Eighteenth Century Studies events

Upcoming events

Writing Retreat 2024

Our annual Writing Retreat will once again take place at Alexander House by kind permission of the owner, Mrs J. Lewis, on 20-24 May 2024.


Monday 20 May

  • Arrival, 5.00pm onwards
  • Welcome and introductions, 6.00pm (Katie Halsey and Emma Macleod)
  • An Introduction to Generative Writing, 6:15pm (Katie Halsey and Emma Macleod)
  • Dinner, 7.30pm (Please note that the retreat will be self-catered, so cooking and dishwashing will form an extra ‘team-building’ exercise… menus and ingredients will be organised in advance)

Tuesday 21 May

  • Breakfast, 8.00am-9.00am
  • Getting Motivated: 9.00am-9.15am
  • Intensive writing time, 9.15am-12.30pm
  • Lunch, 12.30pm-1.30pm
  • Intensive writing time, 1.30pm-6.00pm
  • Dinner 7.00pm

Wednesday 22 May

  • Breakfast, 8.00-9.00am
  • Staying Motivated, 9.00am-9.15am
  • Intensive writing time, 9.15am-12.30pm
  • Lunch, 12.30pm-1.30pm
  • Looking forwards: editing your generative draft, 1.30pm-2.00pm
  • Intensive writing time, 2.00pm-6.00pm
  • Celebration Dinner, congratulations, and R&R, 7.00pm onwards.

Thursday 23 May

Free time; attendees are welcome to depart on Thursday morning, carry on working, or relax as they prefer.

Friday 24 May

Depart by 10.00am Friday morning.

Writing Group 2024-2025

All meetings of the Eighteenth-Century Writing Group will take place in a hybrid format this semester. Please feel free to join on Teams if you can’t make it to campus. All meetings are Wednesdays at 13:00 to 14:00.

See the Writing Group schedule.

The Global Jane Austen Conference 2025

The conference will be celebrating and commemorating 250 years of Jane Austen at University of Southampton from July 10 to 12 2025.

In 1976, Juliet McMaster introduced an edited collection of essays resulting from a bicentenary birthday celebration for Austen in the following terms:

To celebrate the two-hundredth anniversary of Jane Austen’s birth in October, in Western Canada, is no doubt to be guilty of a comic incongruity. But as though to compensate for the misdemeanour, the papers delivered at the conference have a common and exact focus on period and locale.

50 years after the bicentenary conference at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, the scholarly landscape of Austen studies has changed. Where many monographs and edited collections of essays still maintain an ‘exact focus on period and locale’, research informed by book history, the material, archival and linguistic turns in literary criticism, postcolonial studies and adaptation theory (among others) has flourished in the intervening decades. The ever-expanding corpus of adaptations, sequels and prequels has proven fruitful territory for a consideration of Austen’s reception, in its broadest sense. Austen’s transformations into other languages and into other cultures make her a Global author.

Call for papers

We invite the international community to the port city that was Jane Austen’s home from 1806-1809 for a consideration of the Global Jane Austen. We encourage the broadest possible interpretation of the conference theme, and welcome papers on all aspects of Austen’s writing and life, her posthumous reception, her influences, and her writing alongside that of her contemporaries.

We particularly welcome papers on adaptations, translations and creative responses to Austen’s work (written and/or performed in all languages), material and textual transmission of her works, and her reception and reputation in countries outside the Anglophone world. Discussion of the Global within her works (and those of her contemporaries) is equally acceptable.

Please submit abstracts for individual papers of 250 words, or proposals for 3-person panels of 1000 words, to the conference organisers, Gillian Dow and Katie Halsey. Please submit as Word or PDF documents by email to both G.Dow@soton.ac.uk and katherine.halsey@stir.ac.uk by 1 October 2024.

View the Jane Austen Conference call for papers document.

Confirmed speakers

Susan Allen Ford; Serena Baiesi, Janine Barchas; Jennie Batchelor; Annika Bautz; Isabelle Bour; Joe Bray; Linda Bree; Inger Brody; Valérie Cossy; Richard Cronin; Carlotta Farese; Susannah Fullerton; Sayre Greenfield; Isobel Grundy; Christine Kenyon Jones; Freya Johnston; Michael Kramp; Devoney Looser; Deidre Lynch; Anthony Mandal; Juliet McMaster; Marie Nedregotten Sørbø; Peter Sabor; Diego Saglia; Rebecca Smith; Jane Stabler; Kathryn Sutherland; Bharat Tandon; Janet Todd; Anne Toner; Linda Troost; Juliette Wells.