Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Byron 2013 (CFP)

In London! With me in it, for good or ill.


BYRON: the poetry of politics and the politics of poetry
The 39th International Byron Society Conference
King’s College London, UK
1-6 July 2013

‘It is a grand object – the very poetry of politics. Only think – a free Italy!!! Why, there has been nothing like it since the days of Augustus.’ (Ravenna Journal, BLJ VIII 47)

The Byron Society and King’s College London are pleased to announce the 39th International Byron Society Conference, which will examine Byron’s engagement with politics in the widest sense: as a poet, as a member of the House of Lords, as a commentator on his time, and latterly as a would-be revolutionary.

The conference will be held at King’s College London’s Strand Campus in the heart of London from Monday 1 July to Saturday 6 July 2013. Accommodation will be available in single ensuite rooms 10 minutes’ walk from the conference venue, at a cost of about £50 per night, or at a choice of nearby hotels.

Academic sessions might include:
Byron and the politics of culture
Political style in Byron’s writing
Byron and the politics of the ‘Other’
Byron and the politics of emergent nations (Italy, Greece, the Americas)
Byron and the House of Lords
Byron and Napoleon
Byron as social satirist
Byron and revolution
Byron as liberal and/or libertine
Byron and religion
Byron and social class
Byron and gender/sexual politics
Byron and British political parties
Byron and imperialism
Byron’s posthumous political influence
The ‘Byron legend’ (construction and/or appropriation)
‘Words and things’ (literature versus action in Byron’s life and work)

Proposals for papers on these and other aspects of Byron and politics, or the politics of Byron’s poetry, are welcome. Presentations should not exceed 20 minutes in length. Please send 250-word proposals by 15 January 2013 to Professor Roderick Beaton ( or Dr Christine Kenyon Jones (, if possible by email, and including the subject line: ‘Byron politics CFP’. Postal address: Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK.

Please note that you must be a current member of a national Byron Society in order to present a paper at the conference. For a list of Byron societies worldwide see

In addition to the academic sessions, the conference programme will include:
• Exhibition and private view: ‘Byron and Politics’. Manuscripts, printed books and memorabilia from the John Murray Archive and the Foyle Special Collections Library, King’s College London, curated by David McClay (National Library of Scotland), Stephanie Breen and Katie Sambrook (King’s College London)
• ‘Byron, Elgin and the Marbles’: readings and reception hosted by the British Museum
(including a private viewing of the Parthenon Sculptures)
• Byron, The Two Foscari: a dramatised reading, with excerpts from Verdi’s opera, I Due Foscari, performed by students of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama
• Debate on the motion: ‘that Lord Byron has had no meaningful impact on European history or politics’ (proposed by Peter Cochran, opposed by Jack Gumpert Wasserman)
• Orthodox Vespers in King’s College London Chapel, sung by members of the renowned King’s College London Choir
• Reception at the House of Lords, with a guided tour of the Palace of Westminster
• Conference dinner

The conference organisers will be announcing details about the conference over the next several months, so please check the website periodically at [URL TO BE ADDED]

Academic committee:
Roderick Beaton, Bernard Beatty, Peter Graham, Christine Kenyon-Jones, Alan Rawes, Jane Stabler

IBS conference 2013. Byron: the poetry of politics and the politics of poetry
Provisional programme [updated 1 August 2012]

Monday 1 July
15.00-16.00    Registration  (tea and coffee provided)
16.00-16.45    Welcome and opening of the conference by Lord Byron and Professor Sir Richard Trainor, Principal of King’s College London, followed by an address by Lord Lytton
16.45-17.30    Opening plenary: Professor  Jonathan Gross, Historiography of Byron’s politics
17.30-18.00    Introduction to the special exhibition (David McClay)
18.15-20.30 Reception and opening of the Exhibition, Maughan Library

Tuesday 2 July
9.00-9.15    coffee/tea
9.15-11.15    Plenary 2. Politics of culture and language [3 speakers]
11.15-11.45    coffee/tea
11.45-13.15    3 papers (or 6 in parallel sessions)
13.15-14.00    sandwich lunch (provided)
14.00-16.00    4 papers (or 8 in parallel sessions)
16.00-16.30    coffee/tea
16.45-17.30    Orthodox Vespers in King’s College Chapel
18.45-21.00    Byron, Elgin and the Marbles (reception and reading, British Museum)

Wednesday 3 July
9.00-9.15    coffee/tea
9.15-10.35    Plenary 3. Politics of the ‘Other’ [2 speakers]
10.35-11.00    coffee/tea
11.00-12.30    3 papers (or 6 in parallel sessions)
14.00-16.00  Byron, The Two Foscari: a dramatised reading, with excerpts from Verdi’s opera, I Due Foscari, performed by students of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at the Guildhall School, Silk Street, Barbican, London EC2
16.00-16.30      coffee/tea (at the Guildhall School)
16.30-18.00  3 papers (or 6 in parallel sessions) at the Guildhall School [Wednesday afternoon timings subject to alteration]

Thursday 4 July
9.00-9.15    coffee/tea
9.15-11.15    4 papers (or 8 in parallel sessions)
11.15-11.45    coffee/tea
11.45-13.00    Debate on Byron and politics (plenary session)
13.00-14.00    sandwich lunch (provided)
14.00-15.30    3 papers (or 6 in parallel sessions)
15.30-16.00    coffee/tea
16.00-17.30    3 papers (or 6 in parallel sessions)
18.30-21.00     Reception at John Murray’s [numbers limited to 80 max]

Friday 5 July
9.00-9.15    coffee/tea
9.15-10.45    3 papers (or 6 in parallel sessions)
10.45-11.15    coffee/tea
11.15-13.15    Closing plenary [3 speakers]
13.15-13.30    Closing of the conference and concluding remarks
13.30-14.30    sandwich lunch (provided [tba])
14.30-16.30     IBS council meeting
19.00     Reception at House of Lords, preceded by optional tour of Palace of Westminster at 18.00
20.30     Conference dinner (either at House of Lords or at nearby Church House)

Saturday 6 July social programme, optional

Maximum academic sessions (excluding plenaries): 52, down from 54 [down from 56

Provisional plenary titles

all plenaries are 30 mins (max), each paper followed immediately by a 10-minute discussion. If papers are shorter, more time will be available for discussion

Plenary 1. Opening session [30 mins + 10 discussion]
Jonathan Gross: Historiography of Byron’s politics

Plenary 2. Politics of culture and language [2 hour session, 30+10 x 3]
Andrew Stauffer: Byron’s lyrics and the politics of publication
Charles Robinson: Byron and Hazlitt
Peter Graham: Don Juan, Politics, and the English Language

Plenary 3. Politics of the ‘Other’ [1 hr 20 mins session, 30+10 x 2]
Stephen Minta: Byron and the politics of altruism
Timothy Morton: Byron’s Nonhuman

Closing Plenary. The politics of others: imperialism and nationalism [2 hour session, 30+10 x 3]
Jane Stabler: Byron, the Pisan Circle and “Boccaccio’s lore”
Malcolm Kelsall: Byron and the Ottoman empire
Roderick Beaton: Byron and the politics of the Greek Revolution

31 July 2012



Tyler Phan said...

i am there. i should still be in SOAS.

Liam Heneghan said...

My good pal Jonathan Gross is giving a keynote. You lads will get along famously.