Lord Byron and Rights
The Byron Society of America
Open-Call Special Session
Organizer: Alexander Grammatikos, Carleton University
Lord Byron was a passionate and life-long defender of people’s rights. In the House of Lords he argued for the right of Catholics to be represented in parliament; in his personal correspondence he supported writers’ claims to copyright over their own works; and in a decision that led to his death, he travelled to Greece to help the Greeks realize their right to become an independent nation. His preoccupation with rights extended to his poetic works, too. For example, in Sardanapalus, the misguided but well-meaning titular leader laments “To me war is no glory—conquest no / Renown. To be forced thus to uphold my right / Sits heavier on my heart than all the wrongs / These men would bow me down with” (188.8.131.525-8). Here, in but just one example from Byron’s oeuvre, the poet demonstrates his keen understanding of the often relative nature of “rights” (for a king to retain his, he required war and conquest) and the personal price one had to pay to uphold them.
Complementing NASSR’s broader theme of “Romanticism and Rights,” we invite proposals that consider Byron’s engagement with “rights.” Submissions may include, but are not limited to:
- Byron and the right to freedom of religion
- Byron and the right to national independence
- Byron and animal rights
- Byron and authorial rights
- Byron and the right to sexual and gender expression
- Byron and the right to freedom of speech
- Byron and the rights of the disenfranchised and poor
- Byron and Eastern rights
- Byron and female rights
Proposals for papers should be a maximum of 350 words and be proposals for 20-minute papers.
All proposals must include your name, academic affiliation (if any), and preferred email address. Include the name of the session (“Lord Byron and Rights”) either on your proposal itself or in the accompanying email.
Submit proposals by 17 January 2015 to email@example.com.
See http://nassr2015.wordpress.com/ for more details about the conference.