History and Theory of Photography Research Centre – Autumn Term 2019

History and Theory of Photography Research Centre

All events are free and open to all. Feel free to circulate.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019, 6-7:30pm

Andrés Mario Zervigón (Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey)

Fully Visible and Transparent: Zeiss Anastigmat

Room 106, 46 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

In 1890, the famous Jena Glass Works of Carl Zeiss released the Anastigmat photographic lens. The innovative device advanced a chapter in optical technology that seemed to have progressed automatically in a predetermined manner since the medium’s origins. The new lens offered a consistent field of focus across the photographic plate and corrected for a number of additional aberrations at lower and higher f-stops. But why exactly had Zeiss developed its expensive mechanism and what drove photographers to buy it? This paper suggests that the consistent focus and varied depth of field that the Anastigmat provided were not in and of themselves the desired goals of the improvements, but that they were instead visible signals of a pictorial model that makers and consumers had been seeking since the public introduction of photography in 1839. The goal was a transparent realism that remained stubbornly external to the medium, an illusionistic standard that had largely been mediated by painting since the renaissance and was now apparently possible in photography as well.

Andrés Mario Zervigón is Professor of the History of Photography at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. His scholarship concentrates on the interaction between photographs, film, and fine art, generally focusing on moments in history when these media prove inadequate to their presumed task of representing the visual. Zervigón is author of John Heartfield and the Agitated Image: Photography, Persuasion, and the Rise of Avant-Garde Photomontage (University of Chicago Press, 2012) and Photography and Germany (Reaktion Books, 2017). With Tanya Sheehan he edited Photography and Its Origins (Routledge, 2014), with Sabine Kriebel Photography and Doubt (Routledge 2017), and with Donna Gustafson Subjective-Objective: A Century of Social Photography (Zimmerli Musuem/Hirmer Verlag, 2017). His current book project is Die Arbeiter-Illustrierte Zeitung – The Worker’s Illustrated Magazine, 1921-1938: A History of Germany’s Other Avant-Garde, for which he received a CASVA Senior Fellowship (2013-14). At Rutgers Zervigón leads The Developing Room, an academic working group that promotes interdisciplinary dialogue on photography’s history, theory and practice.

Monday 25 November 2019, 2-4pm

Launch of Special Issue of Memory Studies

Ottoman Transcultural Memories

Keynes Library, 46 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Edited by Gabriel Koureas (Birkbeck), Jay Prosser (University of Leeds), Colette Wilson (Birkbeck), Leslie Hakim-Dowek (University of Portsmouth). With contributions from: Gabriel Koureas, Jay Prosser, Colette Wilson, Jacob Olley, Nora Lessersohn, Claudia Roden, Aikaterini Gegisian, Leslie Hakim- Dowek, Alev Adil and Suna Alan.

We would be delighted if you could join us to celebrate the launch of the special issue of Memory Studies which resulted from the AHRC funded project ‘Ottoman Pasts, Present Cities: Cosmopolitanism and Transcultural Memories’. Short presentation of the projection with Q&A will be followed by drinks reception.

Monday 9 December 2019, 6-7:30pm

Charlene Heath (Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, Canada)

To Circulate and Disperse: Jo Spence, Terry Dennett and a Still Moving Archive

Room 106, 46 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

There are over one-hundred high quality colour photocopies, home computer printouts, and digital files of British photographer Jo Spence’s work held in the collection at the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) in Toronto, Canada – the largest repository of her memorial archive. Spence (British, 1934–1992) was a radical London-based activist, socialist-feminist photographer, writer, educator and collaborator whose photographic practice challenged the art world and museum’s fetishizing photographs through conventions such as limited edition prints as collector’s items. Together with one of her primary collaborators, Terry Dennett (British, 1938–2018), Spence founded Photography Workshop in 1974, an alternative archive, research hub and resource centre that grew out of their dissatisfaction with current modernist trends in British photography and desire to contribute towards social change. Easily made and inexpensive, I argue that unlike many of Spence’s ‘vintage’ works now subject to the contemporary art market, the RIC’s photocopies, print-outs and digital surrogates, are a continued manifestation of Spence and Dennett’s political project of prioritizing dissemination and the rhetoric of their photographic messages over and above all else.

Charlene Heath is Archives Assistant at the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) in Toronto, Canada and a doctoral candidate in the joint program in Communication and Culture at Ryerson/York University in Toronto. She holds a BFA in Photography from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and a MA in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management from Ryerson University in collaboration with the Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, USA. She has written reviews and articles for BlackFlash Magazine, Photography & Culture, Aperture Blog, Revue d’art canadienne/Canadian Art Review (RACER) (forthcoming), and Transbordeur photographie (forthcoming). Through an analysis of the now dispersed Jo Spence Memorial Archive, her forthcoming dissertation considers the enduring legacy of political photographic practice in Britain in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Wednesday 11 December 2019, 6-7:30pm

Milene Trindade (University of Évora, Portugal)

Photographic Ex-votos: Images as a votive offering in the Alentejo region of Portugal

Room 106, 46 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

In the 19th and 20th centuries, countless numbers of photographs were offered and displayed on the walls of churches, forming collections that represent local culture and devotion, as well as the history of photography. The research aims to develop our understanding of the cultural heritage value of these collections and the need for their preservation by proposing a guidance strategy for exhibition and safeguarding.

Milene Trindade (University of Évora) is a PhD student in History of Art writing her dissertation on photographic votive offerings placed in shrines in the south of Portugal. The project’s title is ‘Devotion, Art and Technique: Photographic Ex-votos in Alentejo Region from XIX to XX Century’, and it is being supported by the Portuguese National Funding Agency for Science, Research and Technology (FCT).

Friday 13 December 2019, 10-5pm

Photography, Space & Violence: a Workshop

The Cinema, Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

This workshop is focused on photography as a tool for representing places where routine or traumatic violence unfolded. Primarily aimed at post-graduate students, it may be of interest to others. Four programmed talks will be mixed with shorter student presentations from research in progress.

10:00am-1:00pm:

Claire Zimmerman (University of Michigan)

Anticipating images: under construction in Buffalo, 1943-1906

Black and white construction photography of industrial architecture in Buffalo provides an untapped archive of historical information about one of the earliest centres of mechanised industry in the United States. Copious site photography provided a new supervisory tool for architects in the first few decades of the twentieth century, showing scientific management as it entered architectural production, and documenting the routine “violence” of Fordist labour in advance of its unfolding.

Claire Zimmerman is associate professor of architecture and history of art at the University of Michigan. She has published widely on architecture and curated several exhibitions. This term Claire is Birkbeck Institute of the Humanities visiting fellow.

Alberto Toscano (Goldsmith, University of London)

The Quantities of the Past: Photography in the Aftermath of Capital

Reflecting on three recent books of American landscape photography – Richard Misrach and Kate Orff’s Petrochmical America; Mitch Epstein’s American Power; and David Maisal’s Black Maps: American Landscape and the Apocalyptic Sublime – this presentation considers environmental devastation in the light of Frederic Jameson’s arguments about ‘dead labour’ in his 2011 book Representing Capital.

Alberto Toscano is Reader in Critical Theory & Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Theory at Goldsmiths. Since 2004 he has been a member of the editorial board for the journal Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory and is series editor of The Italian List for Seagull Books. A translator of Negri, Badiou and others, Toscano has published widely on critical theory, politics and culture.

+ Student presentations

2:00pm-5:00pm:

Sean Willcock (Birkbeck, University of London)

Photography and the Spaces of Insurgency in British India

Photographs of atrocity sites were a staple of colonial photography in British India.  The aesthetic conventions of the genre shaped the physical and affective engagements of both coloniser and colonised with the spaces of violence. This talk considers how such photography addressed the fraught questions of guilt and retribution that were raised by atrocity sites and their associated politics of mourning.

Sean Willcock is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow in Art History at Birkbeck and writes on photography in Colonial India.

Steve Edwards (Birkbeck, University of London)

Poignant Spaces in Contemporary Photography

Many contemporary photographers have produced projects that depict the empty sites of former violence, notably the abandoned headquarters of the Stasi in Berlin. Beginning from the films of Jean-Marie Straub and Danièlle Huillet, this talk considers photographs as or at ‘the scene of a crime’.

Steve Edwards is Professor of History and Theory of Photography at Birkbeck and Co-Director of the Research Centre for History and Theory of Photography. He has published widely on photography and other things and is an editor of Oxford Art Journal and for the Historical Materialism Book Series.

+ Student presentations.

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Arabic Poetry and Stories in Translation – Life Journeys 8 November 2019 6.30pm Keynes Library

Arabic Poetry and Stories in Translation

A Series of Workshops at Birkbeck and SOAS presented by Marina Warner (Birkbeck) and Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS)

8 November 2019

Haifa Zangana and Wen-chin Ouyang

Public event:

Life Journeys

6:30-7:30 pm

Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square

Tickets: https://bit.ly/36r2Aq8

 

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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’. (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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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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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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Birkbeck Eighteenth-Century Research Group events: Autumn 2019

Lecture: Thursday 17th October, 6-8pm

Professor Colin Jones, Queen Mary, University of London

‘The Duchesse d’Elbeuf and the Arts of Resistance in Paris under the Terror’

The Cinema, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

The recent discovery of a series of private letters to a friend (1788-94) from the wealthy dowager duchess of Elbeuf in the course of the French Revolution is the starting point for a broader discussion of how, in the period of censorship and surveillance under the Terror, individuals strove to maintain freedom of expression and develop a critique of government. The lecture will be followed by questions, and a glass of wine.

Colin Jones is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London. He has published widely on French cultural history, particularly on the eighteenth century, the French Revolution, and the history of medicine. His many books include The Medical World of Early Modern France (with Lawrence Brockliss, 1997), The Great Nation: France from Louis XV to Napoleon (2002), Paris: Biography of a City (2004: winner of the Enid MacLeod Prize) and The Smile Revolution in Eighteenth-Century Paris (2014).

All welcome! For more information, please contact Ann Lewis: a.lewis@bbk.ac.uk

Reading Group: Wednesday 13th November, 12-2pm

Hannah Lyons, Birkbeck, University of London, and the Victoria & Albert Museum

‘Some trifling performances’: Women Printmakers in the Long Eighteenth Century. Artists or Amateurs?

Room 106, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

Hannah Lyons is a Collaborative Doctoral Student, working on the role, status and output of amateur and professional women printmakers in Britain during the long eighteenth century. In this reading group, she will consider the problematic categories of the ‘amateur’ and ‘professional’ in the context of her research.

For more information, please contact Kate Retford: k.retford@bbk.ac.uk

Thursday 12th December, 3-5pm

English Country House symposium

co-organised with the Birkbeck Architecture, Space and Society Research Centre 

Keynes Library, School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H 0PD

  • Professor Jon Stobart, Manchester Metropolitan University: ‘Home Comforts: Objects and Memories in the English country house, c.1750-1820’
  • Professor Abby van Slyck, Connecticut College, US: ‘Raising Royals: The Architecture of Childhood at Victoria and Albert’s Osborne House’
  • Professor Kate Retford, Birkbeck: ‘”A Family Home…not a Museum”: Marketing the English country house’

For more information, please contact Kate Retford: k.retford@bbk.ac.uk

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Coming Soon to the Peltz Gallery: Replaced Lives 8 January – 16 February 2018

Replaced Lives will come to Peltz Gallery at the beginning of 2018. Commissioned by Birkbeck Research in Aesthetics of Kinship and Community (BRAKC), four artist printmakers sharing the same studio created works in the exhibition as a unique visual response to the ‘Replacement’ conference held at Birkbeck in December 2016. All four artists explored one aspect in the drama of replacement—that of replaced lives.

The launch reception of the exhibition will take place on 11th January 2018, 6:00-8:00pm. Please reserve your free place here.

If you would like to know more about the creative process behind the exhibition, come and join us in the Gallery in the Artists Q&A session on 23rd January 2018, 6:30-8:30pm. Find out more and reserve your free place here.

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Murray Seminar: Mary Magdalene in Byzantium – 6 December 2018 5pm

A reminder that Cecily Hennessy will be speaking on Wednesday 6th December at the Murray Seminar at Birkbeck (43, Gordon Sq., London WC1H 0PD) at 5pm.  As ever, the talk will finish by 5.50pm (allowing those with other commitments to leave) and is then followed by discussion and refreshments.  Details of her talk  are below, and we hope to see you there.

Mary Magdalene in Byzantium

While Mary Magdalene’s relics were housed from about 900 in a most splendid church built by Leo VI in Constantinople, she is often thought to be an insignificant saint in the east, although several indications suggest a more complex situation. This paper examines the Early Christian and Byzantine imagery of Mary, explores some eastern texts that contributed to forming her identity and endeavours to understand why the two traditions, east and west, are so distinct. 

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