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Who We Are

Nicola Watson photo

Professor Nicola J Watson (PI)

holds a chair in English Literature at The Open University, UK, having previously held posts at Oxford, Harvard, Indiana and Northwestern. She is author of a number of monographs with a focus on the Romantic period: Revolution and the Form of the British Novel (1993), England’s Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy, with Michael Dobson (2002), and The Literary Tourist: Readers and Places in Romantic and Victorian Britain (2006).  Otherwise she is editor of two essay collections, the most recent being Literary Tourism and Nineteenth-century Culture (2009), and many essays and papers. Her current project is entitled The Author’s Effects: On Writer’s House Museums (forthcoming OUP, 2018).  She served as President of the British Association for Romantic Studies from 2011-2015, and as such founded and presently heads up a new pan-European group of museums and scholarly associations devoted to Romanticism, ERA (European Romanticisms in Association). She regularly works with literary museums and research projects related to them, including the Cowper-Newton Museum and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and is presently PI for the AHRC-funded network Dreaming Romantic Europe and curator of its virtual exhibition, RÊVE (Romantic Europe: The Virtual Exhibition).

Catriona Seth photo

Catriona Seth (Co-I)

is the Marshal Foch professor of French Literature and a Fellow of All Souls, Oxford. After spending much of her career in France, she took up her present position in 2015. She has held various visiting positions in the U.K., Germany, Italy and Tunisia and was awarded an Honory Doctorate in Social Studies by Queen’s University (Belfast) in 2018 for services to education. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and an associate member of the Académie Royale de Belgique. She is the President of the French Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies (SFEDS). Catriona Seth works on literature and cultural history of the long eighteenth century and has published widely (mainly in French) on a variety of topics from foundlings to Germaine de Staël, émigrés to elegies and Marie-Antoinette to smallpox.

Steering Group:

Caroline Bertonèche photo

Professor Caroline Bertonèche

is a graduate from Oxford University in British Romantic Studies and a Fulbright scholar, Caroline BERTONÈCHE is a Professor of British Literature at Grenoble Alpes University and president of the SERA (Société d'Études du Romantisme Anglais). She holds a doctoral degree from the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris as well as a doctoral and a postdoctoral fellowship from Harvard and Yale University. She has published, since then, several articles on British Romanticism and literary criticism, on the modes of influence in poetic and medical discourse, on lyrical health and on the rewriting of scientific myths in the nineteenth century. She is the author of two books on John Keats: Keats et l’Italie. L’incitation au voyage (2011) and John Keats. Le poète et le mythe (2011). She also edited a selection of essays, dedicated to Susan Sontag, on Bacilles, phobies et contagions. Les métaphores de la pathologie (2012) and, more recently, co-edited a book on Romantic madness, « Is that Madness? » : Les organes de la folie romantique (2016). She is now working on a new project on poetry and astronomy, « Antique and Romantic Skies in Europe (A ROSE).

Jeff Cowton photo

Jeff Cowton

is Curator & Head of Learning at The Wordsworth Trust. Jeff has worked in the Museums world for 38 years, having begun his career as a volunteer with the Wordsworth Trust in 1981 before becoming Curator in 1994. The Trust cares for the single largest collection of Wordsworth’s verse manuscripts, many of them now held in the place where they were written, and holds the four surviving notebooks comprising Dorothy Wordsworth’s Grasmere journal. In 2010, Jeff was awarded an MBE in recognition of services to museums. He is currently leading on the reinterpretation of the site and Museum for the HLF-funded project Reimagining Wordsworth.

Diego Saglia photo

Professor Diego Saglia

is Professor of English at the University of Parma (Italy), and my research focuses on the Romantic period, with special emphasis on transcultural and intercultural connections, cultural translation, appropriation and remediation. My areas of study are Gothic, drama and theatre, narrative poetry, exoticism, national and gender identity, as well as the theme of luxury and the writing of material culture in Romantic texts. My latest book - European Literatures in Britain, 1815–1832: Romantic Translations - was published by Cambridge University Press in October 2018. My role in "Dreaming Romantic Europe" is as the representative for the Museo Byron in Ravenna (Italy), which will open in the second half of 2019. It is housed in Palazzo Guiccioli, where Byron lived between 1819 and 1821, and the collection will include the Byroniana held at the Classense Library (Ravenna) and other acquisitions. The Museum, which will also house the headquarters of the Italian Byron Society, aims to become a major point of reference for Romanticists in Italy and abroad by hosting conferences, seminars and scholars in residence.

BARS European Engagement Fellow

Ms Alice Rhodes

is BARS European Engagement Fellow and a PhD candidate in the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies at the University of York. Her thesis is titled "'Mechanic art and elocutionary science': speech production in British literature, 1770s-1820s" and focuses on the work of Erasmus Darwin, John Thelwall and Percy Shelley. Her research explores the ways in which these writers' concerns with the mechanics of speech production implicated their writing in politically-loaded contemporary debates about materialism, and a developing conception of Literature and Science as distinct modes of writing and thinking.