Modernism from the Heart: Emotion, Sincerity, and the Novel. A One Day Symposium 28 May 2020 

“Modernism from the Heart: Emotion, Sincerity, and the Novel” 

A one-day symposium on 28 May 2020, 10:45am-6:45pm

Clifton Hill House, University of Bristol

Speakers: Derek Attridge | Doug Battersby | Andrew Bennett & Nicholas Royle | David James | Laura Marcus | Kirsty Martin | Ulrika Maude | Jean-Michel Rabaté

Registration is free, but tickets are limited so early registration is advised. Further info and registration details here: https://modernistemotion.wordpress.com/.

Please contact me at doug.battersby@bristol.ac.uk if you have any queries.

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CFP: Richard Stonley Symposium June 2020 – deadline 30 March 2020

Please find attached call for papers for the 2020 Richard Stonley Symposium taking place this June.

Organisers are keen to receive proposals from a wide range of scholars, on topics including:

  • the Tudor diarist Richard Stonley and his contemporaries
  • early modern reading, writing and diary-keeping
  • early modern work, households and family life
  • political and administrative figures in late-Tudor England
  • working with archival sources and engaging communities with early modern cultural heritage

The deadline for proposals is Monday 30 March 2020 and applications should be sent to: stonleysymposium@gmail.com

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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
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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.

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CPRC: Border Blurs – Concrete Poetry in England and Scotland. 5 December 6-9pm

The Birkbeck Contemporary Poetics Research Centre (CPRC) invites you to the launch of Border Blurs: Concrete Poetry in England and Scotland (Liverpool University Press). We are celebrating the launch of Greg Thomas’ fantastic book with an evening of papers and discussion on the practice of Concrete Poetry in both its British and international contexts.

Date: 5 December 2019

Location: Room B13, 43 Gordon Square, School of Arts, Birkbeck University

Time: 6-9pm

You can get a free ticket on Eventbrite here.  

More About the Launch 

6 pm – Welcome and Reception

6:15 – Introductions Steve Willey, Lecturer in Creative and Critical Writing, Birkbeck and Director of the CPRC

6:20 – Greg Thomas, ‘Ian Hamilton Finlay, Albert Speer and the Ideology of the (Concrete) Aesthetic’

6:35 – ‘Exploring Border Blurs’ a Q&A with Bronac Ferran and Greg Thomas

6:50 – Bronac Ferran, ‘Letters to Mayer’

7:05 –  Nicola Simpson, ‘dsh and yantramantra: typestract as poemscore and prayer’

7:20 – Interval

7:35 – Matt Martin, ‘Ports in a Storm: Bill Griffiths’ Forming Four Dock Poems’

7:50 – Rebecca Kosic, ‘Transatlantic Connections: Concrete poetry in the American Hemisphere’

8:05 pm – General Q&A Chaired by Steve Willey

8:30-9 pm – End

About the participants 

Dr Greg Thomas Greg is an independent scholar and recent British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow based in London.

Dr Rebecca Kosick is Lecturer in the School of Modern Languages at the University of Bristol and Co-Director of the Bristol Poetry Institute. She is the author of two books forthcoming in 2020: Material Poetics in Hemispheric America: Words and Objects, 1950-2010 (Edinburgh University Press) and a poetry collection, Labor Day (Golias Books).

Matt Martin is Stuart Hall Research Scholar at Birkbeck, researching the use of nation language and dialect in avant-garde poetry. His own poetry collections include full spectrum apotheosis (Contraband Books) and the dotted line (Gang Press). He maintains the event listings page Innovative Poetry Readings in London (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/cprc/readings).

Bronac Ferran is a PhD candidate in English and the Humanities at Birkbeck working on Hansjörg’s Mayer’s ‘typoems’ of the nineteen sixties. She is the author of ‘The Smell of Ink and Soil: The Story of Edition Hansjörg Mayer’ (2017) and the recently appointed Manager of the Institute for the Humanities at Birkbeck.

Dr Nicola Simpson is a curator and researcher at Norwich University of the Arts. Her interests are in discussing, experiencing and performing the influence of Zen and Tantric Buddhisms on British counter-cultural art and writing. She is editor of The Cosmic Typewriter: The Life and Work of Dom Sylvester Houédard (Occasional Papers, 2012) and co-editor of Dom Sylvester Houédard (Richard Saltoun, Riding House, 2017).

About Border Blurs

This book offers the first in-depth account of the relationship between English and Scottish poets and the international concrete poetry movement of the 1950s to the 1970s. Concrete poetry was a literary and artistic style which reactivated early twentieth-century modernist impulses towards the merging of artistic media, while simultaneously speaking to a gamut of contemporary contexts, from post-1945 reconstruction to cybernetics, mass media and the sixties counter-culture. The terms of its development in England and Scotland suggest new ways of mapping ongoing complexities in the relationship between the two national cultures, and of tracing broader sociological and cultural trends in Britain during the 1960s and 1970s. Focusing especially on the work of Ian Hamilton Finlay, Edwin Morgan, Dom Sylvester Houédard and Bob Cobbing, Border Blurs is based on new and extensive archival and primary research, and will fill a vital gap in contemporary understandings of an important but much misunderstood genre: concrete poetry. It will also serve as a vital document for scholars and students of twentieth-century British literature, modern intermedia art and modernism, especially those interested in understanding modernism’s wide geographical spread and late twentieth-century legacies.

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LRS Seminar – Power and Objects in Portraiture 6 December 2019

Paris Early Modern Seminar & London Renaissance Seminar

Power and Objects in Portraiture

Keynes, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square (am) and National Portrait Gallery (pm)

6 December 2019 – 9.30am – 5.00pm

9.30-13.00 PART 1: Portraits: Manufacture, Meaning and Money

9.30-10.25 PANEL 1: Making the portrait: Images and things

9.30-9.50: Robert Maniura (Birkbeck), ‘What can (Renaissance) portraits do?’

9.50-10.10: Anne-Marie Miller-Blaise (Sorbonne nouvelle), ‘Expanding arenas of influence: Spheres, perspective, surfaces and the painter’s instruments’

10.10-10.20 Discussion

10.20-11.35: Panel 2: Men in Meetings

10.20-10.40: Matt Dimmock (Sussex),  ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls: Robert Cecil’s Portrait in the NPG’

10.40-11.00: Karen Hearn (UCL, London) ‘Men in Black and a Turkey Carpet: Images of the 1604 Somerset House Conference’

11.00-11.20 Ladan Niayesh (Paris Diderot), ‘Evolutions of the oriental carpet motif in state portraits: Tudor to Stuart’

11.20-11.35 Discussion

11.35-12.00pm COFFEE

12.00-12.55 PANEL 3: Representation: Inside and outside the gallery

12.00-12.20 Anne-Valérie Dulac (Sorbonne Université), ‘The Lustre of Power in Nicholas Hilliard’s ‘Phoenix’ Portrait of Elizabeth’

12.20pm-12.40

Mathilde Alazraki (Paris Diderot), ‘Euro-Persian Self-Staging and Feminine Power in Teresa Sherley’s Portraits (1622-4)’

Respondents & discussion 12.35-12.55/13.00

13.00-14.30 – LUNCH and walk to NPG

14.30 Convene upper foyer National Portrait Gallery (to left of ticket desk)

(times include presentations of 10 minutes followed by discussion with the group)

WALK 1 14.30-15.35 Portraits and power: presentations and discussion

14.35 pm-14.50 ROOM 2

Eva Lauenstein (Birkbeck),  ‘‘“Death painted on their houses”: Female lineage and the portrait of Sir Henry Unton’

14.50-15.05 ROOM 2

Béatrice Fuga (Sorbonne nouvelle), ‘Henry Lee’s Fickle Harmony: Of Knots and Spheres’

15.05-15.20: ROOM 2

Nicholas Thibault, ‘John de Critz’s portrait of Sir Francis Walsingham between shadow and light’

15.20-15.30 pm SHORT BREAK

WALK 2: 15.30-16.30 The image abroad: courts, places and power

15.30-15.45 ROOM 4

Clare McManus (Roehampton), ‘Death by Fashion: John Fletcher’s Portrait and the Performance of Gender’ John Fletcher by an unknown artist from c. 1620 (hanging in room 4 – NPG 6829).

15.45-16.00 ROOM 4

Torben Lund (Birkbeck), ‘Anne of Denmark, Royal Consort’

Anne of Denmark (12 December 1574 – 2 March 1619), Queen of Scotland (1589- 1619) and Queen of England (1603-19)’ John de Critz the Elder, Oil on Panel, 1605-10.

16.00-16.15 Lauren Working (Oxford), ‘Anne of Denmark’s Imperial Gaze’

16.15-16.30

ROOM 5 Fanny Morasin  (Sorbonne nouvelle), ‘Anne Clifford’s Ornamented Hair and the Assertion of Filial Legitimacy’

16.30-: Discussion, Tea break in NPG café & free time (NB NPG is open late on Fridays).

 

The London Renaissance Seminar (LRS) 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 academic interest in the Renaissance is welcome and no registration is necessary.

For further information about this seminar contact Sue Wiseman: s.wiseman@bbk.ac.uk and Eva Lauenstein: lauenstein.eva@gmail.com . To join the LRS mailing list, please contact Tom Healy: t.f.healy@sussex.ac.uk. Twitter: @LondRenaissance

 

 

sance

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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’. (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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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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MIROnline Workshop – 25 May 2019: Fran Lock and Simon Coltman

MIROnline’s next workshop, poetry and meditation with Fran Lock and Simon Coltman, takes place on Saturday, May 25th. This is a free event but places are limited. You can book your place on our Eventbrite page:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/poetry-and-meditation-with-fran-lock-and-simon-coltman-tickets-60940146619

Exploring ways to improve focus, access new images and ideas, and turn those ideas into poetry, this afternoon will provide you with the tools you need to use meditation and free writing in your own poetic pursuits. Writing and editing poems will also be of great use to prose writers due to the focus on the lyric nature of language.

The workshop will begin with a mindfulness meditation session and will involve shorter and more focused mediation throughout the afternoon. There will be a series of exercises aimed at generating, structuring and editing poems. Editing meditations will provide the opportunity to view your writing as a reader would.

The afternoon will culminate in a feedback session facilitated by Fran and Melanie. All participants will be offered the opportunity for more detailed feedback via email after the session. Work produced may also be considered for publication on our website or performance at one of our live events.

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