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.

WSG seminars 2015-2016 announced

Anonymous, trade card, paper, c1760, collected by Sarah Sophia Banks.  BM D,2.3603.
Anonymous, trade card, paper, c1760, collected by Sarah Sophia Banks. British Museum D,2.3603. © The Trustees of the British Museum

The Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837 is pleased to announce its seminar schedule for the forthcoming academic year.  Seminars will take place at the Foundling Museum, London, WC1N 1AZ, and start promptly at 1pm, finishing at about 4.  Tea and biscuits are provided.  Why not arrive early and see the Foundling’s current exhibition, or hear a gallery talk?

This year seminars organiser Dr Carolyn Williams has drawn together papers with musical themes, as well as on collecting, natural philosophy, literature, politics, and book history from across WSG’s 16th- to early 19th-century range.  Dates and speakers are as follows:

Saturday 26th  September, 2015, 1-4pm, Foundling Museum
Diana Ambache, ‘Women composers of the late 18th century’
Professor Paula Higgins, ‘Suppressing the Suppression of Fanny Hensel: Textual Ellipsis and Other Signs of Biographical Censorship’
Dr Arlene Leis, ‘Sarah Sophia Banks as a Collector’

NB Diana Ambache will have CDs of the composers profiled on sale, from £6 to £14.

Saturday 28th November, 2015, 1-4pm, Foundling Museum
Associate Professor Tita Chico, ‘Knowledge Seduction’
Dr Andrew McInnes, ‘Resistant Readers in Sarah Fielding’s The Governess’
Chrisy Dennis, ‘“We were born to grace society: but not to be its slaves”: Chivalry and Revolution in Mary Robinson’s Hubert de Sevrac, A Romance of the Eighteenth Century (1796)’

Saturday January 30, 2016, 1-4pm, Foundling Museum
Valerie Schutte, ‘Pre-accession Printed Book Dedications to Mary and Elizabeth Tudor’ (see a publication of Valerie’s here)
Brianna Elyse Robertson-Kirkland, ‘Venanzio Rauzzini (1746 – 1810) and his female operatic students’
Sarah Oliver, ‘From Rape to Desire: Mary Hays’s Revision of the Love Theme and Jane Austen’s “New” Heroines’ (see a publication of Sarah’s here)

For more information, and brief abstracts of the papers, see our current seminars page, like WSG’s facebook page, or follow @WSGUK.

WSG Workshop 2015: insights into editing early modern women’s words and experience

WSG member Miriam Al Jamil has written a round-up of our recent Annual Workshop, this year titled What is the place of Aphra Behn in Restoration Culture, at which Professor Elaine Hobby and Claire Bowditch gave a keynote talk on this important playwright, translator, and spy for Charles II…

“The annual workshop this year had Aphra Behn as its theme, and her significance was amply demonstrated by the variety of presentations made by attendees.

Elaine Hobby began the day by introducing the 8-volume Cambridge Edition of the Writings of Aphra Behn which is currently in progress. She pointed out the huge advances made in Behn scholarship since Janet Todd’s edition of the 1990s, highlighting the recent interest in attribution and translation studies. Assisted by Claire Bowditch, we explored possible literary and cultural allusions in example texts such as The False Count (1681). Comparisons of printed editions of Behn’s work prompted questions about authorial interventions and their motivations, and the practicalities of corrections made by printers. Elaine outlined the advantages which computerised textual analysis can offer debate concerning attribution, so that forms of expression can be collated to clarify any judgement. Her insights into the complexities of editing such a large and varied literary production were intriguing and much appreciated.

The variety of connections that can be found in Behn’s work was reflected in the topics covered in the presentations in the afternoon. We considered the participation of women in the creation of the Mostyn Library and the objectification of book and women alike in the correspondence of Thomas Mostyn; the achievements of significant female publishers such as Mrs. S.C. Hall; Lady Anne Halkett’s MS autobiography; along with issues such as the bitter rivalry between Delarivier Manley and Richard Steele.  We learned that Behn like Anne Finch was from the Wye area in Kent, and we read Finch’s poem referencing her sister poet. We heard about the difficulties of finding details about the dances which were part of Restoration plays.

If the discussions of the day are any indication, there is a wealth of interest in Behn and the women writers who succeeded her, so there is great cause for optimism and anticipation of new discoveries to come.”

Thanks to the organisers and all the contributors to the workshop for making this year’s event such a success, and to Miriam for taking the time to give us her thoughts.

Call for papers: WSG 2015-2016 seminar series

 

>>> Update: June 11.  Our call for papers is now closed.  We are delighted to have filled the programme so quickly and would like to thank everyone who got in touch.  We hope you can join us at one of our sessions.

 

Interested in giving a paper to the WSG?  Now’s the time to get in touch!

For the 2015-2016 series, the group will be meeting at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ.

Attendees at a WSG seminar
Attendees at a WSG seminar

Papers can be any length up to 35 minutes, and can be formal or informal, or even work in progress. The papers are followed by very supportive and informal discussion by members present. Men and women are invited to become members of our group and to give papers.

The topics can be anything related to any aspect of women’s studies: not only women writers, but any activity of a woman or women in the period of our concern, or anything that affects or is affected by women in this time period, such as the law, religion, etc. Male writers writing about women or male historical figures who have a bearing on the condition of women in this period are also a potential topic.

Venue: Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ

All meetings are on Saturdays: in the 2015-2016 sessions, the dates are as follows:

Saturday 26th  September, 2015

Saturday 28th November, 2015

Saturday 30th January, 2016

The room will be booked for 1.00 – 6.00 pm, to give us time to make preparations and clear away afterwards, but we expect sessions to run from 2.00 – 5.00pm.  We should like to start each session promptly at 2 p.m., so arrive a little early if you can. Time has been allowed for general discussion at the end.

Please reply to postmaster@womensstudiesgroup.org.uk, with your e-mail marked for the attention of Carolyn D. Williams.

Additional information:
Since it was established in the early 1980s, the Women’s Studies Group 1558-1837 has enabled those interested in women’s and gender studies to keep in touch with each other, to hear about members’ interests and relevant publications, and to organise regular meetings and an annual workshop where members can meet and discuss women’s studies topics. We can also offer advice and opportunities to engage in activities that increase opportunities for publication, or enhance professional profiles in other ways.

WSG  membership is open to men and women, graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars: please take a look around our website for more information.

Claire Bowditch joins Elaine Hobby at our Aphra Behn workshop

We are very fortunate that Dr Claire Bowditch is going to join Professor Elaine Hobby at our annual workshop to speak about their new research on Aphra Behn.  They are co-editing a new edition of the complete writings of Aphra Behn for Cambridge University Press.

The title of their keynote paper is ‘What is the place of Aphra Behn in Restoration Culture’, and the afternoon session at which delegates are invited to give 5 minutes papers will open up a discussion across disciplines and backwards and forwards in time.

A few spaces are still available.  Registration will close on the 29 April, so please contact us promptly to reserve a place.

We look forward to seeing you at what promises to be another great workshop!

UPDATE: The workshop is now full – thank you to everyone for such a great response. We are keeping a waiting list: if you would like your name to be added, please contact us using the information on our booking form.