Week in Review – 26 February

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Victorian hand calling card, private collection.

A slightly belated Week in Review post.

As I’ve noted before, Notches and the Age of Revolutions blogs are amongst my favourite academic blogs, and both present really interesting work in their respective fields. Of late, I particularly enjoyed Notches’ ‘Femme Histories Roundtable‘ series (parts I and II), as well as this amazing post on ‘Disembodied Desire‘, focusing on disembodied Victorian limbs, as seen in the above calling card.

In case you missed me excitedly sharing this on Twitter and Facebook, here’s a Hyperallergic article on Sotheby’s first-ever auction of erotic artworks. I was particularly enamoured with this incredible painted plywood table, a copy after those supposedly held in a secret erotic salon of Catherine the Great. For this and many other fascinating objects check out the auction catalogue.

I hugely enjoyed this article on the history of the colour red from The Paris Review, and was fascinated by this touching article on the epistolary correspondence of two men during the Second World War.

I was keen to watch this webinar on ‘Exploring the Africana Historic Postcard Collection‘, which discusses the African Section of the Library of Congress’ African and Middle Eastern Division’s collection of more than 2000 historical photographic postcards. The collection is an important visual record of Africa and its people during the historically intensive years of European colonialism from 1895 to 1960.

I also really enjoyed Pat Thomson’s thought-provoking post on developing institutional writing cultures. Thomson writes compellingly about the need for rebuilding such collective practices, which is something that strongly rings true for me as a participant in an academic writing group. Thomson’s post was written a few days before my fellow writing-group attendee Lucie Whitmore wrote a post on our writing group for the SGSAH Blog, and they had a lovely synchronicity in my mind. I’m also going to write an update post on my own progress with the writing group at some point soon, so watch this space.

Publications wise, the table of contents for the first issue of the Journal for Art Market Studies (Vol 1, No 1 (2017)), also caught my attention this week, as did this call for book proposals on Gender and Culture in the Romantic EraI was also really excited to see that Joanna Cohen’s book Luxurious Citizens: The Politics of Consumption in Nineteenth-Century America has now been published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. I’m sure this book will become an essential text for me as I expand my research to look at nineteenth-century American material culture.

 The following CFPs and conferences also caught my eye:

CFP: Consuming Gender, Assuming Gender one-day symposium (14 July 2017, Cardiff University)

CFP: Decor and Architecture (Lausanne, 16-17 Nov 17)

CFPFrench and English Rivalries in Dress and Textiles 1700-1914 (Paris, October 13-14, 2017)

CFP: “Emotions, Death and Dying” -PJHS (Winter 2017)

CFP: Queering the Transpacific: Asian American, American and Asian Queer Studies (March 31, 2017)

Finally, I noted with interest that there a number of vacancies on the Design History Society’s Board of Trustees, applications are due by mid-March.


Week in Review – 11 September

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mw66053.jpgSarah 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. 

Week in Review – 7 August

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This week’s object of the week isn’t mine per se, but Zara Anishanslin’s. In her recently published book, Portrait of a Woman in Silk: Hidden Histories of the British Atlantic World, Anishanslin uses the silk dress depicted above as a means to (de)construct and examine the worlds of four identifiable people who produced, wore, and represented it: a London weaver, one of early modern Britain’s few women silk designers, a Philadelphia merchant’s wife, and a New England painter.

 Other announcements, events, courses, and posts that caught my eye this week included:

The recent special issue of the Scandinavian Journal of History on Gender, Material Culture and Emotions in Scandinavian History. The issue contains articles on religion and emotion, needlework, botany, and Chinese porcelain.

The University of Exeter’s fascinating new MOOC Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism, which begins today.

Sean Willcock’s fascinating article ‘Composing the Spectacle: Colonial Portraiture and the Coronation Durbars of British India, 1877-1911‘, in the latest volume of Art History.

The Paul Mellon Centre for British Art’s new public lecture course, The Country House: Art, Politics, and Taste. The course covers a fascinating array of subjects over a broad period. See the syllabus here.

This videoAcademic video blogs: 5 tips for getting started. I’ve written before about enjoying both Ellie Mackin & Emma Cole’s early career researcher vlogs, so it was with interest that I watched this source from I believe that video blogs, much like twitter, can help to destabilise traditional hierarchies endemic to academia.

Alexis L. Boylan’s article ‘Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and the Erotics of Illness‘, from the recent issue of American Art is a gorgeously written, fascinating approach to its subject, Saint-Gaudens’ portrait miniature of the infirm Louis Stevenson.

Lily Ford’s essay Unlimiting the Bounds”: the Panorama and the Balloon View‘, the second essay in a two-part series in which she explores how balloon flight transformed our ideas of landscape.


Week in Review – 8 May

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London’s Outrage punk fanzine

My object of the week comes from Jon Savage’s article ‘Fanzines: the purest explosion of British punk‘, which showcases objects that will be on display in the British Library show, Punk 1976-1978Savage’s descriptions of ‘handwritten articles, stark montages and jagged juxtapositions of image and text’ are highly suggestive of the relationship between the production of assemblage and individuals’ creative responses to contemporary musical, artistic, and literary culture – as appropriate to the construction of punk fanzines as they were to Ellen Warter’s documentation of the Brontes in the late nineteenth century.

Other CFPs, podcasts, conferences and articles that caught my attention this week included:

The CFP for Household Gods: Religious Domesticity in Britain, 1700 to the present day

The CFP for Colonial Formations: Connections and Collisions

The wonderful Women in Book History Bibliography

The call for contributions for the book MATERIAL PRACTICES of ART AND DESIGN 

The CFP for Politics and Poetics of Friendship 

The CFP for Object Lessons and Nature Tables: Research Collaborations Between
Historians of Science and University Museum

The schedule for the Queer Asia 2016 Conference

Alison MacCormaic’s articleCarved in time: the craftwork legacy of the hunger strikes

The latest episode of the Hidden Histories podcast on ‘Unsex’d females’.

The CFP for the conference Place as Archive in 20th and 21st Century Literatures

This conference on Biographies & the Production of Space (Stuttgart, 19-21
May 16)

Week in Review – 16 April

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A roundup of the CFPs, articles, podcasts, and workshops that caught my eye this week:

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The Morbid Anatomy Museum’s beautiful and interesting filmWalter Potter: The Man Who Married Kittens, which focuses on the work of the Victorian taxidermist.

The first episode of the New Statesman’s Hidden Histories podcast, on the topic of ‘The Great Forgetting: Women Writers Before Austen’.

Brodie Waddell’s insightful blog post on ‘Job listings for historians on, 2013-16‘.

The CFP for the Landscape: Interpretations, Relations, and Representations conference.

The forthcoming workshopSnapshots of Empire: Governing a Diverse Empire Everywhere and All at Once’.

The first issue of Journal 18, on the topic of ‘Multilayered’.

Issue 2 of British Art Studies.

PhD Studentship on Nineteenth-Century Women Writers on Western European Art at Birkbeck.

The exhibition Folklore, Magic and Mysteries: Modern Witchcraft and Folk Culture in Britain at Preston Manor.

The latest issue of Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide. 

The CFP for the Archives Matter: Queer, Feminist and Decolonial Encounters conference.

Week in Review – 6 February

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Friendship book of Anne Wagner (1795-1834), New York Public Library.

Another week in review, another favourite from the Public Domain Review. However, I couldn’t help but include the incredible Friendship Book of Anne Wagner (1795-1834), held at the New York Public Library. These ‘Memorials of Friendship’ feature a range of dedicatory passages as well as a number of intricate mixed-media collages, some of which were made by the young Felicia Dorothea Browne (later Hemans). Thanks to its use of collage and affective nature, I’m keen to research the album as part of my new research project on the relationship between assemblage and identity, 1750-1900.

Other things that caught my eye this week included:

The forthcoming Gender Stereotypes in the Long Nineteenth Century Symposium at the University of Stirling.

The On Top of the World world history podcasts.

Two exciting funding initiatives from the Hakluyt Society for the History of Travel, Exploration and Global Encounters.

The Collecting, Exhibiting and Preserving in Museums of Applied Arts in the
Nineteenth Century conference.

The programme for the Photo Archives V. The Paradigm of Objectivity workshop.

This call for articles on ‘Gender in Victorian Popular Fiction, Art, and Culture,’ in Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies. 

Event: Colonial knowledge production: Margaret Tytler’s collection of Indian models, 1815-1821

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I thought I’d share the information about the National Museum of Scotland’s forthcoming lecture on Margaret Tytler’s fascinating yet little known collection of ebony models.  For details, see the flyer below.
Margaret Tytlers Indian models -page-001