Month: December 2010

CFP: Mervyn Peake Conference 2011

Mervyn Peake and the Fantasy Tradition : A Centenary Conference

An international conference hosted by the English & Creative Writing Department, University of Chichester and the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy

15–16 July 2011 Chichester, UK

Keynote Speakers include: Joanne Harris | Michael Moorcock | Peter Winnington | Colin Manlove | Farah Mendlesohn | Sebastian Peake

This conference and related events next July to mark the centenary of Peake’s birth include exhibitions of his paintings and illustrations in Chichester (Peake lived in nearby Burpham while writing the Gormenghast books, and is buried there). July 2011 is also the publication date of Titus Awakes, Maeve Gilmore’s conclusion of her husband’s Gormenghast sequence. The conference will celebrate, explore and discuss the many facets of Peake’s rich creativity, including his work as fantasy novelist, children’s writer, playwright, poet, writer of nonsense verse, artist and illustrator (both of his own books and classics such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, The Hunting of the Snark, the Alice books, Treasure Island and the Grimms’ Household Tales). (more…)


Enhancing the Database of Mid-Victorian Illustration

Just a quick update to introduce myself and say I’m glad to be back at Cardiff and looking forward to working as the research associate on the new phase of DMVI. I’m still getting to grips with the project programme and trying to get in touch with all of the various people involved, but things are proceeding apace and we’ve got lots to look forward to in the new year.

As a reminder, the elements of the project are as follows: the database will be converted to open source software and remodelled to facilitate web-based data-entry; the iconographic cataloguing system will be extended to allow multi-lingual searches and will be integrated with another popular visual hierarchy, Iconclass; the iconographic system will be made available as an Open Source Image Curation System; the scope for integrating DMVI’s systems with Web 2.0 social networking technologies will be modelled; and the possibilities for developing DMVI as a teaching resource will be explored.

The aim of all this is to make the innovative technologies and methodologies developed by DMVI accessible to the widest possible audience – in terms of language, location, discipline and user profile. Elements of DMVI have already been deployed in other projects dealing with themes as varied as the history of Manchester and the history of Victorian periodicals. After the completion of this programme of research and enhancements, much more will be possible.

Visiting speaker, 14 Dec 2010: Stuart Sillars on illustrated Shakespeare

Stuart Sillars will be presenting his paper, ‘Illustrated Shakespeare and the Limits of Interpretations’ at 5.15pm on Tuesday, 14 December 2010. The talk will take place in the Cardiff Humanities Building, Room 2.48.

Recent discussions of Shakespeare’s works as print documents have focused on scholarly editions, with illustrated editions still largely neglected, despite their far greater availability from the end of the eighteenth century. From Rowe’s edition of 1709, however, the nature, placing and frequency of illustrations had a major impact on the reading experience of the plays, being both innovative in the integrated narrative of word and image and offering important new ways of configuring the plays in terms wholly of the printed book. The paper will explore some of the operations of this complex identity, and make suggestions about how illustrated editions may be explored as an aesthetic form of parallel, yet quite distinct, identity to that of the plays in production. (more…)

Research spotlight #1: A history of titling practices: in transition

by Victoria Gibbons

After completing my doctorate this summer, I have had the privilege of undertaking a one-year postdoctoral scholarship with the Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation. The Wingate Scholarship enables me to continue my research, begun early in my postgraduate study, on the historical development of literary titling practices at Cardiff University.

My doctoral thesis initiated a diachronic reconsideration of the literary title. Unlike previous critical studies of titling practices, which focus almost exclusively on modern printed works, the thesis focused on the titling practices of manuscripts, addressing the different forms, functions and meanings of premodern titling. The overlapping of theoretical and material concerns in this under-researched area of book history necessitated a new form of multidisciplinary approach which combined critical theories of titology with codicological and bibliographical modes of enquiry. My current postdoctoral project develops and extends the findings of my doctorate. While the thesis looked at titling practices from the beginning of written records until the end of the fourteenth century, the postdoc concentrates on a more limited timeframe: the fifteenth century. My long-term research goal has always been to establish and publish a history of titling practices, spanning manuscript, early print and later print/digital modes of literature. Yet my doctoral research reveals that the development of titling cannot be mapped simply and rigidly onto these mediums. Taking the transition from manuscript to incunable as its focus, the postdoc looks beyond such technological determinism, allowing consideration of the influence of other related factors (the growing commercialisation of the book trade, higher rates of textual production, the increasing standardisation of textual formats) on the development of titling practices at this time. (more…)