The Centre for John Clare Studies, based in the Faculty of English at the University of Cambridge, provides a forum for scholarly activity focused on John Clare and related literary, historical, ecological and political subjects. Drawing on the participation and expertise of the international scholarly community, the Centre involves individuals from inside and outside academia, with a wide variety of interests and specialisms.
The Centre is co-directed by four Clare scholars: Mina Gorji, Sarah Houghton-Walker, Erin Lafford and Paul Chirico.
Our activities in Cambridge include a regular discussion group and occasional symposia (the first, on ‘Clare, Botany and Classification in the Early Nineteenth Century’, took place on 23 September 2014 in the Cambridge Botanic Garden; the second, on ‘Clare and the Art of Birdwatching‘, on 15 September 2017, in the David Attenborough Building). We also host and promote other events, including occasional conferences and lectures, as well as Out of my Knowledge, an online forum for scholarly notes and queries on Clare.
Following the establishment of the Centre in 2014, our initial projects included a collaboration with Peterborough Archives and Vivacity to curate a major exhibition based on Clare’s manuscripts, held in Peterborough Museum from 10 May to 22 June 2014, and a collaboration with five exciting artists in UnEarthed: John Clare, exhibited at Clare Cottage during the summer of 2014 and subsequently at Northampton and Peterborough Museums.