CALL FOR PAPERS: Scandal and Sociability: New Perspectives on the Burney Family, 1750–1850



Scandal and Sociability

New Perspectives on the Burney Family, 1750–1850


One-day interdisciplinary symposium

Cardiff University

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


Keynote speaker: Professor Peter Sabor, McGill University

‘”The march of intimacy”: Dr. Burney and Dr. Johnson’

In recent years, much scholarly interest has moved beyond the novels of Frances Burney to encompass the influence and activities of the rest of her family, including: her father Charles (historian of music and man of letters) her sister Susan (musician and critic), her brother James (rear-admiral who sailed with Captain Cook and acted as interpreter for the famous Tahitian Omai), her brother Charles (bibliophile, collector and schoolmaster), her half-sister Sarah Harriet (author of seven novels 1796–1839), her stepsister Elizabeth (better known as ‘Mrs Meeke’, the author of twenty-six novels 1795–1823), and her cousin Edward Francisco Burney (artist and illustrator). Between them, the Burneys knew most British luminaries of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries working in the fields of literature, art, music, politics, botany, exploration, and court and Church circles. However, no conference or publication has specifically considered the Burney family as a composite whole, asking how their sociable network and often tumultuous internal dynamics influenced the remarkable spate of cultural and sociable activity carried out by its polymathic members. This interdisciplinary symposium will do so, and will result in an edited collection of papers, proposed to a leading academic press.

We invite 300-word abstracts for either twenty-minute papers or 5–10 minute ‘flash’ presentations, which address or have relevance for the lives and works of any member of the Burney family. Topics may include, but are not limited to: Burney influence in the novels of Frances Burney; representations of Burneys in other writings; network theory and sociability; Burney friendships, relationships and ‘circles’; kinship and affection; family spaces; scandal and suppression; Burney manuscripts, collections and libraries; travel writing by the Burneys; Charles Burney Sr.’s music writing and patronage networks; James Burney’s naval career, writings or politics; Charles Burney Jr.’s travels, bibliomania and pedagogy; Susan Burney’s musical criticism; the authorship of Sarah Harriet Burney and Elizabeth Meeke; Edward Francisco Burney’s art; Burney family collaborations; lesser-known Burneys including Elizabeth Allen Burney, Charles Parr Burney, Charlotte Ann Burney, Esther and Charles Rouseau Burney, Dick Burney and Maria Rishton.

The symposium is funded by Cardiff University’s School of English, Communication and Philosophy and by the Burney Society (UK). The programme will be announced and registration (which will be free for postgraduate students) will open on 15 April 2015. The Burney Society has kindly sponsored a bursary for the best abstract submitted by a postgraduate student registered for a degree in the academic year 2014–2015 and/or in the academic year 2015–2016. The winner will receive £100 towards travel and accommodation expenses, and write a short review of the conference for the Burney Society bulletin.

Please send abstracts of not more than 300 words to Dr Sophie Coulombeau ( by 30 March 2015. If you would like your abstract to be considered for the bursary, please also attach a CV of not more than three pages.


2 thoughts on “CALL FOR PAPERS: Scandal and Sociability: New Perspectives on the Burney Family, 1750–1850

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s