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QMCECS Seminar Tuesday October 17 2017

October 10, 2017

Jessica Patterson (Queen Mary University of London)

Mughals, Maharajas and the East India Company: Col. Alexander Dow’s (1735-1779) assessment of Religion and Empire

Jessica Patterson is Lecturer in British Intellectual and Cultural History in the School of History at QMUL. She completed a PhD thesis at the University of Manchester on Deism and the interpretation of Hinduism in the writing of East India Company servants, 1764-1800, including work on John Zephaniah Holwell, Alexander Dow, Nathaniel Brassey Halhed, and Charles Wilkins. She also traces how these interpretations, and the evidence deployed to support them, had a significant impact on the world of European letters, including the works of Voltaire, Edmund Burke, David Hume and Moses Mendelssohn.

Chair: Miles Ogborn

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London-Paris Romanticism Seminar: 2017-18

September 25, 2017

The programme for the London-Paris Romanticism Seminar for 2017-18 is now available. This seminar is co-organized by QM’s David Duff. All are welcome.

The first seminar is:

Friday 20 October 2017

Diego Saglia (University of Parma)

The Cross-Channel Stage: Transnational Theatre in the Age of Romanticism

17.30-19.30  Senate House, Court Room (first floor)

Queen Mary Eighteenth-Century Studies Seminar: Semester One 2017-18

September 11, 2017

Programme for the Queen Mary Eighteenth-Century Studies Seminar in Semester One 2017-18. All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday 3rd Oct 2017:

Soile Ylivuori (Marie Curie Fellow, QMUL), ‘Fashioning personas: racialised national identity and performative behaviour in eighteenth-century England’ [Chair: Markman Ellis]

Tuesday 17th Oct 2017:

Jessica Patterson (QMUL): ‘Mughals, Maharajas and the East India Company: Col. Alexander Dow’s (1735-1779) assessment of Religion and Empire’ [Chair: Miles Ogborn]

Tuesday 14th Nov 2017:

Alice Dolan (QMUL): ‘Touching Linen: Textiles, Emotion and Bodily Intimacy in England c. 1708-1818’ [Chair: Miles Ogborn]

Tuesday 12th Dec 2017:

Peter de Bolla (Cambridge): ‘Distributional Concept Analysis’ (joint meeting with the Digital Initiatives Network). This presentation of the Concept Lab’s work and methodology will be of interest to Digital Humanities scholars and those working on eighteenth-century topics.

Coming in semester two:

Jean-Jacques Courtine (Sorbonne and Auckland); Sarah Easterby-Smith (St Andrews); Mark Philp (Warwick); Hilary Davidson (Sydney); Innes Keighren (RHUL); Suvir Kaul (Penn)

 

Location: 5.00-7.00pm.  Seminar Room, Lock-Keeper’s Cottage Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End, London, E1 4NS.

Travel instructions: take the Central Line or District Line to Mile End. Exit the tube station, turn left down Mile End Road, crossing the Burdett Road/Grove Road intersection, passing under the Mile End Green Bridge and over the canal, to the campus entrance at Westfield Way. The Lock-Keeper’s Cottage is the third building on the right

 

 

Convenors: Prof Markman Ellis, English (m.ellis@qmul.ac.uk); Prof Colin Jones, History (c.d.h.jones@qmul.ac.uk); Prof Miles Ogborn, Geography (m.j.ogborn@qmul.ac.uk); Prof Amanda Vickery, History (a.vickery@qmul.ac.uk), Prof Barbara Taylor, English and History (b.g.taylor@qmul.ac.uk); Dr Alice Dolan (alice.dolan@qmul.ac.uk).

Animating the archive: Enlightenment lives and letters [full programme]

May 23, 2017

Research Workshop, Wed 14th June 2017

Centre for Enlightenment Studies at King’s & Queen Mary Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies

This workshop will celebrate and respond to the publication of James Delbourgo’s book Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane (Penguin, June 2017), a study that will provide new insight into early modern global natural history through the life, work and networks of Hans Sloane. The book examines Sloane’s career from his background in Ulster to his voyage to Jamaica and his creation of a network of collectors who gathered curiosities for him throughout the world, through to the foundation of the British Museum in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. It draws on the histories of science, medicine and collecting, as well as Caribbean, imperial and global histories, and is based on extensive research in Sloane’s surviving specimens, objects, manuscripts and catalogues in London’s Natural History Museum, the British Museum and the British Library.

12.30-1.00       Registration (River room, Strand campus)

1.00-1.30         Room K3.11

Introduction: Reconnecting Sloane: exploring the archive

Panel discussion (Elizabeth Eger, Anne Goldgar, Miles Ogborn and Victoria Pickering) reflect on the collaborative doctoral project Reconnecting  Sloane, placing emphasis on questions of location and practice, as well as describing the research skills required for animating     the archive.

1.30-2.30         Room K3.11

Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane’s Catalogues of His Collections 

Kim Sloan (British Museum, Principal Investigator), Julianne Nyhan (UCL Digital Humanities, Co-Investigator), and Victoria Pickering (BM, Post-Doctoral Research Assistant) will explain the aims, research questions and progress to date of this 3 year Leverhulme Trust Research Project. The objective is to understand the intellectual structures of Sloane’s own manuscript catalogues of his collections and with them the origins of the Enlightenment disciplines and information management practices they helped to shape. The project will employ a pioneering interdisciplinary combination of curatorial, traditional humanities and Digital Humanities research to examine Sloane’s catalogues which reveal the way in which he and his contemporaries collected, organised and classified the world, through their descriptions, cross-references and codes.

2.30 -3.00        Tea (River Room)

3.00 –4.30       Room 3.11

Open discussion of Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane (Penguin, 2017) with James Delbourgo.

Led by Miles Ogborn and based on the pre-circulation of selected  chapters from the book.     

4.30 – 5.00      Break: River Room

5.00- 6.00        Animating the Archive : a panel discussion

This panel of scholars will reflect upon current research that seeks to animate eighteenth century archives, particularly focusing upon different ways of using biography as an intellectual tool to write cultural and political histories. Themes for discussion will include: individual, group  and object biographies; the relationship between individual specimen and  species; the role of individuals in intellectual networks; the status of correspondence as biographical evidence; and how biography figures the relationship between the local and the global.

James Delbourgo, Richard Drayton, Anne Goldgar, Colin Jones, Anna Maerker, Miles Ogborn (chaired by Elizabeth Eger)

6.00 -7.00        Reception and Drinks in the River Room

Reading

Introduction and chapters 3 and 5 of James Delbourgo’s Collecting the World (pdf copies available once registered at Eventbrite.

Animating the Archive: Enlightenment lives and letters

May 4, 2017

Queen Mary Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies and the Centre for Enlightenment Studies at King’s College London

Wed 14th June 2017

Time: Research Workshop: 1– 6pm; Drinks reception, 6-7pm.

Location: River Room, King’s College London, Strand campus.

This workshop will celebrate and respond to the publication of James Delbourgo’s book Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane (Penguin, June 2017), a study that will provide new insight into early modern global natural history through the life, work and networks of Hans Sloane. The book examines Sloane’s career from his background in Ulster to his voyage to Jamaica and his creation of a network of collectors who gathered curiosities for him throughout the world, through to the foundation of the British Museum in 1753, the first national public museum in the world. It draws on the histories of science, medicine and collecting, as well as Caribbean, imperial and global histories, and is based on extensive research in Sloane’s surviving specimens, objects, manuscripts and catalogues in London’s Natural History Museum, the British Museum and the British Library.

The workshop will reflect upon collaborative archival projects, including ‘Reconnnecting Sloane‘ and the new Leverhulme Trust Research Project ‘Enlightenment Architectures: Sir Hans Sloane’s Catalogues of His Collections’. There will also be a reading group to discuss pre-circulated chapters from Collecting the World: The Life and Curiosity of Hans Sloane (Penguin, June 2017) with the author James Delbourgo.

Speakers include: James Delbourgo, Richard Drayton, Elizabeth Eger, Martha Fleming, Anne Goldgar, Colin Jones, Julianne Nyhan, Miles Ogborn, Kim Sloan and Vicky Pickering.

For further information please contact <enlightenment@kcl.ac.uk>.

Attendance is free, but please sign up here on Eventbrite.

Byssus glove and its portrayal by Van Rymsdyk (1778)Byssus glove and its portrayal by Van Rymsdyk (1778), a glove knitted from the ‘sea silk’ secreted by some molluscs.

 

 

QMCECS Seminar: Anne Vila, 22 May

May 2, 2017

Monday May 22 2017

Anne Vila (University of Wisconsin)

‘Solitude and [Dis]order: Perspectives from Eighteenth-Century French Literature and Medicine’

“Solitude is the infirmary of the mind”: so declared the French Benedictine monk François Lamy in his influential work De la connaissance de soi-même (1694). The therapeutic mental benefits of solitude continued to be championed by many authors (both religious and secular) in eighteenth-century France. However, solitude was also increasingly tied to mental disorder, for reasons that included the widespread emphasis on sociability and social engagement, alarm over self-secluding pathologies like masturbation and overstudy, and suspicion towards claustral institutions like the convent. The psycho-physical ailments imputed to solitude extended well beyond the well-studied ‘disease’ of onanism: they included hypochondriasis in gens de lettres and religious melancholy in the fanatically devout.

After considering the topos of studious and non-studious retreat in selected literary works of the French Enlightenment (by Voltaire, Graffigny, Diderot, and Rousseau), I will examine how solitude was medicalized–a development tied to the growing importance of the passions as an area of hygiene and disease theory. This part of my talk will focus on the writings of the Francophone Swiss physician Samuel-Auguste Tissot, an influential medical writer who acted as the main conduit for the dissemination in French of the ideas of Dr. Johann-Georg Zimmermann, the Enlightenment’s most famous theoretician of the benefits and dangers of solitude for the psyche. Reading Tissot in tandem with Zimmermann, I will analyze the curious analogies they proposed between two pathologically contemplative types: the overly zealous scholar and the cloistered nun.

Anne Vila is Professor in the Department of French & Italian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of A Cultural History of the Senses in the Age of Enlightenment (2014) and Enlightenment and Pathology: Sensibility in the Literature and Medicine of Eighteenth-Century France (1998). She is working on a project exploring the cultural and medical construction of gens de lettres during the French Enlightenment, entitled Singular Beings: Passions and Pathologies of the Scholar in France, 1720-1840.

Chair: Barbara Taylor

All welcome

Time: 5.00-7.00pm.

Venue: Seminar Room, Lock-Keeper’s Cottage Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End, London, E1 4NS.

Convenors: Prof Markman Ellis, English (m.ellis@qmul.ac.uk); Prof Colin Jones, History (c.d.h.jones@qmul.ac.uk); Prof Miles Ogborn, Geography (m.j.ogborn@qmul.ac.uk); Prof Amanda Vickery, History (a.vickery@qmul.ac.uk), Prof Barbara Taylor, English and History (b.g.taylor@qmul.ac.uk).

[Travel instructions: take the Central Line or District Line to Mile End. Exit the tube station, turn left down Mile End Road, crossing the Burdett Road/Grove Road intersection, passing under the Mile End Green Bridge and over the canal, to the campus entrance at Westfield Way. The Lock-Keeper’s Cottage is the third building on the right].

 

QMUL and Victoria and Albert Museum to digitise key manuscripts by 18th-century writer, William Godwin

April 5, 2017

For the first time, the sole surviving manuscripts of the most celebrated works of William Godwin (1756 – 1836) will be digitised and made freely available on the Shelley-Godwin Archive as part of a collaborative project announced today by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH)

Manuscript of William Godwin's Political Justice, 1793, showing authorial revisions [Image courtesy of the V&A]
Manuscript of William Godwin’s Political Justice, 1793, showing authorial revisions [Image courtesy of the V&A]

William Godwin was an English radical political philosopher of the French Revolutionary era. He married Mary Wollstonecraft, the early advocate of women’s rights, but lost her shortly after the birth of their daughter Mary, who grew up to marry Godwin’s disciple, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and to write Frankenstein.

Godwin shot to fame with a massive book, An Enquiry Concerning Political Justice (1793), now seen as a founding text of philosophical anarchism. He rejected all forms of political authority in favour of justice, equality, and mutual moral accountability. The rule of law would be replaced by the rule of reason. Godwin’s greatest novel, Caleb Williams (1794), was the first detective thriller in the European narrative tradition. A study in power relations, it dramatised the impact of tyrannical government on the ordinary individual.

Under the leadership of Professor Pamela Clemit of QMUL’s School of English and Drama, one of the world’s most renowned Godwin scholars, the original handwritten manuscripts of these two epochal works will be digitised for the first time and made freely available worldwide.

These treasures are held at the V&A in London, in a vast archive of literary manuscripts. The V&A will undertake conservation and photography, and will host a public event in September 2017 to launch the new electronic publication.

Shelley-Godwin Archive

MITH, one of the world’s leading digital humanities centres, will publish images of the manuscripts on the Shelley-Godwin Archive. This electronic resource is making freely available the digitised manuscripts of William Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Mary Shelley, reuniting online the handwritten legacy of one of England’s most important literary families.

“MITH is excited to be working on this project with two such distinguished partners, and we look forward to publishing images of these momentous texts,” said Professor Neil Fraistat, Director of MITH and a General Editor of the Shelley-Godwin Archive.

Political protest

Professor Clemit said: “Digitising the manuscripts of Godwin’s most celebrated works will make it possible for everyone to experience the thrill of using the original documents without visiting the archive. Both manuscripts contain extensive revisions, providing a unique record of what was sayable at a particular historical moment.

“These are works of political protest, written during a government crackdown on freedom of speech in the aftermath of the French Revolution. One of them imagines a better future; the other dramatises the experience of living in a world of inequality, hardship, and injustice. They have a special appeal in turbulent times like our own.”

Partnership

Professor Bill Sherman, the V&A’s Director of Research and Collections, said: “We are delighted by this partnership between the world’s largest museum of art, design, and performance, and academic leaders in the fields of literature and digital humanities. The project will introduce new readers to two of the most powerful and enduring literary texts in the V&A’s manuscript collections.”

More information