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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!

spiritofspeedcfp

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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.

Enchanted Edwardians Schedule

Alvin Langdon Coburn, 'The Door in the Wall'

Alvin Langdon Coburn, ‘The Door in the Wall’

We are pleased to announce the schedule for our third annual conference, ‘Enchanted Edwardians’ (30th-31st March, University of Bristol). Please see below for details. Tickets cost £12.00 and can be purchased here (places are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment). The fee includes lunch and tea on both days.

Monday 30th March

9.30 – 10.15: Registration

10.15 – 10.30: Introduction Continue reading

CFP: Enchanted Edwardians

thewindinthewillows

We are pleased to announce the title and call for papers for our third annual conference. Please see details below, and share with interested parties! (pdf version: Enchanted Edwardians CFP)

CALL FOR PAPERS: ENCHANTED EDWARDIANS

Third Annual Conference of the Edwardian Culture Network,

University of Bristol, 30TH-31ST MARCH 2015

 ♦

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

Professor Ronald Hutton (University of Bristol) and Dr. Sarah Turner (Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art)

 ♦

‘The Hills are empty now, and all the People of the Hills are gone. I’m the only one left. I’m Puck, the oldest Old Thing in England, very much at your service if—if you care to have anything to do with me’.

Rudyard Kipling, Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906)

Edwardian culture is filled with otherworldly encounters: from Rat and Mole’s meeting with Pan on the riverbank in Wind in the Willows (1908), to Lionel Wallace’s glimpse of an enchanted garden beyond the green door in H. G. Well’s short story The Door in the Wall (1911). In art, Charles Conder’s painted fans evoked an exotic arcadia, whilst the music of Edward Elgar and Frederick Delius conjured up nostalgic dreamlands.

Such encounters are all the more powerful because of their briefness: the sense that enchantment is, as Kipling suggests in Puck of Pook’s Hill, fast becoming a thing of the past. What room was left for fantasy in the modern, scientifically advanced world of the early twentieth century? This conference seeks to explore this question, and to investigate other ways in which the Edwardians understood and employed the idea of the enchanted, the haunted and the supernatural.

We invite 300-word proposals for papers on any aspect of the theme ‘Enchanted Edwardians’, from scholars working in all fields of British culture c.1895-1914. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

 

♦ Art as a process of enchantment: enchantment as a metaphor for art; the legacy of Pre-Raphaelitism and Symbolism in art; the representation, or musical evocation, of enchanted worlds.

♦ Childhood: childhood as an enchanted land; representations and understandings of childhood in Edwardian culture and psychology; Kenneth Grahame, J. M. Barrie and the ‘Golden Age’ of children’s literature.

♦  Enchanted and Haunted Spaces: Britain as an ‘enchanted isle’; the landscape as a culmination of historically enchanted layers; Conan Doyle and the concept of ‘lost worlds’; echoes of ‘Eden’, ‘Cockaigne’ and ‘Arcadia’.

♦  Fairytales and Mythologies: fantasy literature in the Edwardian age; appropriation of mythological stories; Yeats and the Celtic Revival.

♦  Psychologies: psychoanalysis and the dream-world; Freud and British culture; art and interiority.

♦  Science and Technology: new inventions and breakthroughs such as the motor car, air travel, quantum theory, x-ray, Marconi and the trans-Atlantic telegraph; science fiction; time-travel.

♦  Sensuality and the ‘Other’: enchantment and exoticism; the enchantment of other cultures; Omar Khayyam and the Arabian Nights; the Edwardian interest in Chinese, Indian, and Japanese cultures.

♦  Spirituality and the Supernatural: theosophy; mysticism; witchcraft and the occult; ghost stories; séances; theological modernism; the relationship between culture and religion; James Frazer and the ‘The Golden Bough’.

♦  Disenchantment: enchantment and its antitheses; fantasy versus realism; the magical and the prosaic; imagination and pragmatism.

 

Proposals should be sent to edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk no later than December 5th 2014. For more about the Edwardian Culture Network, including previous conferences and events, see www.edwardianculture.com

This conference will be hosted by the University of Bristol, in association with the Edwardian Culture Network.

CFP Reminder: Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes

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History is not like a bus-line on which the vehicle changes all its passengers and crew whenever it gets to the point marking its terminus. Nevertheless, if there are dates which are more than conveniences for the purposes of periodisation, August 1914 is one of them. (Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire)

At the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, how useful is it to think about the Edwardian era as ending decisively in 1914? Indeed, how helpful have conventional boundaries of periodisation been in our understanding of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century British culture?

Rather than viewing ‘the Edwardian’ as a fixed and isolated historic moment, this conference seeks to open up new ways of thinking about the premonitions and echoes of the Edwardian age. Just as the 1880s and 1890s can be interpreted as ‘proto-Edwardian’, so too the Edwardians can be seen to have anticipated many issues and debates of the present day, from coalition governments to trade unions, immigration acts to women’s rights.

We invite papers on any aspect of British culture, based on varied temporal definitions of the ‘Edwardian period’.  Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

•           Proto-Edwardians: how far back can we trace the spirit of the Edwardian age? The Victorians? The Regency? Beyond?

•           21st Century Edwardians: to what extent have the social reforms, political activities and cultural developments of the Edwardian era shaped contemporary society?

•           Between Two Wars: what is the relationship between war and the Edwardians? How significant is it that the Edwardian era is frequently perceived to have been bookended by the Boer War and the First World War?

•           Old versus new: how helpful is Samuel Hynes’s observation that the Edwardian era was one in which ‘old and new ideas dwelt uneasily together’? Was the Edwardian period an unusually heterogeneous cultural moment?

•           Uncanny Edwardians: how did the Edwardian preoccupation with séances, emergent psychological theories, and theological developments, influence their perception of themselves in terms of their historical moment?

‘Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes’ is the second annual conference of the Edwardian Culture Network.  The two-day conference will be hosted by the University of Liverpool on April 10th-11th 2014. Please send 300 word abstracts to edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk by no later than Monday 2nd December 2013.

CFP: Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes

edwardian

CALL FOR PAPERS

Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes

History is not like a bus-line on which the vehicle changes all its passengers and crew whenever it gets to the point marking its terminus. Nevertheless, if there are dates which are more than conveniences for the purposes of periodisation, August 1914 is one of them. (Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Empire)

At the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, how useful is it to think about the Edwardian era as ending decisively in 1914? Indeed, how helpful have conventional boundaries of periodisation been in our understanding of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century British culture?

Rather than viewing ‘the Edwardian’ as a fixed and isolated historic moment, this conference seeks to open up new ways of thinking about the premonitions and echoes of the Edwardian age. Just as the 1880s and 1890s can be interpreted as ‘proto-Edwardian’, so too the Edwardians can be seen to have anticipated many issues and debates of the present day, from coalition governments to trade unions, immigration acts to women’s rights.

We invite papers on any aspect of British culture, based on varied temporal definitions of the ‘Edwardian period’.  Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

•           Proto-Edwardians: how far back can we trace the spirit of the Edwardian age? The Victorians? The Regency? Beyond?

•           21st Century Edwardians: to what extent have the social reforms, political activities and cultural developments of the Edwardian era shaped contemporary society?

•           Between Two Wars: what is the relationship between war and the Edwardians? How significant is it that the Edwardian era is frequently perceived to have been bookended by the Boer War and the First World War?

•           Old versus new: how helpful is Samuel Hynes’s observation that the Edwardian era was one in which ‘old and new ideas dwelt uneasily together’? Was the Edwardian period an unusually heterogeneous cultural moment?

•           Uncanny Edwardians: how did the Edwardian preoccupation with séances, emergent psychological theories, and theological developments, influence their perception of themselves in terms of their historical moment?

‘Edwardian Premonitions and Echoes’ is the second annual conference of the Edwardian Culture Network.  The two-day conference will be hosted by the University of Liverpool on April 10th-11th 2014. Please send 300 word abstracts to edwardianculture@hotmail.co.uk by no later than Monday 2nd December 2013. For more about the conference and the Edwardian Culture Network, see www.edwardianculture.com

Beyond the Garden Party: Update

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As you may know, registration is now open for our inaugural conference ‘Beyond the Garden Party: Re-Thinking Edwardian Culture’. The fee for this two-day conference is only £10, which includes lunch on both days and a wine reception on the second day. A schedule can be found below. Accomodation and travel information can be found here. Registration will close at the end of March, so please register soon! Continue reading