2017-2018

Session 52: “Shakespearean Persistence: Gordon Craig’s reception of the Renaissance masque.”

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Engraving of a court ballet, Vlasislav Hall, Prague Castle, Czech Republic, 1617 via V& A Museum.

Session 51 of our seminar took place on Wednesday 31st May 2018 at the Université Paris Diderot bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, salle 347, 17h30-19h30)

Uber Marionnette

Lynn Sermin Meskill (Université Paris Diderot) gave a paper entitled “Shakespearean Persistence: Gordon Craig’s reception of the Renaissance masque.”

Her respondent was Ronan Ludot Vlazak (Université de Lille).

We worked with extracts from Edward Gordon Craig’s journal, The Mask: A Journal of the Art of the Theatre, After the Practice the Theory, 1908-1929. (NB. All issues of the journal may be found at the BNF, Richelieu).
1. The Mask, Vol. 1, N°1, March 1908, “A Note on Masks” by John Balance, pp. 10-13, esp. p. 10 “The Marionette”.
2. The Mask, Vol 1, N°2, April 1908, “The Actor and the Über-Marionette” by Edward Gordon Craig, pp. 9-23, esp. p. 19, “The Marionette”.
3. The Mask, Vol. 1, N°5, July 1908, “Inigo Jones and His Masques” by J. Paul Cooper, pp. 15-18.

Session 51: “Droll Dogs & Agreeable Rattlers: Writing and Telling Jokes in Victorian Britain.”

Session 51 of our seminar took place on Wednesday 23rd May 2018 at the Université Paris Diderot bâtiment Olympe de Gouges, salle 347, 17h30-19h30)

Dr. Bob Nicholson (University of Edgehill, UK) gave a paper entitled “Droll Dogs & Agreeable Rattlers: Writing and Telling Jokes in Victorian Britain.”

His respondents were Clémence Folléa and Stéphanie Prévost (Université Paris Diderot).

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Bob Nicholson, Stéphanie Prévost and Clémence Folléa discussing Victorian jokes.

Session 50: Myths and British Narratives of Exploration : The Quest for the Source of the White Nile, 1860 – 1872

50th cake

The 50th session of our seminar took place on Wednesday 7th March 2018 at the Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 (Bâtiment Olympes de Gouges, salle 347, 17h30-19h30).

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The Murchison Falls, painting by Thomas Baines (1820-1875)

Guillaume Didier (Université Paris-Sorbonne) gave a paper entitled “Myths and British Narratives of Exploration: The Quest for the Source of the White Nile, 1860 – 1872.”

His respondent was Valentine Prévot (Université Paris Diderot).

We worked with extracts from the following texts:
– Samuel White Baker, The Albert N’yanza, vol.II (1866)
– Richard Burton, « First Footsteps in Eastern Africa » (1866)
– Richard Burton, The Lake Regions of Central Africa, vol.I (1860)

 

Abstract:

The quest for the source of the Nile, both “a physical manifestation of nature” and a “fetishized geographical abstraction” (Kennedy, The Highly Civilized Man) occupies a central spot in XIXth century exploration and is often considered by historians and literary scholars alike as a prelude to European imperialism in East and Central Africa. Such imperialism, some argue, was initiated and made popular at home by the mythical figure of the explorer, displayed in the narratives and in the press (Riffenburg).

Yet a more pragmatic approach by some historians of travel, geography and international affairs (Bridges, Driver, Kennedy) has gradually shed light on a different, altogether more complex story of exploration and encounters, one that requires to qualify assumptions of the explorers’ hegemony over the lands they entered. As a result, fetishism about Africa appears as more of a critical construct – a myth about a myth – by post-colonial readings and popular histories than really was the case in the narratives; and more attention should be paid to the explorers’ impressions of weakness, vulnerability and failure, “often neither feigned nor rhetorical” (Smethurst, Travel Writing and the Natural World) which allows for a more nuanced reading of these texts.

This paper then examined the possibility for further textual analysis of masculinities in the narratives, by relating the explorers’ sense of self and the challenges they faced to notions of authority and authorship in their literary works. Such issues were located in the context of the quick-paced and joint evolution of the genres of male literature and travel writing in 1860s Britain.

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Valentine Prévot responding to Guillaume Didier’s paper

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We also used this opportunity to celebrate our 50th session at the end of the seminar!

Mrs Beaton's cakes

Session 49: “Hair in Motion: Victorian Affect and Biological Persistence in Walter Pater’s Studies in the History of the Renaissance

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Leonardo Da Vinci, The head of Leda c.1504-6. Pen and ink over black chalk, 17.7 x 14.7 cm (sheet of paper).

 

Session 49 of our seminar took place on Wednesday 31 January 2018 at the Institut Catholique de Paris.

Asimina Kaniari (Athens School of Fine Arts) gave a paper entitled “Hair in Motion: Victorian Affect and Biological Persistence in Walter Pater’s Studies in the History of the Renaissance.”

Her respondent was Ariane Fennetaux (Université Paris Diderot).

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We worked with extracts from the following texts:
– Walter Pater, chapter ‘Leonardo da Vinci; Homo Minister et Interpres Naturae‘ in  Studies in the History of the Renaissance (1873)
– Walter Pater, ‘Two Early French Stories‘ (1872)
– W. G. Sebald, Vertigo [1990], trans. Michael Hulse, New York: New Directions, 1999.
This seminar session was organized jointly by the the LARCA research centre of the Université Paris Diderot (UMR 8225 du CNRS) and the Research Centre ‘Religion, Culture et Société’ (EA7403) of the Institut Catholique de Paris.

Session 48: “Edmund Campion’s afterlives through Literature: Richard Simpson (1867), Evelyn Waugh (1935) and Rowan Williams’s Shakeshafte (2013)”

popish invasion

Session 48 of our seminar took place on Wednesday 20th December 2017 at the Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 (Bâtiment Olympes de Gouges, salle 347, 17h30-19h30).

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Camille Bourbon  gave a paper entitled “Edmund Campion’s afterlives through Literature: Richard Simpson (1867), Evelyn Waugh (1935) and Rowan Williams’s Shakeshafte (2013).”

Her respondent was Pr. Bénédicte Coste (Université de Bourgogne).

We worked with extracts from the following texts:
– Richard Simpson, Edmund Campion, A Biography [1867], London : John Hodges, 1896. text Simpson
– Evelyn Waugh, Edmund Campion, Jesuit and Martyr [1935], Penguin Classics, 2012. text Waugh
– Rowan Williams, ShakeshafteCritical Survey Vol. 25, No. 3, Special Issue: Creating Shakespeare (2013), pp. 43-87. text Williams

Session 47: “‘Nevertheless, she persisted’: Recidivist Vagabondes in Ninteenth-Century Anglophone Legislation and Literature.”

Session 47 of our seminar took place on Wednesday 29th November 2017 at the Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 (Bâtiment Olympes de Gouges, salle 347, 17h30-19h30).

Dunlaith Bird (Université Paris 13) gave a paper entitled “‘Nevertheless, she persisted’: Recidivist Vagabondes in Ninteenth-Century Anglophone Legislation and Literature.”  Estelle Murail  (ICP / Université Paris Diderot) responded to her paper.

 

Nevertheless

Abstract: “Nevertheless, she persisted”: Recidivist Vagabondes in Nineteenth-Century Anglophone Legislation and Literature

In nineteenth-century legislation and literature, the harshest punishments, judicial and moral, are regularly reserved for the female vagabond. The recidivist vagabonde is treated even more violently: shaved, whipped, incarcerated indefinitely, or medicated heavily, the penalties increasing with each successive offence.

This paper will explore both the reasons for such excessive vagabondage and for the ensuing violence: what motivates these women to move? Given the almost universal effacement of any first-person narrative, what reading can we give of their actions? Can the legal, medical, and literary backlash these figures endure be read as a reaction against the vagabonde‘s overflowing sexual appetites, as Wagniart suggests? Or as part of a wider social rejection of female mobility in the nineteenth century, with the Angel in the home, and the vagabonde in the asylum? This paper will offer close readings of contemporary journalism and legislation, as well as medical and literary texts, in order to elucidate the motivations and mistreatments of the persistent vagabonde.

We worked with extracts from the following texts:
– Freya Stark, Baghdad Sketches (Illinois: Marlboro Press, 1996 [1933])
– Freya Stark, The Southern Gates of Arabia (1936)