In my role as Assistant Project Manager, I respond to the many requests for reproducing content from the William Blake Archive, of which the overwhelming majority are for images (a surprise to me). One of the most memorable request so far was a patron asking if he could screen-print one of the images on his home stereo cover. While this was a strange request and much different than the normal reproduction requests for publication, it tells us that the images in the archive contain a tremendous power outside of academic use. I wondered how I can locate that power.
Potential Stereo Cover
What method does one use to evaluate a large corpus of images? Can we use computational tools to distantly read images? I thought I would try to see. Projects like Lev Manovich’s Software Studies Initiative (softwarestudies.com) have tried to deploy software to read and categorize images. Images with massive amounts of data are much harder to compute than text files, which explains why Manovich’s team utilized supercomputers to process the data from images. Without a budget for supercomputing power, I thought I would start on a small scale to prototype what could we find out about the images in the …read more
In the first of our Romantic Climates blog posts, Professor Gillen D’Arcy Wood (Illinois) reflects on Deep Time and the humanities.
In Tennyson’s In Memoriam (1833-48), geological Deep Time signifies a pitiless Nature and the subjugation of all species, humans included, to the logic of extinction:
From scarpèd cliff and quarried stone
She cries, “A thousand types are gone;
I care for nothing, all shall go. (56: 2-4)
1830s texts by Charles Lyell and Tennyson revealed the trendlines of the intellectual elite, but the true popularization of Deep Time—which Stephen Jay Gould has called the most momentous epistemological revolution since Galileo—would wait until the 1860s. Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859, followed by Lyell’s The Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man (1863) and Charles Lubbock’s Pre-Historic Times (1865) imprinted a new, abyssal figure of time on the popular imagination. Deep Time applied not only to Theories of the Earth, but to the Descent of Man also. For generations of English professors, the “darkling plain” of Matthew Arnold’s 1867 poem “Dover Beach” has stood for the theological upheaval and heartbreak of the 1860s. Thank God for “Dover Beach”! It condenses the decades-long intellectual “roar” over Deep Time theory into a satisfying 37-line lyric, eminently teachable …read more
By Paul Kleian
This summer the Wordsworth Trust partnered with the Lake District National Park Authority for a series of walks in the landscape that inspired Wordsworth and his poetry. Here Belinda Turnbull and Mike O’Donoghue from the National Park Authority tell us a bit more about the project and its role in the exciting bid for the Lake District to become a World Heritage site.
How does Britain’s best loved poet link to our World Heritage bid?
Our spectacular landscape, with its unique beauty, has inspired poets and artists like William Wordsworth, and continues to inspire the millions who visit here each year. Wordsworth famously described the Lake District as ‘a sort of national property’ which he believed every person ‘had a right to enjoy’.
We believe the Lake District deserves worldwide recognition. That’s why in 2017 we will bid for World Heritage Site status, placing the Lake District alongside the Taj Mahal, the Tower of London and the Great Barrier Reef.
We believe that Wordsworth’s legacy helps support our bid to demonstrate why this cultural landscape deserves global recognition. To help more people discover it too, volunteer guides have teamed up with the Wordsworth Trust to deliver a special series of World …read more
By Anna Mercer
Please see below (and the website) for a Call for Papers for a conference on the work on Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, to be held in London next year.
CFP: The Shelley Conference 2017
Date: Friday 15th September 2017 (9.30am to 5pm, to be followed by a wine reception)
Location: Institute for English Studies, London
Keynote speakers: Prof. Nora Crook (Anglia Ruskin University), Prof. Michael O’Neill (Durham University)
A presentation will also be given by the editors of The Longman Shelley (Kelvin Everest, Michael Rossington, Jack Donovan and Will Bowers) on progress towards completion of the edition, and future plans.
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This one-day conference, held at the Institute for English Studies in central London, and supported by the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, University of York, celebrates the writings of two major authors from the Romantic Period: Percy Bysshe Shelley (PBS) and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (MWS).
A continuing scholarly fascination with all things ‘Shelley’ is due in part to the unprecedented access we now have to their texts (in annotated scholarly editions) and manuscripts (presented in facsimile and transcript). The Shelleys’ works are more readily available than ever before. Michael Rossington, when discussing the task of editing PBS, emphasises the complexity of …read more
By Sarah Jones
No, we’re not giving away the Blake Quarterly (though sometimes we would like to). I previously promised a couple of giveaways to celebrate the fiftieth volume of the journal. The first is something that I would very much like, and I hope it will be equally appealing to others who are interested in Blake.
I’m not in a position to be offering an original Blake, but I am excited to have a print made by Michael Phillips from his re-creations of Blake’s relief-etched copperplates, printed by hand on handmade English off-white wove paper of c. 1927. The winner can choose one of the prints from the Songs that are listed as available on his site. The site also contains information about how the plates and prints are made. I’m grateful for Michael for working with me to make this giveaway possible.
Before I give the entry information I need to draw your attention to the terms and conditions. The prize includes one unframed print plus shipping to the winner’s address. To enter you do not need to provide anything other than your name and an e-mail address, which will be used only in the case that …read more
Please see below for a Call for Papers from Anne Toner for a conference to celebrate the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s Sanditon.
‘Sanditon: 200 Years’ is a conference that will take place at Trinity College, Cambridge from March 29-31, 2017. The conference will mark the bicentenary of the composition of Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, Sanditon, in a year that also marks the bicentenary of Austen’s death. Austen began to write Sanditon in January of 1817. The manuscript closes with the date of March 18. Austen died four months later.
The manuscript of Sanditon is held at King’s College, Cambridge and will be available for participants in the conference to view, along with items from the Dorothy Warren and David Gilson Jane Austen collections, also held at at King’s. To coincide with the conference, Austen exhibitions will take place at the University Library, Cambridge and the English Faculty, Cambridge University.
Proposals for twenty-minute papers on any topic relating to Sanditon are invited. The conference warmly encourages a diverse range of approaches to the work, including papers that are thematic, stylistic, biographical, socio-historical, or in any way more broadly contextual or comparative in their focus. The manuscript of Sanditon will be a subject of particular …read more
Longstanding RIN member Dr Bethan Stevens of the University of Sussex has recently launched a new website, ‘Woodpeckings: The Dalziel Archive, Victorian Print Culture, and Wood Engravings’.
Brothers George and Edward Dalziel were the founders of Dalziel Brothers, nineteenth-century London’s most substantial wood engraving firm and the producers of illustrations for a huge range of printed materials, from books to packaging. According to the site, ‘The Dalziel Archive in the British Museum is a visual archive of the firm’s oeuvre from 1839 to 1893: around 54,000 fine burnished proofs kept chronologically in albums. The albums offer a new path into 19th-century wood engravings, usually approached exclusively through designers or the texts that they illustrated’.
Developed as part of the AHRC-funded Dalziel project in partnership with The British Museum and Sylph Editions, the site contains a virtual exhibition, recordings of research events and links to extended catalogue descriptions of every album in the Dalziel Archive.