Professor Jan Todd on Jane Austen’s Sanditon in Newham College on Fri 7th June

Professor Jan Todd will give a short talk on Jane Austen and her last work, Sanditon, at 6pm in Newham College. Please see this flyer for details: Sanditon 070619 poster.

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5th November Talk by Edmund Smith – ‘A Literary Introduction to Hegel: dialectical philosophy and the 19th century short story’

 

On the 5th November from 16:30-17:45 in HEL114, Edmund Smith will be delivering an introductory talk on the German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) and the nineteenth-century short story. This lecture will offer a rich groundwork for anyone interested in finding out more about dialectical philosophy, and its impact on nineteenth-century literature.

Edmund Smith is a philosopher working in the Hegelian tradition. His work focuses on the Science of Logic, the Jena Phenomenology, and on the relationship between them. Edmund began working on the Logic in late 2015 after becoming deeply dissatisfied with certain tenets within analytic philosophy of logic. Since then, he has given papers on nature and justification of the presuppositionless beginning of the Logic, as well as on Hegel’s conception of the categories.

Edmund received his undergraduate degree from the London School of Economics, and his MA from the University of Warwick. He hopes to begin his PhD in the second half of 2019.

This lecture is open to all, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Great Expectations at the Cambridge Arts Theatre

I very much enjoyed giving the pre-show talk on Great Expectations at the Cambridge Arts Theatre last Tuesday. I have since been asked for details about the material I discussed, so I thought I would share some links and further references here.

I began the talk by discussing the initial publication context of Great Expectations. It was published in weekly parts between October 1861 and January 1862 in Dickens’s Journal All the Year Round. You can browse through the journal on Dickens Journals Online. This site also includes a film about the London of Great Expectations and details of the online community who are reading the novel week-by-week, as the novel’s first readers did. In my module on Victorian Literature and Culture at Anglia Ruskin University, I ask students to read a novel in weekly parts over the course of a semester in order that they might get a taste of the experience of the early readers who were engaged with a novel over months and sometimes even years. It is always really interesting and exciting to reflect on how reading a novel in this way affects our experience of the plot and the characterisation.

After outlining the initial context of publication, I moved on in the talk to discuss issues relating to adaptations of Dickens’s novels and to highlight the theatrical elements in Great Expectations. If you would like to read more about Dickens’s own experiences with the theatre then I would recommend this piece by Simon Callow on the British Library website. These are the details of some of the three cinematic adaptations of Great Expectations which  I discussed:

David Lean (dir), 1946

Alfonso Cuaron (dir) 1998

Mike Newell (dir), 2012

In the Q&A time, I brought up the mini-series Dickensian. I would strongly recommend it and am very pleased to see the whole series is now available on Netflix. An earlier post by unit member Valerie Purton offers some reflections on the production.

Finally, my thoughts on Dickens and adaptation have been shaped by the following books:

  • Linda H. Hutcheon. A Theory of Adaptation (Routledge, 2012)
  • Karen E. Laird. The Art of Adapting Victorian Literature, 1848-1920 (Ashgate, 2016)
  • James, Naremore (ed). Film Adaptation (Althone, 2000)

Elizabeth Ludlow

ALSS Research Seminar: Ruskin, Music and the Health of the Nation

Dear all,

This is just a reminder of Paul Jackson’s talk tomorrow. These are the details:

April 11th (Hel 251)Paul Jackson, Ruskin, Music and the Health of the Nation

John Ruskin wrote about music throughout his life, frequently employing musical analogies to frame his thoughts on drawing, painting and visual art. As his ideas on art developed to encompass matters of life, society, ethics, economics and religion, his relationship with music also developed. Ruskin increasingly saw not just the communication and reception of music as processes that might lift the spirits and ennoble the mind, but also the act of performing – specifically singing – as something that exercised both mind and body in beneficial synchrony. It will be argued that Ruskin’s engagement, in thought and in writing, with music’s practice, manifestation and meaning, add valuable insight into Victorian perceptions of music in society.