An international conference on collecting, editing, performing, producing, reading, and reviving Romanticism at the Fin de Siècle.
This conference places Romanticism at the core of the British Fin de Siècle. As an anti-Victorian movement, the British Fin de Siècle is often read forwards and absorbed into a ‘long twentieth century’, in which it takes the shape of a prehistory or an embryonic form of modernism. By contrast, Fin-de-Siècle authors and critics looked back to the past in order to invent their present and imagine their future. Just at the time when the concept of ‘Victorian’ crystallized a distinct set of literary and cultural practices, the radical break with the immediate past found in Romanticism an alternative poetics and politics of the present.
The Fin de Siècle played a distinctive and crucial role in the reception of Romanticism. Romanticism emerged as a category, a dialogue of forms, a movement, a style, and a body of cultural practices. The Fin de Siècle established the texts of major authors such as Blake and Shelley, invented a Romantic canon in a wider European and comparative context, but also engaged in subversive reading practices and other forms of underground reception.
The aim of this conference is to foster a dialogue between experts of the two periods.
This conference is co-organised by the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies and the English Faculty of Oxford University with the support of the MHRA.