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CFP: Blake, the Flaxman's and Romantic Sociability Conference (11/15/2013; 8/18-19/2014)

Blake, the Flaxman's and Romantic Sociability Conference
Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square
July 18-19, 2014
Deadline: November 15, 2013

Including: A reading of William Blake’s MS An Island in the Moon (c.1784)

Blake’s sociability encompasses the real, the satyrical, and the imaginary. His visionary company includes ‘Companions from Eternity’, corporeal friends, and spiritual enemies. From the salon to the moon, across the geographies of ‘a certain island near by a mighty continent’, a mighty cast of characters intermingle. Enter Steelyard the Lawgiver and Mrs Nannicantipot, Suction the Epicurean, Sipsop the Pythagorean, Quid the Cynic, Inflammable Gas the Wind Finder, Etruscan Column the Antiquarian, Aradobo the Dean of Morocco, Obtuse Angle, Tilly Lally the Siptippidist, Miss Gittipin, Gibble Gabble, and Scopprell. Their imaginary, emergent, and satyrical disciplines include ‘Fissic Follogy, Pistinology, Aridology, Arography, Transmography, Phizography, Hogamy HAtomy, & Hall that’. This wild jamboree is a record of the convivial friendship and patronage of John and Ann Flaxman, Harriet and her husband the Reverend Anthony Stephen Mathew, who provided the young artist with ‘The Bread of sweet Thought and the Wine of Delight’.

Starting from the world of An Island in the Moon, this conference illuminates Blake’s relationship with the ‘Sculptor of Eternity’ and his circle from the early days to the ‘Regions of Reminiscence’, from the 1780s to the 1820s, following the Flaxmans across the channel, into the cosmopolitan networks of the Grand Tour, in order to recover the material cultures, sites, and dynamic forms of their Romantic sociability.

Topics include:

  • The Flaxmans and their circle
  • Cosmopolitan Networks
  • Continental Travel and Travel Writing
  • Gender
  • Imaginary, Emergent, and Satyrical Disciplines
  • Material Cultures of Art
  • Patronage
  • Politics
  • Sociability

Please send a 300 word abstract for a 20 minute paper to blakeflaxmans@bbk.ac.uk by November 15, 2013. For more information, see: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/english/news/blake-the-flaxmans-and-romantic-sociability.

Conference organizers: Helen Bruder and Luisa Calè

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