Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following title:
The Edwardian era is often romanticised as a tranquil period of garden parties and golden afternoons in which everyone knew their place and nobody questioned the order of things. The reality, however, was quite different. The years between 1901 and 1914 were a highly turbulent period of intense social conflict marked by a heightened awareness of class consciousness, inequality and poverty. The increasing mobilisation of the lower classes and women was often countered with violent means while anybody considered the ‘other’ – immigrants, lunatics, the poor, homosexuals – became the target of widespread discrimination. For many of these groups, the only way to fight back was through writing, which they used to voice resistance and contest traditional power structures.
Rebellious Writing: Contesting Marginalisation in Edwardian Britain brings together the work of scholars across the world to explore the ordinary writing of marginalised groups in Edwardian Britain (1901–14) and how it could be used to carry out acts of creative disobedience that challenged the inequalities and injustices of early twentieth-century society. In recent years, ordinary writing – ubiquitous writing that is part of everyday life, yet is often invisible or transitory in the sense of discardable – has been explored predominantly within two research traditions: New Literacy Studies and ‘New’ History from Below. Although these two traditions have overlapping aims and share similarities in terms of their ethnographic and ethnohistorical methodologies, there has been little interconnection between them. This volume aims to open up a dialogue between New Literacy Studies and ‘New’ History from Below by presenting twelve chapters that are united in their focus on ordinary writing used by disenfranchised Edwardians, yet ground themselves in a range of disciplines, methodologies and theoretical concepts from history, linguistics and literature to politics, cultural studies and art. Through an exploration of such material artefacts as postcards, diary entries, pamphlets and book inscriptions, Rebellious Writing will unearth voices that have been silent throughout history, transmitting new narratives on such important issues as suffragism, Irish nationalism, the labour movement and pauper insanity.
As visitors will have noticed, the Edwardian Culture Network has been very quiet over the last few months. This is partly due to the fact that the founders of the network have been very busy, and it has been difficult to organise events, let alone keep the website updated. We have also been considering how best to take the network forward over the next few years.
These discussions are ongoing, and we thank you all for your patience. We very much hope to be able to host a conference next year. In the meantime, we may be making changes to the website. Do e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Kipling and John Bull, Westminster Gazette, 30 July 1900
17-18 April 2020
City, University of London
Supported by the Kipling Society
Returning to the imperial metropolis as a young writer recently graduated from his apprenticeship on Indian newspapers, Rudyard Kipling began to consolidate his literary career in London as a late Victorian man of letters. As he wrote his verses and stories, he did so ‘with a daily paper under my right elbow’, wielding this symbol of journalism as a talisman of his writerly authority. And understandably so; Kipling owed much to his years on the Lahore Civil and Military Gazette and the Allahabad Pioneer, where he had documented the daily routines, social stratifications, and political tensions of colonial India under the rule of the Raj. His experience as a journalist and colonial correspondent honed his distinctive, concise prose style, and it is this pithiness that accounts for his enduring legacy in the twenty-first century as a writer often in support of – but also sometimes critical of – first British and then US Empires. Continue reading →
We are pleased to announce that Edwardian Culture: Beyond the Garden Party was published by Routledge today. It is the sixth book in the series Among the Victorians and the Modernists and contains fourteen essays and an afterword. The book is available directly from the publisher here. For more details see below.
Edwardian scholars may be interested in the following exhibitions at the Sainsbury Centre, both exploring aspects of pre- and post-WW1 culture in Russia:
In October 2017, to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts will stage two major exhibitions contrasting art, life and culture in Russia before and after the Revolution.
The first exhibition, Royal Fabergé, will explore the glittering saga of the world’s greatest artist-jewellers during the decades preceding the First World War. The second, Radical Russia, will show how avant-garde artists – who had scandalised conservative society with outrageous and subversive painting, poetry and theatre – came with revolution to briefly become the State’s officially approved culture. Ultimately both high points of human artistry were to be laid low by horror and terror.
The Sainsbury Centre’s Russia Season will be completed by the permanent installation of the dramatic model of Tatlin’s Tower conceived as the most iconic architectural project of the Soviet era, though never built. With an immense impact on subsequent architects and designers, not least the architects of the University of East Anglia, the 10-metre tower will now rise in the sculpture park alongside the Sainsbury Centre.
The Edwardian Culture Network is pleased to announce that our fourth annual conference will be taking place in the autumn of 2017. It will be titled The SpiritofSpeed: Culture on the Move in Edwardian Britain, and will be in collaboration with the Edwardian Postcard Project, based at Lancaster University. Further details, including a CFP, will follow later this year.
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:
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 20th century. Continue reading →
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:
11.00-11.15: Short introduction
11.15-12.00: Exhibition viewing, with tour by curator Gwen Yarker
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
3.30-4.30: Roundtable discussion, with introduction by Ysanne Holt
We are pleased to announce that 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. Tickets cost a mere £6.00, and include a light lunch. The day will start at 10.30 and run until 4.30. Speakers include Professor David Matless (author of Landscape and Englishness) and Professor Ysanne Holt (author of British Artists and the Modernist Landscape). There will also be an exhibition tour with the curator, Gwen Yarker.
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 a cue from this idea – but expanding the discussion to include other regions also – the symposium 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?
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