CRECS: ‘Revisiting ‘How Green were the Romantics?’’ with Ralph Pite

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SCOLAR, Cardiff University

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Cardiff Romanticism and Eighteenth Century Seminar, 2017

Monday 30th January 2017, 17.30-18.30, SCOLAR

(followed by a wine reception in 2.47)

Professor Ralph Pite (University of Bristol)

‘Revisiting ‘How Green were the Romantics?’’

For decades, scholars have argued that Romantic literature and thought anticipates many of the concerns of contemporary environmentalism. Some critics have even suggested that the Romantics might help us to think and to act in a world facing serious ecological challenges. But is there a danger that we misrepresent the Romantic period in making it so relevant to the issues of our own time? Is it useful for us to turn to a different age that experienced very different problems to those that threaten our ecosystems and ways of life?

Over twenty years ago, Ralph Pite published an influential article that aimed to test the extent to which ‘Romantic poetry seems often to express an ecological point-of-view’ by asking the question ‘How Green were the Romantics?’[1] For the first CRECS event of 2017, we’re asking him to revisit this territory and to consider how the answer to this question might have changed since 1996.

Although not obligatory, the session will be most useful if you have read and thought about the article in advance. Please contact castellj@cardiff.ac.uk for a copy of the reading.


[1] Ralph Pite, ‘How Green were the Romantics?’, Studies in Romanticism 35 (1996), 357-373.

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SCOLAR, Cardiff University

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