The London Victorian Studies Colloquium is an annual residential colloquium for postgraduates and postdocs working in Victorian Studies, to be held at Royal Holloway Centre for Victorian Studies, from 26-27th April, 2019.
This is a relatively informal weekend of postgraduate papers, plenary talks, and training and professionalisation workshops, allowing generous space also for participants to socialise and study in the beautiful surroundings of the college. We hope to include a viewing of the Victorian art collection in the Royal Holloway picture gallery.
This year’s event will include:
Plenary talks from Dr Carol Jacobi (Curator of British Art, 1850-1915, Tate Britain) and Dr Helen Goodman (Bath Spa University)
Research Beyond the Article with Professor Redell Olsen (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Dr Joanna Taylor (University of Manchester)
Panel Discussion on Academic Careers and the Place of ECRs in the University
Training in Nineteenth-Century Collections and Designing Innovative Teaching
Participants do not have to present a paper but we will be looking for a small number of speakers to give short papers (20 minutes) on any topic. For details of the CFP, please see below.
The Centre for Victorian Studies is grateful to the techne consortium and Department of English at Royal Holloway, University of London for supporting this event.
The colloquium is open to Masters, doctoral students and postdocs from the UK or abroad, working on any nineteenth-century topic.
This year’s event is free to techne students. Please use the dedicated ticketing link.
The deadline for applicants is 5.00pm on Friday 29th March, or as soon as places are full.
The Art and Science of Collecting in Eighteenth-Century Europe Edited by Dr. Arlene Leis and Dr. Kacie Wills
Sarah Stone, Perspective Interior View of Sir Ashton Lever’s Museum in Leicester’s Square, watercolor, London, March 30, 1785.
We are inviting chapter abstracts for a collection of essays designed for academics, specialists and enthusiasts interested in the interrelations between art, science and collecting in Europe during the long 18th century. Our volume will discuss the topic of art, science and collecting in its broadest sense and in diverse theoretical contexts, such as art historical, feminist, social, gendered, colonial, archival, literary and cultural ones. To accompany our existing contributions, we welcome essays that take a global and material approach, and are particularly keen on research that makes use of new archival resources. We encourage interdisciplinary perspectives and are especially interested in essays that reveal the way in which women participated in art, science, and collecting in some capacity. The compendium will consist of around 15 essays, 6000 words each (including footnotes), with up to four illustrations. In addition to these more traditional essays, we are looking for shorter (circa 1,000 words) case studies on material objects pertaining to collections/collectors from that period. The subject of art, science and collecting will also be central to these contributions. These smaller pieces will each include one illustration. The following topics/case studies are particularly desired:
• Women’s collecting interests
• Histories and methodologies of collecting, taxonomies,
cataloging, arrangement, and modes of display
• Cabinets of curiosities/Wunderkammer
• Collections housed in art and/or science institutions
• The boundaries between the natural and the artificial
• Scientific and artistic tools and instruments
• Seriality vs. rare objects
• Transitional objects
• Collecting networks
• The artist collector
• The scientist collector
• The overlapping of science, art and collecting in domestic
• Antiquarian collections
• Print culture
Call for Papers – New edited essay collection: Byron Among the English Poets
Byron felt deeply that literary tradition mattered. Less wedded to notions of ‘originality’ and ‘genius’ than many of his contemporaries, he instead wrote passionately – and unfashionably – about the value of imitation, allusion, and a thorough acquaintance with past masters. He used poetic forms because he thought of them as embedded in historical moments and circumstances, and he wrote with other voices sounding in his head: Horace and Juvenal, Shakespeare, Milton and Pope amongst them. He was a fierce champion of poets whom he saw as having contributed most to sustaining the English tradition, and he could be correspondingly withering on the subject of contemporaries whom he felt were actively engaged in diluting it. Sometimes he felt attraction and repulsion in equal measure: for all the ridicule in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers and Don Juan of the ‘Lakers’, his writing would have looked very different without the powerful influence of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey. Perhaps because of his own openness to the idea of being (for better or worse) part of a literary community, many nineteenth- and twentieth-century poets found points of contact with his writing. He was imitated both by writers who admired him as a Romantic lyricist and by those who felt ambivalent about their Romantic inheritance: poets ranging from Swinburne to Auden embraced and wrestled with the powerful sway of his writing, acknowledging the magnetism of his style by ambivalent acts of imitation, parody, and conversation.
Portrait of Byron by Thomas Phillips, c. 1813. (c) Newstead Abbey; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Our edited collection, Byron Among the English Poets, expands on previous work on Byron and poetic influence and carves out a number of paths for future work in Byron studies. It already has an impressive roster of contributors, including Bernard Beatty, Madeleine Callaghan, Anna Camilleri, Richard Cronin, Simon Kövesi, Tom Lockwood, Michael O’Neill, Fred Parker, Seamus Perry, Christopher Ricks, Diego Saglia, Jonathon Shears, Jane Stabler, Clara Tuite, Ross Wilson, and Sarah Wootton. Its editors, Clare Bucknell and Matthew Ward, are currently finalising its submission to Cambridge University Press and looking for a new contributor to offer a chapter on Byron and a post-1945 poet (or poets). The selected chapter will be c. 7000 words and may deal with any aspect of the literary relation between Byron and post-1945 poetry (chapters that focus on form and poetic style will be especially welcome).
CFP: Keats’s Odes at 200: A One-Day Bicentenary Conference (1819-2019)
1 February 2019, University of Caen (France)
Plenary speaker : Stanley Plumly (University of Maryland). Acclaimed poet and author of Posthumous Keats: A Personal Biography (Norton, 2008), The Immortal Evening: A Legendary Dinner with Keats, Wordsworth, and Lamb (Norton, 2014), winner of the Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism, and Elegy Landscapes: Constable and Turner and the Intimate Sublime (Norton, 2018).
In the spring of 1819, living in the recently built Wentworth Place on the edge of Hampstead Heath, John Keats wrote five of the six poems now commonly referred to as the ‘Great Odes’, a group of texts whose hyper-canonicity can sometimes make it difficult to appreciate the precarious, unlikely circumstances under which they came into being – let alone to say anything new about them today. Over the course of the last two centuries, countless readers have found themselves enthralled by, and moved to comment on, Keats’s Ode to Psyche, Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode on Melancholy, Ode on Indolence, and ode To Autumn (composed in September 1819), generating a vast body of scholarly criticism, as well as a number of reuses or reimaginings of the odes in popular culture. Yet, not unlike the Hellenic urn which permanently remains, in its cold silence, ‘a friend to man’, the magic of the odes remains undiminished after all these years – and the depth and originality of Keats’s texts remain, miraculously, to be accounted for, still ‘teas[ing] us out of thought’. It is the aim of this one-day bicentenary conference not only to celebrate but also to continue to probe, question, and rethink the nature of Keats’s achievement in writing, at the height of his young artistic powers, these six ‘Great Odes’; to reexamine their past uses, and speculate on their lives to come, while teasing out (and, no less fruitfully, being teased by) their ostensible timelessness.
Speakers are invited to approach the odes from any number of angles, including (but not limited to) questions concerning: the composition and editing of the texts (their manuscript drafts, their multiple versions in print and digitization…); the critical reception of the odes in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries (in Britain, America, France, and elsewhere); Keats’s sources of inspiration, and of rupture; the odes and other forms of art (sculpture, music, painting); reuses and reimaginings of the odes in popular culture; their modern adaptations (cinema, fiction), etc.
The British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS) is looking for contributors to write for our blog: an online collection of news/notices and longer posts, all of which celebrate and promote research in Romanticism. Would you like to contribute to a) The ‘Archive Spotlight’ series or b) The ‘On This Day’ series?
Please get in touch by sending a short pitch of what your post will include, and a short bio. Final posts should be around 1000 words.
Further details: ‘ArchiveSpotlight’:
Posts should be a blog about your experience of using an archive. You could use the space to discuss one or two things of interest you found at the archive, perhaps things that are intriguing, but that you cannot fit into your thesis, book, or other written work.
The post could also be an account of the archive itself as well as some things you’ve studied there that relate to the Romantic Period (1770-1830). You could focus more on the latter if you prefer. Previous examples can be found here.
‘On This Day’:
This is a Romantic bicentenary series that has been running since July 2015. We have been inspired to create this series following the popularity on Twitter of the ‘OnThisDay’ hashtag. We want to present a catalogue of #OnThisDay blog posts that relate to events happening exactly 200 years ago. The premise of the blog is to give readers a snapshot of 1818 in 2018 (and on into 2019 and beyond!), relevant to that month or even that particular day. The series is also a part of #Romantics200.
The best way to get a feel of this series is to read our excellent posts from past contributors. You can see all the posts here.
If you have any questions or would like to make an informal enquiry about writing for us, please get in touch with Anna Mercer (BARS Blog Editor): firstname.lastname@example.org
The Italian Byron Society is pleased to announce the 44th International Byron Conference to be held in Ravenna from 2 to 7 July 2018. Website here.
Byron’s most famous use of the word “mobility” is in Don Juan, Canto 16, stanza XCVII, where he uses it to describe Lady Adeline Amundeville, adding a footnote in which he defines it as “excessive susceptibility of nimmediate impressions”. Since then the word has been taken up by critics and biographers from Thomas Moore and Lady Blessington onwards, to refer to what seems an essential quality of Byron’s personality and poetry (and, particularly in more recent years, politics). The word has sometimes been linked with the notion of improvisation, especially when considering the spontaneity (or apparent spontaneity) of his verse: “I rattle on exactly as I’d talk / With any body in a ride or walk.” (Don Juan, 15, XIX). The conference will welcome 20-minute papers on topics including, but not necessarily limited to:
– formal experimentalism and improvisation
– multiplicity of voices
– hyphenated identities
– genre hybridity
– experience and imagination, fact and fiction
– geographical mobility
– cosmopolitan visions and identities
– political mobility and improvisation
– reinterpretations of Byron’s mobility in later periods
The organisers also welcome prospective delegates to suggest ready-formed panels (of three 20-minute papers) on the following topics: Byron and Ravenna; Byron and Italian politics; Byron and Italian art.
Please send 250-word abstracts for individual papers or ready-formed panels to email@example.com by 1 March 2018.
Information on conference registration and accommodation as well as on the cultural programme of the conference will be posted later on the Conference website.
Thanks to Freya Gowrley for sending in this exciting new Call for Papers.
CfP: Collage, Montage, Assemblage: Collected and Composite Forms, 1700-Present (University of Edinburgh, 18-19 April 2018)
Deadline for abstracts: 1 December 2017
This two-day multidisciplinary conference will explore the medium of collage across an unprecedentedly broad chronological range, considering its production and consumption over a period of more than three hundred years. While research on paper collage plays a key role in histories of modern art, particularly of the 1920s and 1930s, its longer history and diverse range of manifestations are often overlooked within art historical scholarship. Though important work is being done on collage at both the level of the individual work and the medium more broadly, this has often overlooked collage’s multitudinous forms and assorted temporal variants. This conference accordingly aims to tackle this oversight by thinking about collage across history, medium, and discipline. Employing an inclusive definition of the term, the conference invites papers discussing a variety of material, literary, and musical forms of collage, including traditional papier collé alongside practices such as writing, making music and commonplacing, and the production of composite objects such as grangerized texts, decoupage, quilts, shellwork, scrapbooks, assemblage, and photomontage.
In so doing, the conference will situate histories of modernist collage in relation to a much broader range of cultural practices, allowing for productive parallels to be drawn between the cultural productions of periods that are often subject to rigid chronological divisions. Reciprocally, the conference will encourage a consideration of collage made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries against key concepts and methodologies from the study of modernism and postmodernism, such as the objet trouvé or assemblage. From papier collé to the digital age, the conference will highlight collage’s rich history and crucial role in cultural production over the last three hundred years.
We invite contributions from scholars working in the fields of art history, history, music, material culture studies, and literature. We also welcome and encourage papers from practitioners working in any medium whose practice is influenced by collage, assemblage, and/or montage. Potential topics could include, but are not limited to:
Collage as medium
Collage, assemblage, montage: terminologies and categories
Collage and identity
Collage and intention: chance, agency, intentionality
Collage and the modern/pre-modern/postmodern
Collage in art historical writing/literary criticism
Guest Editors: Dr Katie Faulkner (The Courtauld Institute of Art and Arcadia University) Dr Freya Gowrley (University of Edinburgh)
This special issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies will use ‘craft’ as a framework for understanding how various forms of masculinity were constructed and expressed during the long nineteenth-century (1789-1914) in Britain and internationally.
Deadline for completed manuscripts: 30 October 2017
CFA: Making Masculinity: Craft, Gender, and Material Production in the Long Nineteenth-Century
Narratives focusing on the heroic male artist and privileging the ‘fine art’ over the ‘decorative’ emerged in the nineteenth century and were perpetuated by modernist writers and formalist art historians throughout the twentieth century. Yet the continuing preoccupation with the male genius and his masterpieces has been challenged by feminist interventions in art historical scholarship, often by reintroducing the significance of craft, and its female practitioners, into histories of material production. This endeavour has found a particular ally in material culture studies. Unburdened by art historical divisions between the fine and decorative arts, high art and craft, a substantial literature on the relationship between women and material culture in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries has recently emerged (see for example Maureen Daly Goggin and Beth Fowkes Tobin’s four-part edited collection on Women and Things: Gendered Material Strategies, 1750-1950 (2009), Material Women, 1750-1950: Consuming Desires and Collecting Practices(2009), Women and the Material Culture of Needlework and Textiles, 1750-1950 (2009), and Women and the Material Culture of Death (2013)). Despite this historiographical richness, the figure of the male crafter is noticeably absent from the history of nineteenth-century art and culture, aside from notable exceptions associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement, such as William Morris and Charles Robert Ashbee, and organisations like the Art Worker’s Guild.
Nevertheless, the ideas and practices of craft permeated the very fabric of everyday life in the nineteenth century. As a material category, craft encompasses a diverse range of objects, the production of which was central to a number of professional and personal masculine identities. Produced within or outside of the art academy or studio, made singly or collaboratively, and used to express both public and private selves, craft provides a compelling metaphor for thinking about how nineteenth-century masculinity was itself ‘made’. Focusing on objects and figures that have previously been overlooked within scholarship, the issue will reveal forgotten narratives and ignored identities, thereby providing an alternative material record of masculinity in the long nineteenth century.
This interdisciplinary special issue will explore the material and metaphorical role of craft in constructing nineteenth-century masculinities, enriching an already vibrant secondary literature on gender and material culture. We encourage submissions of 5,000-8,000 words on any aspect of the relationship between masculinity and craft during the period 1789-1914. Submissions that are accepted will be subject to blind peer-review. Potential topics might include, but are not limited to:
tensions between domestic practices and professional craftsmanship
collaboration and homosociability
craft and queer masculinities
craft and emotion
craft and recuperation
the arts and crafts movement
craft made by prisoners, soldiers, and sailors
craft as an elite hobby/craft as a labouring class pursuit
craft in the age of mechanical reproduction
craft and dress
craft as/and self-fashioning
craft as activism
the idea of masculinity as ‘crafted’
Images: Rodolphe Christen, George Sim in His Workshop, Aberdeen, 1890, oil on canvas. Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums & J.M.W. Turner, An Artists’ Colourman’s Workshop, c. 1807, oil on wood. Tate.
International Conference, Clermont-Ferrand, 5-7 April 2018
Université Clermont-Auvergne – CELIS
« ‘with shut eyes, but acute mental vision’: Dream and Literary Creation in Women’s Writings in the 18th and 19th Centuries »
In June 1816, in a house on the shores of Lake Geneva, a young girl of barely 19 had a dream which would turn out to be the source of one of the greatest contemporary myths of modern times. This pivotal dream has remained prominent thanks to the preface that Mary Shelley wrote for the 1831 edition of Frankenstein, in which she describes a vivid, integrally visionary experience: “I saw – with shut eyes, but acute mental vision, – I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together […].” In a lesser-known dream, a year earlier, Shelley brings her premature, unnamed first-born back to life: “Dreamt that my little baby came to life again; that it had only been cold, and that we rubbed it before the fire, and it lived. Awake and find no baby” (19th March 1815).
Dreams in Frankenstein are at the heart of the writing process but they also constitute the diegetic substance of the narrative. Victor’s nightmare, which follows the opening of the Creature’s “dull yellow eye” (Volume I, chapter 4), is difficult to overlook in any critical consideration of the importance of dreams in the novel. To mark the bicentenary of Frankenstein’s publication in 1818, this conference will re-examine the previously-recognised oneiric facets of the novel and develop fresh perspectives on dreams and dreaming in Mary Shelley’s fiction. Proposals with a special focus on those three dreams, as well as on other works by Mary Shelley in which dreams are often premonitory (Valperga, Matilda, “The Dream” for example), are particularly welcome. Discussion may also extend to analyses of day-dreaming which Mary Shelley also refers to in her preface when she distinguishes between her youthful fancies, “all [her] own”, and her fiction, destined to be read by others.
In addition, the oneiric character of Frankenstein is particularly relevant in any reappraisal of the textuality of dreams and their link to women’s creativity and creation as a whole. Accounts of real dreams in diaries and letters may interrogate the paradox of the invasion of Self by a radically Other force (“My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me”, wrote Mary Shelley), when the passive dreamer turns into a waking creative subject. Ontological alterity may be considered as being located at the core of such processes. Is there a specifically female understanding or expression of this encounter with the Other within? Literary dreams, whose putative oneiric nature needs further clarification, oscillate between narrative dexterity and the expression of possibly subconscious scenarios. How significant is a character’s dream? Is it radically inconsistent and heterogeneous? We therefore also invite papers on these, and other, connections between dream and fiction in novels written by Shelley and other female novelists.
Thus, the central issue of authorial intention in novels (or in poetry or plays if relevant), published from the end of the 17th century to the late 19th century, is the line of enquiry which this conference hopes to pursue. How is Mary Shelley’s creative outlook and experience mirrored in the writing of her contemporaries’ (Frances Burney’s or Ann Radcliffe’s for example), or in that of female authors who came before or after her (Jane Barker and the Brontë sisters for example)? Approaches developed by Margaret Anne Doody (“Deserts, Ruins and Troubled Waters: Female Dreams in Fiction and the Development of the Gothic Novel”, 1977), Ronald Thomas (Dreams of Authority, 1990, on the Gothic and nineteenth-century novels) or Julia Epstein on Burney (The Iron Pen, 1989) may be particularly pertinent here.
Papers may be given in English (preferably) or in French.
Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity.
– Oscar Wilde
Beauty is desired in order to be befouled. Not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaning it.
– Georges Bataille
Beauty has many contradictory associations, from ephemerality to permanence, the natural to the artificial. When we attempt to locate the beautiful, notions of ‘conventional’ beauty often conflict with individual assessments of what is beautiful. We are told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder(s), but is beauty only ever a perception, or can it be an intrinsic quality of objects and people? Is it possible to define the nature of the aesthetic experience? Beauty may trigger philosophical or spiritual contemplation, but it can also evoke possessiveness and lust. Historically, beauty has been admired as virtuous and feared as dangerous. Do judgements about beauty do a disservice to their object, or do they elevate it?
This special issue of MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities aims to consider the wealth of ways in which notions of beauty have been expressed, represented, and critiqued across literatures and cultures. From literary depictions of beauty, to those expressed in philosophy, art, architecture, film, photography, and music, this collection of essays will scrutinise the beautiful in its myriad forms, across geographical and temporal boundaries. Responses to the theme might be theoretical (perhaps considering movements such as New Aestheticism or Cultural Materialism), (inter)artistic, or sociological.
We invite proposals covering a range of periods (from the medieval and early-modern to the twenty-first century) and across different national contexts (including French-, Hispanic-, Germanic-, Italian-, Slavonic- and English-speaking cultures). We hope to attract scholars working in a variety of fields (Modern Languages, English Studies, Comparative Literature, Cultural History, Film and Media Studies and Digital Humanities, Performance and Reception History, History of the Book and of Print Culture, and others). Interdisciplinary approaches are particularly welcome.
Topics could include, but are not limited to:
Art, aesthetics and ekphrasis
Gender and sexuality
Youth and aging
The role of the senses
Class, wealth, and prejudice
Inner beauty, morality, and religion
Adornment, body modification and fashion
The natural world
Measure, the golden ratio, mathematics
Beautiful books, treasure bindings, deluxe editions, book fetishism
Ugliness, the ‘grotesque’
We invite proposals for papers of up to 4,000 words in MHRA style, with completed essays to be delivered to the editors by 15 September 2017. Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be sent, accompanied by a short biographical statement on the same page, to firstname.lastname@example.org by 1 June 2017.