Exhibition: Wales in the Romantic Imagination

Please do read Alison Harvey’s excellent post on the exhibition that she’s arranged for BARS 2015, entitled ‘Wales in the Romantic Imagination’.

Special Collections and Archives / Casgliadau Arbennig ac Archifau

Our latest exhibition is held in collaboration with Romantic Imprints: the 14th International Conference of the British Association for Romantic Studies, Cardiff University, 16-19 July 2015. The exhibition will run until September.

Thomas Pennant (1726-1798)

“… he’s the best traveller I ever read; he observes more things than anyone else does.” – Samuel Johnson on Thomas Pennant

Thomas Pennant was a natural historian, antiquarian and prolific travel writer, principally known for his accounts of travelling on foot and horseback through Wales and Scotland in the late 18th century, exploring remote parts previously unknown to many. His naturally gregarious disposition encouraged local inhabitants to speak freely of their habits, customs and superstitions, all of which he documented in as much detail as the route and its scenery. A great believer in the ability of a picture to tell a thousand words, his works were heavily illustrated with engravings, initially sketched…

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BARS 2015 Delegate Help Sheet Available

You can download an electronic copy of the Delegate Help Sheet that we’ve prepared for your conference packs.

The Help Sheet carries information about Local Amenities, Healthcare, Travel and Places to Eat and Drink.

You can download it here.

Final versions of programme and abstracts now online

The final copies of the BARS 2015 Programme and Abstracts are now available to view. You can download them by clicking on the thumbnails below, or by visiting the Programme pages.

BARS 2015 ProgrammeBARS 2015 Abstracts (Final)

BARS 2015 abstracts available to view

BARS 2015 word cloudAbstracts imageYou can now read through all keynote papers, delegate abstracts and panel descriptions. The 55,000-word document contains details of 221 presentations across 66 panels, plenaries and workshops/roundtables, covering a range of topics including: nation and print, producing and consuming print, intertextual exchanges, textual scholarship, Romantic legacies and professional skills.

University accommodation available to book

We have secured 100 en-suite and 65 semi-en-suite rooms just by the conference venue, at £28.70 and £26.71/night respectively (including breakfast).

Here are the instructions.

  1. Go to: https://bookaccommodation.cardiff.ac.uk
  2. Location should be kept as: Any location.
  3. Nights between 15th – 20th July need to be selected and BARS2015 entered as the promotional code.
  4. Accommodation at Colum Hall and Aberconway Hall will then appear for delegates to book.

If there is no availability by the time you try to book the BARS-designated rooms, I’ve noticed that if you choose ‘City Centre’ on the website there are also general summer rooms available elsewhere on campus, less than ten minutes’ walk from the conference venue, in Senghenydd Court and Hall (buildings no. 47 and 46 on the location guide, grid ref. E3). The rooms are cheaper, but there is no breakfast option, although you’ll be able to get breakfast in any of the nearby cafes or convenience stores en route to the conference. In this case:

  1. Go to: https://bookaccommodation.cardiff.ac.uk
  2. Location should be kept as: City Centre.
  3. Select your nights as above. I don’t think entering the promotional code would make a difference.
  4. Accommodation at Senghenydd Court is £21.06/night, but has shared bathrooms; accommodation in Senghenydd Hall is £25.38/night and is en-suite.

BARS Programme (v1.0) now live

You can now download the first draft version of the BARS 2015 conference programme (v1.0).

Many thanks for your patience over the last few weeks, while we have been finishing off the conference programme.

As you can imagine, it’s been no simple task, given the number of speakers and panels we have been dealing with (over 65 panels!).

In putting together the programme, we have endeavoured to avoid clashes or overlaps between similarly themed papers, so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Of course, with a conference this large, you’ll see that there are around seven panels in each of the nine parallel sessions, but this is a necessary evil of such a large conference.

As more relevant information comes our way, we’ll be updating the programme. Of course, we’ll keep you updated about any revisions, and we’ll let you know exactly what those revisions comprise.

Anyway, we’re hope you’re happy with the programme and how we’ve arranged things. We both think it’s a fantastic one, with four days of exciting, intriguing and illuminating talks. We’re also really looking forward to hearing your papers ourselves (well, as many as we can find time to attend) and to seeing you in person in six weeks’ time.

Announcement of the 2015 BARS First Book Prize Shortlist

A statement from Professor Emma Clery, University of Southampton.

As chair of the panel judging the BARS First Book Prize, I am delighted to announce the following shortlist:

There were 21 nominations received by the deadline of 31 January 2015, and it has been a pleasure and a privilege for us to read and discuss the wealth of impressive work in the field. Aside from general excellence and originality, a crucial criterion for this prize has been an interdisciplinary approach. Interdisciplinarity has been a hallmark of BARS from its inception. All of the shortlisted books conduct interdisciplinary research in imaginative and rigorous ways, and excitingly redefine our understanding of ‘Romanticism’.

The winner of the 2015 prize will be announced at the opening wine reception of the conference on Thursday, 16 July 2015.

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors!

BARS 2015: April update

Registration forms will be available to complete and submit on 21 April 2015. In the meanwhile, we’ve provided a number of conference updates:

  • A provisional timetable for the conference is now online, so you can see the timings.
  • We have details of the conference registration and events costs.
  • You can find out further information about accommodation, including details of budget accommodation and our preferential hotel rate.

Cardiff University’s Accommodation Services will shortly be releasing the booking details for budget accommodation, which has been costed at under £30/night including breakfast. We’ll alert delegates to this as soon as we hear back from them.

We’re also making our way through the submissions and organising papers into suitable panels. Again, we’ll keep you posted in  the coming weeks as soon as these have been sorted.

Conference excursion confirmed: Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey (1840)

Tintern Abbey (1840)

We’re delighted to be in a position to confirm fuller details of the conference excursion, which will be taking place at Tintern Abbey.

Sitting in the border county of Monmouthshire, the Abbey was founded in village of Tintern during the 12th century by the Lord of Chepstow, Walter de Clare. A busy Cistercian religious institution enjoyed significant attention during subsequent centuries, homing Edward II during a short visit, as well as being located near strategic locations during the Welsh Uprising of the early 15th century. When the monasteries were dissolved by Henry VIII, Tintern Abbey passed into the hands of the Lord of Chepstow, Henry Somerset in 1536, after which the building and its estates fell into decline.

Turner Tintern (1794)

J M W Turner, The Chancel and Crossing of Tintern Abbey, Looking towards the East Window (1794)

Over the succeeding centuries, the ruin and the nearby Wye Valley has been the focus of various literary and cultural tourists, not least William Gilpin’s Picturesque Tour of 1782, and perhaps most famously the Abbey was immortalised in the Wordsworth’s ‘Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey’ (1798). Interest in the ruin continued beyond the Romantic period, with the location forming the focus of poetry by writers as diverse as Tennyson and Ginsberg.

The Abbey is around an hour’s coach journey away from the conference venue, and we’re planning an exciting series of talks and presentations at the location, about which we’ll be posting updates in the coming months. Arrangements for the excursion will be overseen by Dr Jamie Castell, Lecturer in Romanticism at Cardiff University.

BARS Executive Meeting, 21 Feb 2015

Worcester College, Oxford

Worcester College, Oxford

The BARS Executive Committee met in the historic location of Worcester College, Oxford on 21 February. A key topic during the four-hour meeting was, naturally, the conference.

The main discussion points focused on the high quantity of excellent papers we’ve received in response to our Call for Papers, and we made some important decisions about the next steps for sifting through the submissions in the coming month. This also led us to finalise the programme structure for the four days, and a final draft is being circulated to the Exec members so that we can upload this onto the conference site very shortly. Our aim is to be as inclusive as possible, bringing together both established and new members, while balancing the evident interest in and enthusiasm for the conference with a schedule that delegates can feel is enjoyable and stimulating.

Other matters covered were the excursion (details to follow), events and entertainments, and accommodation.

Things are rolling forward nicely, and in the coming weeks there’ll be a number of updates with regard to these matters, so do keep on returning to the conference site for more information.