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Romanticism and the Black Atlantic

21 March 2023 19.30 - 20.45
Add to Calendar21/03/2023 19:3021/03/2023 20:45UTCRomanticism and the Black Atlantic HallfalseDD/MM/YYYY15Jesus Collegeevent_11957confirmed
Frankopan Hall

Romanticism is best known as a movement celebrating political and imaginative liberty - the human mind freeing itself from the shackles of tradition. But Romanticism also coincided with the apex of the transatlantic slave trade.

In this Cambridge Festival Lecture, Dr Mathelinda Nabugodi will draw on her current work in progress, The Trembling Hand: Reflections of a Black Woman in the Romantic Archive, which examines objects found in the archives of the major Romantic poets: unexpected treasures such as Wordsworth’s teacup, Shelley’s baby rattle, or Byron’s carnival mask. In the wake of calls to decolonise the curriculum, Mathelinda will explain how poets' relics can prompt wide-ranging reflection on the Romantic period’s legacy in our own time – its poetic ideals as well as its painful realities.

She will then focus on poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was a student at Jesus College where Mathelinda is currently a Postdoctoral Associate. Starting with Coleridge's time at Jesus, where he won a prize for an Ode on the Slave Trade written in Ancient Greek, she will uncover some of the links between the poetry of freedom and the practices of slavery in the Romantic period.

The lecture forms part of Jesus College’s Coleridge250 series, a commemoration of this controversial figure marking 250 years since Coleridge’s birth.

Online and in person.

Tickets are available on our Eventbrite.