Reminder: WSG September Seminar 2015

The first WSG seminar of the new academic year will take place in just over a week’s time.  This will be the first in WSG’s new home, the Foundling Museum.  Directions for getting to the Museum can be found here.  Doors open after 12.30pm with the session starting promptly at 1, and tea, coffee and biscuits at about 2.30pm.  Non-WSG members who wish to attend the seminar are welcome to come but will be asked to make a donation for refreshments.

For the September session seminars organiser Carolyn Williams has serendipitously gathered together a number of papers with musical and collecting themes, which chimes well with the Foundling’s own history.  The Museum was founded to tell the story of the Foundling Hospital, the first charity for children in Britain.  One of its first major supporters was the composer George Frideric Handel, and today the Museum holds an important archive related to his life and works, and holds a regular music programme.

Saturday 26th September 2015, 1-4pm, Foundling Museum
Chair: Angela Escott

Diana Ambache, ‘Women composers of the late 18th century’
This paper presents two Enlightenment composers. Sophia Dussek (1775-1830) was part of the lively musical scene in London. Marianne Martinez (1744-1812) wrote the 1st classical Symphony by a woman.

Paula Higgins, ‘Suppressing the Suppression of Fanny Hensel: Textual Ellipsis and Other Signs of Biographical Censorship’
A tell-tale sign of the longstanding gender politics in which Fanny Hensel (1805-1847) and her quest for musical authorship have become enmeshed are repeated attempts on the part of biographers to shield her brother, Felix Mendelssohn from accusations of thwarting his sister’s ambitions.

Elizabeth Weinfield, ‘Isabella d’Este: Patronage, Performance, and the Viola da Gamba’
This paper will explore Isabella d’Este (1474-1539) and her role as a major patron of music in Renaissance Italy.

Arlene Leis, ‘Sarah Sophia Banks as a Collector’
This talk will focus on the rich paper collections amassed by Sarah Sophia Banks (1744-1818), now housed in the British Museum and British Library.

Valerie Schutte: Mary I and the Art of Book Dedications

WSG member Valerie Schutte has just had her book Mary I and the Art of Book Dedications: Royal Women, Power and Persuasion published with Palgrave Macmillan (£60 hardback).  It is the outcome of her doctoral research, and argues that dedications and the negotiations accompanying them reveal both contemporary perceptions of how statecraft, religion, and gender were, and the political maneuvering attempting to influence how they ought to be.  It is part of Palgrave’s Queenship and Power series, for which Valerie is also currently co-editing, with Sarah Duncan, The Birth of a Queen: Essays on the Quincentenary of Mary I (2016).

Valerie Schutte, Front cover of Mary I (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)
Valerie Schutte, Front cover of Mary I (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015)

Valerie earned her PhD from the University of Akron.  She has a further research project underway, an edited collection on “Unexpected Heirs in Early Modern Europe”, for which she is currently seeking chapter proposals:

This collection seeks scholarship on queens and kings who were not expected to become rulers in their own right. In the early modern era many unexpected heirs came to power, but how, why, and the repercussions have never been the subject of one singular volume. The collection will be submitted to the Queenship and Power series (Palgrave Macmillan) edited by Charles Beem and Carole Levin, with planned publication for late 2017/early 2018.

This volume seeks proposals for submissions that consider unexpected heirs and how they achieved their queenship and kingship. Particularly sought are papers that explore issues facing these monarchs before and after their accessions, how they were educated and prepared for ruling, or their lack of preparation, familial relationships, and obstacles to obtaining power. Proposals on unexpected male and female heirs are welcome, as are papers that examine heirs who did not go on to be queens or kings. The intention for the volume is to engage in the actual lives and cultural afterlives of illegitimate children, daughters, and younger sons and the reception of such heirs.

Chapter proposals of 500 words, accompanied by a brief biography, must be submitted to unexpectedheirs@gmail.com by 1 January 2016 to be considered. Accepted authors will be notified by March 2016, and complete essays will be due by 15 October 2016.