Month: January 2017

Week in Review – 29 January

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First up this week, is the Victoria & Albert Museum’s exhibition Lockwood Kipling: Arts and Crafts in the Punjab and London, a fascinating exploration of the life, work and lasting impact of John Lockwood Kipling (1837 – 1911), an artist, writer, museum director, teacher, conservationist and influential figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. The exhibition includes a wide array of objects, including book plates, jewellery, furniture, photographs, and other forms of decorative art. The exhibition is complemented by the conference The Many Careers of John Lockwood Kipling (25 Feb), and runs until 2 April.

Secondly, I enjoyed Pat Thomson’s post, ‘What does a book proposal reviewer do?‘. Having recently acted as a reader for a press, while concurrently having my own book proposal under review at another, the ideas in this post are something I’ve been thinking about a lot.

I was interested to note two complementary conferences on issues of photography and materiality, the first Photo Archives VI: The Place of Photography (Oxford, 20-21 Apr 17), and the second, Photo-Objects. On the Materiality of Photographs and Photo-Archives in the Humanities and Sciences (Florence, 15-17 Feb 16). As I continue my new research on photocollage, I’m becoming increasingly concerned with the idea of photograph-as-object, something that these conferences also look to explore.

As a keen advocate of academic blogging, I read Jeanne de Montbaston’s post Why do academic blogging? with interest. I find it particularly interesting that so much of de Montbaston’s teaching and research output starts life in the blog post form. I’m keen to experiment with blogging from the early stages of my research process for my new project on collage.

I’m eager to hear more about the newly-launched Eighteenth-century Arts Education Research Network (EAERN), which recently received funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The network ‘brings together an international community of researchers in music, art, literature, history, and dance to share approaches to investigate eighteenth-century arts educational materials‘.

The following conferences, seminars, and CFPs also caught my eye:

CFP: At Close Quarters: Experiencing the Domestic, c.1400-1600

CFP: Beyond Between Men: Homosociality Across Time

CFP: Imagined Forms: Models and Material Culture, UD-CMCS/Hagley; November 2017

Programme: Edinburgh’s Nineteenth-Century Research Seminars

CFP: Mapping Black Mobilities and Identities in the Long 19th Century

CFP: Harts & Minds, Vol.3, Issue 2 (2017) ‘Embodied Masculinities’

CFP: Arthur Symons at the Fin de Siècle (21 July 2017)

CFP: Beyond the Home: New Histories of Domestic Servants (Oxford, 8 September 2017)

CFP: Printmaking in America, 1800-1865 (Gloucester, 28 Oct 17)

CFP: Full Circle: The Medal in Art History (New York, 8-9 Sep 17)

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ECRS – 25 January

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Please join us for the first session of this year‘s Eighteenth-Century Research Seminar series at the University of Edinburgh. The session will present new work on eighteenth-century religion, and will feature Ben Rogers (University of Edinburgh) whose presentation is entitled ‘‘An Unexpected Solution or a Political Imposition?’: Scottish Episcopalian Toleration, 1702-1712’, and Carys Brown (University of Cambridge), who will be speaking on ‘‘A dissembling Harlot for a leacherous wolf’: sexual reputation and religious coexistence in England, c.1689-1750′.

All welcome. Seminars are held at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, from 4:30-6pm, and are followed by a drinks reception. 

You can also follow the series on its twitter account @ECRS_Edinburgh. We’ll be live-tweeting the papers from that handle.

Week in Review – 22 January

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A number of institutions are seeking to preserve the material culture and oral history of last week’s Women’s Marches: the Bishopsgate Institute (London) are collecting placards, signs, and posters made as part of the event, while History Workshop Journal issued a call for contributions for reflections from those who attended.

The following journals, CFPs, and events also caught my eye:

TOC: ABE Journal – Architecture Beyond Europe, Issue 9-10, 2016

Lent term Things that Matter programme

Workshop African Americans and the Making of Early New England

GSA Seminar: Feminist Scholar-Activism and the Politics of Affect

York Summer Theory Institute in Art History 2017

CFA: NEH Summer Institute: Beyond East and West: Exchanges and Interactions across the Early Modern World (1400-1800)

CFP: Journal18 – Coordinates (Spring 2018)

CONF: Early Modern Viewers and Buildings in Motion (Durham, 25 Feb 2017)

CFP: Queer Modernism(s)

CFP: Evidence of Feeling: Law, Science and Emotions in Modern Europe

CFP: Women’s and Gender History Symposium (Urbana-Champaign)

I also enjoyed Will Pooley’s postWrite regularly‘, which provided both interesting reflection on, and practical responses to, this oft-heard advice.

Finally, check out Charlotte Mathieson’s fascinating review of the Victorians Decoded: Art and Telegraphy exhibition, on at the Guildhall Art Gallery

War Through Other Stuff Conference

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I’m excited to be chairing a panel on ‘The Power of Objects’ at the upcoming War Through Other Stuff conference, which brings together interdisciplinary perspectives on war as told through non-military narratives, artistic interpretations, and the material culture of conflict. The programme and further information about the conference is available here.

Week in Review – 15 January

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First up, I’m hugely excited by the programme for this year’s Slade Lectures, which will be given by Caroline van Eck. Eck’s work on objects, experience, senses, rituals and neoclassicism are critical in my own work, but the Lectures are an unmissable series for anyone interested in the history of art. Fingers crossed the lectures will be podcasted, as they have been in previous years.

I read with interest Nathan Perl-Rosenthal’s series on ‘Plotting Revolution‘, for the Age of Revolutions blog. This three-part series considers the complex relationship between history and narrative, something which is also explored in the fascinating Storying the Past project, which will discuss the book The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing (and therefore, issues surrounding women’s life-writing and biography) via twitter in February.

I also enjoyed Anne-Lieke Brem’s post Things that matter(-ed): A biography of anatomical votive reliefs for The Votives Project, which reflects on issues of biography and the changing value of ancient votive reliefs as ‘things’.

I was also made aware of the Association for Critical Race Art History‘s fantastic bibliographic resource this week. Their site provides a number of bibliographies, divided by region, for those seeking to investigate issues of race and ethnicity in art and visual culture. These extensive bibliographies are available here.

As ever, the latest issue of the Journal of Art Historiography provides a fascinating selection of articles, translations and discussions. In the December 2016 issue, I was particularly intrigued by the discussions of ‘Baroque for a wide public’, which seek to add nuance to dominant histories of this global movement.

The following CFPs, CFAs and conferences also caught my attention this week:

CFP: Carnal Canucks, Histories of Sexuality in Canada

CFP: ANTIPODEAN ANTIQUITIES: CLASSICAL RECEPTION ‘DOWN UNDER’

CFP – Nostalgia & Consumer Culture in the 20th Century; SSHA 2017

CFC: The Spaces and Places of Horror

CONF: Coding and Representation

CONF: Trauma & Melodrama: Emotions in the Public Sphere / Conference in Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago

CFP: From Abolition to Black Lives Matter: Past and Present Forms of Transnational Black Resistance

CFP: Photography and the Histories of Working Peoples and Laboring Lives

Finally, I’m excited to see the Glad to be Gay exhibition, which draws on the unique Hall-Carpenter Archives and the Women’s Library collection to mark the 50th anniversary of a pivotal piece of legislation, the 1967 Sexual Offences Act. Glad to be Gay will be at LSE, London, until April.

Design History Society Research Travel Grant Report – The British Library & Strawberry Hill

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Thanks to a 2016 Research Travel Grant from the Design History Society, I was able to conduct crucial primary research for the completion of my monograph, which is provisionally titled Home Ties: Materiality, Sociability and Emotion in British Domestic Space, 1750-1840. It is the first study to focus on the complex relationship between emotion, identity, and the material culture of the home during this period, exploring how the decoration of domestic space allowed contemporaries to express themselves, to show affection to their loved ones, and to construct the homes in which they lived.

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Specifically, a Design History Society Research Travel Grant enabled me to conduct research for three of the book’s chapters, which examine descriptions of interior design in the travel writing of Caroline Lybbe Powys, reputation management and the interiors of John Wilkes’s retirement cottage on the Isle of Wight, and Anne Seymour Damer’s inheritance of Horace Walpole’s Gothic revival home, Strawberry Hill, in turn. At the British Library, I consulted the papers, journals, and correspondence of Caroline Lybbe Powys, Anne Seymour Damer, and John Wilkes, whilst at the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Wellcome Library, I viewed the correspondence of Mary Berry, a close friend of Damer and Walpole. I discovered many exciting finds in archives, including a number of previously unknown portraits, as well as a recipe for shellwork cement shared between friends, highlighting the collaborative nature of such craft practices. I also read many letters describing key elements of the interiors of Walpole and Damer’s homes, which I will continue to think about during my forthcoming research trip to Yale’s Lewis Walpole Library, where I’ll also be investigating the relationship between the two figures.

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The Grant also allowed me to visit Strawberry Hill itself, which has been the subject of a sensitive restoration and was reopened to the public in 2010. Being able to walk through the spaces so lovingly described by its owners and viewers was immensely important and highly evocative, particularly for a project concerned with issues of emotion and experience. The visit also revealed that despite the importance of Damer and Walpole’s relationship, the narratives of queer inheritance and ownership that are at the heart of my book chapter are entirely absent from Strawberry Hill’s current public presentation.

I’m excited to utilise this archival research in my forthcoming monograph, and would like to thank the Design History Society, the British Library, the Royal College of Surgeons and the Wellcome Library for making this research possible.

N.B. A version of this post will also appear on the Design History Society blog.