Dr Rhys Kaminski-Jones – 18 November 2019

screenshot-2019-11-17-at-12.22.12.png

Join us on 18 November 2019 for a talk by Dr Rhys Kaminski-Jones.

Here are Rhys’s research interests:

Rhys Kaminski-Jones’s work focuses on connections between Welsh, English, and other Celtic literatures during the eighteenth century and the Romantic era, and on building links between Celtic Studies and other academic disciplines.

Having studied for a BA in English Language and Literature at the University of Oxford, and an MA in Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York, Rhys joined the Centre as a doctoral student in 2012, researching the cultural significance of the Ancient Britons during the long eighteenth century.

He has since re-joined the Centre as a postdoctoral fellow, and is currently engaged in a British Academy funded project on the neglected and much misunderstood Welsh author William Owen Pughe. He is preparing the first critical volume dedicated to Pughe’s Welsh and English writings, which aims to reassess the reputation of this lost Romantic figure.

He is also the co-editor (with Francesca Kaminski-Jones) of a forthcoming interdisciplinary volume exploring the connections between Celtic and Classical heritage in Britain, and is pursuing an interest in the environmental humanities with a project on air, atmosphere, and local identity in Romantic literature.

Dr Tess Somervell – 29 October 2019

Join us on 29 October for a talk by Dr Tess Somervell from the University of Leeds.

Tess’s research interests:

My research is in literature of the long eighteenth century, particularly poetry.

My doctoral research focused on time in three long poems of the (very) long eighteenth century: Milton’s Paradise Lost, Thomson’s The Seasons, and Wordsworth’s The Prelude.

Under the auspices of the AHRC-funded project ‘British Romantic Writing and Environmental Catastrophe’, I carried out research into representations of the deluge in eighteenth-century and Romantic writing, with a particular focus on Wordsworth. I am interested in how the biblical deluge was reimagined by poets in the light of developments in geological history, ideas about nature, and theories of time.

My work on the deluge feeds into my current project, which is on representations of weather and climate in georgic poetry of the long eighteenth century. I am examining how and why poets used the georgic mode and its conventions for representing the weather to navigate between competing conceptions of nature, notably the theological and the natural philosophical.

Tess Poster

CRECS 2019-20

Anna Mercer and Josh Powell are delighted to announce the following events for CRECS 2019-20 Autumn Term.

Scene on a ?Welsh River 1798 by Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Scene on a ?Welsh River 1798 (Tate)

All sessions are held at 6pm in Room 2.47, John Percival Building, Cardiff CF10 3EU. Refreshments provided; all welcome!

Mon 14 Oct Introductory session with Dr Josh Powell (Cardiff) and Dr Anna Mercer (Cardiff) ‘New directions in the field of eighteenth century and Romantic Studies’

Tue 29 Oct Dr Tess Somervell (University of Leeds) ‘Poetry For a Stormy Night: Writing Wet Weather in 18th-Century and Romantic Georgic’

Mon 18 Nov Dr Rhys Kaminski-Jones (University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies) ‘“Nothing in it for us Saxons”: Leigh Hunt, William Owen Pughe, and Romanticism’s Anglo-Welsh Border’

Mon 25 Nov Dr Katherine Fender (Oxford University) ‘“Feast…upon the wideness of the Sea”: Melancholy and the Solace of the Sea in the Poetry of John Keats’

Wed 27 Nov Prof Andrew Bennett (University of Bristol) ‘Meaning and Exemplarity in Poetics and Literary Theory: The Example of Keats and Yeats’

5th December 2018: Daisy Hay (Exeter) on Joseph Johnson

Wednesday 5th December 2018, 5:15 (Room 0.36, John Percival Building)

Professor Daisy Hay (Exeter) will be talking about life writing in the eighteenth century. Focusing on the influential radical publisher Joseph Johnson, her talk is entitled, ‘Experiments in Life-Writing: Joineriana and Joseph Johnson’.

Photo of Professor Daisy Hay

Daisy is an acclaimed biographer and literary critic. Her first book, the award winning Young Romantics: The Shelleys, Byron and Other Tangled Lives, focused on the families of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Leigh Hunt and on the political, intellectual and emotional significance of Romantic sociability. Her second book, Mr and Mrs Disraeli: A Strange Romance, traced the history of the Disraelis’ unusual courtship and marriage and was particularly concerned with the afterlife of Romanticism, the relationship between fact and fiction and the stories of Victorian women who, like Mary Anne Disraeli, sought to move beyond the circumstances of their birth to create for themselves fulfilling and stimulating lives. Daisy is currently working on a cultural history of English romanticism entitled Dinner with Joseph Johnson. Daisy is an engaging public speaker who regularly contributes on national radio programmes and we are delighted that she is joining us this semester.

As always, there will be sociable drinks and nibbles in the café afterwards.

Cardiff FrankenFest: Celebrating 200 Years of Frankenstein

When I placed my head on my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie. I saw—with shut eyes, but acute mental vision, —I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion. Frightful must it be; for supremely frightful would be the effect of any human endeavour to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world.—Mary Shelley, Introduction to Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus (1831 edn)

FrankenFestJoin CRECS in celebrating the bicentenary of the publication of Frankenstein, as we host a festival of events later this month that explore various aspects of Mary Shelley’s gothic classic. A collaboration between the School of English, Communication & Philosophy and Special Collections at Cardiff University, and directed by Prof. Anthony Mandal, Cardiff Frankenfest is part of the global Frankenreads initiative—a celebration of the novel’s anniversary by over 400 partners around the world, taking place in the lead-up to Halloween 2018.

We are delighted to be hosting four convivial, interactive events later this month, to which fans of the novel are warmly invited. Unless otherwise noted, events take place in the Special Collections of Cardiff University’s Arts and Social Studies Library.

  • A Stormy Night of Ghost-Telling: Fantasmagoriana and the Villa Diodati (22 Oct 2018, 5.30–7pm): In this seminar, Dr Maximiliaan van Woudenberg (Cambridge) will explore Fantasmagoriana, the collection of ghost stories in French read by Byron and the Shelleys during a summer stay in Switzerland. It was these tales that inspired the infamous ghost-storytelling completion, resulting in Mary’s creation of Frankenstein. The seminar will consist of a talk, followed by a hands-on discussion based on close readings of two short stories from Fantasmagoriana. This event is co-organised by CRECS and the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research.
  • ‘Of What A Strange Nature Is Knowledge’: Interdisciplinary Approaches To Frankenstein (24 Oct 2018, 5–7pm): This event explores the novel through various modes of analysis, led by Cardiff University researchers. Dr James Castell will discuss the ways in which Frankenstein anticipates key concerns of the environmental humanities; Barbara Hughes-Moore considers the relationship between legal culpability and the Creature’s status as a non-human; Prof. Keir Waddington examines how the laboratory space features in the novel. Each speaker will talk for about 15 minutes, with plenty of time for discussion.
  • Mary Shelley (29 Oct 2018, 6–9pm): A screening of Haifaa al-Mansoor’s 2017 biopic, starring Elle Fanning. The movie will be followed by a discussion of its representation of Mary’s life and love by Dr Anna Mercer (Cardiff/Keats House), whose work draws on her extensive research into the Shelley family manuscripts. This event is co-hosted by Cardiff BookTalk, and takes place in Cardiff University’s Optometry Building. 
  • ‘My Hideous Progeny’: Your Favourite Readings of Frankenstein and the FrankenQuiz (31 Oct 2018, 4–7pm): Start your Halloween celebrations by coming along to read and discuss your favourite passages from Frankenstein, at an event hosted by Rob Lloyd. The evening, and Festival, will conclude with a FrankenQuiz, in which you can prove your knowledge of all things Frankenstein—there will be suitably monstrous prizes for the winning team. For more information about readings, please contact Robert at LloydRS2@cardiff.ac.uk.

All events are free and everyone is welcome to attend. Refreshments will be available. However, please register using the Eventbrite link below so that we can plan accordingly: cardiff-frankenfest.eventbrite.co.uk.

Call for Papers – CRECS Summer Conference 2018

Call for Papers

POSTER

Where: Cardiff University

When: Monday, 18 June 2018, 10:30-7pm

The Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies Seminar (CRECS) is pleased to announce our first CRECS Summer Conference with our colleagues from Bath Spa, Bristol, Exeter, and Reading universities. The event will be the first large gathering of staff, postgraduates, and undergraduates in the Southwest region. Our aim is to bring together a community of students and researchers who are working on literature of the long eighteenth century.

The day will consist of paper presentations from students, career advice panels, Library and Special Collections introductions, and research and graduate applications advice. We are also pleased to announce that Professor Damian Walford Davies (Cardiff University) and Dr Rebecca Bullard (Reading University) will be giving our opening and closing plenaries.

We invite 250-word presentation proposals from students on any topic related to literature from the period 1660-1832. However, we particularly welcome papers focused on the following works:

  • Aphra Behn, TheRover
  • Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
  • Eliza Haywood, Fantomina
  • Charlotte Smith, Elegiac Sonnets
  • Wordsworth’s and Coleridge’s, Lyrical Ballads
  • Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Papers will be 15 minutes long (approx. 1500 words) and panels will consist of 3 speakers.  Panels will be broken up into undergraduate and MA panels. All year groups are encouraged to apply.

There is no attendance charge and lunch and refreshments will be provided. We will also be hosting a wine reception after the closing plenary (6pm).

Deadline for Presentation Proposals: Extended to Friday, 18 May 2018

Please email your completed proposal to:

Melanie Bigold (bigoldm@cardiff.ac.uk), or

Jane Moore (moorejv@cardiff.ac.uk)

Report from CRECS Workshop 2018

On January 18th 2018, the Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Seminar held a Workshop on PGR Recruitment, Cultures, and Training including with colleagues from a range of other institutions including the University of Bristol, the University Of Reading, Bath Spa University, the University of Exeter and Dongguk University Korea.

Following discussion of research interests and PhD supervision, there was considerable discussion about strategies for PhD Recruitment and Student Training. We also began to plan a conference to be held in the summer in Cardiff for undergraduate and MA students from each of the partner institutions. We’ll post an update on this blog soon!

Excursion Report: CRECS Goes Gothic at Strawberry Hill House, 16 May 2017

Horace Walpole, painted by John Giles Eccardt in 1754.

On 1 March, 2015 the Walpole Trust reopened Strawberry Hill House to the public. As the former home of Horace Walpole, famed (and famously eccentric) author of the first Gothic novel, the house has been a popular tourist destination since it was first built up in 1749.

At noon on 16 May 2017, twenty-three students and scholars from Cardiff University stepped blinking into the parking lot of Strawberry Hill House, out of the darkened bus that had carried them from rainy Wales. The weather in Twickenham was hardly Gothic-appropriate, but since the tour of the house had been arranged for the late afternoon, we had several hours to eat our bag lunches, stretch our legs in Strawberry Hill’s gardens, and snag a leisurely drink along the sunny banks of the Thames. By the time we returned to the House at 4pm, the group was happy, slightly sunburnt and ready to be thrilled, amazed and educated about Walpole’s ‘little Gothic castle’. Continue reading

Gothic Revival: CRECS Tours Strawberry Hill House, 16 May 2017

Join the Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Seminar (CRECS) on 16 May 2017 for an exciting excursion, as we visit the Gothic Strawberry Hill House in Twickenham, a modern architectural marvel. With its arches and turrets, its elaborate windows and gables, and its bone-white exterior, Strawberry Hill is a bizarre cross between a Gothic castle and a Disney one. Until 1797, it was also the home of the Gothic novelist Horace Walpole.

Constructed in stages between 1749 and 1776, Strawberry Hill has the distinction of being the first house built in the medieval style without using any old materials—a self-conscious work of Gothic fakery. This makes it the perfect match for Walpole, its original architect. Victorian scholar Thomas Macaulay famously called Walpole ‘the most eccentric, the most artificial, the most fastidious, the most capricious, of men’. Walpole was inspired to make multiple, wild renovations to Strawberry Hill during his lifetime, and the house inspired his writing in return: most famously, The Castle of Otranto (1764). Continue reading