Lifecycles: BSECS Postgrad conference in Barcelona

After arriving home from Sheffield, I barely had time to put my bags down. At 7am the next morning I was on my way to UAB (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona), my university, where I was to deliver a talk at the BSECS postgraduate conference. This year’s BSECS postgrad was organised by UAB PhD Alex Prunean and BSECS postgraduate representatives Jessica Clement and Jack Orchard. The theme was “lifecycles” and it gathered a quite varied and international group of postgraduate and early career scholars working on different fields within the study of the Eighteenth-Century: from Art History to Musicology, with a wide representation from the Literary field.

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Conference poster.

It was a very illuminating and positive experience in which I had the chance to meet a lot of young academics, learn about different areas of study, and get inspiration and advice for my own upcoming PhD. I also am very grateful to see that the studies on the Eighteenth Century remain alive and well, with enthusiast young blood with new ideas and new perspectives, doing great work. Moreover, I was happy to see the more experienced members of the BSECS engage with young people such as myself, open to hearing our points of view and giving us voices. Overall, it had a great couple of days, felt very comfortable with the group and with my own presentation and left with a feeling of wanting more.

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And here you have me discussing gender and performance in Dacre’s Zofloya

If you missed this year’s BSECS postgrad and wish to know what was discussed, Jack Orchard liveblogged part of the event and you can read that in Storify.

Thank you for having me, and I hope to see all of you soon!

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Summer of 1816: Creativity and Turmoil conference

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.

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Mappin Building, where the talks took place.

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.

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Professor Hogle’s plenary lecture at Mappin Hall: on Romanticism and the Gothic.

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.

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Blurry proof that I was there. Thank you to everybody who came and listened to me, I am grateful! And thank you to Dr. Andrew McInnes and Dr. Bill Hughes for your questions!

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!