London-Paris Romanticism Seminar, Diego Saglia, Friday 20 October 2017, Senate House, London

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The first seminar in the 2017-18 series of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar will take place on Friday 20 October 2017 at 5.30 in the Court Room (first floor) at Senate House, University of London. To launch the new series, we are delighted to welcome Diego Saglia, Professor of English Literature at the University of Parma and a leading international scholar of Romanticism. His talk, entitled The Cross-Channel Stage: Transnational Theatre in the Age of Romanticism, will be followed by a discussion and an extended wine reception. As a special guest at the launch, we will also be joined by Marc Porée, the Paris Director of the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar.

As with all our events, the seminar is free and open to everyone, including postgraduates and members of the public. No registration is necessary. The seminar and wine reception are an opportunity for Romanticists to meet one another, talk to our international visitors and find out more about this research forum and other related series and conferences.

Our speaker, Diego Saglia, is a well-known figure in British and European  Romanticist circles, having taken his PhD at Cardiff University before returning to his native Italy, where he is now Professor of English Literature at the University of Parma. His research focuses on British Romantic literature and culture together with their relations with other European traditions. He is the author of Poetic Castles in Spain: British Romanticism and Figurations of Iberia (2000), and co-editor of British Romanticism and Italian Literature: Translating, Reviewing, Rewriting (with Laura Bandiera, 2005) and of Byron and Italy (with Alan Rawes, forthcoming). In the field of Romantic-era theatre, and melodrama in particular, his articles have appeared in Gothic Studies and Studies in Romanticism, as well as in the edited collections Ann Radcliffe, Romanticism and the Gothic (2014), The Gothic World (2014), The Romantic Stage: A Many-Sided Mirror (2014), Romantic Gothic: An Edinburgh Companion (2016), and The Oxford Handbook to European Romanticism (2016). He is currently finishing a book on the presence and impact of European Literatures on British Romantic culture in the post-Waterloo years.

Regarding the subject of his talk, Diego writes:

“The Romantic period in Britain saw the emergence of a widespread obsession with ideas of a national theatre and a national dramatic tradition. These clashed with the relentless importing and reworking of dramatic texts, theatrical forms and talent from abroad, and France in particular. Through translated works, adapted dramatic modes as well as imported performers and other theatre staff, British spectators were repeatedly exposed to a ‘foreignized’ viewing experience that hostile commentators accused of inducing cultural contamination and disorientation. This phenomenon reflects the traditional role of theatre as a crucible of transnational forms and practices. Its impact, however, was peculiarly strong in the Romantic period in view of countervailing protectionist discourses about a national drama and theatre seen as almost irremediably in decline. Exploring some aspects of this intricate nexus, this paper sketches the outline of Romantic-era theatre in London as a ‘transnational stage’, while also offering insights into the close connections between London’s theatreland and the Parisian stage. In doing so, it looks at the exchanges, parallels and antagonism between these interlinked centres of theatrical entertainment by focusing on two especially intense phases: the 1780s-90s and the post-Waterloo years.”

We hope you can join us for this exciting event.

David Duff (London Director, London-Paris Romanticism Seminar)


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