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.

What COVID-19 measures do you currently have in place?

We ask that you do not attend if you have any of the main COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone with symptoms. We encourage you to take a lateral flow test before coming to the event.

We are designing all of our in-person events with decreased capacity. We also ask that during your time with us you act in a way so as to so as to avoid the spread of the virus through best endeavours as recommended by the NHS.

Please make sure that emails from Eventbrite are getting to you. You should get a confirmation email when you book. We will use that email address to contact you closer to the time to update you on current COVID-19 measures.

How do I get to West Court, Jesus College?

The entry to West Court is directly on Jesus Lane next to Wesley House (Postcode CB5 8BJ), near to the intersection with Park Street. Please DO NOT ENTER through the main entrance via Porters’ Lodge, known as “the Chimney”. Our what3words address is tree.heat.bravo

What transport options do I have?

There is no on-site car parking at Jesus College for those attending our events unless they hold a Blue Badge. Having said that, the Blue Badge parking on site is a long and cobbled walk through the College away from West Court. Closer Blue Badge parking can be found on Park Street outside the bicycle shop. There is limited on-street parking outside the College on Jesus Lane.

***Please note that Park Street car park is closed for redevelopment***.

There are multiple Park and Ride options to the city centre, which drop you a short walk away from the College.

Regular train services run to Cambridge from London’s Kings Cross Station, London Liverpool Street, London St Pancras, and many other mainline UK stations. The College is located approximately 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) from the railway station. Buses run about every 10 minutes and there is a taxi rank outside the station and one here in the city centre for your return.

What can I bring with me?

There are coat hooks around West Court, but there are no storage or coat minding facilities and we cannot take any responsibility for items left unattended. Bikes can be securely locked outside the ADC theatre. Mobile phones are allowed but must be silenced or placed on airline mode during the event. Flash photography is prohibited.

We do ventilate our event spaces as much as possible, so sometimes they can get a little chilly – we recommend bringing layers of clothing.

What if I have access requirements?

West Court is access-friendly and there are hearing loops. Please let us know about any access requirements in advance of any event via

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