Enfilade

Interdisciplinary MA Program in London

Posted in opportunities by Editor on August 10, 2010

The following notice was recently submitted for the attention of Enfilade readers; there’s also a link to the King’s College program in the sidebar to the right, along with links to other useful eighteenth-century studies programs:

A new MA in 18th-Century Studies, offered under the joint auspices of King’s and the British Museum, is proving very successful, drawing upon the skills of scholars from eight departments in the School of Humanities, alongside those of senior staff at the Museum. The eighteenth century is a vital component of the School of Humanities’ research and teaching.

The new MA consists of a core module, a dissertation and four modules chosen from a wide range of options, including ones taught by the Departments of English Language & Literature, History, Music, American Studies, Philosophy and German. The core module is taught in part by experts from the British Museum, and enables students to engage with the unique, diverse and rich collections of cultural institutions in central London, including the British Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Society and the Hunterian Museum.

The core module explores constructions of the Enlightenment, then and now, through frameworks such as race, gender, class, intellectual networks and material culture, and invites students to analyse ideas, objects, texts and arts of the eighteenth century. We particularly welcome applicants who may continue to a PhD, and those looking to deepen their understanding of the eighteenth century through creative interdisciplinarity.

This degree is offered jointly with the British Museum; do visit the museum’s Enlightenment Gallery website.

What’s to Become of the Hôtel de la Marine?

Posted in the 18th century in the news by Editor on August 10, 2010

With a 6.3€ million restoration completed, the question of the future of the Hôtel de la Marine in Paris has been brewing for over a year now (see, for instance, this March 2009 story in Le Figaro or this February 2009 piece in The Art Tribune). On Friday, The New York Times chimed in with the following report:

“Navy Buildings’s Next Tenant Has Paris Guessing,” by Steven Erlanger and Maïa de la Baume, The New York Times (6 August 2010)

Place de la Concorde, Paris, Hôtel de la Marine to the right, photo by Tristan Nitot (Wikimedia Commons)

The building where Marie Antoinette’s death certificate was signed, and from whose balcony her execution by guillotine was witnessed, may soon be up for grabs. The building, the massive Hôtel de la Marine, sits on what is now the Place de la Concorde, one of the choicest and most expensive bits of land in Paris. It has been the operational headquarters of the French Navy and its top command since 1789, when revolutionary mobs pushed King Louis XVI from Versailles and forced him to Paris.

But France is building a modern military headquarters in southwest Paris, and the navy is expected to leave the Hôtel de la Marine by 2015. The old building’s fate has not been decided, and it has become something of a parlor game here to suggest uses for its 215,000 square feet and 553 rooms. “The navy has been here for 220 years,” said Olivier Laurens, 63, a vice admiral now working in the Department of Naval Heritage, escorting a reporter on a rare visit to the building. “There is nostalgia, of course. But we are greatly attached to this building and wish to see it preserved.”

The navy mattered even more in the 18th century than it does now, and Louis XVI’s minister of the navy found space in the building, which was then being used to store royal furnishings near the king’s Tuileries Palace. Designed by the royal architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel and constructed between 1757 and 1774 at the request of Louis XV, possibly for the dauphin, the Hôtel de la Marine is one of the jewels of 18th-century Paris. Much of it is largely untouched. Its splendid ceremonial rooms were recently restored for $9.5 million by the French industrial and construction group Bouygues. The work, which took more than two years and was finished in May 2009, included renovation of the columns of the facade, known widely as the Balcony of History, from which the executions of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were viewed. . . .

In an era of tight budgets, many plans and rumors of plans have been floated: for a museum of French history, a museum of decorative arts, a branch of the national library, an annex of the Louvre, a reception area for foreign dignitaries or even a center for human-rights organizations. . . .

For the full story, click here»