‘Ghostly Language’: Wordsworth’s Ghosts and Spectral Subjectivity (Public Lecture, 13th October)

Misty Beech WoodJoin Mark Sandy for the first in a new series of public lectures looking at our beliefs about ghosts and spirits. This first lecture is about the idea of ‘haunting’ in Romantic poetry. Everyone is welcome to come on Tuesday 13th October at 18.30, in Elvet Riverside 140.

This lecture focuses on the Romantic poetics of memory and the spectral geography of mourning to explore how those ghostly presences, which inhabit and haunt Wordsworthian landscapes are equally those figures of a poetic past (Milton, Spenser, and Wordsworth himself) whose return, through a series of imaginative allusions, both constitute Romantic writing and point to the spectralisation of Romanticism itself in Romantic and post-Romantic writing and theory. Paradoxically, then, Romanticism comprises its own ‘ghostly memory of mourned absences’ and the haunted presence of its own future absence.

This series of lectures is organised as part the Institute of Advanced Study’s year on the theme of ‘evidence.’ Future lectures will look among other things at the ghost stories of M.R. James and Charles Dickens, John Keats’s shadows, and ghosts and goblins in Japan. Full listings can be found at the Institute of Advanced Study.


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