Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. Conference

A sculpture of Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J. by Rowan Gillespie is placed behind Carroll Hall.

Celebrating the Life and Work of a Jesuit Poet

Regis University is pleased to announce: "Words break from me here" Reading Hopkins, 1918-2018

Join us at London’s Roehampton University 22–24 June, 2018 to mark the centenary of the first edition of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Poems (1918). Topics will include: Hopkins and Victorian science and eco-criticism, and visual culture; how the poems illuminate current theoretical and cultural debates (gender studies, theological studies); Hopkins and Welsh; and his auditory imagination. Prof. Kirstie Blair, the keynote speaker, will focus on “Hopkins and Victorian Engineering.” Presentations will also account for the shifting critical receptions of the texts since their publication and suggest new directions for Hopkins scholarship. The programme will include an archivist’s tour of “Hopkins’s Roehampton” and a special presentation by the Hopkins Society, UK.

See full program here. View past programs.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Prof. Kirstie Blair
Professor Kirstie Blair is Head of the School of Humanities, University of Strathclyde. Renowned for her studies of Victorian literature and culture, particularly poetry and poetics, she is the author of Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion and Victorian Poetry and the Culture of the Heart. Professor Blair’s diverse research interests include Scottish Victorian popular culture and literature, working-class writing, literature and religion, and Victorian children’s literature. She has recently completed a Carnegie Collaborative Research Grant project with the University of Glasgow, entitled ‘The People’s Voice: Political Poetry, Song, and the Franchise, 1832–1918’, and is completing her third monograph, Poetry, Press and Community: Working Verse in Victorian Scotland.

Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins

The conference will also feature special presentations to mark the publication of the Collected Works of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Oxford UP, 2006-18).

For more than a decade, an international team of editors has been collecting, organizing, and editing Hopkins’s papers—not just thepoems, letters, and diaries, but journal entries, spiritual writings, sermons, scientific studies, and academic notes, as well as his sketches and musical compositions. The volumes are as follows:

Correspondence, vols. I and II, edited by R. K. R. Thornton and Catherine Phillips (2013)

Diaries, Journals, and Notebooks, vol. III, edited by Lesley Higgins (2015)

Oxford Essays and Notebooks, vol. IV, edited by Lesley Higgins (2006)

Sermons and Spiritual Writings, vol. V, edited by Jude Nixon and Noel Barber, S.J. (forthcoming, 2018)

Sketches, Notes, and Studies, vol. VI, edited by R. K. R. Thornton (forthcoming)

The Dublin Notebook, vol. VII, edited by Lesley Higgins and Michael Suarez, S.J. (2014)

The Poems, vol. VIII, edited by Catherine Phillips (forthcoming)

The general editors of the project are Lesley Higgins and Michael Suarez, S.J.


In Hopkins’s day, Roehampton village was 10 kms southwest of London, across Putney Bridge, renowned for its seventeenth-century rustic ambience and eighteenth-century estates (architectural gems and their gardens). Wimbledon Common, where one could watch military men on parade, was just to the south; the Roehampton Gate entrance to Richmond Park brought one into the largest of London’s royal parks. 

Parkstead House, built in 1763 by the second Earl of Bessborough, had at one time been the home of Lady Caroline Lamb (1785–1828), novelist and socialite. In 1861, the estate was purchased by the Society of Jesus, and Parkstead became Manresa House. Hopkins lived at Manresa three times during his Jesuit life: as a Novice, from September 1868 to September 1870, when he began his life in the Society; from September 1873 to August 1874, when he taught Rhetoric to the younger Jesuits; and for eight months, October 1881 to August 1882, during his Tertianship. The University of Roehampton was established in 2004 by bringing together four teacher-training colleges founded in the nineteenth century. Today, it educates more than 10,000 students each year in the liberal arts and sciences.

Roehampton University now occupies the buildings and grounds.