BLOCKS PLATES STONES: Matrices/Printing Surfaces in Research and Collections
21 September 2017, Senate House, London (reception at British Academy)
Deadline: 30 June 2017, via bit.ly/BlocksPlatesStones-Submit
Convenor: Dr Elizabeth Savage (Institute of English Studies)
Dr Richard S Field (Yale), Prof James Mosley (Institute of English Studies), Dr Ad Stijnman (Leiden), Prof Michael Twyman (Reading)
The material turn in fields that rely on historical printed matter has led to interest in how those texts and images were—and are—produced. Those objects, including cut woodblocks, etched and engraved metal plates, and lithographic stones, could be fundamental to research. Tens of thousands survive from the last 500 years, but the vast majority are inaccessible because they do not fit into the cataloguing structures and controlled vocabularies used by the libraries, archives and museums that hold them. Those that are accessible tend to be under-used, as few researchers are equipped to understand them or communicate about them across disciplinary boundaries. Even the most basic term is debated: in book research, a matrix is the mould for casting pieces of type; in art research, each resulting type is a matrix (and the sheets printed from them are the multiples). As new possibilities to catalogue and digitise these artefacts …read more
In our latest Romantic Climates blog post, Dr Erin Lafford (Oxford) writes on John Clare, fenlands, and ‘Romantic air’.
In his essay ‘The Correspondent Breeze’ (1984), M. H. Abrams laid a foundation for thinking about the role of ‘air-in-motion’ in Romantic period poetry. Alongside tracing the significance of air (and its movements in winds, breaths, and breezes) as a key metaphor for emotional and political renovation, Abrams also acknowledged that ‘the moving air lent itself pre-eminently to the aim of tying man back into the environment’. He did not, however, specify what type of environment this is or should be. If the legacy of Abrams’ essay is that there has long been identified a prominent aerial imagination in Romantic poetry and poetics, then there is room now to think about how this aerial imagination might speak to, and be readdressed by, the concerns and approaches of the environmental humanities. Specifically, in this blog post I hope to offer some thoughts about how the trope of aerial inspiration so central to Abrams’ reading of Romanticism can be brought into relationship with ideas about the impact of the environment and its climatic effects on individuals that were circulating in the eighteenth …read more
Romantic London’s map showing the locations of Tallis’s Street Views isn’t part of the main site interface as I don’t have copies of the images available at present, but can be viewed here if you’re interested.
Early career researchers are invited to apply for the British Academy funded training day focusing on the use of matrices and printing surfaces in research on illustrated books. The workshop, facilitated by Dr Elizabeth Savage (Institute of English Studies) and Dr Giles Bergel (Oxford), will allow participates to consider both printing surfaces such as woodblocks and engraved plates, and the resulting impressions, and to relate them to the content of printed books.
No previous experience is necessary. Applications are open to scholars from all disciplines and related professions, including current PhD students or those who received a PhD in or after 2007.