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British Association for Romantic Studies 1997 Conference Program

Romantic Circles

'Romantic Generations'

Fifth International Conference

of the

British Association for Romantic Studies

Devonshire Hall, University of Leeds

24-27 July 1997



Youngquist and Botkin, "Introduction: Black Romanticism: Romantic Circulations"

This Romantic Circles Praxis Volume moves the perspective of critical inquiry into British Romanticism from the Island (England) to the Islands (West Indies), considering the particular significance of the Atlantic—watery vortex of myriad economic and cultural exchanges, roaring multiplicity of agencies, and vast whirlpool of creative powers. Black Romanticism remembers a forgotten ancestry of British culture, recovering the vital agencies of diasporic Africans and creole cultures of the West Indies. It does so by practicing counter-literacy, reading the works of nation, empire, and colony against themselves to liberate the common cultures they occlude. The five essays presented here examine texts by or about Jean Jacque Dessalines, Juan Manzano, Jack Mansong, Mary Prince, and John Gabriel Stedman, following a circuitous route that begins in Africa and travels from Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, Suriname, Bermuda, and Antigua to corresponding points in England, America, and the continent. The circulation of radically different adaptations of the “same” material provides new ways to understand the colonial Caribbean.
October 2011


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"Emma and Bank Bills: Forgery and Romanticism"

In his review of Emma Walter Scott comments that Harriet Smith’s "facile affections" are transferred "like a bank bill by indorsation." The metaphor is doubly apt: it sums up Harriet while pointing to a peculiar feature of Austen’s Emma—its reliance on economic language to prosecute its themes. This reliance is not accidental but an expression of a fundamental aspect of Romantic-era culture: the consistent juxtaposition of contingency with an imagined "gold standard" that gives such contingency meaning. This essay argues that Jane Austen’s Emma offers the reader a complex reflection on the interpenetration of economic and aesthetic systems of value that developed in the aftermath of the suspension of cash payments in 1797.
February 2012

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This essay summarizes the essays in the collection. It places them in the context of recent work in authenticity studies, Romanticism, and the history of legal and financial forgery, and remarks on the current economic situation. The account concludes with suggestions for further avenues of research.
February 2012

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