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QMCECS Seminar Series 2013-2014


Eighteenth-Century Studies Seminar


Semester One


13 Nov:


Amanda Vickery (QMUL) and Hannah Greig (University of York):  Joint session: ‘Georgian Fashion:  Pleasures, Pressures & Discontents’, Location Sands Film Studiosin Rotherhithe. <>. Please note location change.


20 November: 


Mary Fairclough (University of York), ‘”See! From her shrine electric incense rise / Hark! Freedom echoes thro’ the vaulted skies”: Electrical science and revolutionary science’.


4 December:


David Lambert (University of Warwick), precirculated paper on “Mastering the Niger: James MacQueen’s African Geography and the Struggle over Atlantic Slavery” (University of Chicago Press, 2013). Pdf paper will be circulated before the meeting.


Semester Two


15 January:


Mark Salber Phillips (Carleton University, Ottawa), ‘Reconsidering Historical Distance’


29 January:


Karen Harvey (University of Sheffield), ‘Men of Parts: The Erotics and Politics of the Male Leg in Eighteenth-Century England’


12 February:


Michele Cohen (Richmond University in London): ‘A Passion for Colloquial Discussion’: conversation and education at home in the long-eighteenth century’.


26 February:


Silvia Sebastiani (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris), ‘Challenging the boundaries of humankind: orangutans in the 1770s British debate on slavery’


12 March:


Kate Retford (Birkbeck, University of London): ‘Mode and Manner of the Time’: Custom and the Conversation Piece in Georgian Britain



Wednesdays: 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 (; Prof Colin Jones, History (; Prof Miles Ogborn, Geography (; Prof Amanda Vickery, History (


[Travel instructions: Central Line or District Line to Mile End. Exit tube station, turn left down Mile End Road, cross Burdett Road, go under the Mile End Green Bridge (a large yellow bridge), over the canal, and the college is on the left].


Past Seminars


Reading Group

Doing things with pictures, 1700-1830
Postgrad Reading Group lead by Prof John Barrell (QM English)
The work of graduate students in various disciplines in the humanities can often be made clearer in its arguments, more wide-ranging, livelier, in the end more publishable, by making reference to visual images – whether to help define the contemporary context of an event or piece of writing, or to give greater depth to accounts of social and cultural practices, or to make comparisons or contrasts between what can and can’t be said or shown at any time in different practices of representation – and so on. But students are often constrained in their use of images by the worry that, having no training in the discussion of images, and no expertise in the history of art, whatever they say about pictures will risk seeming naïve or ill-informed. This reading group will try to address that anxiety by looking hard at pictures, to discover what, even without specialist knowledge, we can say about them, and how discussing them could animate our work as historians, literary critics, geographers, or whatever. We will start by a close analysis of a single painting chosen by me, but what we do in the meetings that follow will depend on what members of the group believe will be most useful to them in their own work. What we read will depend on what we choose to focus on, but the programme will put much more emphasis on looking at pictures than on reading about them.

Time: 5.15-7pm

Venue: Arts Two 2.18

Dates: fortnightly in semester one: 2 Oct 2013; 16 Oct 2013; 30 Oct 2013; 6 Nov 2013; 27 Nov 2013; 11 Dec 2013

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