Category Archives: Events

CFP: The Spirit of Speed – Culture on the Move in Edwardian Britain

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The Spirit of Speed: Culture on the Move in Edwardian Britain

University of Lancaster, 8th-9th September, 2017

‘Before us stretched the deserted road; we could trace it for miles and miles, a long line of grey in a vastness of green space that faded into blue, rising and falling with the rise and fall of the hills. Then the spirit of speed took possession of us, the fascination and the frenzy of speed for speed’s sake […] We had escaped from the fetters that bind man to earth; we were intoxicated with a new-born sense of splendid freedom; without exertion or effort we lightly skimmed the ground […] We were rushing into infinity.’ (James Hissey, An English Holiday with Car and Camera, 1909)

The fourth annual conference of the Edwardian Culture Network will be held at the University of Lancaster this coming September, in association with the Edwardian Postcard Project. Taking our lead from James Hissey’s 1909 evocation of travelling in a motor car, or H.G. Wells’s equally-breathless sea-bound finale to Tono-Bungay – we will be exploring the ‘spirit of speed’, as represented, reflected, challenged or wilfully ignored by British culture c.1895-1914. We invite 300-word proposals for papers on any aspect of this theme. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

  • Culture on the move: the significance of postcards, advertisements, newspapers, travelling exhibitions, etc.
  • Reactions to new technologies: motor cars, steam turbines, radio, film, etc.
  • Speed and freedom: travel, independence and access.
  • Rushing into infinity: Speed and the representation of time in art.
  • Placing the brakes on speed: antidotes to the quickening pace of life: stillness, slowness and spirituality.
  • Speed and exchange: The impact of Atlantic crossings on Anglo-American culture.

We will accept proposals for 15 minute presentations and panels; we are also happy to consider experimental approaches and poster ideas. Please e-mail proposals (not exceeding 500 words) to edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk. The closing date for applications is June 4th, 2017. Participants from inside and outside academia are equally welcome!

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CFP: Elizabeth von Arnim and Katherine Mansfield – Literary Connections, Friendships and Influences

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“There is a kind of turn in our sentences which is alike but that is because we are worms of the same family.” (Katherine Mansfield)

Recent scholarship on the complicated friendship between Katherine Mansfield and her bestselling author cousin, Elizabeth von Arnim, has done much to shed light on the complex literary and personal connections between these unlikely friends. In spite of their difference in age and outlook on life, von Arnim and Mansfield shared more than just antipodean family connections. Mansfield’s narrator in her early collection of short stories, In a German Pension, bears marked resemblances with the protagonist of Elizabeth and Her German Garden, and von Arnim’s most radical novel, Vera, was written at the height of her intimate friendship with Mansfield. John Middleton Murry dedicated his posthumous collection of Mansfield’s poems to ‘Elizabeth of the German Garden’. Continue reading

Ten Edwardian Paintings at the Yale Center for British Art

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Spencer Gore, Ballet Scene from ‘On the Sands’, 1910, Yale Center for British Art

The Yale Center for British Art – the largest collection of British art outside the UK – reopened this week after a sixteen-month building conservation project. The re-installation of the collection tells the story of British art from the sixteenth century to the present day, while a special exhibition focuses on the collection of the late Rhoda Pritzker, who purchased a wide range of twentieth-century paintings and sculpture. Several works from the long Edwardian era can currently be seen in the galleries, including the ten images listed below:

  1. Spencer Gore, Ballet Scene from ‘On the Sands’, 1910
  2. Walter Sickert, Carolina dell’Acqua, 1903-4
  3. Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell at her Easel, 1914
  4. Augustus John, Dorelia in the Garden at Alderney Manor, Dorset, c.1911
  5. Roger Fry, The Artist’s Garden at Durbins, Guildford, c.1915
  6. Alfred Munnings, Gypsy Life — The Hop Pickers, 1913
  7. Frank Brangwyn, Departure of the Bucintoro, 1910
  8. Charles Ginner, Design for Tiger Hunting Mural in the Cabaret Theatre Club, 1912
  9. Gwen John, Study of a Nun, Seated at a Table, c.1915
  10. Spencer Gore, Cambrian Road, Richmond, 1914

 

CFP: Modernity and the Shock of the Ancient

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Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following CFP:

Modernity and the Shock of the Ancient:
The Reception of Antiquity in the Late 19th and Early 20th Century
June 10th, 2016, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Two personalities fought for possession of his soul, and he could not always keep back the lower of the two. They interpenetrated…something very, very old projected upon a modern screen.    (Algernon Blackwood,  The Wave: An Egyptian Aftermath, 1916)

The ancient world was vital to what it meant to be ‘modern’ at the turn of the last century. Yet antique reception in this period is vastly understudied in all areas except that of classical Greece and Rome. At a time when the looting or wholesale destruction of non Graeco­-Roman ancient sites is creating new public interest in their importance to modern cultures around the world, it is crucial that this narrow picture is reconsidered.

We invite abstracts for a one -day interdisciplinary conference at the Ashmolean Museum on June 10th, 2016.  This conference will re-­evaluate the reception of the ancient past in the late 19th and early 20th century, and its relation to constructions of ‘modernity’.  It will explore the reception of a geographically diverse antiquity – from Greece and Rome to Egypt, Mesopotamia and East Asia – in a variety of spheres including literature, public art and architecture, museum exhibitions, cinema, and consumer goods. As a new century began, the ‘ancient’ was signalling the ‘modern’ in both popular and high avant-garde culture, and was harnessed to a range of (often opposing) political agendas. In the process, a ‘new’ antiquity was born, the study of which illuminates what it means to be both ‘modern’ and ‘Western’, today as much as in the early 20t​h century. Continue reading

Schedule: ‘To show a foreigner England’: Englishness and the Edwardian Landscape

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As noted below, registration is now open for our April 11th symposium, ‘To show a foreigner England: Englishness and the Edwardian Landscape’, organised in association with the Royal West of England Academy in Bristol and sponsored by the Paul Mellon Centre. We look forward to seeing you there on what promises to be a fascinating day. The schedule for the day is as follows:

10.30-11.00: Registration

11.00-11.15: Short introduction

11.15-12.00: Exhibition viewing, with tour by curator Gwen Yarker

12.00-1.00: Lunch

1.00-3.00: Papers

David Matless (University of Nottingham): Regions of Englishness

Jessica Feather (Paul Mellon Centre): Collecting Watercolour in Edwardian England: Landscape and Englishness

Bill Greenslade (University of the West of England): Edwardian Afterlives: Thomas Hardy and Wessex

3.00-3.30: Break

3.30-4.30: Roundtable discussion, with introduction by Ysanne Holt

Two Week Extension: Englishness and The Edwardian Landscape

 

The Blue Pool, 1911 (oil on panel), John, Augustus Edwin (1878-1961) © The estate of Augustus John. Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland / Bridgeman Images.

The Blue Pool, 1911 (oil on panel), John, Augustus Edwin (1878-1961) © The estate of Augustus John. Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland / Bridgeman Images.

The Edwardian Culture Network is able to offer postgraduate and early-career researcher bursaries to speakers wishing to take part in the upcoming symposium ‘Englishness and the Edwardian Landscape’. New deadline: February 8th. N.B. This call for papers is open to those currently working on a postgraduate qualification, or to those who finished their PhD after 2012:

CFP: ‘To show a foreigner England’: Englishness and the Edwardian Landscape

Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, April 11th 2016.

This one-day symposium – coinciding with the exhibition Inquisitive Eyes: Slade Painters in Edwardian Wessex – takes as its starting point the following quotation from E.M. Forster’s novel Howard’s End (1910):

If one wanted to show a foreigner England, perhaps the wisest course would be to take him to the final section of the Purbeck Hills, and stand him on their summit, a few miles to the east of Corfe. Then system after system of our island would roll together under his feet.

Forster’s comment suggests that the rolling hills of the South West should be taken as a synecdoche for England. Taking our cues from this idea – but expanding the discussion to include other regions also – we will address a range of important questions: where was Englishness located at the turn of the century, and why? What made a landscape especially English, or distinctly not-English? What role did artist’s colonies play in understanding and promoting particular landscapes in the national consciousness? How important was landscape to the development of modern art in England? How was the English landscape marketed to audiences outside England, especially the wider Empire? Finally, how did depictions of the landscape by writers such as Thomas Hardy affect visual artists?

Although many of the questions raised by the exhibition are art-historical in nature, we welcome speakers and participants from other disciplines, including literature, cultural geography and history. We have already identified and contacted a small group of established academics, who have agreed to take part in our discussions. These include figures who have written widely on the subject,  some of whom contributed to the 2002 publication Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past, the influence of which we wish to acknowledge. In the thirteen years since this publication, however, research into early twentieth-century British art, national identity and Empire has expanded greatly, and new thinkers have entered the field. To this end, three-four graduate/early-career researchers will be selected to speak at the symposium. To be eligible, you must be currently working on an MA or PhD, or have completed a PhD after 2012. Speakers will receive a £100 grant to support travel and accommodation. To apply, please send a 300 word proposal, along with a one-page CV, to edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk by January 16th.

This event has been generously supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and will be hosted by the Royal West of England Academy.

CFP: ‘To show a foreigner England’: Englishness and the Edwardian Landscape

The Blue Pool, 1911 (oil on panel), John, Augustus Edwin (1878-1961) © The estate of Augustus John. Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland / Bridgeman Images.

The Blue Pool, 1911 (oil on panel), John, Augustus Edwin (1878-1961) © The estate of Augustus John. Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museum, Scotland / Bridgeman Images.

In 2016, the Edwardian Culture Network will take a break from its annual two-day conference. We are nevertheless very excited to be working with the Royal West of England Academy on the following one-day event. N.B. This call for papers is open to those currently working on a postgraduate qualification, or to those who finished their PhD after 2012:

CFP: ‘To show a foreigner England’: Englishness and the Edwardian Landscape

Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, April 11th 2016.

This one-day symposium – coinciding with the exhibition Inquisitive Eyes: Slade Painters in Edwardian Wessex – takes as its starting point the following quotation from E.M. Forster’s novel Howard’s End (1910):

If one wanted to show a foreigner England, perhaps the wisest course would be to take him to the final section of the Purbeck Hills, and stand him on their summit, a few miles to the east of Corfe. Then system after system of our island would roll together under his feet.

Forster’s comment suggests that the rolling hills of the South West should be taken as a synecdoche for England. Taking our cues from this idea – but expanding the discussion to include other regions also – we will address a range of important questions: where was Englishness located at the turn of the century, and why? What made a landscape especially English, or distinctly not-English? What role did artist’s colonies play in understanding and promoting particular landscapes in the national consciousness? How important was landscape to the development of modern art in England? How was the English landscape marketed to audiences outside England, especially the wider Empire? Finally, how did depictions of the landscape by writers such as Thomas Hardy affect visual artists?

Although many of the questions raised by the exhibition are art-historical in nature, we welcome speakers and participants from other disciplines, including literature, cultural geography and history. We have already identified and contacted a small group of established academics, who have agreed to take part in our discussions. These include figures who have written widely on the subject,  some of whom contributed to the 2002 publication Geographies of Englishness: Landscape and the National Past, the influence of which we wish to acknowledge. In the thirteen years since this publication, however, research into early twentieth-century British art, national identity and Empire has expanded greatly, and new thinkers have entered the field. To this end, three-four graduate/early-career researchers will be selected to speak at the symposium. To be eligible, you must be currently working on an MA or PhD, or have completed a PhD after 2012. Speakers will receive a £100 grant to support travel and accommodation. To apply, please send a 300 word proposal, along with a one-page CV, to edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk by January 16th.

This event has been generously supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, and will be hosted by the Royal West of England Academy.