Theatre, Art, and Visual Culture in the 19th Century

Session Convenors:

Patricia Smyth (University of Warwick) p.m.smyth@warwick.ac.uk

Jim Davis (University of Warwick)

Kate Newey (University of Exeter)

Kate Holmes (University of Exeter)

Please email your paper proposal to the session convenor using the Paper Proposal Form

Abstract:

Convened on behalf of the three-year AHRC-funded project, ‘Theatre and Visual Culture in the Long Nineteenth Century’, this session seeks to create cross-disciplinary dialogue between scholars of art history, visual culture and theatre history. The 19th century is known as a period of blurred boundaries between previously distinct media, as evidenced by the growing importance of spectacle in stage productions, the circulation of images and motifs between media, and also by the frequent application of the term ‘theatrical’ to a certain type of narrative painting. This trans-medial visual culture operated through a range of new technologies, from printing methods such as lithography, to optical toys and spectacular entertainments like the panorama and the diorama, the visual effects of which were also attempted on stage. In looking laterally across media (and disciplinary) boundaries, we hope to offer new insights into contemporary debates about spectatorship, cultural legitimacy, popular taste, the relationship between high art and entertainment.

We invite proposals from researchers working on any aspect of the relationship between theatre and the visual arts in this period. We particularly welcome considerations of the Northumberland-born artist John Martin. The theatricality of Martin’s work was foregrounded by the 2011–12 Tate Britain exhibition, which used special effects to convey its status as the 19th-century equivalent of the blockbuster movie. This example raises questions about how inventive curatorial practices might convey the experience of 19th-century spectators to 21st-century viewers in the midst of our own technological revolution.

Submit a paper

Please email your paper proposals direct to the session convenor above, using the Paper Proposal Form

You need to provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) for a 25-minute paper (unless otherwise specified), your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of the paper because the title is what appears online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 21 October 2019

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