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John Ruskin Prize

Ruskin Conference - Pau, France 2019

Mediating Ruskin: “Through a Kaleidoscope, Brightly”

Call for conference papers.

This conference is to be held at the Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Pau, France, on 8th and 9th February 2019.

Keynote speakers will include Jérôme Bastianelli (author of Dictionnaire Proust/Ruskin) and Emily Eells (expert on Ruskin and Proust).

February 2019 will mark the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth and the eminent Victorian’s name and ideas still regularly crop up in a variety of contexts and media on both sides of the Channel and the Atlantic. Like an image fixed on one’s retina long after the contemplated object has been removed, Ruskin’s presence continues to permeate through many writings ranging from architecture and art to economics and environment. Rejected by the Edwardians as the epitome of the stiff, upper-lip Victorian sage, he is now recognized as a major figure for his significant achievements, whether it be his defence of William Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites and his insightful utopic views that nourished Gandhi’s political thought as much as today’s projects on sustainability.

For the members of the French Victorian and Edwardian Society (SFEVE), the anniversary is a timely opportunity to reappraise the ways in which Ruskin’s ideas have been interpreted, translated, transplanted on foreign soil - France but also Italy - and accommodated in the numerous fields that were impacted by his writings.

In a distant echo of one of Ruskin’s often-used lines from the Bible and in homage to classical studies of Ruskin (John Rosenberg’s study of Ruskin, The Darkening Glass, 1986) and to recent, thought-provoking studies (Isobel Armstrong’s Victorian Glassworlds, 2008) this conference aims to explore the filters and theoretical frames through which Ruskin’s ideas have been viewed and appropriated but also distorted, enlarged and perhaps diminished.

Abstracts are invited for a twenty-five minute presentation on any of the following subjects:

  • -  the reception and interpretation of Ruskin’s ideas, whether aesthetic, political, economic or broadly cultural

  • -  the interaction between Ruskin and other writers, artists or movements (Carlyle, Turner, the Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionism, Whistler, Aestheticism)

  • -  the translation of Ruskin’s writings into French or into other languages

  • -  Ruskin and the emergence of new ways of seeing and thinking (art criticism, politics, education): influences, transpositions, oppositions and legacies

  • -  Ruskinian pilgrimages in France (“Pèlerinages ruskiniens en France”, Proust)

  • -  Ruskin (and other Victorians) in the Mountains

  • -  Ruskin and women

  • -  “Green Ruskin”: environmental issues then and now

To submit, please send a 300-word abstract and a short biographical notice to the three conference organisers: Fabienne Gaspari (fabienne.gaspari@univ-pau.fr), Laurence Roussillon-Constanty (laurence.roussillon-constanty@univ-pau.fr) (UPPA) and Béatrice Laurent (UBM) (drbealaurent@orange.fr).



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