Thoughts wanted: Eighteenth-Century Book Illustration Reader

From Dr. Christina Ionescu, Associate Professor Modern Languages and Literatures, Mount Allison University:

Dear colleagues,

Leigh G. Dillard and I are engaged in the planning stages of a reader on eighteenth-century book illustration that would encompass various traditions (English, French, German, Spanish, etc.). In order to best position the reader, we would be most grateful if those of you who work on book illustration (and perhaps also teach courses on the subject) could provide some feedback on our preliminary ideas.

You could write to us directly ( and and we will compile a report for the SHARP list.

1) Would you use such a reader in a course? What type of course would you consider using it in? Would your library be interested in purchasing it?

2) Do you have any suggestions about its contents? Any specific texts that you believe should be included? Any translations of seminal texts that we should commission?

This is what is currently on our list:

i) some relevant excerpts from nineteenth-century texts (Dibdin, the Goncourt brothers, etc.)

ii) some reprints/translations of key chapters from important 1980s/1990s studies on eighteenth-century book illustration (Hodnett, Ph. Stewart, etc.)

iii) theoretical approaches to book illustration as it pertains to the chosen timeframe (e.g. book illustration and word and image, book illustration and book history, book illustration and visual culture, etc.)

iv) the mechanics of book illustration (etching, woodcut, copperplate engraving, frontispieces, colour plates, etc.)

v) illustrators (Stothard, Marillier, Chodowiecki, Gravelot, Hogarth, Cochin, etc.)

vi) genres (illustrated travelogues, gothic novels, sentimental fiction, erotica, etc.)

vii) examples of eighteenth-century illustrated bestsellers (The Sentimental Journey, La Nouvelle Héloïse, etc.)

viii) overviews by geographical region (illustration in England, France, Spain, etc.)

3) Would you be interested in contributing a chapter? (The deadline for submission of chapters will likely be December 2016.)

Many thanks,
Christina and Leigh

CFA: ‘Illustration and Gender’

Dear Colleagues,

As you wrap up the end of your semester and look forward to the spring, I hope you will consider submitting an article to the Summer 2015 special issue of Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies on the topic of “Illustration and Gender.” We welcome articles of 5,000-8,000 words reflecting interdisciplinary approaches and international perspectives on illustration and gender studies. NCGS endorses a broad definition of gender studies, and we welcome submissions that consider nineteenth-century illustration and gender and sexuality in conjunction with race, class, place and nationality. The submission deadline for complete articles is March 15, 2015 (earlier submission is encouraged). We hope to address a variety of possible topics including but not limited to:

Studies of female illustrators of the nineteenth century

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 nineteenth-century culture.

Please adhere to MLA style, using endnotes rather than footnotes, and include a coversheet with 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. You can find more information online at the following link, CFP: Illustration and Gender or please feel free to distribute the CFP to colleagues or graduate students who may be working at the intersections of nineteenth-century illustration and gender studies.

We look forward to reading your submissions!

Dr. Nicole Lobdell, Georgia Institute of Technology,

Kate Holterhoff, Carnegie Mellon University,

CFA: Picturing the Eighteenth-Century Novel Through Time: Illustration, Intermediality and Adaptation

Title:   Picturing the Eighteenth-Century Novel Through Time: Illustration, Intermediality and Adaptation

Call for Articles

Christina Ionescu <cionescu@MTA.CA>

Deadline for abstracts: 1 August 2014

‘Have you noticed that no book ever gets well illustrated once it becomes a classic?’, asked in passing Aubrey Beardsley when faced with the challenge of illustrating Les Liaisons Dangereuses in the Art Nouveau era. Yet visually intriguing and conceptually intricate illustrations of eighteenth-century classics are abundantly present at key moments in the history of the book (Romanticism, the fin-de-siècle, the interwar period, amongst others). Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Voltaire’s Candide, Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Héloïse, Goethe’s Werther and Bernardin’s Paul et Virginie are just some examples of canonical texts that have inspired artists not only through time but also across national boundaries and different media. Such texts have produced visual corpora that are as vast as they are diverse. The timeless fascination with Paul et Virginie, for example, has resulted not only in illustrative series that steadily accompanied the text in its various incarnations as a book, but also in drawings, prints, sculptures, caricatures, tapestries, ceramics, clocks, etc., which circulated and were displayed independently of the text. Artistic transpositions and intermedial engagements with eighteenth-century bestsellers range from these visually static, yet geographically mobile forms of expression, to dynamic, performative adaptations such as films, operas and plays.

In spite of the increasing availability of digital images, critical approaches still tend to privilege the authorially sanctioned series (such as Gravelot’s engravings for Rousseau’s bestselling novel, commissioned and designed with the writer’s direct involvement), or ‘intervisual paradigms’ (patterns of iconographic representation considered independently of their text of origin). Moreover, theatrical or cinematic adaptations of eighteenth-century novels are seldom considered in relation to other forms of visual crossover, such as book illustration and decorative objects, though they all a priori rely on similar processes of visualising and adapting the text. The comparative analysis of different series of illustrations and of other forms of artistic representation of the same novel through time and space, however, allows us to explore the complexity of adaptation, to understand the visual representation inspired by text as an intermedial product and cultural phenomenon, and perhaps to grasp the fascination that the eighteenth century continues to exert upon us.

We invite submissions of papers that address any of the following questions through interdisciplinary and cross-cultural approaches:
•       How does the illustration of an eighteenth-century novel through time respond to new techniques and to changing views of the function of illustration itself?
•       How do successive generations of artists shape the reception of an eighteenth-century novel at different moments in time?
•       How do illustrated translations of eighteenth-century classics reflect the geographical, linguistic and cultural displacement of the original text?
•       How does the gradual shift from the poorly paid artisan to the internationally known artist affect the illustration of an eighteenth-century classic?
•       How do publishers operating from lucrative centres of book production (Amsterdam, Brussels, The Hague, London, Paris, etc.) respond to the specific expectations of their subscribers or readerships in regard to illustration?
•       How do artists, publishers and/or stage directors facilitate or negotiate verbal/visual crossover? What is their respective involvement in this process?
•       How do individual artists re-view an eighteenth-century text when they illustrate it again for a different publisher or edition?
•       How does the phenomenon of extra-illustration exemplify a unique rapport of visual closeness between the collector and text? How is the reading process impacted by the insertion within a single volume of parallel illustrations of the same scenes, which were executed at different moments in time?
•       How do objects inspired by eighteenth-century novels become cultural artefacts and exist independently of the text? How are they integrated in home décor, private collections or museum space? And what impact do they have as things commissioned, inherited, or collected?
•       How is visual representation transposed from one medium to another (for example, from book illustration to film adaptation)? What are the similarities and differences in the ways in which the text is visually adapted for each medium of expression?

Please send an abstract of 500 words to and by 1 August 2014. The deadline for submission of completed articles will be June 2015 (approximately 8000 words).  Articles may be in French or English. As is usual for peer-reviewed journals, all final decisions concerning the acceptance of articles for this special issue will be made by the JECS editorial board. We also intend to host a workshop around the collection at the BSECS annual conference in January 2016.