Inaugural Symposium – 06/06/14

Details of our inaugural symposium are below! Registration is free but places are limited. Please download the attached proforma, and return to Mary L. Shannon ( Any queries can also be sent to this address.

We look forward to seeing you in June.

1.30pm: Welcome: Susan Matthews (Roehampton)
1.40pm: William St Clair (London IES) ‘Towards a Political Economy of Book Illustration’
(Chair: Susan Matthews, Roehampton)
2.30pm: Brian Maidment (Liverpool John Moores) ‘Comic Illustration in the Marketplace 1820-1840’ (Chair: Ian Haywood, Roehampton)
3.20pm: tea/coffee break
3.40pm: Workshop, ‘Digital Humanities and Romantic Illustration’
Run by Anthony Mandal, Julia Thomas and Nicola Lloyd, and Michael Goodman (Cardiff)
(Chair: Mary L. Shannon, Roehampton)
digitising visual artefacts – working with large image corpora – illustrations and the digital archive
5pm: Open Discussion
5.30pm: Close. Do join us to continue discussions over a drink at Walkers of Whitehall

Getting there:


The Academy’s address is:
10-11 Carlton House Terrace
It is adjacent to the Duke of York steps leading to The Mall.

Tel: 020 7969 5200 (Click to call.)
Fax: 020 7969 530

Nearest tube: Charing Cross (Cockspur Street exit), Piccadilly Circus (Lower Regent Street exit).
Buses: Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square.
Wheelchair access: The British Academy has access for most wheelchairs. For more information please see details of disabled access arrangements.



First Meeting – 19/05/2014

You are invited to the first session of our new Reading Group!

‘Illustration: So What?!’ Reading Group,

5.30pm – 7pm
Monday 19th May,
Fincham 001,
Digby Stuart College,
University of Roehampton,
London SW15 5PU.

First session introduced by Susan Matthews (Roehampton) and Mary L. Shannon (Roehampton). ‘Illustration’ only takes on its central modern meaning (an illustrative picture; a drawing, plate, engraving, cut, or the like, illustrating or embellishing a literary article, a book, etc.) in 1816: its modern sense is a creation of the Romantic period. But this modern sense also marks a limitation and a decline from the word’s earlier history when it carried a sense closer to ‘illustrious’. This Reading Group will throw new light on the idea of illustration: our first session will ask whether we can recapture the earlier sense of light central both to this word and to illumination.

All welcome.


1) OED definition, ‘illustration’ (accessible online)
2) Hillis Miller, ‘Illustration’ (1992): pp. 61-75; pp. 88-111; pp. 146-151 (Contact for a pdf)
3) JMW Turner, ‘The Sun of Venice Going to Sea’ (exhibited 1843), Tate
4) Olafur Eliasson: ‘A View Becomes a Window’ (2013)
(Eliasson’s earlier work, The Weather Project (2003-4), Tate, is here, if you are interested

We look forward to seeing you there.