Academic journal article The Byron Journal

The International Byron Societies 2018

Academic journal article The Byron Journal

The International Byron Societies 2018

Article excerpt


In January, the BSA sponsored its 45 th annual session the Modern Language Association Convention in New York City. Entitled 'Byron and Politics', this panel was convened by Jack Wasserman (independent scholar and longstanding board member), and featured talks by Piya Pal-Lipinski (Bowling Green), Jonathan Gross (DePaul), and Andrew Warren (Harvard). Next year, at the MLA in Chicago in January, our session will be a bicentennial one, '1819 in 2019'. Jonathan Sachs (Concordia) will preside over a roundtable discussion of the relevance of 1819 for our contemporary moment, where 1819 refers both to the events of that year and to James Chandler's foundational work, England in 1819. Speakers will be Ian Duncan (Berkeley), Amanda Jo Goldstein (Berkeley), Deidre Lynch (Harvard), Josephine McDonagh (Chicago), and Jerome McGann (Virginia). James Chandler (Chicago) will give a response.

In May, the BSA co-sponsored the annual Romantic Bicentennials Stuart Curran Symposium with the Keats-Shelley Association, entitled 'Frankenstein Then and Now, 1818-2018.' Organised by Jerry H ogle and Anne M ellor, and held at the Huntington Library and co-sponsored by them as well with support from Cal Tech, the conference brought together a wide range of programming and a big, diverse audience. About 200 people all told came to events, and the Huntington Library did a wonderful job of hosting in one of the most beautiful spots in southern California.

One innovative aspect of this conference was its movement beyond literary-critical papers. First, the conference was bookended by talks from world-renowned genetic scientists (David Baltimore at Cal Tech and Jennifer Doudna at Berkeley) and legal experts (Hank Greeley from Stanford) on the creation and editing of life in the lab, all in reference to the ideas in Mary Shelley's novel. Second, we watched a special screening of the National Theatre production of Frankenstein (with Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller), and then heard from playwright Nick Dear on how he went about adapting the novel. This was all in addition to excellent papers by Anne Mellor, Alan Richardson, Gillen D'Arcy Wood, and others.

Plans are being made for next year's Romantic Bicentennials Curran Symposium in celebration of Don Juan. Jonathan Gross is organising a series of lectures and performances to be held 18 and 19 October, 2019 in Chicago, at DePaul University and the Chicago Historical Society. More information will be posted when available at the Romantic Bicentennials website ( and the BSA site (

The Society awarded Student Travel Grants of $1,000 each to Stephen Webb (to attend the IABS Conference in Ravenna) and Daniel Kennedy (to attend the Student Byron Conference in Messolonghi).

In 2018, we also welcomed two new members to our Board of Directors: John Spaulding Gatton and Ghislaine McDayter. In addition, Kaila Rose began working as our social media coordinator. We look forward to working with them to promote the study of the works, life, and cultural impact of Byron in the United States and around the world.

Andrew Stauffer



After the very intense 2016 year, the French Byron Society had a quieter 2017, during which its members met twice, once in June for the AGM and once in October.

Daniele Sarrat presented '"Such immortal fire": the interest for Byron and his works expressed by the French romantic painters from 1819 to 1863.' Based on the lists of all paintings displayed at the Paris Salons during the period running from Byron's first translation into French until Eugene Delacroix's death, she showed that numerous painters who were inspired by scenes from Byron's poems and illustrated them, are still to be rediscovered. During these two meetings, Daniele Sarrat read the beginning of her newly undertaken rhythmic translation of The Bride of Abydos. …

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