theme will be "Byron the Homeric Traveller." This broad topic may be construed in a variety of ways to focus on biography, history, mythology, or literature. Papers may consider Byron, Homer, the classical, Romantic, or contemporary idea of travel, or other subjects. Please e-mail one-paragraph (approximately 300 words) abstracts to Professor Peter Graham ( and to Professor Malcolm Kelsall ( ) by February 15, 2005. Tentative acceptances will be sent to presenters by March 1. The chosen student presenters should then send completed drafts of their papers by May 1. The student papers will be supplemented by lectures by Greek and English professors and scholars. This year's keynote address will be delivered by Professor Malcolm Kelsall of the University of Wales, Cardiff.

If enrollment requests permit, a limited number of student participants who do not wish to present papers will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

On one day of the conference, graduate and undergraduate English majors from Athens University and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki will come down with their professors to join the group. Then and other times, there will be abundant opportunities to learn about Greek life through first-hand experience. There will be welcoming ceremonies and receptions with meals, singing, and dancing hosted by the Mayor of Messolonghi, the Regional Governor, and mayors of neighboring towns, along with visits to historic and archaeological sites and museums associated with Byron and with Homer. In keeping with the conference's theme, a two-day excursion to the island of Ithaca, with visits to excavations of Odysseos' palace and other archaeological sites, will follow the academic sessions. Conference-goers will have the options of returning by ferry and coach to Messolonghi and from there to Athens or some other destination or staying on for further exploration of Ithaca or other Ionian islands.

A 650-euro conference fee will provide six nights of lodging in double rooms with breakfast at the Theoxenia Hotel by the Messolonghi lagoonside, two nights with breakfast at a hotel on Ithaca, transportation to and from the island, most lunches and dinners, and all social events and excursions. There will be a 100-euro surcharge for single accommodations. The actual cost of the conference is 800 euros, but due to generous sponsorships the Messolonghi Byron Society will be able to reduce the conference fee by 150 euros per person.

Airfare to Greece and transportation to Messolonghi are additional and should be arranged individually.

Again, the deadline for registration and abstracts: February 15, 2005.

Full descriptions of the three previous international student conferences can be found on the Messolonghi Byron Society's web page:

For further information please contact the society's president, Mrs. Rosa Florou (

Professor Peter W. Graham, Director of International Relations, Messolonghi Byron Research Center
Professor Malcolm Kelsall, Department of English, University of Wales Cardiff
Professor M. Byron Raizis, Joint President, International Byron Society
Mrs. Rosa Florou, President, Messolonghi Byron Society and Director, Messolonghi Byron Research Center

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Georgetown Theatre Company's The Offensive

The Georgetown Theatre Company presents a staged reading of THE OFFENSIVE: A timely comic variation on Lord Byron’s Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice

By R. L. Nesvet
Directed by Catherine Aselford

Friday, 19th November, 2004, 7.30 p.m.
Grace Church, Georgetown
1041 Wisconsin Ave., NW (South of M St.)
Washington, D.C.

It’s 1355, and the Venetian Senate has just refused to punish with the death penalty a graffiti artist who has insulted the honour of Doge Marino Faliero, the recently elected leader of the Republic. The Doge decides to ‘get justice’—by assassinating the Senators and establishing a dictatorship, with himself as Prince. All the Doge needs to accomplish “leader stabilization, regime change” is “backup,” but the only backup available is “the Conspiracy,” whose objective is to depose HIM. Can the Doge turn this terrorist cell into respectable “Patriots” overnight, without setting off the jewel of the Republic’s defence system -- the mysterious Ratapult?

For more information, contact

Pay-what-you-can donation requested.

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NEH Summer Seminar: "Genre, Dialogue, and Community"

ANNOUNCING an NEH SUMMER SEMINAR FOR COLLEGE TEACHERS 2005: "Genre, Dialogue, and Community in British Romanticism"

13 June - 22 July 2005
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
Directed by Stephen C. Behrendt
Participant stipend: $4200

I invite applications for colleagues in English studies (especially later 18th and early19th century British literature and culture) for a six-week interdisciplinary NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers here at the University of Nebraska in summer 2005. We will work together to gain a fuller appreciation of the broad variety of British Romantic literary culture by examining the interrelations that often go unexplored in traditional scholarship between works executed in a particular genre (poetry, prose fiction, drama, etc.) and the contemporaneous production in the other literary genres as well as in extra-literary areas like the visual arts, music, economics, science, print journalism, and history and historiography.

My goal is to bring together colleagues from all professional ranks and at all stages of their professional careers in order to provide an interactive forum for us to explore the impact for our research and for our teaching of this cross-genre inquiry. Seminar participants will conduct research on their own individual projects in the various genres, but we will spend time together discussing parallel developments and phenomena in those other genres (and areas of cultural production) with which we may not be as familiar as we are with our most accustomed one. I hope that this collegial conversation will lead to more wide-ranging and more culturally diverse scholarship and teaching in Romanticism than is sometimes the case when we find ourselves academically grounded in a particular genre and confined for both curricular and professional reasons to conducting most of our work in that area of inquiry.

The University of Nebraska Libraries offer splendid resources for the study of Romanticism in these broader contexts. In addition to the "Corvey Collection" of nearly 10,000 Romantic-era titles in English, French, and German, the library has extensive microform archives of contemporary periodicals that permit detailed contextual study of the Romantic literary culture. The library is a modern and well-stocked one, with excellent electronic resources for advanced study, including high-speed internet and a burgeoning program of initiatives in electronic scholarship and electronic texts, to all of which seminar participants will have full access.

Participants will enjoy full library privileges as visiting faculty, as well as visiting scholar status in the Department of English, where they will have individual office space during the seminar.

I have posted a detailed description of the seminar at the following URL:

This site has links to university resources (including the library and housing accommodations), to the necessary application information, and to a variety of community attractions. Lincoln is a pleasant and inviting place to work in the summer, and I look forward to welcoming and working with you and your colleagues.

Please note that I am actively encouraging applications from colleagues not just in English Studies, but also in History, Theatre, Art History, Music History, Journalism (and the history of print culture), Economics, and Comparative Studies in the Humanities. Tell your colleagues!

Please let me know if I can answer any questions or provide further information.

Stephen C. Behrendt
George Holmes Distinguished Professor of English
319 Andrews Hall
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE 68588-0333

Phone: (402) 472-1806
FAX: (402) 472-9771

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