Two weeks ago I had the chance to participate in the conference Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil at Sheffield University. The experience, my first in the conference world, proved to be an excellent one. I had the most wonderful time, I learnt so much and I was left with a very positive feeling and a reassurance that Romanticism is the career I want to pursue and devote my life to.
The organisation (Maddie and Angela, along with other members of the Sheffield University staff) was not only hard-working and professional, they were also incredibly kind and welcoming, and made me feel at home. They crafted an exceptional few days: a great number of talks, great food for the breaks and even extra academic activities in the afternoon! Outstanding job. Thank you very much for your dedication, and thank you very much for having me!
The keynote speakers were excellent. Jane Stabler, Michael O’Neill and Jerrold Hogle gave very interesting, engaging plenary lectures. They also proved to be very generous individuals. They were with us at all times, introducing themselves to everybody, offering their help and experience to people ranging from professors to MA candidates like myself, with no exception.
About the talks themselves, there were so many and I regret not owning a time-turner. The ones I did attend were quite different from each other: from Frankenstein and alchemy to Jane Austen’s Emma. They even had space for me discussing Dacre’s Zofloya! And for scientific talks as well: there were two panels on scientific matters, and one on ecoRomanticism.
I learnt so many different things and enjoyed every second of it. There is a strange, wonderful feeling in being in a room full of people who care so much about the same things you care about. Never in my life had I laughed, together with the rest of the room, at Romantic references and anecdotes! It made me feel like I was among friends.
I look forward to meeting again all the academics I got to know this year in Sheffield. Even though I am shy by nature, I was welcomed with open arms by everybody, and I will always remember and I appreciate the gesture. Thank you to the organisers for having me, and thank you to Sheffield for being my home for a few days!