Call for papers for Romantics 200 at MLA 2017: “2017 reads 1817.”

The date: January 1, 1970

As part of the Romantics 200 conference arc of bicentenary events organized by the Keats-Shelley Association of America and the Byron Society of America, the Keats-Shelley Association’s session at next year’s MLA will be on the literary events of 1817 from the perspective of 2017.  We invite short papers or detailed proposals for a 20-minute talk (no more than 10 pages, double-spaced TNR).

In this year between the inception of Frankenstein and its publication, we are interested in the 1817 literary world, from its in-the-moment events, its works-in-progress, and publications to the way 1817 figures into literary histories two hundred years on.  Keats’s first volume, Poems, for instance, was a dud in 1817, or coterie-cause at best.  But in the retrospect of Keats’s subsequent fame/esteem …

What else was going on in 1817?  Byron publishes The Lament of Tasso and Manfred, Austen’s Northanger Abbey and Persuasion are published posthumously, along with the first public biography by her brother. Hemans publishes Modern Greece, Moore has an amazing success with Lalla Rookh, Southey is embarrassed by Wat Tyler; Wolfe’s “The Burial of Sir John Moore” joins postwar glory and gore. Scott’s Rob Roy; Coleridge’s Sibylline Leaves and Biographia Literaria come out; Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine gets started; so does The Literary Gazette. Hazlitt’s  Characters of Shakespear’s Plays arguably launches 19th-c character criticism. PB and Mary Shelley publish their (post-war) History of a Six weeks’ Tour, and PBS his Proposal for Putting the Reform to the Vote. There is a flurry of publication on the death of Princess Charlotte.  This little overview is merely suggestive, not restrictive …
Papers or detailed proposals, on any of these events, or relations among them, or other events in the year 1817 from the perspective of 2017 are invited.  Send to William Galperin ( and to Susan Wolfson ( no later than Thursday March 10 5pm EST.

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