In spite of differences of soil and climate, of language and manners, of laws and customs, in spite of things silently gone out of mind and things violently destroyed, the Poet binds together by passion and knowledge the vast empire of human society, as it is spread over the whole earth, and over all time.
Preface to Lyrical Ballads, 1802
Among the activities in 1970 commemorating the bicentenary of Wordsworth’s birth, three contributed to the renaissance of Romantic studies that we are now enjoying: the first issue of The Wordsworth Circle, the first meeting of the Wordsworth Summer Conference (as the Rydal Mount Summer School), and the first meeting of the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association (as the Rydal Mount Summer School Association). American scholars who had attended the first session of the summer conference at Rydal Mount during at the Modern Language Association convention to share the convivial spirit, the intellectual exchange, that sense of community that had developed in the Lake District. In 1973, the Association and TWC were joined to provide members with a means of communication, a permanent administrative base, and an historical record. Sharing the same ranging and eclectic interests as the journal, under the leadership of talented and resourceful elected officers, the association meets annually at the MLA convention to discuss topics of contemporary interest, often published in TWC to share with the growing and distant membership.
The Wordsworth-Coleridge Association provides affiliation, services, and information to an international community of over 2000 members—senior scholars, editors, teachers, critics, historians, graduate students, librarians, authors, and non-academics in other professions. The range of topics are equally eclectic: the authors, their works, lives, and times, and their afterlives in the critical tradition. While the discipline itself and the academic institutions where it is studied change, grow and diversify, the Association, the journal, and the summer conference provide an essential center for dialogue, review, and renewal, for developing the voices of the future, for assimilating contemporary concerns, for preserving the great literary and cultural resources we are heir to, and for extending the sense of community that Wordsworth envisioned.
Membership in the Association includes a subscription to The Wordsworth Circle:
$25.00 on year/ $40 two years/ $60 three years
Address: The Wordsworth Coleridge Association/ Department of English
New York University/ 19 University Place Room 536/ New York, NY 10003