Monthly Archives: April 2013

‘The Miraculous Generation’


‘Potland’ by Joseph Pennell

‘Happily the inhabitants of the Five Towns in that era were passably pleased with themselves, and they never suspected that they were not quite modern and quite awake. They thought that the intellectual, the industrial, and the social movements had gone about as far as these movements could go, and they were amazed at their own progress. Instead of being humble and ashamed, they actually showed pride in their pitiful achievements. They ought to have looked forward meekly to the prodigious feats of posterity; but, having too little faith and too much conceit, they were content to look behind and make comparisons with the past. They did not foresee the miraculous generation which is us’.

(Arnold Bennett, The Old Wives Tale, 1908)

The End of an Era? New Perspectives on Edwardian Art at YCBA

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If you’re anywhere near New Haven this May, I recommend the following:

The End of An Era? New Perspectives on Edwardian Art

Friday, May 10th, 2013, 5:30 pm–7:30 pm, and Saturday, May 11th, 2013, 9:30 am–5:45 pm

This international symposium coincides with the Center’s major exhibition Edwardian Opulence: British Art at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century, curated by Angus Trumble, Senior Curator of Paintings and Sculpture, Yale Center for British Art, and Andrea Wolk Rager, Visiting Assistant Professor, Case Western University. Although King Edward VII reigned for only nine years, he gave his name to an era remarkable for its opulence and its contradictions. This symposium will offer a forum for considering the state of the field of interdisciplinary studies of the Edwardian period. Presenting a series of position papers in response to key themes, speakers will examine why the Edwardian era continues to exert a powerful afterlife and provide new interpretations of the art of the period. Participants will also have the opportunity to tour the exhibition with the curators. Speakers include: Tim Barringer  (Yale University), Grace Brockington (University of Bristol), Michael Hatt (University of Warwick), Linda Ferber (New-York Historical Society), Barbara Gallati (Independent Curator), Morna O’Neill (Wake Forest University), Susan Sidlauskas (Rutgers University), Sarah Turner (University of York), and Alison Inglis (University of Melbourne).

The symposium is free and open to the public. Advance registration is recommended. Register online through May 8. For further information, please contact Research ( or visit the website.

CFP: The Good Solider Centenary Conference


Call for Papers: The Good Soldier Centenary Conference

Swansea University
12-14 September 2013

Proposals are invited for an international conference on The Good Soldier. Long regarded as Ford’s greatest early achievement, The Good Soldier is one of the finest modernist novels in English. This conference seeks to widen our comparative assessment of Ford’s first masterpiece, whose centenary in 2015 will be marked by a special volume of essays in the annual series of International Ford Madox Ford Studies.

We are keen to receive proposals from graduate students as well as established scholars, and we especially welcome papers discussing The Good Soldier in relation to Ford’s other writing: his essays, novels, short stories, poetry, and life-writing.

Connections might be made with the work of other writers who were active in the years before the First World War or who later wrote about that time. The pre-war period might also be extended to include the early years of the war itself, a time, as David Jones suggested, when there was still ‘a certain attractive amateurishness, and elbow-room for idiosyncrasy that connected one with a less exacting past’. Continue reading

Exhibition: The Mysterious Mr. Marsh

The Mysterious Mr. Marsh Exhibition Poster

The Mysterious Mr. Marsh: Crawley’s Secret Storyteller Exhibition

Exhibition Launch Night at Crawley Library, May 9th

This exhibition celebrates the life and work of Richard Marsh (1857-1915), author of a diverse range of genre fiction, but most famous for his Gothic horror, crime thrillers and Doyle-esque detective stories (although unusually featuring a female detective, Judith Lee). Marsh was enormously popular in his time. Indeed, in 1910 Marsh’s publishers felt able to call him ‘the most popular living author’, and his creepy 1897 masterpieceThe Beetle famously outsold its close rival Dracula (also 1897) for many years.

Marsh himself led a fascinating and colourful life. Indeed, the consistent blurring of boundaries between reality and fiction in his personal life (his real name, for instance, was Richard Bernard Heldmann) in many ways complemented the recurring concerns around identity that are characteristic of his writing. Marsh also lived for almost all of his professional career, and wrote his most important work, in Three Bridges (1891-1910, present-day Crawley). This exhibition aims, therefore, to raise the profile of Marsh’s work with a wider public audience, whilst engaging with him as a figure of renewed interest and emerging significance within his local, as well as broader historical, context.

Exhibition Launch Night: May 9th, 7.30pm (for an 8pm start)

Venue: Crawley Library, West Sussex

The launch itself will involve discussions with leading scholars introducing Marsh’s work, performances by members of Crawley-based theatre company Pitchy Breath adapting key scenes from his novels, and a look around the exhibition over a glass or two of complementary wine. It should be a relaxed and illuminating evening celebrating the work of this compelling writer in the town that he called home.

Limited tickets available from Crawley Library or
on-line via:

Exhibition runs from May 9th until August 9th, 2013.

Organised by: Dr. Graeme Pedlingham (University of Sussex)


Part of the Culture Rich project. Supported by the AHRC, University of Sussex and West Sussex County Council in partnership

Beyond the Garden Party: Introduction


‘A Corner of the Artist’s Room in Paris’ by Gwen John (1907-09)

[Many thanks to all those who attended ‘Beyond the Garden Party: Rethinking Edwardian Culture’ in Durham and York on the 12th and 13th of April. The text below formed part of the introduction given by the organisers on the opening day]

This conference is the inaugural event of the Edwardian Culture Network, which we founded in the summer of 2011. Our primary reason for creating the network was the simple fact that it didn’t already exist. One of the frustrating things about working on the Edwardian period is that you tend to find yourself either tacked onto the end of the Victorian era or incorporated into the beginnings of Modernism. Like many scholars in this field, we have found ourselves appearing at conferences organised by Victorianist and Modernist networks, and this raised the question: why isn’t there an Edwardian Network? The strict Edwardian period of 1901 to 1910, or what we’re calling the ‘long Edwardian era’, which spans 1895 through 1914, are years of rich and varied cultural, political, religious and social activity that deserve to be explored in their own right. To be sure, we don’t seek to compartmentalise the period 1895 to 1914 entirely, and it remains vital that there is on-going dialogue between Victorianists, Edwardianists, and Modernists. Yet it seemed to us that it was necessary to create a dedicated space for those working on Edwardian culture to come together and share their ideas: in person and on-line. Continue reading

CFP: HARTS & Minds – Space and Place in the Humanities


HARTS & Minds: Journal of Humanities and Arts – Call for Papers

Space and Place in the Humanities and Arts

This call for papers invites submissions by postgraduate students (MA,
MSc, MPhil, MLitt, PhD) for the second edition of HARTS & Minds due to
be published online in September 2013. Abstracts should be approximately
300 words in length and articles no longer than 6000 words. Your article
may explore but is not limited to the following subjects:

– Aesthetic responses to gallery and non-gallery spaces
– Significant aspects of space within visual representations
– Use of concert spaces, both historical and contemporary
– Topographies
– Solitude or crowds
Continue reading

Collaborators: The Role of Collectors, Critics, Curators in Artistic Practice, c.1780-1914


Collaborators: The Role of Collectors, Critics, Curators in Artistic Practice c. 1780-1914

26 June 2013, Humanities Research Centre, University of York

In May 1884 the art critic Marion Harry Spielmann wrote in defence of the often criticised profession of art criticism: ‘The critic – (I am not now referring to the mere notice writer of daily journalism) – spends his life in devotion not only to art but to artists: and, so far as public recognition is concerned, he reaps his reward in sneers and ‘chaff’: sneers from painters, thoughtless and irresponsible, like Mr Whistler; indifference from others less splenetic and querulous.’ Spielmann, a prolific author, editor and arts administrator, was an advocate for and close friend of numerous contemporary artists. Along with the collectors and curators whom he frequently worked with and wrote about, he was an active and influential participant in contemporary art practice in late-Victorian London.

Relationships between artists, collectors, critics and curators are often considered in isolation but rarely in tandem. Drawing upon a diverse range of case studies, covering a variety of local and global contexts, this one day post-graduate workshop aims to unpick consistencies, changes and crossovers in the sometimes fraught but often productive relationships between artists, collectors, critics and curators in the long nineteenth century. Continue reading

CFP: Upstage, Summer 2013


UPSTAGE, a peer-reviewed online publication dedicated to research in turn-of-the-century (1880-1914) dramatic literature, theatre, and theatrical culture, is seeking submissions for its Summer 2013 issue. This is a development of the pages published under this name as part of THE OSCHOLARS, and is now an independently edited journal in the Oscholars group published by Rivendale Press at, as part of our expanding coverage of the different cultural manifestations of the fin de siècle. UPSTAGE is indexed by the Modern Language Association.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the work of Shaw, Schnitzler, Ibsen, Chekhov, Strindberg, von Hofmannsthal, and their contemporaries in Western and Eastern Europe and beyond.

UPSTAGE welcomes a variety of theoretical and critical methodologies.

We are interested in receiving: Continue reading