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Feeling as Thinking: Poetry and Emotion from the Romantics to the Twentieth Century

Date: Monday 8 May 2017
Time: 4:30–6pm, with afternoon tea from 4pm.
Venue: Room 275, Global Change Institute (Building 20), The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus.
RSVP: uqche@uq.edu.au, or phone 07 3365 4913. Please register by Thursday 4 May.

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‘All good poetry’, wrote Wordsworth famously in his Preface to the 1802 edition of Lyrical Ballads, ‘is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings’. But for him poems were also intellectual exercises, serving moral, philosophical, or political purposes. On this account, poetry is not the unmediated expression of private emotion, but is instead addressed to, as Wordsworth puts it, ‘the manner in which our feelings and ideas are associated’: that is, to feeling as itself a kind of thinking. In this seminar, we will examine the relationship between thought and feeling in a range of poems from the Romantic period to the present, paying particular attention to the ways in which poets’ investment in a language of feeling has connected up with various intellectual and political preoccupations.

The seminar is open to all, and will count towards Continuing Professional Development targets for secondary school teachers of English.

Dr Meegan Hasted has taught on numerous courses in literature at The University of Queensland and The University of Sydney. In 2015, she was awarded a PhD from The University of Sydney for her thesis ‘Bright Star: John Keats and Romantic Astronomy’. She is currently converting this study into a book entitled Romantic CosmologyThe Universe in the Poetry of Shelley, Keats and Byron.

Xanthe Ashburner is Education and Outreach Officer at the UQ Node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions (Europe 1100‒1800), and holds an MPhil on twentieth-century American poetry from The University of Queensland. 

Image: William Wordsworth by Benjamin Robert Haydon. Oil on canvas. 1842. © National Portrait Gallery, London.