“The Arts and Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture” (International)

Abstract Deadline: January 9, 2015

Dates: July 16-18, 2015

Location: Birkbeck College, University of London (London, UK)

CFP Link

This conference will explore the ways in which nineteenth-century authors, artists, sculptors, musicians and composers imagined and represented emotion and how writers and critics conceptualised the emotional aspects of aesthetic response. How did Victorian artists represent feeling and how were these feelings aestheticised? What rhetorical strategies did Victorian writers use to figure aesthetic response? What expressive codes and conventions were familiar to the Victorians? Which nineteenth-century scientific developments affected artistic production and what impact did these have on affective reactions?

The conference will consider the historically specific ways in which feeling is discussed in aesthetic discourse. It will also, however, encourage reflection about the limits of an historicist approach for understanding the emotions at play in nineteenth-century aesthetic response and the possibility of alternative methodologies for understanding the relation between feeling and the arts.

Proposals of up to 400 words should be sent to Dr. Vicky Mills at artsandfeeling@gmail.com by 9 January 2015. Please also attach a brief biographical note. Proposals for panels of three papers are also welcome, and should be accompanied by a brief (one-page) panel justification.

Keynote Speakers: Professor Caroline Arscott (Courtauld Institute of Art, London); Professor Tim Barringer (Yale University); Meaghan Clarke (University of Sussex); Professor Kate Flint (University of Southern California); Professor Michael Hatt (University of Warwick); Professor Jonah Siegel (Rutgers); Alison Smith (Tate Britain)

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