John Clare in Space: Poetry, Nature and Contemporary Culture

John Clare in Space: Poetry, Nature and Contemporary Culture

Issued: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 09:46:00 GMT

150th Anniversary Conference, 30 – 31 May 2014

Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK

This two-day conference seeks to explore the work, life, contexts and culture of the English poet, John Clare (1793-1864). Clare died in Northampton on 20 May 1864. 150 years after his death, delegates are asked to explore the places and spaces of Clare’s life and work, and the broad the dimensions of his engagement with traditions across literary, rural and folk cultures, and to investigate the reasons Clare might be increasingly relevant to contemporary culture.

Confirmed Speakers:

  • Jonathan Bate
  • Josie Long
  • Richard Mabey
  • David Morley
  • Iain Sinclair

(…more to follow soon).

The conference will feature an array of responses to Clare: academic and creative; critical and expressive; historical and contemporary. Any and all proposals to present at the conference on Clare and related topics are welcome. Papers speaking to the following themes and provocations are especially welcome:

  • John Clare in Space: topography, locality, horizons
  • Clare, ecology, natural history, environment
  • Clare and literary traditions – past, present or future
  • Eyeing Clare: art and visual culture
  • Clare the trespasser: boundaries, Gypsies, transgressions
  • Feral Clare: wilds, woods, weeds
  • Sexual Clare: women, wine and song
  • Mad Clare: asylums, quacks and escape
  • Environmental poetics, politics and aesthetics
  • Romanticism: where is Clare?
  • Clare in (and out of) history
  • Heritage Clare: archives, land, houses, charities, trails, trusts and the ‘legacy’ industry
  • Presenting peasants: class, language, literature and the editing of Clare

In essence, this will be a broad celebration of Clare, marking 150 years since his death on 20 May 1864, so the conference welcomes all original responses to the full breadth of his world and work.

Formal registration for the conference (accommodation, food etc.) will open in January 2014, though proposals for papers and sessions are welcome from now until the deadline of March 2014. Please follow this link for further details and electronic submission of proposals:

For all enquiries, please contact:

Simon Kövesi, email:

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