Guest Lecture: ‘A Private Space as Visual Text in 17th-century England’ University of Tampa, FL.

‘Never less alone than when alone’ 
A Private Space as Visual Text in 17th-century England

Guest Lecture
with Digital Images & Display Table
Sunday, October 19th, 2014. 1:30pm
University of Tampa Library, Room 203. Tampa, FL.
(Some traffic rerouting on West Kennedy Blvd.)

Professor Heather Meakin
University of South Florida-Tampa
Department of English.

Hosted by the Florida Bibliophile Society

Professor Meakin will speak on her recent book, The Painted Closet of Lady Anne Bacon Drury (Ashgate, 2013), an extraordinary subject engaging art installation, women and the visual arts, and the specialness of private space in the design and use of the early-modern home.

For particulars & illustrated poster see:

Event Initiated & Coordinated by Maureen E. Mulvihill
Princeton Research Forum, Princeton NJ.

CFP: ‘James Gillray@200: Caricaturist without a Conscience?’ Oxford, March 2015

James Gillray@200: Caricaturist without a Conscience?

The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford & New College, Oxford present:
A one-day symposium to be held at the Ashmolean Museum
Saturday 28 March 2015

CFP deadline: 15 November 2014

Programme will be announced: 21 November 2014

James Gillray’s reputation in the two centuries since his death has been as varied and layered as his prints. Trained at the Royal Academy, he failed at reproductive printmaking, yet became, according to the late-eighteenth-century Weimar journal London und Paris, one of the greatest European artists of the era. Napoleon, from his exile on St Helena, allegedly remarked that Gillray’s prints did more to run him out of power than all the armies of Europe. In England, patriots had hired him to propagandize against the French and touted him as a great national voice, but he was an unreliable gun-for-hire. At a large public banquet, during the heat of anti-Revolutionary war fever, he even raised a toast to his fellow artist, the regicide, Jacques-Louis David. Gillray produced a highly individual, highly schooled, and often outlandish body of work with no clear moral compass that undermines the legend of the caricaturist as the voice and heart of the people, so that the late Richard Godfrey described him as a caricaturist without a conscience. Following 2001 and 2004 retrospectives in London and New York, and fuelled by scholarship of a new generation of thinkers, our era’s Gillray is just now coming into focus.

To commemorate the 200th anniversary of Gillray’s death, and in conjunction with the Ashmolean Museum’s exhibition, Love Bites: Caricatures of James Gillray (26 March-21 June 2015), based on New College’s outstanding collection, we are organising a one-day conference at the Ashmolean Museum to hear and see the latest Gillray scholarship.

We seek proposals for papers that address any aspect of Gillray’s work or that consider artistic duty or purposeful negligence of duty in the period around 1800. Comparative, formal, contextual, and theoretical approaches to Gillray and our theme are all welcome. Proposals should be a maximum of 200 words and be accompanied by a short biographical statement.

Organised by Todd Porterfield, Université de Montréal; Martin Myrone, Tate Britain; and Michael Burden, New College, Oxford; with Ersy Contogouris, Université de Montréal.

All enquiries should be addressed initially to the New College Dean’s Secretary, Jacqui Julier,, to whom all abstracts should be submitted by:
15 November 2014

The programme will be announced on 21 November 2014.

CFP: “Illustration and Gender,” Special Issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies, Deadline: March 15, 2015

In Reading Victorian Illustration, 1855-1875 (Ashgate 2012), Paul Goldman calls for an “enlargement” of illustration studies; “[t]he breadth and depth of what exists and remains relatively unexplored is staggering” (15). In response to Goldman’s call and the increasing critical interest in nineteenth-century illustration, brought about by better digital access and the digitization of obscure materials, we are devoting the summer 2015 special issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies to the topic “Illustration and Gender.”

The mechanization of print during the nineteenth century led to the proliferation of illustrations that generated cultural and aesthetic ideals and changed social perceptions on issues of identity such as race, nationality, class, and gender. Illustrations filled Victorian print culture, and accompanied novels in both serial and book form. British illustrated newspapers (The Illustrated London News and Illustrated Police News), advertisements (Pear’s Soap), satirical publications (Punch and Fun), and children’s literature, all served to foreground visual culture, ultimately redefining it. The intersection of illustration studies and gender studies occurred not only within the illustrations that accompanied nineteenth-century texts but also outside of them. Although illustrators of the period were largely male, there were several skilled female illustrators including the well-known artists Kate Greenaway and Beatrix Potter, as well as the lesser known Amy Sawyer, Mabel Lucie Attwell, Elinor Darwin, and Edith Holden.

Illustrations are complex and never synesthetic versions of written texts. They adapt texts by including their own content and exist on the unstable ground between written and visual signs. Combining aspects of art history, cultural studies, media studies and print history, illustration studies are innately interdisciplinary and an increasingly influential subset of visual-culture studies. This special issues seeks to advance not only an understanding of the relationships between illustration studies and gender studies but also ways in which digitization, including such resources as NINEs, Google Books, and Internet Archive, have increased both awareness of and access to nineteenth-century illustrations. We welcome articles reflecting interdisciplinary approaches and international perspectives on illustration and gender studies. We hope to address a variety of possible topics including but not limited to:

Studies of female illustrators of the period

Critical histories of illustrators marked by gender and sexuality

Depictions of gender, race, sexuality, and/or class in illustrated literary works

Depictions of gender, race, sexuality, and/or class in illustrated advertisements

Illustration and gender in periodical publications

Illustration and gender in the novel

Illustration and gender in poetry

Illustration and gender in the fin-de-siècle

The influence of scientific theories and discoveries (phrenology, evolution, ethnography) on illustration and gender

Avenues opened up by the digital humanities for visualizing gender in Victorian culture.

Please send articles of 5-8,000 words to both the guest editors, by March 15, 2015 (earlier submission is encouraged). Adhere to MLA style, using endnotes rather than footnotes.

Please include a coversheet that includes your contact information and a short (100-150 word) bio with your article submission. Please contain all identifying information to the coversheet.

Feel free contact us at the email addresses listed below with any questions or concerns.

We look forward to reading your submissions!

Kate Holterhoff, Carnegie Mellon University,

Dr. Nicole Lobdell, Georgia Institute of Technology,

Blake Archive: publication of searchable electronic edition of Blake’s illustration to Gray

The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of a fully searchable electronic edition of Blake’s 116 water color illustrations to Thomas Gray’s poems. The Archive first published these designs in April 2005 in our Preview mode. This republication substantially increases the number and range of Blake’s pictorial motifs available for searching on the Archive.

The designs for Gray’s poems are among Blake’s major achievements as an illustrator. They were commissioned in 1797 by Blake’s friend, the sculptor John Flaxman, as a gift for his wife Ann, to whom Blake addressed the poem that ends the series. The commission may have been inspired by the Flaxmans’ seeing Blake’s water color designs to Edward Young’s Night Thoughts, begun in 1795. The Gray illustrations follow the same basic format. Blake cut windows in large sheets of paper and mounted in these windows the texts of Gray’s poems from a 1790 letterpress edition. Blake then drew and colored his designs surrounding the printed texts. Although listed by William Michael Rossetti in his catalogue of Blake’s drawings and paintings, published in the 1863 and 1880 editions of Alexander Gilchrist’s Life of William Blake, the Gray illustrations were virtually unknown until their rediscovery by Herbert Grierson in 1919. They are now among the Blake treasures at the Yale Center for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut.
Illustrations to Gray's Poems, object 55, "The Bard"

Illustrations to Gray’s Poems, object 55, “The Bard”

Blake’s illustrations respond to Gray’s poems in a variety of ways, but always with respect for the specifics in the text. Many motifs are visualizations of Gray’s metaphoric images. The Gray illustrations share iconographic and stylistic similarities with the Night Thoughts designs; both series are indebted to the pictorial imagery Blake developed in his illuminated books of the early- and mid-1790s. For the more comic passages in Gray’s poems, Blake deployed a broad, almost caricature-like style. Many of the designs emphasize the imagination at work in the world through inspired acts of reading, writing, and performing music.

As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no access restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is made possible by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the University of Rochester, the continuing support of the Library of Congress, and the cooperation of the international array of libraries and museums that have generously given us permission to reproduce works from their collections in the Archive.
Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Joseph Fletcher, project manager, Michael Fox, technical editor
The William Blake Archive