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The Emergence of Keats as a Poet

October 7, 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Romantic Bicentennial Symposium 2017

Program Committee Chairs: Kate Singer (Mt. Holyoke) and Susan Wolfson (Princeton)
Members: John Bugg (Fordham), William Galperin (Rutgers)

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    2017 marks the bicentennial of the emergence of Keats as a poet in his own right. Preceded by the publication of four sonnets in Leigh Hunt’s Examiner, two of them in the winter of 1817, March saw the eagerly anticipated publication of Keats’s first volume, titled simply Poems, but in effect a debut anthology of Keats’s skills in a variety of poetic genres–not only sonnets (of which there were several), but also romance, excursion, verse epistle, light satire, songs, and knowing fragments. Prefaced by a sonnet to Leigh Hunt (the Examiner’s publisher), and with its first poem substituting for a title a line from Hunt’s controversial Story of Rimini (1816), Keats also waved the flag of political affiliation–liberal, anti-Monarchal, and in the teeth of Blackwood’s excoriation of Hunt as the master of a low-culture “Cockney School.”

    Speakers at the 2017 Symposium will discuss the contours of the 1817 volume and its importance to Keats’s larger aesthetic project, his interventions and contributions to the larger literary culture of his day, and Keats’s wide-scale pollination of subsequent poetics during a roundtable on Keats’s afterlives. The symposium will conclude with a plenary conversation between Susan Wolfson and Stanley Plumly on Keats’s life and writings.

    1:00 p.m.            Introduction
    • Neil Fraistat, President, Keats-Shelley Association of America
    • Andrew Stauffer, President, Byron Society of America

    1:05-2:30 p.m.  Panel on Keats’s 1817 Volume

    Chair: Julie Camarda (Rutgers U)

    • Jonathan Mulrooney (College of the Holy Cross), “Keats’s 1817 Occasions”
    • Brian Rejak (Illinois State U), “Keats’s Poetics of Secretion”
    • Duncan Wu (Georgetown U), “Constructing Keats”

    2:45-4:15 p.m.   Roundtable on Keats’s Afterlives

    Chair: Scott Bartley (Princeton U) 

    • Grant Scott (Muhlenberg College), “Erasing Keats: Tree of Codes and Negative Capability”
    • Christopher Miller (CUNY, Staten Island), “Invoking Keats: The Poet as Hero and Presiding Spirit”
    • James Najarian (Boston College), “Imitating Keats: The Case of Thomas Hood”
    • Suzanne Barnett (Francis Marion U), “Keats is on Our Side: Post-punk Keats and the New Romanticism”
    • Ann Rowland (U of Kansas), “Not Reading Keats in Nineteenth-Century Boston

    4:15-4:45 p.m.   Coffee Break

    4:45-6:15 p.m.   Plenary Conversation: Keats’s Life and Writings 

    • Susan Wolfson (Princeton U) and Stan Plumly (U of Maryland)

    6:30 p.m.             Dinner (for all those who can join afterwards)


    October 7, 2017
    1:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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    Fordham University
    Lincoln Center Campus, W. 60th @ Columbus, 12th Floor (Corrigan Conference Center)
    Bronx, NY 10458 United States
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