Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois

Illinois Department of English Blog


Welcome to the Department of English blog.

My name is Vicki Mahaffey and I took over as
head of the department on July 1, 2016. I'll be using this site to post updates and information of interest to our faculty, students, and alumni,
along with reflections about our discipline(s) in particular and the humanities in general. As anyone who has ever worked or studied here knows, the Department of English is a vibrant place. If you have something you'd like to see posted here, or if you want to contact me about the content of this blog, drop me an email at

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Romanticism and Music Culture in Britain

I ran into Gillen Wood today--or rather, we crossed paths in the lovely Spring sunshine in front of the English building--and was pleased to learn that the first copies of his new book--Romanticism and Music Culture in Britain, 1770-1840: Virtue and Virtuosity--have arrived.

Here is a b
rief book description pasted in from the Cambridge University Press website: "Music was central to everyday life and expression in late Georgian Britain, and this is the first interdisciplinary study of its impact on Romantic literature. Focussing on the public fascination with virtuoso performance, Gillen D'Arcy Wood documents a struggle between sober ‘literary' virtue and luxurious, effeminate virtuosity that staged deep anxieties over class, cosmopolitanism, machine technology, and the professionalization of culture. A remarkable synthesis of cultural history and literary criticism, this book opens new perspectives on key Romantic authors – including Burney, Wordsworth, Austen and Byron – and their relationship to definitive debates in late Georgian culture."

Gillen will also be presenting the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' 2010 Humanities Lecture in the Spurlock Museum lecture hall on Thursday, April 1st at 4:30 p.m. His lecture will be called "Climate Denial and the Philosopher-King of Java: Rewriting History through an Ecological Lens," and I hope to see many colleagues and area alumni there. I consider it a huge and well-deserved honor for him to have been asked to give this lecture, and feather in the department's proverbial cap as well.

Congratulations on both counts, Gillen!

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