CFP: AB 2020: Beardsley Re-Viewed – deadline 30 December 2019

AB 2020: Beardsley Re-Viewed

28–29 May 2020, Bridewell Theatre, St Bride Foundation

Supported by the Alessandra Wilson Fund

Organised by Dr Sasha Dovzhyk

in association with the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies

‘The Beardsley “craze”, indeed – if “craze” there be – is really just beginning’. (H. C. Marillier, 1899)

A ‘decadent fakir’ and ‘an intellectual Marcellus’, ‘the Fra Angelico of Satanism’ and ‘the only artist who knows what the dance of seven veils is, and can see that invisible dance’: Aubrey Beardsley was many things to many an observer. He ‘pictured’ some of the iconic volumes of the Yellow Nineties, including works by Ernest Dowson, George Egerton, and Oscar Wilde, and defined the style of the two key periodicals of the English Decadence, The Yellow Book and The Savoy. Exploiting the cheap, accurate, and speedy method of photomechanical reproduction, Beardsley’s black-and-white designs achieved, in his own words, ‘publicity without a frame, and beauty without modelling’. Provoked by his wanton line, the guardians of good morals, parodists, and imitators added fuel to the fire of the Beardsley Craze, while artists worldwide absorbed the lessons of his stylistic economy and near-abstract composition. Although his professional career spanned a mere six years, the aftermath of the 1890s Beardsley boom was felt throughout the twentieth century across the globe. With the publication of Linda Gertner Zatlin’s fundamental Aubrey Beardsley: A Catalogue Raisonné of 2016 to be followed by a major Beardsley exhibition at Tate Britain in 2020, are we in a new ‘Beardsley period’ today?

AB 2020: Beardsley Re-Viewed aims to reclaim the artist for the twenty-first century and revive the subversive and transformative potential of the Beardsleyesque. This two-day conference welcomes interdisciplinary approaches as interventions to established models for Beardsley scholarship and invites debate about academic and museological narratives that have shaped Beardsley’s reputation. In keeping with the transnational turn in the humanities, we will explore responses to Beardsley’s work from a variety of cultural locales and across the arts. We are curious about the metamorphoses of Beardsley’s imagery and styles in the work of Mina Loy and Pablo Picasso, Claude Cahun and Leon Bakst, Vladimir Nabokov and Alexander McQueen, as well as lesser-known cultural figures and movements. While highlighting new archival work, we seek to reassess Beardsley in relation to the urgent debates around mediality, queerness, disabled identities, and camp aesthetics. Finally, we are eager to view and review the largest exhibition of Beardsley’s original drawings scheduled for Spring 2020 at Tate Britain and scrutinise the current ‘Beardsley period’ from within.

Forms of participation

  • Conference papers

We welcome 400-word abstracts for 20-minute individual papers which may reflect on the following themes:

  • AB as camp, AB in camp
  • AB and the economics of artistic freedom
  • Beardsley Women, Beardsley Men
  • AB’s sexuality and sexual iconography
  • Line process in relation to AB
  • Transnational Beardsleyism, global Beardsleyana
  • AB and the mythologies of the artist
  • Bibliophiles, collectors, Beardsleyites
  • AB within New Decadence and New Modernist Studies
  • AB and Medical Humanities
  • Queer perspectives and appropriations of AB

 

  • Contributions to the roundtable on Tate Britain’s Beardsley show

We accept 150-word expressions of interest from potential participants in the roundtable discussion of the upcoming exhibition at Tate Britain.

  • Creative responses

We are interested in featuring creative works that in any way engage with or draw on Beardsley and the Beardsleysque. The projects may include but are in no way limited to installations, readings, performances, photography, textile art, printmaking. Proposals should include a 500-word project descriptions, artist’s CV or Resume, up to 6 links or images of previous/related work.

Please email submissions and 50-word biographies to sasha@sashadovzhyk.com by 30 December 2019.

AB 2020: Beardsley Re-Viewed is generously supported by the Alessandra Wilson Fund.

Alessandra Wilson (1943–2007) was an outstanding teacher and a dedicated comprehensive head, who served 21 years, first at Walsingham School on Clapham Common and then Hampton Community College. Alessandra’s entire professional career was devoted to pursuing the ideal of equal opportunity. In keeping with this vision, we are delighted to offer free attendance to all as well as travel bursaries to students and early-career participants of the conference.

 

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Corkscrew Show and Tell (31 October) – For all Practice Based Research Students

Show and Tell: Birkbeck practice-research PhD students present and discuss their work in progress

Thursday 31 October 2019

2-5pm

43 Gordon Square Room 106

Mah Rana: Crafting with my mother: Using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis to investigate the lived experience of dyadic crafting from the perspective of adult-daughter carers of mothers with dementia.

Women hold a majority but marginalised status within dementia-care statistics. This marginalised, but also hidden status makes it important to explore ways of making women’s experiences visible and understood. My PhD research is a qualitative psychology study using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to investigate verbal accounts in conjunction with primary source film footage of inter and intra-interactions of participant dyads (adult-daughter carers and mothers with dementia) in order to elicit a deep understanding of the meaning-making that daughters draw from their lived experience of caring for their mother.

Mah is a  2nd year PhD student in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Birkbeck. The multi-disciplinary focus of my PhD reflects the modus operandi of my established arts-based research practice. One Day When We Were Young is a short film, made in 2016 and subsequently a driver for the current PhD study, that explores the dementia-care relationship as mutually beneficial to both the carer and the person cared for.

Sasha Bergstrom-Katz: On the Subject of Tests

The project looks to examine and (re)present the affective dimensions of these tests by creating a visual archive of the test materials and by scripting, rehearsing and performing the tests in order to explore the experience of being the subject of study.

Sasha is an artist and researcher who utilises video, sculpture and staged performance to address issues of subjectivity, identification and diagnosis in the human sciences. Her practice-led PhD project centers around the history and aesthetic design of two prominent 20th century tests devised to assess the intelligence of children in pedagogical and psychological settings.

Open to all PhD students. No need to book.

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Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies – Autumn Term 2019

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies

18 November 2019

Kirstie Blair (Strathclyde), ‘Excelsior! Inspirational Verse and the Victorian Industrial Worker’.

Our first Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies event of the new academic year takes place at 7.30 on Monday 18th November 2019, in room 106 of the School of Arts building, 43 Gordon Square. Professor Kirstie Blair (Strathclyde) will give a paper titled: ”Excelsior! Inspirational Verse and the Victorian Industrial Worker’.

This paper uses research from the ‘Piston, Pen & Press’ project to discuss the enormous popularity of inspirational, motivating verse, a genre usually critically disregarded. It examines the role such poetry played in the cultures of working-class self-improvement and mutual improvement, for both working-class writers and readers.

Prof Kirstie Blair is the author of numerous articles/chapters and three books on Victorian poetry and its wider impacts on Victorian culture: her latest study, Working Verse in Victorian Scotland: Poetry, Press and Community, has just been published by OUP. She is the PI on a 2-year AHRC project, ‘Piston, Pen & Press: Literary Cultures in the Industrial Workplace’, on which she works closely with a number of industrial heritage museums and creative partners. She is currently running a series of MOOCs on ‘Working Lives’, exploring the history of Victorian workers on the railways, in coal-mining, and in textile factories and mills.

The session is free and all are welcome, but since the venue has limited space it will be first come, first seated.

Forthcoming Events

Alison Booth (Virginia): ‘Illustrating the Life and Complete Works of George Eliot: Homes and Story-Worlds.’

Wednesday 5th February 2020, 6.00pm. The Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square

 

Deborah Lutz (Louisville): ‘Marginalia and Other Forms of Graffiti.’

Wednesday 11th March, 2020, 6.00pm. The Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square.

For more information on the Centre and its activities, see www.cncs.bbk.ac.uk

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Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre – Autumn 2019

Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre – Autumn 2019

Scream Queer Murder!

On Thursday 7 November, 6-7.30pm, join us for a panel and discussion considering the “gay” characters in Agatha Christie’s work and the R & D of Scream Queer Murder! by Martin Lewton, recently premiered at the International Agatha Christie Festival 2019. The evening includes readings from the play, topped off by a generous dollop of Polari – the secret language gay men used to protect themselves.

This event is free of charge to attend – book here.

Contributors:

  • Andrew McKinnon Theatre Director, and Director of Studies, Institute of the Arts Barcelona
  • Martin Lewton Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Artistic Director of Theatre Northand ¡Barcelona Solo! Festival, and author of Scream Queer Murder!
  • Julius Green Fellow of Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, Olivier award-winning theatre producer, and author of Agatha Christie: A Life in Theatre and How To Produce a West End Show
  • Dr JC Bernthal Panel Tutor, University of Cambridge and Visiting Lecturer, Middlesex University, whose books include Queering Agatha Christie: Revisiting the Golden Age of Detective Fiction

Graduate Research in Theatre

GRiT is our termly research seminar, featuring presentations by visiting scholars, faculty and graduate students. There is no need to book in advance to attend.

Wednesday 11 December, 4-5pm (Room 106), Lewis Church (Birkbeck, and independent scholar, writer and producer), ‘Unruly Access’
This presentation will discuss how research on the experimental and sometimes seemingly inaccessible topics of experimental theatre practices of the twentieth century, contemporary live art, and subcultures can sit alongside a parallel professional practice as an arts writer and editor concerned chiefly with notions of access. Both have been enriched by the other, and the attempt to address structural issues in the creative sector, (particularly in relation to gender, race, class and disability) can perhaps benefit from a commitment and attention to the uncomfortable, unconventional and occasionally unruly.

Forthcoming sessions:

  • Wednesday 11 March, 4-5pm (Keynes Library): Ian Morgan (RADA)
  • Wednesday 6 May, 4-5pm (Keynes Library): Sarah Grochala (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama)

Birkbeck Theatre Alumni

Birkbeck Theatre Alumni network was set up in 2019 to explore ways for graduates of Birkbeck theatre programmes to stay in touch and share skills, resources and opportunities.

Our first meeting will take place on Friday 29 November at 6-8 pm in G10, 43 Gordon Square. For more information, and to book, click here.

London Theatre Seminar

Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre also supports London Theatre Seminar. For the schedule of seminars for 2019-20, click here

For regular Centre news click here or follow us on Twitter @BirkbeckCCT

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Roma Stories: New Oral History Research – Thursday 14 November 2019  5.15pm

Roma Stories: New Oral History Research

Thursday 14 November 2019                                                    

5.15-7.15pm

Bancroft Building Room 3.24, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Campus, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS

All welcome, no need to book

Speakers: Tania Gessi and Ted Sale, Roma Stories Oral History Project

Respondents: Graham Smith (Newcastle University), Becky Taylor (University of East Anglia), Julia Laite (Birkbeck)

Chair: Nadia Valman, Raphael Samuel History Centre

The HLF-funded ‘Roma Stories’ Oral History Project shares experiences and stories of Roma people from Eastern and Central Europe who live in London. A series of orally transmitted histories focus on the Roma genocide in the Second World War (the Forgotten Holocaust), life in postwar communist countries, why and how individuals and families migrated to the UK. They tell us how Roma identity is perceived, how it is changing, how people experience living in London and how they belong here. Throughout the ages, Roma people’s experience has often been marginalised or written out of history altogether. This project has captured a plethora of Roma voices, which reflect the varied nature of human experience of one Europe’s most discriminated ethnic minorities.

Convened by the Raphael Samuel History Centre, this seminar will present findings from the project, followed by responses from scholars in oral history and Roma studies.

Tania Gessi, Roma Oral History Project Coordinator, has worked for the Roma Support Group since 2010 leading various cultural and educational projects. She studied Violence, Conflict and Development at SOAS and is particularly interested in international politics and migration.

Ted Sale has been working with Roma Stories since May 2018. He read history at the University of Edinburgh, then migration and diaspora studies at SOAS.

Graham Smith is a Professor of Oral History and Newcastle University and has, since the mid-1980s, facilitated oral histories with a range of marginalised people. He is currently engaged in enabling a series of international projects on global environmental challenges.

Becky Taylor is Reader in Modern History at the University of East Anglia. Her research, which combines archival research and oral histories, is centrally concerned with the relationship between states and peoples at the margins, including Gypsies, Roma and Travellers, refugees, migrants and the marginalised poor.

Julia Laite is a Reader in Modern History at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck, University of London.  She researches and teaches on the history of women, crime, sexuality and migration in the nineteenth and twentieth century British world.

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CHASE and UoL Screen Studies Group Training Day – 19 October 2019

We write to invite you to the annual Screen Studies Group Training Day on:

19 October, 2019 at Goldsmiths.

We attach a programme with a registration link.

https://www.chase.ac.uk/screen-studies-group

This is a one-day session presenting research methods for all new and returning doctoral students. We will address a variety of topics that now concern Screen and Film Studies such as online research, social media; installation work; music videos, production cultures, media industries, creative practice, and live cinema.  The day will include a roundtable on interdisciplinarity.

This event is funded by CHASE, however ALL Screen Studies researchers from ALL institutions are welcome.

Looking forward to greeting you there,

Rachel Moore, SSG coordinator, Goldsmiths College

Who we are:  The University of London Screen Studies Group was founded in 2001 to serve the varied interests of academic staff and postgraduate students who work on screen-related research across the University of London.

Screen Studies Today has two major goals.  The first is to bring together all new film and screen studies doctoral students in London and the environs. It will enable network building around shared specialisms beyond your home department.  Second, it will provide foundational training in methods that are relatively new to this field and which home institutions often cannot provide.

SSG website: https://www.gold.ac.uk/media-communications/research/screen-studies-group/

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Booker at Birkbeck: Creative Writing Competition – deadline 25 October 2019

As part of events relating to this year’s Booker Prize at Birkbeck, a Creative Writing competition has been opened to Birkbeck students from any School and Department, on the theme of ‘Adaptation’. Prizes will be awarded by celebrated novelist Ian McEwan.

McEwan is giving this year’s Booker Prize lecture on the 7 November; with Christopher Hampton, he will be discussing his novel Atonement and its film adaptation by Hampton.

Tickets for the event are available here: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/events/remote_event_view?id=7388.

Students are invited to submit up to 3,000 words of creative writing prose (fiction or non-fiction), by 5pm on October 25, at this link: http://mironline.org/bookerprizecompetition/. The theme of ‘adaptation’ can be interpreted according to its many resonances, whether literary, biological, psychological, or social (amongst others).

The winner, and two runners-up, will be presented with a prize of book tokens by Ian McEwan, and will have their writing published on the Mechanics’ Institute Review online.

We look forward to receiving your submissions!

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The London Renaissance Seminar – Tudor Times: Places, Families, Books – 26 October 2019

The London Renaissance Seminar – Tudor Times: Places, Families, Books

Saturday 26th October, 1-4pm

Keynes Library (Room 114), 43 Gordon Square, Birkbeck

Join us for an afternoon of papers and discussions of the archaeology of the Grey house, the places of the Grey family, book ownership and book-crafting.

Speakers and topics include:

  • Lou Horton (Birkbeck), ‘A Grey Are: the Library of Lady Mary Grey’
  • Michelle O’Callaghan (Reading), ‘Household Recreations: Crafting Poetry Anthologies in Renaissance England’
  • Richard Thomas (Leicester), ‘Remains of the Grey: discovering the Childhood Home of the Nine-Day Queen’

Contact: s.wiseman@bbk.ac.uk or ‘lauenstein.eva@gmail.com’

The London Renaissance Seminar is a forum for the discussion of all aspects of early modern history, literature, and culture. It meets regularly at Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square.

Anyone with a serious interest in the Renaissance is welcome and no registration is necessary.

For further information about LRS, contact Sue Wiseman (s.wiseman@bbk.ac.uk).

To be placed on the LRS mailing list, contact Tom Healy (t.f.healy@sussex.ac.uk).

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Murray Seminars Autumn Term 2019

Welcome to the new academic year! We’re pleased to announce the details of this term’s Murray Seminars on Medieval and Renaissance Art at Birkbeck.  You’ll find a poster attached, which we hope will be of interest to you and your colleagues or students.  I’d be most grateful if you could display it on any noticeboards, or circulate it to any forums where you think it would be of interest.

Seminars take place at 5pm in the History of Art Department (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) in The Keynes Library (Room 114), unless stated otherwise.  Talks finish by 5.50pm to allow those with other commitments to leave, and are then followed by discussion and refreshments.  These talks are supported by the Murray Bequest in memory of the Department’s founder Peter Murray, and are open to all. No booking required.

This term’s papers are as follows;

Petr Uličný, 16th October, 5pm

The Origins of Renaissance Architecture in Bohemia

This seminar considers the leisure architecture of Central Europe in the Renaissance. He explores how two kings of Bohemia, Mathias Corvinus and Vladislaus Jagiello, hired foreign architects to bring the fashion for Renaissance architecture to central Europe. The Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand I, continued to do the same. As a result, palaces in Prague and Kutná Hora were built or ‘updated’ in styles which could be decades-old in their native Italy, but entirely novel in their new surroundings.

Michael Carter, 12th November, 5pm

Relics and monastic identity in late medieval England


Michael Carter, Senior Historian at English Heritage, analyses the importance of relics in the construction of monastic identities in late medieval England. Focussing on two Benedictine (Battle and Whitby) and two Cistercian (Hailes and Rievaulx) abbeys. He suggests that monasteries used relics to promote and sustain their wider religious role until the time of the Suppression, and that relics were also used to affirm relations between religious houses. The paper will also give an idea of the broad range of sources available for the study of the cult of relics at English monasteries, and show that significant material remains unexplored or capable of reinterpretation

Laura Jacobus, 4th December, 5pm

Faces and Enigmas: maker-portraits by Giotto and Giovanni Pisano

During the later middle ages, the questions ‘who makes an art-work?’ and ‘what is a portrait?’ had no simple answers.  The person who commissioned a work of art could be seen as the person responsible for its creation, and the person we call the artist could be regarded as just one of the means employed to make it. The word ‘portrait’ was not in use (at least not in its modern sense), and images of people were not expected to look like anyone recognisable. Giotto and Giovanni Pisano were two of the most famous artists working in Italy in the years around 1300 and they wanted recognition in every sense of the word. But how?

We look forward to seeing you,

The History of Art Department, Birkbeck

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