After the postponement of last year’s event due to COVID-19 concerns, we now welcome new proposals for the 2021 Conference of the International Association of Byron Societies, “Byron: Wars and Words“, to be held at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki from 28th June to 4th July. The conference will coincide with the 200th Anniversary of the Greek War of Independence. The exact format of the conference will be decided in the next few months.

The aim of this conference is to look at how war in all its meanings, symbolisms, and manifestations influenced Byron’s words and worlds, and shaped his poetic and political sensibility. Drawing on recent scholarship in Romantic studies, it will also explore Romantic authors’ preoccupations with war, and how these intersected with Byron’s. How are the events of wars transformed into words, images and spectacle? Conversely, how do words become weapons and trigger literary, cultural, and political struggles? What kind of ideological conflicts, dilemmas, and anxieties does the print culture of the time embody when treating the issue of war? How does Romantic-period conflict extend our understanding of modern warfare?

The conference welcomes proposals for 20-minute papers on topics including, but not necessarily limited to:

  • Byron as revolutionary fighter and/or critic of war
  • Byron and Napoleon
  • Byron and epic
  • Warfare as inspiring force for poetic subjects, new genres, language forms and styles
  • Romantic nationalism
  • “Intellectual war”: newspapers, magazines, reviews and broadsides
  • The representation of military action and violence in literature and art
  • Famous critical wars that Byron’s words produced
  • War and gender
  • Revolution and knowledge production
  • Science and war
  • Media and military technologies
Submission of Proposals

Please send 250-word proposals by 31st January 2021 to byronthess@gmail.com, directing any enquiries to Dr. Maria Schoina. Confirmation of acceptance by 28th February 2021. Delegates who had their proposals accepted are kindly requested to confirm their intention to participate by 31st January 2021.

Academic Committee
  • Roderick Beaton (King’s College London)
  • Caroline Franklin (Swansea University)
  • Alexander Grammatikos (Langara College, Canada)
  • Jonathan Gross (DePaul University)
  • Argyros I. Protopapas (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
  • Maria Schoina (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki)
Note on the Programme

The academic sessions of the conference will end on the evening of Friday 2nd July. If circumstances permit, there will be an optional trip to loannina, Ali-Pasha’s capital visited by Byron in 1809, on Saturday 3rd July with an overnight stay. Information on registration, accommodation, and the social programme of the conference will be posted later on the Conference Website.