Economies of Exhaustion I: The Ethics of Academic, Architectural, and Artistic Labour 5 Feb 2pm

Economies of Exhaustion I: The Ethics of Academic, Architectural, and Artistic Labour

Following the UCU strikes in many UK universities during December 2019, which raised pay and conditions as a pressing issue for the academic workforce, discussions of work and labour have risen up the agenda. A series of talks and conversations hosted by Jane Rendell and Peg Rawes, around the theme of ‘economies of exhaustion’, will draw on debates in critical university studies and feminism around care and precarity; as well as ecology, equity and ethics; cross-cutting with university EDI (equality, diversity and inclusivity) initiatives and current responses to the climate emergency, to explore contemporary concerns regarding work and labour.

The first conversation, chaired by Jane Rendell, through the Bartlett Ethics Commission, involves presentations from Igea Troiani, Claudia Dutson, Sophie Hope, Jenny Richards, David Roberts and others, and will focus on work and labour in art, architecture and academia.

Please join us, from 2-5pm on Tue 5 Feb, in Room 6.02, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, 22 Gordon St, London, WC1H 0QBThe Bartlett School of Architecture.

All welcome.

 

. . Category: Archived Events . Tags: , , , ,

CFP: Critical Race Studies and the Premodern – deadline 24 Jan 2020

Call for Papers

Critical Race Studies and the Premodern: Archive and Seminar

Funded by the CHASE Consortium, the Universities of East Anglia and Sussex are hosting two postgraduate training workshops on critical race studies and the pre-modern. The first of these will be held at the University of East Anglia, 23-24 March 2020, and will focus on teaching and pedagogy; the second will be held at The University of Sussex, 8-9 June 2020, and will focus on research. Both events are designed to develop students’ professional skills. We invite expressions of interest from all postgraduates working in the Humanities (giving papers, designing and chairing sessions, attending).

This collaboration seeks to foster dialogue around race in the scholarship and pedagogy of medieval and early modern studies, within the context of decolonising the curriculum. Race is an area of intense interest and concern for academics and undergraduates, but also for doctoral students negotiating questions of race in their own research and early teaching experiences. It is often assumed that the initiative to decolonise universities and their curricula began with activist demands to remove a statue of Cecil Rhodes from the University of Cape Town (in 2015), a movement then rapidly taken up in Britain. Yet whether in explorations of the ‘post-colonial Middle Ages’ (Cohen, 2000) or the ‘darker side of the Renaissance’ (Mignolo, 1995), or earlier initiatives, the scholarly study of earlier periods has long confronted such questions (see, more recently Geraldine Heng, 2018). In medieval studies, following the lead of Medievalists of Color in light of recent controversies, these debates have started. For early modern studies, initiatives such as RaceB4Race are also opening the conversation in the US. Our initiative creates the opportunity for postgraduates to participate in an urgent conversation and to intervene at a critical moment for the discipline.  The events will reassert the importance of the medieval and early modern periods for any understanding of ideas underpinning conceptions of race and coloniality. They will explore how these periods can be taught and researched in ways that inform contemporary debates about the legacies of imperialism and slavery, and the historical construction of whiteness. This will involve questions of the coloniality of power, gender, and ideology, the nature and extent of the canon, critical languages, materiality and curatorial practices, as well as the histories, current states, and futures of our disciplines.

An indicative outline of session topics for each event is as follows:

East Anglia: Teaching Race:

Confirmed Plenary Speaker: Mary Rambaran-Olm

Critical Vocabulary

Decolonising The Curriculum (theoretical, conceptual, historical; disciplinary self-consciousness/history of the discipline)

Canonicity and Anthologising

Decolonising the Curriculum (Practical)

New Resources

New Directions (conclusion, summary)

Sussex: Researching Race:

New Perspectives on Research into Race

Recovering Race from the Archive

Race and Religion

Staging Race

Material Cultures

The Way Forward

Each session will be led by a postgraduate (or postgraduates), with a designated faculty member as support.

If you wish to attend either or both please send expressions of interest, ideas, comments, alternative themes the contact addresses below by Friday 24 Jan. Please accompany your comments with a statement of your research interests. We actively encourage and welcome proposals and enquiries from BAME students.

For the East Anglia event: W.Rossiter@uea.ac.uk

For the Sussex event: a.hadfield@sussex.ac.uk

  1. B. CHASE students are eligible for funding to attend this event: see the CHASE website for further details.

 

 

. . Category: Archived Call for Papers . Tags: , , , ,

Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group: 12 February 2020 12-1.30pm

Wednesday 12 February, 12-1.30pm

Keynes Library, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square.

‘Skill and Narrative Form in Early Eighteenth-Century Adventure Fiction’

Robert Stearn

In this session we will look at how a passage from Defoe’s The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (1719), is treated in an early abridgement of the novel, undertaken for Edward Midwinter by the jobbing printer Thomas Gent, and published in 1722. Readings from these two books will be compared with a brief excerpt from The Adventures, and Surprizing Deliverances, of James Dubourdieu, and his Wife (1719) – a short novel of unknown authorship, published within months of the first two volumes of Robinson Crusoe and addressed to the same world of maritime adventure as Defoe’s fiction. The first of many similar works, Dubourdieu sought to capitalise on the success of Crusoe, while offering an intriguing revision of Defoe’s narrative poetics and ideological investments. A number of the men involved in printing and selling it would go on to publish and – in the case of Willian Chetwood – write further volumes of adventure fiction.

Taking together Defoe’s continuation of his novel, a re-written version of Crusoe, and a newly-composed piece of prose fiction that was advertised as ‘proper to be Bound up with Robinson Crusoe’, we can ask: what might the alternations made to Crusoe by abridgements and supplements tell us about eighteenth-century ways of reading in general, and about critical assessments of Defoe’s fiction in particular? How might the formal choices of Defoe, Gent, and the author of Dubourdieu  – including their decisions about the representation of speech and audience and about the segmentation of narrative episodes – produce or reflect different concepts of skill and practical knowledge? How are these ideas about skill shaped by their elaboration in relation to imagined colonial violence? And, how should we understand the place of commercial and material constraints in all these choices?

Robert Stearn is a PhD student in English at Birkbeck, working on skill and service in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. His thesis draws on a range of verbal and visual sources – visual satire, material culture, life-writing by employers and servants, poetry, and prose fiction – in order to chart the changing shapes of skill and its everyday, non-artisanal and non-professional, consistency.

Readings: if you would like to attend this Reading Group, please email Kate Retford, at k.retford@bbk.ac.uk, to be sent a PDF copy of these texts

  1. Daniel Defoe, The Farther Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (London, 1719), pp. 120-24.
  2. The Life And most Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner (London, 1722), pp. 252-55.
  3. ‘Ambrose Evans’, The Adventures, and Surprizing Deliverances, of James Dubourdieu and his Wife (London, 1719), pp. 1-16
. . Category: Archived Events, Archived Reading Groups . Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies – Programme of Events Spring Term 2020 

Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies

Programme of Events Spring Term 2020

Wednesday 5th February, 6.00 pm. Alison Booth (Virginia): ‘George Eliot Where She Lived: Illustration and Topo-Biography.’

A close reading of illustrations of George Eliot’s complete works after her death reveals a discourse of literary topo-biography (see Booth’s Homes and Haunts [Oxford UP 2016]) that encodes gender, class, and national heritage as well as tourism. We can connect such textual and cultural studies with the findings of mid-range reading, as practiced in Collective Biographies of Women. Short biographies of George Eliot circulated in twenty-seven volumes of assorted female lives, such as Women Novelists of Queen Victoria’s Reign and Lives of Girls Who Became Famous. With the varied methods of textual criticism and digital analysis, this talk draws out spatial and collective dimensions of life narrative, standing back from ostensibly objective geolocation and biographical facts and challenging genre distinctions of fiction and nonfiction. Versions of one woman’s life reveal the circulation of anecdotes and tropes as well as reliance on punctuating moves to new houses, cities, countries, and social circles. In particular, the great woman writer may be placed in the typical provincial cottage or a specific middle-class country house; Dorothea Brooke’s ordeal in Rome may be illustrated with a photograph captioned “A View of Middlemarch (Coventry).” If the Complete Works try to preserve an English Midland, biographies of Eliot among many women can point us toward a cosmopolitan, intersectional reading of representations of mobility and change in women’s lives.

Wednesday 11th March, 6.00 pm. Deborah Lutz (Louisville): ‘Marginalia and Other Forms of Graffiti.’

This talk considers volumes from writers’ libraries that they have marked, autographed, and supplemented with matter such as pressed plants, feathers, and locks of hair. These haptic texts, thickened with time and adaptation, gained singularity, with meaning developing when samples of the real were left behind. George Eliot used some of her books to memorialize—to observe a passing moment, to remember a personal exchange—while in others she wrote comments, indexes on their endpapers, and other glosses of a scholarly nature. Charlotte and Emily Brontë, contrarily, penned diaries in their books, doodled in them, and generally defaced them. This thinking of the published, printed volume as paper with blank spaces inciting script, as a bearer of relationships and memory, as a magical object set in place and time, and as a space that could be inhabited, shaped these writers’ own creative acts. The paratextual for them stretched far outside the more traditional definition of the term, jumping the boundary of the book and the page altogether.

All are welcome to join us for these events, which will take place in the Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square.

. . Category: Events . Tags: , , , , ,

Audio-Visual Practice as Research – Derek Jarman Lab Training Courses

The Derek Jarman Lab offers a new short course: Audio-Visual Practice as Research

This intensive short course teaches attendees how to make effective use of moving images in the context of their academic research. Starting off with a survey of the types of filmmaking that lend themselves to a research-led approach (documentary, video essay, video art, ethnographic film, and digital anthropology), we then move on to a series of hands-on practical exercises in using cameras and editing digital footage. The course includes a range of activities and class discussions, and at the end of it each participant will complete their own essay film. The training is designed to be introductory, and no previous knowledge of film practice is required. Participants work in small groups and learn how to use widely available digital cameras and popular editing software to create visually stimulating and intellectually engaging videos. An integral part of the training is discussing participants’ research interests and how audio-visual methods can be used in the context of their field of work.

The course fee is £400.

Upcoming course dates:

Spring Term

17 January 2020 (6pm-9pm),

24 January 2020 (6pm-9pm),

25 January 2020 (10.30am-6pm),

31 January 2020 (6pm-9pm),

7 February 2020 (6pm-9pm)

If you are interested in signing up, please send an email to bartek.dziadosz@bbk.ac.uk

More information can be found here: jarmanlab.bbk.ac.uk

. . Category: Events . Tags: , , , ,

Georges Bataille Essay Reading Group – Spring Term 2020

All are welcome to attend the newly arranged Bataille Essay Reading Group this term.

For more details please email Chris Milton on: cmilto02@mail.bbk.ac.uk.

Suggestions for essays to discuss in subsequent meetings are welcome. We may move from Bataille’s essays to longer texts in subsequent terms.

Wednesday 22 January 2020

7-9pm

Room 106

The first essay to discuss will be The Passage from Animal to Man and the Birth of Art, which can be found in the volume Bataille, Georges, The Cradle of Humanity: Prehistoric Art and Culture, Zone Books, 2009. Photocopies of the essay can be picked up from Anthony Shepherd  on request.

Future dates:

Wednesday 26 February 2020: 7-9pm, Room 106, 43 Gordon Square

Wednesday 25 March 2020:7-9pm Room 106, 43 Gordon Square

. . Category: Reading Groups . Tags: , , ,

Murray Seminars Spring Term 2020

We’re pleased to announce the details of this term’s Murray Seminars on Medieval and Renaissance Art at Birkbeck.

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.

This term’s papers are as follows:

3rd February (previous date 27/01 has been changed):

James Hall, ‘Embattled Exclusivity: the Aesthetics and Politics of Michelangelo’s Attack on Flemish Painting’.

In a dialogue composed by Francisco de Holanda, Michelangelo launches a diatribe against painting produced in Europe north of the Alps, attacking what he sees as its crowdedness and materialism; its lack of order and discrimination; its sentimentality and its popularity with the ignorant and especially with women. This talk explores Michelangelo’s disparagement of Flemish painting within its rich cultural and political context. His antipathy draws on a historic association between those who lived north of the Alps with the Goths and Vandals who destroyed ancient Rome. Their modern mercenary descendants were still invading Italy, and their artforms – musical as well as visual – had done so too. However, Michelangelo’s main concern was less with Flemish art, than with the fact that it was so influential on Italian artists, including Michelangelo himself. To make matters worse, he was working in the Sistine Chapel, filled with supreme products of Flemish culture, and things were not going well.

25th February: Please note this event has now (as at 18 February 2020) been cancelled   

Federico Botana, ‘A gift for Giuliano di Lorenzo de’ Medici? The Aritmetica by Filippo Calandri’ 

The Aritmetica (Florence, Biblioteca Riccardiana, MS 2669, c. 1485) is one of the most lavish libri d’abbaco (mathematical treatises) that has come down to us from Renaissance Florence. The Aritmetica is illustrated with sixty-five miniatures, many consisting of lively scenes relating to trade, crafts and games. It has been thought that the manuscript was created for Lorenzo di Piero de’ Medici. The evidence that will be presented in this seminar, however, strongly suggests that a member of the Dell’Antella family commissioned the manuscript, and that it was later given to Lorenzo for use by his son Giuliano, the future Duke of Nemours.  In addition to presenting evidence on the original ownership of the manuscript, the paper discusses the contents and readership of libri d’abbaco, and the personality and intellect of Giuliano de’ Medici, which at a young age made him a worthy recipient for such a gift.

16th March:  

Sarah Ferrari ‘Provenance matters: acquisitions of Venetian Renaissance art in Northern Europe between the First and the Second World War’.

This paper sheds new light on the dynamics of the European art market by investigating a group of paintings that were acquired by the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm, Sweden, between 1917 and 1954. The group includes works attributed to Titian, Tintoretto, Schiavone and Veronese, some of which were once part of the celebrated collection of Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689). The paper offers an account of both documentary sources and material aspects, in order to identify the network of collectors and dealers involved, while at the same time analyzing the role of national identity as a driving force in the context of these acquisitions.

We hope to see you soon,

The History of Art Department, Birkbeck

. . Category: Events . Tags: , ,