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News and Commentary from the British Association for Romantic Studies

Archive for April 2017

CFA: Making Masculinity: Craft, Gender, and Material Production in the Long Nineteenth-Century

 

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

Please send all manuscripts and/or queries to makingmasculinity@gmail.com

 

CFA: Making Masculinity: Craft, Gender, and Material Production in the Long Nineteenth-Century

Picture1Narratives 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.

Picture1

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.

Original post from Freya Gowrley here.

The William Blake Archive: an update

Please see below for a statement from the William Blake Archive:

blakearchive

‘Two decades ago, the William Blake Archive set out to address, through the opportunities of digital media, the considerable challenges inherent in reproducing Blake’s work. A pioneer in digital humanities scholarship, the archive has brought together both streams of Blake’s work, for the first time making it easily available as he originally created it. A newly launched, transformative redesign of the archive makes this international public resource even more accessible to scholars and casual readers.

The archive now holds almost 7,000 images from 45 of the world’s leading research libraries and museums. It integrates editions, catalogs, databases, and scholarly tools into a single electronic archive.

It is a joint project of the University of Rochester and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with support from the Library of Congress.

The archive made history when, in 2003, it became the first electronic scholarly edition to receive the Prize for a Distinguished Scholarly Edition from the Modern Language Association, the major professional organization for the study and teaching of language and literature. And in 2005, the archive received the MLA’s Approved Edition seal—another digital edition first.

Here’s a link to our story, which we have presented in conjunction with National Poetry Month.’

– Kathleen McGarvey

Call for Papers: Dream and Literary Creation in Women’s Writings in the 18th and 19th Centuries

 

Please see below for details of a conference to be held at the Université Clermont-Auvergne in France next year. 

 

Call for papers

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.

Please send your proposals to Isabelle Hervouet-Farrar and Anne Rouhette at dreamconference2018@gmail.com before 30th September 2017.

 

Scientific committee:

Caroline Bertonèche, Université de Grenoble

Lilla Maria Crisafulli, University of Bologna

Isabelle Hervouet-Farrar, Université Clermont-Auvergne

Anne Rouhette, Université Clermont-Auvergne

Victor Sage, University of East Anglia

Jean Viviès, Université d’Aix-Marseille

 

‘Animals and humans: sensibility and representation, 1650-1820’ edited by Katherine M. Quinsey

From the Voltaire Foundation:

A new edited volume entitled Animals and humans: sensibility and representation, 1650-1820 has just been published – including several articles relevant to Romantic period studies.

Here is a post by the editor Katherine M. Quinsey on her experience of putting the volume together (reproduced with permission). Please also see below for details of the book itself.

 

Animals and humans in the long eighteenth century: an intricate relationship

How does a scholarly book get started? In the majority of cases it is bound with the author or editor’s passion and deep-rooted (and often inexplicable) connection with his or her subject matter. For me, Animals and humans: sensibility and representation, 1650-1820 began nearly ten years ago, when I read Kathryn Shevelow’s eminently readable book For the love of animals, about the growth of the animal welfare movement in the eighteenth century. Our relationship with animals never ceases to fascinate, as we see from the Wellcome Collection’s current exhibition ‘Making nature: how we see animals’, and animal studies has recently flourished in the academic mainstream. Like Shevelow’s book, it crosses the boundaries between specialised academic study and deeply felt human experience.

My own beginning with this subject, though, occurred almost in infancy. An innate attraction to animals, these others with whom we co-exist on this planet, is shared by almost all small children and all human cultures in one way or another, and is represented throughout human history. And as we see in very small children, in this oldest relationship of the human species we still find a deep connection and resonance. In bringing together and editing this book, it was wonderfully liberating to be able to combine a lifelong passionate interest in animals with my own professional field of eighteenth-century literary and cultural studies.

Gainsborough, Girl with pigs (1782)

Thomas Gainsborough, Girl with pigs (1782), oil on canvas; Castle Howard Collection. © Castle Howard; reproduced by kind permission of the Howard family.

1650-1820 – the timeframe we cover in our study – is the period associated both with the growth of experimental science and the horrors of vivisection, and with the rise of modern humanitarianism. While the defence of animal rights itself goes back to classical times, in the eighteenth century it was directly linked to a growing awareness of universal human rights and a new definition of humanity based on the ability to feel rather than in the primacy of reason. Together with the abolitionist and feminist movements of the later eighteenth century, animal welfare came to resemble its modern self, with legislation first enacted in 1820.

Simon after Gainsborough, The Woodman

Peter Simon after Gainsborough, The Woodman (1791 [1787]), stipple engraving; Sudbury, Gainsborough House. © Gainsborough House.

But in this book we aim to explore more deeply the human relationship with animals in the long eighteenth century, in many different forms of expression. As shown by the different essays in this volume, this ancient relationship challenges not only the arbitrary divisions of Western cultural history (classicism and romanticism, for example), and not only disciplinary boundaries between poetry and science, art and animal husbandry, fiction and natural history, but also the basic assumptions of human self-perception, in which we do not see animals as objects of our ‘objective’ study, but rather as beings with whom we share a space and who demand a mutual response. A major thread of this book, then, is the re-evaluation of sentiment and sensibility, terms that in the eighteenth century referred to the primacy of emotion, and which were not solely the prerogative of humans. Through the lens of eighteenth-century European culture, contributors to this volume show how the animal presence, whether real or imagined, forces a different reading not only of texts but also of society: how humans are changed, and how we the readers are changed, in our encounters with the non-human other, in history, art, literature, natural science and economics. More deeply, we are reminded of the power and antiquity of this relationship.

 

PUBLICATION DETAILS

Animals and humans: sensibility and representation, 1650-1820

Ed. Katherine M. Quinsey

European culture in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries witnessed a radical redefinition of ‘humanity’ and its place in the environment, together with a new understanding of animals and their relation to humans. In examining the dynamics of animal-human relations as embodied in the literature, art, farming practices, natural history, religion and philosophy of this period, leading experts explore the roots of much current thinking on interspecies morality and animal welfare.

 

Katherine M. Quinsey, Introduction

Ann A. Huse, Edmund Waller’s whales: marine mammals and animal heroism in the early Atlantic

Lucinda Cole, Guns, ivory and elephant graveyards: the biopolitics of elephants’ teeth

Anita Guerrini, Animals and natural history in eighteenth-century France

Denys Van Renen, ‘A hollow Moan’: the contours of the non-human world in James Thomson’s ‘The Seasons’

James P. Carson, The great chain of being as an ecological idea

Kathryn Ready, John Aikin, Joseph Addison and two eighteenth-century Eastern tales of remembered metempsychosis

Katherine M. Quinsey, ‘Little Lives in Air’: animal sentience and sensibility in Pope

Rachel Swinkin, ‘No, helpless thing’: interspecies intimacy in the poetry of Burns and Barbauld

Sarah R. Cohen, Thomas Gainsborough’s sensible animals

Anne Milne, Animal actors: literary pedigrees and bloodlines in eighteenth-century animal breeding

Irene Fizer, ‘An egg dropped on the sand’: the natural history of female bastardy from Mark Catesby to Mary Wollstonecraft

Barbara K. Seeber, Animals and the country-house tradition in Mary Leapor’s ‘Crumble Hall’ and Jane Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’

Epilogue

 

Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment, April 2017

ISBN 978-0-7294-1193-6, 336 pages, 19 ills

 

Recommend this book to your librarian