The Institute of English Studies
History of the book, manuscript and print studies and textual scholarship research
This blog post is part of the Nineteenth Century Study Week which took place 21-25 May. The annual study week was dedicated to celebrating and understanding the great nineteenth-century writers who made Bloomsbury such an intellectual and artistic powerhouse.
George Eliot well and truly comes into her own at Senate House Library, with first editions of her novels in the Sterling Library and Victorian periodicals featuring her works. Her own personal library, together with that of her husband, George Henry Lewes, is just a five-minute walk away at Dr Williams’s Library in Gordon Square, and the collections complement each other well. Classes come to see her work, and in 2018 George Eliot was the subject of a new week-long course run by the Institute of English Studies, the Nineteenth-Century Study Week.
So the Library is delighted to have been able to acquire five pen-and-ink drawings by Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist of George Eliot’s childhood home, Griff House, and related scenes in Warwickshire.
The pictures are captioned: ‘Griff House: the old farm entrance’; ‘Griff House: the old kitchen garden’; ‘The hall farm’; ‘New Griff-Hollows: the Red-Deeps’; and ‘The garden of the “Hall Farm” (in Warwickshire)’.
George Eliot’s family moved to Griff House, just off the main road between Nuneaton and Coventry, in 1820, when she was just a few months old, and she lived there until moving with her father to Coventry when she was 21. The house features in her description of the fictional Dorlcote Mill in The Mill on the Floss, and the exterior of the Hall Farm served as a model in Adam Bede.
The artist and writer Herbert Harlakenden Gilchrist (1857-1914) was the son of Anne and Alexander Gilchrist. He would have known George Eliot personally, as his widowed mother leased the house Brookbank to George Eliot in spring and summer 1871, where she wrote Middlemarch, and the two families sustained contact until Eliot’s death in 1880. Gilchrist hoped to provide illustrations for John Walter Cross’s biography of George Eliot, George Eliot’s Life Related in Her Letters and Journals (Edinburgh and London: Blackwood, 1885). He sent the publisher these pictures in 1884. Blackwood, however, chose not to use them. The two pictures of Griff House in the biography, one of the front view and one showing the farm offices, are by two different artists but resemble each other in including a person in the foreground of each, a human element absent from Gilchrist’s depictions.
The pictures are held in the library archives (MS1233), augmenting some correspondence concerning George Eliot. They also augment connections in the archives between art and literary figures, shown elsewhere by such works as book illustrations by Walter Crane and drawings by John Masefield and Hermann Hesse. Two of the new Eliot pictures were displayed in connection with the Nineteenth-Century Study Week in May 2018.
Symposium of Sound
3rd-4th September 2018
Keynote speakers and performers:
- Professor Helen Abbott, Department of Modern Languages, University of Birmingham
- Dr Edward Allen, Faculty of English, University of Cambridge
- Aurélia Lassaque, bilingual poet and singer in French and Occitan
The Symposium of Sound is a two-day conference supported by Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership. We invite abstracts for papers of twenty minutes in length on the theme of ‘sound’: its creation, imitation, and its relationship with language. Proposals may range across fields of study, with interdisciplinary approaches particularly welcome in areas such as literature, music, performance and creative practice, modern languages, and linguistics. Topics may include but are not limited to:
A one-day symposium on women collectors, curators, and readers in Britain from the Middle Ages to the present
26 October 2018, Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London
For much of the past, men have on the whole been more highly educated than women, and have consequently dominated the world of books. From at least the Middle Ages, however, women have been involved in reading, owning, writing, and even commissioning books: activities that have increased over the centuries. With the advent of public libraries in the nineteenth century, which coincided with increased literacy, and, gradually, with the increased employment of women, women further became involved in looking after public collections of books, first in a clerical fashion and ultimately in positions of leadership.
In the year in which the University of London celebrates the 150th anniversary of women’s first access to University education in Britain with the intake of eight women at Queen Mary College, this symposium explores the interaction of women and books from the Middle Ages to the present, from the time that the book left the printing house: as collectors, owners, readers, and mediators, whether curatorial (librarians) or literary (adapting and translating for new audiences). It aims to enable connections across time and across types of engagement with the book, in discussion covering book, literary, and cultural history.
Centre for Material Texts, Richmond Building, University of Bristol
Wednesday 5 – Friday 7 September 2018
Since the invention of the codex, the lives (and afterlives) of books have been intertwined with the lives of people. This interdisciplinary, transhistorical, and transnational conference organized by the Centre for Material Texts, University of Bristol, aims to explore how books have affected and continue to affect our daily lives and well-being. How we have lived with books in the past, how do we live with them in the present, how we might live with them better in the future, and how might we help others do the same?
As readers, writers, creative practitioners, educators, researchers, curators, consumers and producers, how do books feature in our lives? How do they share our living and working spaces? How might books contribute to health and wellbeing? Do books keep us apart from each other, or can they enable us to connect with communities? What are the consequences of not living with books? How far do the answers to these questions depend on location, or income, class, gender and other variables? How might the answers to these questions have changed over time? What is the value of asking these questions in an increasingly digital age?
This is an open call for papers for the 8th International Ted Hughes Conference. This conference seeks to explore new ways of reading Hughes’s work as well as delving deeper into rich established veins of scholarly research. The conference welcomes abstracts on any Hughes topic. Please send an abstract of 300 words with a short bio to Carrie Smith at Hughesconference@
March 31st 2018.
DEADLINE EXTENDED – due to the recent extensive industrial action that took place in many universities across the UK the deadline is extended to April 30th 2018
Suggested topics include but are not limited to:
Sound and Silence
Date: June 8th 2018
Venue: Goldsmiths, University of London
“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”
Audre Lorde, Your Silence Will Not Protect You
“I came to think that silence may be the only ‘place’ in which the boundaries of the autonomous self can dissolve, can be penetrated without breaking.”
Sara Maitland, A Book of Silence
Sound and silence occupy an inherently complex and paradoxical relation to meaning, as both its antithesis and its very essence. Sound figures as both Pope’s “echo to the sense” and the irrefutable noise of the Real. Silence designates absence and the impossibility thereof, as Cage famously proclaimed, “I have nothing to say and I am saying it.” How these sonic signals are interpreted and contested determines who can speak, who makes noise, who is silenced – which subjects are permitted and legitimised and which are discredited and repressed.
Following from Printing Colour 1400-1700, this conference will be the first interdisciplinary assessment of Western colour printmaking in the long eighteenth century, 1700–1830. It will bring together researchers, curators, special collections librarians, printers, printmakers, cataloguers, conservators, art historians, book historians, digital humanities practitioners, scientists, and others who care for colour-printed material, seek to understand them, or use them in research. The discussion will encompass all media, techniques, and functions, from fashion to fine art, wallpaper to scientific communication. The programme includes papers, posters, private views of at eight collections, as well as a wine reception at Senate House, London.
The Virginia Woolf Society of Great Britain is a non-profit organisation formed in August 1998 which aims to raise the profile of Virginia Woolf and promote the reading and discussion of her works. The Society produces the Virginia Woolf Bulletin three times a year (January, May and September), as well as a number of other publications. Woolf-related events and talks are held throughout the year. This year’s confirmed speakers are Dr Marion Dell, ‘Fabulous Forebears: Virginia Woolf’s ancestors’; Dr Philip Carter, IHR, ‘The Stephens in St Ives: Leslie and Virginia, at work and at play’; Professor Maggie Humm: ‘Relational aesthetics: Virginia Woolf’s artistic family and friends’.
This symposium will focus on British travellers, but with the intention of broadening the definition of travel writing to include unpublished texts written, for example, by ordinary tourists, subjects of Empire, or travellers whose purpose was medical research or social reform. Conversely it will also examine ‘unreliable’ narratives – for example, by elite colonial travellers, political or military agents, and others whose accounts are potentially compromised by official censorship or self-censorship.
Corresponding with Beckett raises issues around the development of the “grey canon” (S.E. Gontarski), the use of digital resources, translation, visual metadata, and the role of corollary correspondence. Given Beckett’s hesitation to render the personal public, the conference will address how we negotiate issues of privacy, permissions, and copyright. The conference will generate new thinking on the letter as artefact, the textual and stylistic aspects of the epistolary, and will explore the legacy of a correspondence project and how the research that underpins it can be deployed for further research. Using literary correspondence and related materials raises older literary questions on authorial intention and reading methodologies that continue to inform literary analysis.
Following two successful New York City conferences in 2014 and 2016, the International Society for Heresy Studies announces its third biennial conference to be hosted by the Institute of English Studies at Senate House in London. The conference theme will broadly focus on how borders between heresy and orthodoxy are created, maintained, and imagined. Although we interpret “heresy” primarily within a religious context, we also interpret it broadly enough to include the “heretical” in politics, art, philosophy, and literature. The study of borders—a popular theme in academic conferences in recent years—feels even more urgent in the current time of rising nationalism and political promises to ban immigration and erect walls based on imagined boundaries.
Georgette Heyer is much loved by readers for her characterisation, her humour, and her rollicking good pace. What can writers learn from Heyer by analysing her creative choices? This workshop will cover structural issues such as plot, pacing, and subplot; and characterisation issues such as internalisation and supporting cast, to help participants develop their writing toolkits, no matter what genre they write in. Please read Venetia before attending, as it will serve as our guide book for examples. Led by Dr Kim Wilkins, Associate Professor at the School of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland. Kim is also the author of 30 novels, published in 20 languages.
This interdisciplinary conference is aimed primarily at exploring Heyer’s historical novels, but will also set her work in context with other contemporary female historical fiction writers, such as Norah Lofts, Margaret Irwin, Margaret Campbell Barnes, and Anya Seton, and with contemporary Regency romance. This conference will explore many aspects of Heyer’s historical works, including: sources and influences; critical and popular reception; class, gender and sexuality; and publishing and marketing histories. We hope that the day will be a combination of formal and informal sessions, and be a chance to meet other Heyer readers and discuss the impact of her work.
The Victorian Popular Fiction Association is dedicated to fostering interest in understudied popular writers, literary genres and other cultural forms, and to facilitating the production of publishable research and academic collaborations amongst scholars of the popular. Our annual conference is now in its tenth year and aims to celebrate with a five day extravaganza! Alongside the usual keynotes, special panels, reading group and exhibition, there will be trips out to different events around London. This year’s discussion will centre around ‘War and Peace’.
The APS Collaboration Grant funds public programs and projects that foster collaboration between members of the print community and/or encourage dialogue between the print community and the general public. The grant carries a maximum award of $1,000. Projects should provide new insights into printmaking and introduce prints to new audiences.
Funds may be applied to costs including space rental, honoraria, and travel and lodging for speakers and participants. Food or beverage expenses for receptions and dinners/lunches are excluded. Examples of potential collaborative projects include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A multi-speaker conference or symposium;
- A single-speaker lecture;
- A workshop focused on identifying printmaking methods and techniques and/or print media;
- A study day with printmakers and paper conservators focused on printed materials;
- An educational program about printmaking intended for the general public.
Application Requirements & Review Criteria
Successful proposals must address all of the following criteria:
- Proposal narrative describing the collaborative project and identifying its organizers and its goals. Ideally, this should include: how the project will contribute towards advancing print scholarship; a list of speakers and their affiliations (if applicable); anticipated target audience; and how the project will facilitate collaboration between members of the print community, and/or between the print community and the general public. In addition, this narrative should address the feasibility of realizing this project within the proposed time frame (500-1000 words).
- Budget detailing how grant funding would be spent and how the project can be realized within the funding amount provided by APS. Please list any other grants for which the applicant(s) has applied, amounts, and the outcomes (if known).
- CV(s) for key applicant(s) involved in organizing this program or project.
The time frame for the grant is one year. The successful applicant will be notified by the end of March and the grant must be applied to event costs within one year of notification. Applicants should send all required materials by February 1 to Angela Campbell, APS Grants Coordinator, at email@example.com.
Please join the Institute of English Studies this June for a series of events focused on the ruler of the Regency romance, Georgette Heyer.
Writing Workshop: The Craft of Georgette Heyer
Monday, 18 June 2018, 1:00pm – 5:00pm, G11-12, Senate House
Georgette Heyer is much loved by readers for her characterisation, her humour, and her rollicking good pace. What can writers learn from Heyer by analysing her creative choices? This workshop will cover structural issues such as plot, pacing, and subplot; and characterisation issues such as internalisation and supporting cast, to help participants develop their writing toolkits, no matter what genre they write in. Please read Venetia before attending, as it will serve as our guide book for examples.
Led by Dr Kim Wilkins, Associate Professor at the School of Communication and Arts, University of Queensland. Kim is also the author of 30 novels, published in 20 languages.
- £50 Standard
- £30 Concessions (students/unwaged/retired)
The Nonesuch? Georgette Heyer and Her Historical Fiction Contemporaries
Tuesday, 19 June 2018, 9.15am – 5.30pm, Gustav Tuck Lecture Theatre, UCL
Plenary: Professor Kathryn Sutherland, Senior Research Fellow, St Anne’s College Oxford
This interdisciplinary conference is aimed primarily at exploring Heyer’s historical novels, but will also set her work in context with other contemporary female historical fiction writers, such as Norah Lofts, Margaret Irwin, Margaret Campbell Barnes, and Anya Seton, and with contemporary Regency romance. This conference will explore many aspects of Heyer’s historical works, including:
- Sources and influences
- Critical and popular reception
- Class, gender and sexuality
- Publishing and marketing histories
We hope that the day will be a combination of formal and informal sessions, and be a chance to meet other Heyer readers and discuss the impact of her work.
- £55 Standard
- £35 Concessions (Students / Unwaged / Retired)
On 20 April 2018, the Warburg Institute (in conjunction with the Cervantes Institute) will host an event on books and readers in the Spanish-speaking world, with the theme ‘The Book as World, the World as Book’.
The day will culminate in a conversation between Alberto Manguel, Director of the National Library of Argentina, and Bill Sherman, Director of the Warburg. There will also be lectures by Sherman and Roberto Casazza, Head of Research at the National Library of Argentina. In the afternoon, we would like to feature short papers from postgraduates or early career researchers.
If you are interested in offering a paper or in attending the workshop and lecture, please contact Morgan Ring (Morgan.Ring@sas.ac.uk).