Conferences, Lectures, Seminars, Readings

These will be removed on expiry

APRIL 2017

[Posted 22.iv.2017]

School of Advanced Study • University of London

Antoine Compagnon: ‘Rereading Proust in 2017’

This year, the Malcolm Bowie Memorial Lecture has partnered with the School of Advanced Study’s Living Literature series to present a lecture by Professor Antoine Compagnon of the Collège de France and Columbia University

Date: Tuesday 9th May 2017.   Time: 18:00-20:00

 Venue: The Chancellor’s Hall, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

“Since 1913, several generations of readers of Proust have ensued: the sect of Proustians who discovered his novel in the Gallimard’s “Collection Blanche”; the enlightened who read it in the first “Pléiade” of 1954, alongside Jean Santeuil and Contre Sainte-Beuve; the baby boomers who were offered the “Livre de Poche” in the 1960s, with Deleuze, Barthes or Genette as their guides. Translations proliferated. And now? Is the Recherche still read? Has it reached the limit of its appeal? Proust has become a sign of distinction, and all reading is rereading, as Nabokov famously said.” (Antoine Compagnon)

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception. Admission to the event is free, all welcome. Please register in advance:

Sponsored by the Cassal Trust

[Posted 11.iv.2017]
 The Lives of Houses 
Saturday, 27th May , 2017

10:00am to 5:30pm
Wolfson College, Linton Rd, Oxford OX2 6UD
Leonard Wolfson Auditorium

A one-day colloquium convened by Oliver Cox & Sandra Mayer, and hosted by the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW) in collaboration with The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

The event brings together academics, biographers and curators to explore the ways in which the life stories of well-known individuals are preserved and presented through the architecture and material culture of their homes. Talks on musicians’, architects’ and writers’ houses will focus on the intersections of life-writing and notions of fame and celebrity through physical spaces and objects. With a plenary lecture by Daisy Hay on “Writing Space in Mr and Mrs Disraeli and Dinner with Joseph Johnson” and papers by

• Gillian Darley (Sir John Soane)
• Lucy Walker (Benjamin Britten’s The Red House)
• James Grasby (Edward Elgar Birthplace)
• Alexandra Harris (William Cowper, John Clare and Virginia Woolf)
• Frankie Kubicki (Charles Dickens Museum)
• Nicola Watson (Shakespeare’s New Place)

The colloquium will conclude with a round table discussion among scholars and practitioners. Featuring Head of Specialist Advice for the National Trust, Nino Strachey, biographer and broadcaster Alexandra Harris, and art historian and curator Serena Dyer, the expert panel will cast a spotlight on the strategies available to those who open and present these houses to the public today. 

To book a place, click here.
Click here to view the poster.

For more information, contact Kate Kennedy (OCLW),


Open to all


[Posted 06.iv.2017]

Marie Corelli was extremely popular at the turn of the century, so much so that J. M. Stuart-Young complained about the “Corelli Cult.” Biographer Annette Federico said that Corelli’s novels broke all sales records. Her books are enjoying a resurgence of interest with a new generation of readers and scholars, but to date there is no critical monograph on her work. In that Anthem Press has expressed interest in publishing a collection of articles on Corelli, Brenda Ayres and Sarah E. Maier are soliciting essays on any topic relating to Corelli, as long as they have not been published before. Ayres has edited several collections with the most recent being Biographical Misrepresentations of British Women Writers: A Hall of Mirrors and the Long Nineteenth Century (Palgrave, 2017). Please send queries followed by a 300-word abstract and brief bio listing recent publications to and by May 5th.


MARCH 2017

[Posted 24.iii.2017]

The Octave Mirbeau centenary.

Pierre Michel writes:

Comme tout le monde ne le sait pas, vu le silence assourdissant de la “grande presse”, on commémore, à travers le monde, le centième anniversaire de la mort d’Octave Mirbeau, l’intellectuel éthique, le démystificateur, l’iconoclaste, qui n’a rien perdu de son actualité et qui, visiblement, dérange encore beaucoup, si l’on en juge par  le refus du Musée d’Orsay de rendre hommage au chantre attitré de Monet, Rodin et Van Gogh (voir, et par l’absence totale de soutien effectif du Ministère de la Culture.

Néanmoins les événements et initiatives se multiplient (voir et le comité international de parrainage qui a été constitué est impressionnant :

Deux colloques ont déjà eu lieu : le 27 janvier, au Sénat (“Mirbeau et la société française de la Belle Époque”), et le 11 février, à Morlaix (“Mirbeau et la Bretagne”).  En juin aura lieu un important colloque de trois jours, Mirbeau-Zola, à Debrecen ; en octobre, un colloque Mirbeau à Tunis, une soirée Mirbeau à la BNF et une journée Mirbeau à Lódz ; en novembre, une semaine Mirbeau à Grenade ; et en décembre un grand colloque de deux jours à l’antenne parisienne de l’université de Chicago.

* Parution imminente  du n° 24 des Cahiers Octave Mirbeau (340 pages, 26 €), qui sera disponible à la Sorbonne et au colloque d’Angers :

Nous espérons que nombreux seront les participants à cet hommage international rendu au père de l’abbé Jules, de Célestine et d’Isidore Lechat et que de nouvelles initiatives pourront voir le jour, en France et à l’étranger.

Société Octave Mirbeau
10 bis rue André Gautier
49000 - ANGERS
02 41 66 84 64


CFP: ‘Curiosity and Desire in Fin-de-Siècle Art and Literature’

11th-12th May 2018

William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, University of California, Los Angeles

“Curiosity, and the desire of beauty, have each their place in art, as in all true criticism. When one’s curiosity is deficient, when one is not eager enough for new impressions and new pleasures, one is liable to value mere academical properties too highly, to be satisfied with worn-out or conventional types.”

—Walter Pater

“What is termed Sin is an essential element of progress. Without it the world would stagnate, or grow old, or become colourless. By its curiosity Sin increases the experience of the race. Through its intensified assertion of individualism it saves us from monotony of type. In its rejection of the current notions about morality, it is one with the higher ethics.”

—Oscar Wilde

Victorian theorists of aesthetics such as Walter Pater and Oscar Wilde saw curiosity and desire working in tandem in the creation of beauty. And while these two quotations reflect the dissidence across interpretations of aestheticism at the time, they are united in their emphasis on passionate engagement and creativity as necessary elements of academic scholarship itself. We wish to capture this spirited energy by bringing together scholars from around the world to explore the ways in which the fusion of curiosity and desire permeated the art and literature of the British fin de siècle.

This two-day conference is jointly organized by the International Walter Pater Society and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, world-renowned for its holdings of rare and manuscript materials from the period, notably Oscar Wilde, George Egerton, Alfred Douglas, Charles Ricketts, Aubrey Beardsley, Max Beerbohm, and the fine presses of the fin de siècle. The conference will include workshops in which groups of scholars will carry on exploratory discussions that relate to the Clark’s extensive fin-de siècle collections.

We welcome proposals for either conference papers or workshop contributions.

Conference papers will be twenty minutes in length and should address the conference theme in relation to works by Pater, Wilde, or other figures from this period. We encourage interdisciplinary approaches, linking literature to the visual arts, music, performance, or science, as well as exploring the international dimension of the British fin de siècle. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Critical methods and the critics’ desires
  • Desire and the senses
  • Scientific and literary curiosity
  • Tastes and taxonomies
  • Empiricism and its discontents
  • Textual and material objects
  • The bizarre and the grotesque
  • Curiosity and the archive
  • The collection and the fetish
  • Ekphrastic practice
  • Different desires

Workshop contributions will consist of pre-circulated papers (circa 2,000 words), which speakers will introduce in five-minute presentations on the day. They should address one of the following three themes:

  • Aestheticism, curiosity, and desire
  • British aestheticism and French culture
  • The aesthetic book: fin-de-siècle printing and publishing

Proposals (300 words) for either papers or workshop contributions should be sent to no later than 1st October 2017.

Conference Organizers: Joseph Bristow, Dennis Denisoff, Stefano Evangelista, and Charlotte Ribeyrol. The conference is cosponsored by the International Walter Pater Society, the UCLA Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies, and the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.




The Dandy, from Van Dyck to Oscar Wilde

Art Symposium, 13th September 2016, Paris, Petit Palais

Paris Tableau présente :


Colloque international, sous la direction de Christophe Leribault, directeur du Petit Palais

Alexis Merle du Bourg
––– Historien de l’art
Van Dyck peintre des dandys : correspondances et discordances
Van Dyck, painter of dandies: similarities and dissimilarities

Guillaume Kientz
––– Conservateur au département des Peintures, museée du Louvre
Grands peintres et « petimetres ». Le dandysme dans le portrait espagnol de Velàzquez à Goya
Great painters and “petimetres”. Dandyism in the Spanish portrait from Velàzquez to Goya

Hugh Belsey
––– Senior Research Fellow, Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Londres:
Sans le moindre soupçon de barbarisme : l’Angleterre de la fin du XVIIIe siècle adopte des manières étrangères
Without the least tincture of barbarism: adopting foreign manners in late eighteenth-century England

Philippe Bordes
––– Professeur d’histoire de l’art, Université Lyon 2
L’élégance républicaine à travers le portrait masculin (1789-1799)
Republican elegance in male portraiture (1789-1799)

Erica Hirshler
––– Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
John Singer Sargent et le dandy
John Singer Sargent and the Dandy

Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond
––– Historien de l’art
Portraits fin de siècle : du dandy à l’esthète
Fin-de-siècle portraits: from the dandy to the aesthete

The Arts And Feeling in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture


Two forthcoming lectures on Wilde.

Le 28 octobre  2014  à 18 heures 30

Daniel Salvatore Schiffer: ‘Oscar Wilde : splendeur et misère d’un dandy’

Bibliothèque des Riches Claires, Rue des Riches Claires 24 – 1000 Bruxelles

Le 20 novembre 2014 à 18h00

Pascal Aquien: The Importance of Being Earnest, ou Wilde “lecteur” de Nietzsche. 

amphithéâtre Milne Edwards, en Sorbonne, Paris

JULY 2013

 We have pleasure in announcing a lecture by Professor Pascal Aquien at the Sorbonne Tuesday 9th July 2013, amphithéâtre Richelieu, 17h30 – 18h30 on ‘Oscar Wilde et la France : un Irlandais à Paris’.

Three papers on Wilde are being given at the XXth Congress of the International Comparative Literature Association, Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, Friday 19th July 2013:

Maho Hidaka, Kyoto Women’s University:  ‘Hybrid Wilde: Comparative Literature and Oscar Wilde Studies’

Denise Merkle, Université de Moncton : ‘Les règles du jeu de la Mehrsprachigkeit et de la Mischsprachigkeit dans le polysystème victorien en fin de siècle : les cas de Salomé d’Oscar Wilde et de Children of the Ghetto d’Israel Zangwill’

  1. S. Tien, The Pennsylvania State University: ‘An Adaptive Translation of Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan

Full programme at

JUNE 2013

The Importance of Being Wilde: Day Symposium on Oscar Wilde and Fin-de-Siècle Culture

University of Limerick

Wednesday 12th June 2013

Venue: Plassey House, University of Limerick

The evening reading with Keith Ridgway will take place at 7pm in O’Mahony’s Bookshop, O’Connell St, Limerick (city centre). This will be followed by the conference dinner (optional) at the Cornstore, Thomas St, Limerick (city centre).


9.00-10.00    Registration (Plassey House, University of Limerick)

Tea and coffee available in the East Room, Plassey House

10.00        Conference Welcome  (Wood Room, Plassey House) followed by Panel 1

Panel 1     (Wood Room, Plassey House)

Noreen Doody (St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra): “Oscar Wilde and W.B. Yeats: Image and Influence”.

Aleksandar Radovanović (University of Kragujevac, Serbia): “Saint Oscar: Wilde’s Marxist Performance of National Sanctity as seen by Terry Eagleton”.

Claire Masurel-Murray (University of Paris-Sorbonne): “Wilde’s Fin de Siècle Catholicism: A Protestant Papism?”.

11.30-12.30    Plenary (Wood Room, Plassey House)

Professor Margaret Diane Stetz (University of Delaware)

12.30-1.15    Lunch

1.15-2.45    Panels 2 & 3

Panel 2    (Wood Room, Plassey House)

Bénédicte Coste: “‘In the Toils of the Scarlet Woman’: the Catholic and Religious Question in Wilde’s Letters”.

Andrea Selleri (University of Warwick): “Oscar Wilde and Edward Dowden”.

Yvonne Ivory (University of South Carolina): “Wilde’s Wagner and the Allure of Absolution”.

Panel 3    (Daly Room, Plassey House)

Anne Markey (NUI Maynooth): “The Irish Wilde reconsidered: ‘The Muses care so little for geography!’”.

Paul Griffin (University College Cork): “Wilde Times : Dorian Gray and the Aesthetics of Intoxication”.

Ray O’Neill (Dublin City University): “Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Being a Gay”.

2.45-3.00    Tea & Coffee break

3.00-4.30    Panels 4 & 5

Panel 4    (Wood Room, Plassey House)

Katherine O’Keefe (St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra): “Vera: or the Fenians and the Duchess of Ballypadua”.

Ashley Cook (University of Otago, New Zealand): “Bad Cocoa and Worse Blankets: The Challenging Socialism of Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales”.

Laurence Davis (University College Cork): “Wilde’s The Soul of Man under Socialism as a Modern Political Masterpiece”.

(Daly Room, Plassey House)

Panel 5     (Daly Room, Plassey House)

Laura Chilcoat (University of Florida): “Forgiving Salome: Oscar Wilde’s Tragic Heroine”.

Aoife Leahy: “1880s Illustrations of Oscar Wilde”.

Julie Anne Stevens (St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra): “A Picture of Oscar Wilde by Edith Somerville”.

4.30-5.30    Plenary (Wood Room, Plassey House)

Professor Joseph Bristow (University of California, Los Angeles)

7pm        Evening Reading (O’Mahony’s Bookshop, O’Connell St, Limerick)

Keith Ridgway

8.30pm    Conference dinner (optional) at the Corn Store, Limerick.

Please note: all are welcome to attend the conference dinner, however, places must be reserved in advance (on the registration form) and paid for during registration on the morning of the symposium.

Getting to the University of Limerick:

Campus Map:

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