Monthly Archives: November 2014

CFP: Elizabeth Von Arnim Conference

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This conference – held on 13th September 2015 – will re-evaluate the writing of Elizabeth von Arnim (1866-1941). Von Arnim’s complex, intelligent and witty novels were critically acclaimed and immensely popular during her lifetime, but until recently they have received little academic attention. This conference aims to shed fresh light on the contemporary contexts of von Arnim’s work and the literary hierarchies and values that have shaped her reputation.

Papers are invited on all aspects of von Arnim’s work and career. Suggested topics include:

  • Contexts: understanding von Arnim’s writing in the context of the fin de siècle, the New Woman, middlebrow, modernism, World War 1 and 2, and women’s writing.
  • Literary relationships with other writers such as E. M. Forster, Hugh Walpole, Katherine Mansfield, H. G. Wells and Frank Swinnerton.
  • Intertexts: tracing the influences of writers such as the Brontes and Jane Austen.
  • Forms: gardening, diary and epistolary novels; music; adaptation for film, theatre.
  • International perspective: the importance of Switzerland, France, Germany and the USA in her writing and career.

Proposals of 400 words for 20-minute papers should be sent to countessrussell@gmail.com. The deadline is 20th February 2015.

Conference organisers: Erica Brown (Sheffield Hallam University), Isobel Maddison (Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University) and Jennifer Walker (Independent Scholar).

The conference will be held at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University, UK. The conference website can be found here.

Event: The End of Empire: Women Artists in Britain and Russia, 1880-1917

Elena Polenova, "Wall Cabinet", c.1880-1890 (V & A)

Elena Polenova, “Wall Cabinet”, c.1880-1890 (V & A)

Art, Craft, and the Fin-de-siecle: Britain and Russia (Part 2)

The End of Empire: Women Artists in Britain and Russia, 1880-1917
Friday, 9 January 2015
Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

In the second half of the 19th century women became dominant players in the art scene in both Britain and Russia. At the turn of 19-20 centuries women in both countries became prominent as progressive sculptors, applied artists and painters. Women’s patronage of the arts was also especially strong at the time – they opened art schools and studios as well as art academies and galleries.

Our conference will look at the aspects of women’s artistic practice in Britain and in Russia at the fin-de-siècle. It has been inspired by the exhibition ‘A Russian Fairy-Tale: The Art and Craft of Elena Polenova’ (Watts Gallery, 15 November 2014 – 8 February 2015), which intends to draw attention to the important role played by women in rural areas within the Arts and Crafts Movement and also as educators and agents of social change. Mary Seton Watts (1849-1938), the second wife of British artist G.F. Watts, and Elena Polenova (1850-1898), the younger sister of Russian artist Vasily Polenov, were almost exact contemporaries. Both women trained as painters, but became leading artists of the Arts and Crafts Movement in their respective countries. Each woman also coupled her artistic talents with a desire to bring about dramatic and lasting transformations in their local communities. Continue reading

Resource: BRANCH – Britain, Representation, and Nineteenth-Century History

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Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following web-based resource, edited by Dino Franco Felluga:

BRANCH, which is intertwined with Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net, provides users with a free, expansive, searchable, reliable, peer-reviewed, copy-edited, easy-to-use overview of the period 1775-1925.  Unlike dry chronologies that simply list dates with minimal information about the many noteworthy events of a given year, BRANCH offers a compilation of a myriad of short articles on not only high politics and military history but also “low” or quotidian histories (architecture design, commercial history, marginal figures of note, and so on).  Since no one scholar could hope to provide a complete overview of an entire century of British society, BRANCH compiles material from a host of scholars working on all facets of the British nineteenth century.  Authors come from History, Art History, and English departments across the world. The site differs from wikipedia in so far as all articles have undergone peer review, copy-editing, and proofing.  Each article also seeks to interpret the events being discussed.  Indeed, many events are discussed by more than one scholar.

Thanks to its site structure, BRANCH offers users an innovative approach to history itself, suggesting that any given bit of historical information can branch outward in often surprising directions. Rather than provide a linear timeline of history from the perspective of the victors, BRANCH wishes provide a history that comes closer to what Walter Benjamin famously termed jetztzeit or “the time of the now,” an impacted history that explores the messy uncertainties and possibilities of any given historical moment.

See more here.