Tuesday, August 17, 2021

British Romantic Theatre Salon

Covid-19 has cancelled a number of conferences, or at least driven them online. Last week, the British Association for Romantic Studies began its International Digital Conference, which runs until this Friday.

I've already Zoomed in for a panel on "Poetic Reckonings" that discussed Joanna Baillie, a panel on "Communicative Powers" that covered letters between Fanny Brawne and Fanny Keats, a panel on "Appropriations and Reworkings" that examined how German heroines were adapted for the London stage, and a panel on "Weaving the Gothic" that addressed the gothic tales of Percy Shelley.

Today's virtual salon on Romantic Theatre was the best, though. Sarah Burdett, from St. Mary's University in Twickenham, did an excellent job hosting the event. I was happy to find that she has a great interest in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's play Remorse and the actress Julia Glover who helped to make it such a success. I was also pleased to hear of other people who have taught Baillie's play De Monfort.

Though opportunities to see live theatre are still relatively few and far between, there are performances available online right now, and I discovered at the salon that Yale University's staged reading of the Horace Walpole play The Mysterious Mother is currently available on YouTube. Francesca Saggini, who teaches at Universit√† degli Studi della Tuscia in Italy, is planning on doing some virtual readings of plays by Fanny Burney, which could be a lot of fun.

On Thursday and Friday, there will be more panels, including one on scandals around Lord Byron, and one on "Visuality and Self" that will cover Mary Robinson as well as other figures. Though it hasn't been as fun as attending the BARS Conference in Nottingham in 2019, I'm glad I've at least had some contact with other scholars of Romantic drama this summer.