OU to host Romantic conference

By David Sanders

Staff Intern

A number of the United States’ most renowned Romantic scholars will be coming to Oakland University for the International Conference on Romanticism.

The event will begin Thursday, Oct. 16 at Royal Park Hotel in downtown Rochester, where it will run through Friday. The two days at the hotel are sold out but, there’s still room for admission into the portion of the Gold Rooms of the Oakland Center. The show at OU will

begin Saturday, Oct. 18 and continue Sunday.  

Romanticism is the cultural movement during the 18th and 19th century of art expressed in paintings, poetry, literature and music.

The term is very broad, encompassing a variety of art forms and literary styles.

OU English professor, Robert Anderson said most people do not realize that Romanticism was more than just a Western movement.

“Although Romanticism is usually thought to be taking place in England, Europe and America, we have presented papers about how writers in Africa, Japan, Romania and South Africa responded to the movement,” Anderson said.

A diverse range of scholars who will be presenting on a wide variety of topics.

“The conference is a big deal,” Anderson said. “It brings scholars from around the world: China, Nairobi, Turkey, Germany and England, to a campus to present papers based on their research.”        

Anderson said he hopes students will learn from the acclaimed scholars and artists what their professors may be teaching when not in class. This is the case if certain professors have an interest in expanding their knowledge in the field of romantic literature.

“We are very proud to be bringing our colleagues from around the world here to see Oakland University,” Anderson said. “We hope people from the university community will drop by and give us a look.”    

Anderson also hopes students will be fascinated by not only literature but also with the styles of music and dance from the romantic period.

The event is dedicated to many educated people in the field but also two main speakers who are experts on particular aspects of the Romantic era.

UCLA professor Anne Mellor’s presentation will feature “Romantic Bluestockings: From Muses to Matrons.”  The Bluestockings were a feminist organization in the 18th Century.   

Mellor is expected to present essays written by many female poets and writers along with images of women in paintings that existed in the 18th century.  

Ray Fleming from Florida State University will present “Caspar David Fredrick and the Politics of Romantic Landscapes.”

Fredrick was a German romantic painter, who is known for landscape painting.     

The entrance fee for ICR is $90 for OU students. However, those who volunteer to check in attendees and hand out programs will be admitted free of charge.  Admission is good for all sessions of the event.

“We don’t really expect students to pay but we would be interested in having them help out,” Anderson said.