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English Department

Doctoral Workshop with Prof. Deidre Lynch

Collection, Recollection, and Romantic Reading

Doctoral Workshop with Prof. Deidre Lynch, April 19–20, 2012

Early nineteenth-century literary culture in Britain depended to a remarkable extent on practices of excerpting, clipping, and pasting, and redrafting, recontextualizing, and recycling: practices that would now seem alien to literate individuals’ standard definitions of the act of reading, except that recently our interactions with the reading materials of the Internet have made them newly familiar.  This workshop will consider some of the cultural frictions engendered by these practices.  It will consider anthologies, past and present (including custom-made poetry scrapbooks from the early nineteenth century); anxieties aroused by the practices of extracting on which anthologizing depends (is the practice an act of devotion or fidelity, or does the anthologist make something new in the act of detaching verse from its originary context?); the Romantic lyric poem as souvenir, collectible, and token of remembrance; the birth of the genre of the biblio-autobiography (shaped by book-memories and only infrequently by text-memories).

A detailed program is available at

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