Sarah Forbes Bonetta (Sarah Davies) by Camille Silvy. Albumen print, 15 September 1862
3 1/4 in. x 2 1/4 in. (83 mm x 56 mm), National Portrait Gallery, London.
My object of the week is this albumen portrait of Sarah Forbes Bonetta, which was used to illustrate the National Portrait Gallery’s event In Conversation: Portraits of the Past: Researching Black Lives in the Archives. Dr Caroline Bressey and Dr Gemma Romain will discuss their experiences of researching images of black lives in archives, before reflecting upon the position of black historical research in Britain today.
This week, Goldsmiths, University of London announced that is was launching the world’s first postgraduate degree in Queer History, beginning in 2017. Perhaps even more excitingly for those of us working on queer culture, the university is also in discussions about the creation of a National Queer Archive.
I was excited to read about the Public Domain Review’s new Conjectures Series, a forum for ‘experiments with historical form and method’. Just like Storying the Past before it, such vehicles provoke important reflection on the discipline of history and what we as historians ‘do’. The first post in the series is Easter McCraney’s discussion of longing and the objects of history, which the editor describes as a ‘history poem’.
Also from the Public Domain Review, Ryan Feigenbaum’s essay Visions of Algae in Eighteenth-Century Botany provides a compelling consideration of the cultural import of a single species of algae: Conferva fontinalis.
I greatly enjoyed reading the fascinating special issue of the open access Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide: A Journal of Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture (15:2), on The Greek Slave by Hiram Powers: A Transatlantic Object, edited by Martina Droth & Michael Hatt. The issue discusses Powers’s sculpture in unparalleled detail, while simultaneously locating it within a number of its cultural contexts, thereby skilfully interweaving the sculpture’s micro and macro histories. I was also excited to see the CFP for the next issue of MDCCC 1800 – the international online journal of nineteenth-century culture – on the ‘Arts on display: the 19th century international expositions‘. Each of these ventures serve to emphasise just how exciting publishing on nineteenth-century art is at the moment.
Other CFPs, conferences, journal special issues and articles that caught my eye this week included:
The CFP for the Heritages of Migration: Moving Stories, Objects and Home conference.
The programme for the Paul Mellon Centre’s upcoming conference Art in the British Country House: Collecting and Display.
The Auricular Style: Frames conference, which brings together research in fine & decorative art histories in order to shed light on the neglected Auricular style. The conference programme is available here.
The CFP for the Refiguring Romanticisms: Cross-Temporal Translations and Gothic Transgressions seminar.
The CFP for a forthcoming special issue of Eighteenth-Century Studies on ‘Empires’.
The William Wordsworth: Poetry, People and Place MOOC, run by Lancaster University in collaboration with Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s home between 1799 to 1808.
The Storify for BAVS 2016 conference, Consuming (the) Victorians.
An illustration of Polyporus beatiei, from Mary Banning’s The Fungi of Maryland.
My object of the week is an image from Mary Banning’s The Fungi of Maryland, a lush volume with 175 hand-painted watercolors accompanied by extensive descriptions. Banning was a fascinating and highly productive mycologist, whose dedication to fungi – as opposed to flowers – marked her out amongst amateur botanists. A short history of Banning’s life and work can be found in Alicia Puglionesi’s article for Alta Obscura.
The Art and Industry in Early America: Rhode Island Furniture, 1650–1830 symposium, which examines Rhode Island-made furniture, its makers and its social contexts, and accompanies the exhibition of the same name, on display at Yale University Art Gallery from August 19, 2016 until January 8, 2017.
The CFP for the New Perspectives on Parisian Haute Couture (1850-present) conference.
James Clifford’s lectures on ‘Museum Realisms‘ at the Research Center for Material Culture, available online here.
The CFP for the Making Memory: Material and Visual Cultures of Commemoration in Ireland, c.1800-2016 conference. The conference develops ideas and expands the chronology of the earlier Making 1916: Material and Visual Culture of the Easter Rising conference, the proceedings from which were published by Liverpool University Press.
The online exhibition Artisans and Craft Production in Nineteenth-Century Scotland. Created as part of the University of Edinburgh’s Leverhulme-funded ‘Artisans and the Craft Economy in Scotland, 1780 to 1914’ project, the exhibition explores both the materiality of craft-making for those working in artisan trades, and the cultural landscape they and their work inhabited.
The CFP for the fascinating-sounding CAA panel, Modernism’s Craft Discourses. The session examines the ways in which modernists have historically understood their own work in painting, sculpture, photography, or collage as craft practices, asking ‘how have the discourses defining craft—notions of process, medium, labor, and reform—contributed to the development of modernist art and its criticism?’ These questions are particularly relevant to my postdoctoral project on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century collage, or, what I’ve previously thought of as collage ‘before modernism’. I’m interested to see how the conversations deriving from this panel colour my perceptions of modernism’s relationship with craft, and how this in turn might inform my own reading of collage before 1912.
The CFP for the Collecting & Collectibles Area of the Popular Culture Association, 2017 conference.
Last week also saw the publication of Lord Stern’s review of the REF, the results of which have real implications for Early Career Researchers. See the report here. Matthew Shaw and Charlotte Mathieson have also compiled an initial bibliography of literature on the review, which provides a list of essential reading on the subject.
As ever, the blog Notches: remarks on the history of sexuality is an endless source of fascination. Claire Hayward’s post ‘Queer Terminology: LGBTQ Histories and the Semantics of Sexuality’, and Ania Ostrowska’s think-piece on the The Institute of Sexology exhibition held at The Wellcome Collection, are recent highlights amongst a wealth of fascinating articles and interviews.
My object of the week is this newly-acquired patchwork made c. 1804 by Birmingham writer Catherine Hutton, now in the collections of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. Hutton also compiled a number of scrapbooks that I’ll be returning to as part of my assemblage project, and I’ll be keen to view the quilt when I do so.
Other CFPs, conferences, events and articles that caught my eye this week included:
The new Women and Gender in the Early Modern World Series from the University of Nebraska Press.
The Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction MOOC.
The programme for the Gendering Museum Histories conference.
The OA special issue of the Journal of Design History on Histories of Design Pedagogy.
The CFP for the The Architect as Active Reader conference.
The Objects of Research: The Material Turn in Nineteenth-Century Literary Studies event.
The CFP for the AAH session Modern Lives – Modern Legends. Artist anecdotes since the 18th century.
The Art History for Artists conference.
The CFP for the Collecting & Display research seminar series.
The CFP for the The Royal Palace in the Europe of Revolutions conference.
The CFP for the Reframing Family Photography conference.
I’m thrilled to have received a Design History Society Research Travel & Conference Grant for my project, From House to Home: Gender, Identity & Emotion in British Domestic Space, 1750-1830. The project develops research from my PhD thesis for publication as a monograph, and explores the complex relationship between the production and consumption of domestic space and issues of identity, affection, gender, and sexuality.
Specifically, the Research Travel and Conference Grant will facilitate the completion of crucial primary research for this project, to be conducted at a number of repositories including the British Library, where I will consult the papers, journals, and correspondence of Caroline Lybbe Powys, Anne Seymour Damer, Mary Berry, and John Wilkes; as well as the Royal College of Surgeons, and the Wellcome Library, where I’ll view further correspondence from Mary Berry.
Stay tuned for more posts on my monograph project as it develops.
My pick of the week is Michael Yonan’s article ‘Materializing Empire in an Eighteenth-Century Lace Gown’ (Textile), which was recently made available online. It’s an wonderful example of how to subject a single object to sustained, detailed analysis, whilst simultaneously situating that object in relation to a number of broader cultural contexts. Read it here.
The Society of Architectural Historians’ H. Allen Brooks Travelling Fellowship
The CFP for the Oscillations of Gender & Genre: Intersections of the Literary and Visual Arts conference.
The conference programme for Showing, Telling, Seeing: Exhibiting South Asia in Britain 1900-Now
The interdisciplinary Romanticism and the Peripheries conference
The CFP for the Collections: Celebration conference
The V&A/RCA History of Design‘s forthcoming event
The CFP for the Art in the British Country House: Collecting and Display conference
The conference Archives Matter: Queer, Feminist and Decolonial Encounters
The CFP for the conference Empire and Colonial Art
Participating in Charlie Goldthorpe’s PhD project ‘Can an artefact be created to store (the memory of) lost love?’
The Summer internship at the Center for Knit and Crochet
The Display, Access to, and Contemplation of Collections in the Habsburg
Court, 1516-1700 conference
The CFP for the Global History of Black Girlhood conference
Storify for The (After) Lives of Things: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Material Culture, AAH 2016
I’ve now Storified our AAH 2016 panel, The (After) Lives of Things: Deconstructing and Reconstructing Material Culture, which is available here. We’re currently working on a publication from the session, so watch this space for details of this as they come.