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.