Locating the Burneys: from the Margins to the Mainstream

Conference of the Burney Society (UK)

Bishop Grosseteste University, 30 July-1 August 2019

Keynote Speakers:

Prof. Gillian Dow (University of Southampton);

Prof. Lorna Clark (Carleton University)

The narrative of the Burney family’s social ascent is a familiar one to scholars of the late eighteenth century. Yet the well-rehearsed tale of Charles Burney’s climb from provincial poverty to relative fame and fortune in London, raising his family into the ranks of the middle classes in the process, conveniently mythologises both the Burneys and the metropolis itself.  This conference will consider how the Burneys and their circle engaged with or constructed narratives of marginality and/or centrality; their relationship to marginal and/or mainstream culture and society; and the imaginative use they made of such categories. Broad interpretations of these concepts are welcomed.

Proposals are invited for 20 minute (max) papers on the theme of ‘Locating the Burneys: from the Margins to the Mainstream’.

Suggested topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • Official, professional or establishment identities
  • Social and Cultural identities
  • Geographical margins: within and beyond the Metropolis
  • Literary Genre(s)
  • Moving between the margins and the mainstream
  • Marginal figures
  • Marginalia
  • The Burneys in the Archive
  • Burneys in relation to other authors

Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted as an email attachment in MS Word to  You should also include a 250-word biographical statement. Please use your surname as the document title.  The abstract should be in the following format: (1) Title; (2) Presenter(s); (3) Institutional Affiliation, where applicable; (4) Contact email address; (5) Abstract; (6) Biographical Statement.

The deadline for receipt of all proposals is now FEBRUARY 28, 2019. We will attempt to notify all correspondents in March regarding the status of their submission.