A One-Day Symposium organised by the Romantic Dialogues and Legacies Research Group will focus on imaginative representations of light in English literature, c.1790-1950.
Over the centuries writers have sought to depict the various possibilities of “light”: an idea crucial to Western literature’s conceptions of meaning, illumination, revelation, and perfection. As such, it is a topic of interest to many cognate areas of cultural enquiry: philosophy, theology, art history, among them. This one-day symposium is especially interested in light as a focus for ambivalence: about the value of enlightenment (and the Enlightenment); about the nature of beauty and truth; about the significance of artistic representation; about the process of perception.
The symposium will take place on Saturday, 23rd November 2013, in Lecture Room 20, Pemberton Lecture Theatre, Palace Green, Durham University.
10:00-11:15: Victorians Panel
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the Organisation of Light – Dr Anna Barton (Sheffield)
- ‘…craving alms of the sun’: Emily Brontë’s Dark Tales – Dr Sarah Wootton (Durham)
- ‘Impalpable and imponderable ether’: Ruskin and the Physics of Light – Dr Peter Garratt (Durham)
11:45-1:00: Moderns Panel
- Unbearable Lightness: Some Modern Instances (Auden, Stevens, Eliot) – Dr Tony Sharpe (Lancaster)
- Door into the Light: The Later Poems of Seamus Heaney – Professor Stephen Regan (Durham)
- ‘The Changed Measures of Light’: Geoffrey Hill’s Difficult Revelations – Professor Michael O’Neill (Durham)
2:15-3:15: Plenary Lecture
Electric Lanternlight: Some Reflections on Larkin, Heaney, and Keats – Professor Nicholas Roe (St. Andrews)
3:45-5:00: Romantics Panel
- Coleridge and the Divine Light – Dr Chris Murray (Durham)
- ‘Magical Variety Diffuse’: Light and the Poetics of Transformation in Byron and Shelley – Dr Mark Sandy (Durham)
- ‘In endless morn of light’: Parry, Milton and the Pindaric Ode – Professor Jeremy Dibble (Durham)