The RIN book, Romanticism and Illustration ed. Haywood, Matthews and Shannon is out!
Thank you to our wonderful contributors, and to CUP for producing such an elegant tome.
To celebrate, we are inviting everyone to the Book Launch: this will take place at the Wine Reception at the end of the inaugural event of the GWM Reynolds Society. Please come along and have a drink with us to celebrate both the launch of Romanticism and Illustration, and the launch of this new literary society!
Date: Tuesday July 23rd, 2019
Time: 6pm onwards
Location: City of Westminster Archives Centre, 10 St. Anne’s Street, London
Poster with full details below:
Illustration Studies: New Approaches, New Directions
The Sixth ILLUSTR4TIO Conference
22-24 April 2020
Luisa Calè (Birkbeck, University of London)
Julia Thomas (Cardiff University)
Co-organisers: Christina Ionescu (Mount Allison University, Canada) and Ann Lewis (Birkbeck, University of London)
Illustration Studies has, in recent years, emerged as a new and vibrant discipline with its own journals, book series, conferences, websites, and research networks. The renewed interest and dynamic research in this field of study follows a period of long neglect by scholars, resulting from the uncertain cross-medial status of illustration and its position between disciplines. Indeed, the frontiers of this discipline remain nebulous and its terminology, key issues, and critical methods are in need of re-evaluation. By its very nature, illustration opens up a number of fundamental questions regarding the relation between text and image, the illustrated book and visual culture, artistry and reproduction.
Is illustration by definition text-inspired and connected to a material book? Can its images also be considered within a uniquely visual field of reference and how does this affect its signifying potential? Should one consider illustration as a form of adaptation? Do theorists, scholars, practitioners, and educators share the same view of illustration? Does the art of illustration deserve more scholarly recognition across disciplines than its utilitarian and commercial products (and how has this changed over time)? Embedded in a context of production and connected to a text to a variable degree, illustration is a medium with its own conventions, traditions, and signifying practices that currently requires in-depth and interdisciplinary reconsideration as an object of study. A re-evaluation of illustration as a medium and of Illustration Studies as a discipline must also take into account new directions in the training that illustrators-to-be receive. All of these questions can be understood historically – so the idea of ‘New Directions’ can be addressed in respect of the contemporary state of Illustration Studies – but also in terms of significant shifts in the way that illustration has been understood and approached in other periods.
Papers that propose a reassessment of illustration across different fields of research, that theorise interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches, or that chart new directions in Illustration Studies, are of particular interest to the conference organisers. Avenues for reflection include, but are not limited to, fresh perspectives on:
- key concepts in the theory and practice of illustration (including its changing relation to notions of intermediality, intervisual paradigms, and adaptation);
- the evolving place of illustration (in the history of the book, in the history of art, in the study of visual culture, in literary studies, and/or in the digital humanities);
- the question of illustration in different genres and media;
- the changing relation of text and image in illustration: issues of hierarchy, fidelity, intertextuality and intericonicity;
- the impact of new technologies (contemporary and in the past) on the practice and reception of different forms of illustration;
- practical applications: e.g. illustration as a means of branding and consumer studies, pedagogical uses of illustration, or the professional training of the illustrator today;
- illustration in the global context, in different national cultures, or as a cross-cultural force.
In keeping with Illustr4tio’s aim to animate a dialogue between practitioners and critics, proposals are invited from illustrators, authors, printmakers, publishers, curators, collectors, and researchers. Papers can be presented in English or French. Proposals (500 words), accompanied by a bio-bibliographical note (100-150 words), should be sent to Christina Ionescu (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Ann Lewis (email@example.com) by March 15, 2019. (An early decision can be made upon request to support applications for conference travel.) The publication of a selection of revised papers is envisaged.
Sophie Aymes (Université de Bourgogne)
Nathalie Collé (Université de Lorraine)
Brigitte Friant-Kessler (Université de Valenciennes)
Christina Ionescu (Mount Allison University)
Maxime Leroy (Université de Haute Alsace)
Ann Lewis (Birkbeck, University of London)
RIN members familiar with Jahn Holljen Thon and his works will be saddened by the news of his passing. The following obituary was written by David Skilton.
Jahn Holljen Thon
We are sad to announce the recent death of Jahn Holljen Thon, who held a chair at Agder University in Kristiansand, Norway, and was Norway’s most innovative researcher in the field of illustrated literature. He was earlier the main cultural critic for left-wing newspaper, and it may be the fact that he did not fit neatly into the inherited academic disciplines that enabled him to pay attention to previously undervalued cultural phenomena such as Scandinavian verbal-visual works. He came to Illustration Studies via an interest in Norwegian works of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and, like many of us, found that general pronouncements on how illustration functions were simply not adequate in relation to his challenging material. He made contact with the group at Cardiff University responsible for the Database of Mid-Victorian Illustration, when it was running a series of workshops in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum under the title of LICAU, Literary Illustration: Conservation, Access, Use. He generously provided funding for the workshops to continue at Lampeter and Kristiansand for a few more years. Meanwhile he encouraged colleagues to research illustration in many fields, from Saami poetry from the far North of Norway, to verbal-visual poetry combining English and Scandinavian “text”. His weightiest contribution to Illustration Studies is a book entitled Talende Linje or “Speaking Lines”, in which he examines three early Norwegian printed books – early, that is, in terms of the development of Norwegian publishing – and he attempts to steer scholars towards what he elsewhere calls “a third way”, overriding modes of analysis which make the visual secondary to the verbal or vice versa. He also wrote persuasively on two of Norway’s greatest writers, Ludvig Holberg and Henrik Wergeland, and was for many years the prime mover in the Wergeland Society. His book Wergeland for Framtiden (“Wergeland for the Future”) was published in 2018. He delivered his last manuscript to his publisher only days before his death. We should remember him for his contribution in the previously neglected field of Norwegian Illustration Studies.
RIN’s Mary Shannon will present her new work on 19th-century Newman Street in a special Nineteenth Century Studies Seminar on November 2nd.
In the early-nineteenth century and into the 1840s, London’s Newman Street (just off Oxford Street) was popularly known as ‘Artists’ Street’ because of its intense concentration of artistic residents. Many significant names of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth century art world had addresses there: Thomas Stothard, Benjamin West, and James Heath, and other members and associate members of the Royal Academy. Alongside them were the homes and studios of less well-known artists who worked in many different media: sculptors, engravers, portrait painters and animal painters. Of the artists of Newman Street, a significant proportion worked on book illustration or literary subjects, or had close connections to famous nineteenth-century literary figures. They collaborated with, socialised with, and employed one another. They also dealt with other businesses on Newman Street, including the printers McQueen and Co., and the Hering family bookbinders. This talk will focus on the networks of ‘Artists’ Street’ and the surrounding parish of Marylebone, and use methodologies from cultural geography to show how interactions between art and literature played out on the ground in the print culture and visual culture of the early nineteenth-century.
Also presenting at the seminar are Professor Julia Thomas (Cardiff), Dr Luisa Calè (Birkbeck), and Dr Bethan Stevens (Sussex).
Organised between the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth–Century Studies and Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, this two-day symposium will include an opportunity to tour the exhibition ‘Christina Rosetti: Vision and Verse’ at Watts Gallery and a launch of the new digital edition of Goblin Market edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra and Anthony Harrison.
Professor Lorraine Janzen Kooistra (Ryerson University) and Professor Antony H. Harrison (North Carolina State University): ‘Visualizing Christina Rossetti’s Poetry in Print, Pigment, and Pixel’
Christina Rossetti’s (1830-1894) poetry has inspired visual artists since it first began to be published in the 1840s. Artists who made designs to accompany her poetry in illustrated books include her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Frederick Sandys, Arthur Hughes, Laurence Housman and later Florence Harrison, Lucien Pissarro and Charles Ricketts. Those who engraved these designs include the prolific Dalziel Brothers firm and Joseph Swain.
This Autumn Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village will hold the exhibition ‘Christina Rossetti: Vision and Verse’, which is accompanied by a new publication Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art (edited by Dr Susan Owens and Dr Nicholas Tromans, Yale University Press). To coincide with the exhibition, this two-day symposium will bring together established and emerging scholars in the field to examine Rossetti’s work in the context of the mid-nineteenth-century illustrated poetry book. How did poets collaborate with publishers and artists in the production of illustrated poetry books? What role does ornament play in the formation of meaning? How did women poets work with illustrators and publishers?
We welcome proposals for papers and will be particularly interested in the following topics:
• The Pre-Raphaelite Illustrated Poetry Book
• The Illustrated Decadent Book
• The Illustrated Poetry Book in the Digital Age
• In the engravers’ workshop: The Dalziel Brothers and the Illustrated Poetry Book
• Ornament, Colour, and Lines: the Visual Culture of Poetry
• Poetry as Collaboration
• Women Poets and Women Illustrators
• Christina Rossetti as a visual artist
• Christina Rossetti and the Ut Pictura Poesis Tradition
• Christina Rossetti, Illustrated.
Abstracts of 350 words and biographies of no more than 100 words should be sent to Tessa Kilgarriff at firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 1 October 2018. Papers should be 20 minutes in length.
Four postgraduate bursaries are available. Each bursary will cover registration for both days and up to £60 towards travel expenses. To apply for a bursary please send a two-page CV and a 300 word supporting statement in addition to your abstract and biography. In the 300 word statement, applicants should explain the reasons why they are seeking financial sponsorship and how attendance at Rossetti and the Illustrated Poetry Book conference will contribute to their research and professional development. All application materials should be sent to email@example.com with ‘Rossetti bursary application’ under the subject line by Monday 1 October 2018. Any enquiries should be similarly addressed.
For more information, please click here.
(A guest announcement from RIN member Rose Roberto, MLIS.)
Many RIN members and 19th century scholars should find a new digital resource, Democratising Knowledge, to be both interesting and helpful. Produced by the National Museums Scotland in collaboration with the University of Reading’s Department of Typography and Graphic Communication, it not only has stunning images of 19th-century woodblocks, electrotypes and stereotypes, it also contains a wealth of illustrations from the 19th century. The resource provides visual information on the history of printing and publishing, showing that certain illustration subjects were frequently depicted in encyclopaedias during different decades. Furthermore, the resource also highlights the economics of the press and the ecosystem of publishing encouraged the growth and then decline of the wood engraving profession, and showcases the influence of photography in printed communication.
Access Democratising Knowledge at http://www.nms.ac.uk/chambers