April 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
De Montfort University: A postgraduate conference 28th June 2013. Proposal Deadline April 16th
This conference focuses on the influence of cultural ‘legacies’ within current humanities research. By highlighting the work of postgraduates and early career researchers, this interdisciplinary conference will examine the various ways in which ‘legacies’ are created, restructured, perpetuated and even rejected. It will also question whether newer disciplines respond to cultural mythologies by establishing their own ‘legacy’ as a means of achieving academic authentication. The recent confirmed identity of Richard the III, Faber’s choice of cover illustration for its anniversary issue of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, and the recent film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit are just a few of the numerous examples that demonstrate how cultural legacies evolve within academic research and the public forum. These inherited cultural legacies are continually being redefined, rebranded and reevaluated, creating a cyclical pattern that challenges the ways in which we approach and define them. This brings into question the social and political significance of ‘legacy’ and its relevance within the humanities, both as a research theme and as a lens by which to view the progression of our respective disciplines. The conference will conclude with a roundtable discussion with Professor Dominic Shellard the Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University, Dr Will Buckingham of the School of Humanities at De Montfort University, and Mr Sam Causer of the Leicester School of Architecture. « Read the rest of this entry »
March 12, 2013 § Leave a Comment
AAH Call for Papers for Student Summer Symposium 2013, University of Oxford, 20-21 June 2013. Proposals deadline, 1st April.
The concept of ‘identity’ is prolific within the visual arts and in many ways its pertaining issues have shaped the discipline of art history. The biographical approach to reading artists’ work privileged by Vasari in his Lives (1550) has had a lasting influence. The portrait remains an effective medium through which to narrate the historical and contemporary identity of particular institutions and nations, and the art market continues to rely upon authentic attribution. Yet this art history of names remains problematic and by no means comprehensively represents either the discipline of art history or the plural notions of identity that have come to influence it.
During the twentieth century, subjectivity was critiqued and revised: psychoanalysis destabilized the concept of a consistent and whole subject, positioning the self as an illusion of stability and a site of fragmentation; Barthes and Foucault challenged notions of authorship, arguing instead that the reader-viewer be considered in the creation and interpretation of a work. More recently, gender and postcolonial theory has cast light on notions of identity understood as performance and as Otherness, and new technologies, such as the Internet, have altered relations between international communities and provided new platforms for constructing identity. « Read the rest of this entry »
June 29, 2012 § Leave a Comment
From conflict, culture and science to society, economics and politics, the Royal Navy’s relationship with Britain has always been complex and reflexive. It has been the nation’s primary arm of defence and the means by which empire was expanded and sustained. In both peace and war, it has shaped and been shaped by the powers of the British state. It has driven and responded to commercial, industrial and technological forces. As an institution, it has defined and reflected not only the nature of Britishness, but its component notions of class, race and gender. As a workplace, it has generated lifestyles that mirror wider norms while also diverging from them. « Read the rest of this entry »
February 27, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Highland dress and tartan fabric are universally recognised signs of Scotland and Scottish identity. This display explores what these distinctive garments and this highly recognisable textile meant to six different people who were painted between 1680 and 1780.
At first associated specifically with the Gaelic north and west of the nation, in particular with the flowering there of an elite warrior culture, the ‘Highland habit’ was subsequently used to convey various and sometimes conflicting messages. Highland dress was adopted by the Hanoverian army as it struggled to impose authority within Scotland, and the kilted soldier soon became a powerful symbol of the wider British Empire. « Read the rest of this entry »
February 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Friday 20th April 2012, 10.30 – 17.10, V&A, Houchhauser Auditorium, London
This symposium at the V&A is a fantastic opportunity to explore the complex presence of the past, national identity, taste and nostalgia in relation to the Recording Britain collection of water colours and drawings produced at the start of World War II with both art historians and practicing artists. Speakers include Patrick Wright, David Heathcote, and artists Ingrid Pollard, Abigail Reynolds, Simon Roberts and Paul Scott. At the outbreak of the Second World War an ambitious scheme was set up to employ artists on the home front. The result was a collection of more than 1500 watercolours and drawings that make up a fascinating record of British lives and landscapes at a time of imminent change. Recording Britain was the brainchild of Sir Kenneth Clark, who saw it as an extension of the Official War Artist scheme. By choosing watercolour painting as the medium of record, Clark hoped that the scheme would also help to preserve this characteristic English art form – you can find out more about the scheme here.