Tag Archives: internationalism

Music and the myth of intelligibility (programme)

'Ralph Vaughan Williams' by William Rothenstein

‘Ralph Vaughan Williams’ by William Rothenstein

Music and the myth of intelligibility: An ICE Workshop

Friday 17 May 2013, Wadham College, Oxford

In his 1938 poem, ‘The Composer’, W. H. Auden praises the immediacy of music, juxtaposing it with painting and poetry as arts that require mediation (‘All the others translate’) and reception (‘by painstaking adaption’). Auden’s poem is just one of the most famous articulations of the idea that, of all the arts, music is the one that requires no intervention to render it intelligible across time and space (as suggested equally by Longfellow’s reference to music as ‘the universal language of mankind’). This workshop aims to scrutinise this influential yet problematic myth with a particular focus on the period 1870-1920.


1000            Registration and coffee

1030            Welcome and introductions Continue reading

CFP: Imagining the Cosmopolis at the long fin de siècle


Internationalism and the Arts: Imagining the Cosmopolis at the long fin de siècle

Tate Britain, 5-6 September 2012

This conference follows a series of workshops organised by the AHRC-funded research network “Internationalism and Cultural Exchange c. 1870-1920 (ICE). Previous events have explored different aspects of cultural internationalism at the long fin de siècle, from world exhibitions, to the global rise of the vernacular, and the idea of music as a universal language. This conference adapts Benedict Anderson’s theory of the nation as an imagined community in order to examine certain questions – about the locations, languages and citizens of an ‘imagined cosmopolis’ – which have been fundamental to our enquiry. In particular, it asks what alternatives to nationhood were proposed by artists working at the turn of the twentieth century. What were their sites of operation? How did they use the arts to communicate? And what real and imagined communities did they build to cross national boundaries? Continue reading