As this semester winds down, we’d like to recap some of our accomplishments from the past few months:
- Our inaugural event in September on ‘Visionary Poetry and Romanticism’ featured a lively discussion of Blakean and Coleridgean takes on Visions, the Visual, the Visionary, and the aesthetic sphere. We were fortunate to have various GSAS students and fellow NYC-area Romanticists in attendance along with special guests Larry Lockridge and Maureen N. McLane.
- In October, we held a Graduate School of Arts and Science-wide event on “Getting it Published,” a talk with William Germano and Cliff Siskin about the tricks of the trade to getting an article published or a dissertation converted to a book. We were pleased to host over 50 grad students and were able to sell copies of Germano’s two books, Getting it Published: A Guide for Scholars and Anyone Else Serious About Serious Books and From Dissertation to Book.
- After submitting a proposal for a staged reading of Byron’s Sardanapalus to the artistic directors of the Red Bull Theatre (http://www.redbulltheater.com/), they have agreed to collaborate with us on this potentially large event scheduled for next Fall 2012! In addition to hosting a staged reading of the play at their venue with professional actors, we expect to turn this performance into a larger discussion among textual and performance scholars as well as performers and artistic directors. This conversation will conceive of Byron’s play as a mode of inquiry into the varied approaches these various players bring to a text. We imagine that a collaborative essay will arise from examining this complex process from the moment rehearsals begin at Red Bull through the discussion that follows the staged reading. More info to come shortly!
- As a team, the organizers of our group are also working on a collaborative essay on Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” and Wordsworth’s “Lines . . . above Tintern Abbey” based on some valuable discussion from our inaugural event on Romanticism and Visionary Poetry. More on this soon, too!
- We have reached out to representatives from Columbia’s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL) to give a talk to our English department about their new software, Mediathread, an analysis tool (similar to Blackboard) that can import images and videos from a range of digital collections into a course-specific website. These visual objects can then be annotated, organized, discussed, and embedded into multimedia essays. Definitely very cool stuff! We expect to plan this talk for February 2012.
As we look ahead to next semester, we will naturally continue working on our “Kubla Khan”/”Tintern Abbey” paper, solidify our plans with Red Bull Theatre for the staged reading of Byron’s Sardanapalus (did we mention professional actors?), and set a date for Mark Phillipson’s talk on MediaThread for the faculty and grad students of our English Department.
However, we are hoping to organize some additional events. Ideally, we’d expand the ideas we considered with the visionary and visual from our inaugural event by looking into notions of prophecy and futurity. We are thinking about having a faculty panel focusing specifically on this rich and complex material; perhaps the structure would include one main talk and one faculty respondent.
We are also considering hosting one broader NYC-wide Romanticist event featuring some local scholars chatting about some cool Romantic-specific topics. We’ve only just begun thinking about this, but please stay tuned for more info soon!
On a final note (for now), we couldn’t be more pleased with the results this blog medium has helped produce; it has not only served as a record of our many conversations but has also helped generate additional thoughts and ideas. Moreover, we’re grateful to our many followers that we’ve been able to gather in such a short time. Excited for the new and multiple possibilities ahead, we hope you’ll continue to follow along, and, as ever, we encourage your contributions, responses, and attendance at our events!
Veronica Goosey, Omar F. Miranda, and Randie Sessler