The Arts and Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture – 18th July

Birkbeck, University of London 16th – 18th July 2015

Keynote Speakers:

Caroline Arscott (Courtauld Institute of Art, London) Tim Barringer (Yale University) Meaghan Clarke (University of Sussex) Kate Flint (University of Southern California) Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck, University of London) Michael Hatt (University of Warwick) Lynda Nead (Birkbeck, University of London) Jonah Siegel (Rutgers) Alison Smith (Tate Britain)

This conference will explore the ways in which nineteenth-century authors, artists, sculptors and musicians imagined and represented emotion and how writers and critics conceptualised the emotional aspects of aesthetic response. It aims to map the state of the field in this growing area of interest for nineteenth-century scholars by locating recent interdisciplinary work on sentimentality and art and writing and the senses within wider debates about the relationship between psychology and aesthetics in the long-nineteenth century.

Speakers will investigate the physiology and psychology of aesthetic perception and the mind/body interactions at play in the experience of a wide range of arts. Key questions include: How did Victorian artists represent feeling and how were these feelings aestheticised? What rhetorical strategies did Victorian writers use to figure aesthetic response? What expressive codes and conventions were familiar to the Victorians? Which nineteenth-century scientific developments affected artistic production and what impact did these have on affective reactions? The conference includes a panel discussion on the topic of ‘Curating Feeling’ with speakers Michael Hatt, Lynda Nead and Alison Smith. For more information on this panel, see our website.

To register for the conference, please visit:

Places are limited.

Please address any questions to Dr. Victoria Mills at

More information will be available soon at