Historical Poetics in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries was held at Connecticut College, November 2-4, 2017. Historical Poetics members have been asking questions about poetry as it was understood in the 19th-Century. This Symposium brought together scholars of both the 18th and 19th-centuries to ask how ideas that have been generated about historical poetics might be brought to bear to poetry written prior to 1800? Some of the explicit questions raised going into the Symposium included: How might attention to 18th-century verse enrich or complicate recent arguments that decenter the 19th-century lyric? What might traditions of historicist reading in 18th-century studies bring to historical poetics? How might the latter reshape the former? What does it mean to do historical poetics both before and after lyricization?

Panels over the course of the Symposium ranged from “Genres Big and Small” and “Print and the Histories of Reading” to “Big Eighteenth Century Questions.” The Symposium also featured members of the Historical Poetics group in a Seminar on Toru Dutt. The Seminar was moderated by Jason Rudy and panel members included Tricia Lootens, Charles LaPorte, and Mary Ellis Gibson.In preparation for the Seminar, Symposium attendees read Dutt’s “The Royal Ascetic and the Hind” as well as Edmund Gosse’s Introduction to Dutt’s Ancient Ballad’s and Legends of Hindustan The keynote speakers for the event were Suvir Kaul (University of Pennsylvania) and Virginia Jackson (University of California, Irvine).

Over the course of the symposium, a Graduate Caucus comprised of graduate student attendees from universities across the United States compiled and shared notes on each of the panels. At the conclusion of the symposium the Graduate Caucus met briefly to compare their notes and elected two representatives to present their response to the rest of the Symposium’s attendants. The keynote speakers for the event were Suvir Kaul (University of Pennsylvania) and Virginia Jackson (University of California, Irvine)

The Symposium was organized by:

Anna Foy, University of Alabama in Huntsville
Meredith Martin, Princeton University
Lisa Moore, University of Texas at Austin
James Mulholland, North Carolina State University
Courtney Weiss Smith, Wesleyan University
Dustin D. Stewart, Columbia University
Jeff Strabone, Connecticut College

The Symposium’s Program may be viewed here: Historical-Poetics-Symposium-Program

A write-up of the Symposium in the Connecticut College newspaper can be found here: http://thecollegevoice.org/2017/11/14/college-hosts-historical-poetics-symposium/

The official page for the Symposium may be found here: https://www.conncoll.edu/poetics/