New Title | ‘Pygmalion in Bavaria’

Posted in books by Editor on March 13, 2012

From Penn State UP:

Christiane Hertel, Pygmalion in Bavaria: The Sculptor Ignaz Günther and Eighteenth-Century Aesthetic Art Theory (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2011), 344 pages, ISBN: 9780271037370, $100.

In Pygmalion in Bavaria, Christiane Hertel introduces the sculptor Ignaz Günther, placing him in the historical context of Bavarian Rococo art and Counter-Reformation religious visual culture. She also considers the remarkable aesthetic appeal of Günther’s oeuvre—and connects it to the eighteenth-century art theory that focused on sculpture and the creative paradigm of Pygmalion. Through this interweaving of contexts and discourses, Hertel offers insights into how Rococo art’s own critical dimension positions it against the Enlightenment and introduces a particular notion of subjectivity.

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“This is an extraordinary book. Extraordinary is Hertel’s command of eighteenth-century aesthetic art theory, extraordinary her command of Bavarian Rococo art, especially the art of Ignaz Günther, and extraordinary the depth of her understanding of the religious culture of eighteenth-century Bavaria. Pygmalion in Bavaria may seem to be a book for a small number of specialists. But the spell of Ignaz Günther’s art should ensure that this unusually engaging text will find the readers that it deserves and will help secure, in the English-speaking world, Günther’s place among the major artists of the eighteenth century.” —Karsten Harries, Yale University

Call for Papers | Graduate Student Conference on Travel

Posted in Calls for Papers, graduate students by Editor on March 13, 2012

Transporting Bodies and Minds: 18th- and 19th-Century Travel
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 15 September 2012

Proposals due 1 May 2012

Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, travelers of all kinds documented their experiences in private letters and diaries, official correspondence, life writing, spiritual and religious narratives, and ethnographic accounts. Furthermore, these experiences were often transformed into works of art, with real and imagined moments of contact serving as the inspiration for painting, music, poetry, prose fiction, photography, and other creative ventures. These aesthetic productions transformed the foreign into the national, the known into the unknown, appearing to expand access to other cultures–a model of cultural transportation that recent criticism is troubling.

Scholarship drawing on theories of post-colonialism, gender, material and visual culture, cognitive studies, posthumanism, and other critical paradigms has challenged our understanding of the impact–not just aesthetic, but also commercial, martial, and religious–of travel in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. This work has made strides in elucidating a more dynamic picture of the way travel and cultural encounter could transform (or fail to transform) prior understandings of both time and space. Moreover, it has allowed for a more capacious appreciation of how influence happens, extending beyond more uni-directional, Eurocentric approaches.

Continuing this work, the University of Michigan’s Eighteenth-Century Studies Group and Nineteenth-Century Forum will co-host an interdisciplinary graduate student conference on these topics, to take place in Ann Arbor, MI, on September 15, 2012. We are pleased to announce that Kate Flint, Provost Professor of English and Art History (University of Southern California), will be our keynote speaker.

Graduate students are encouraged to submit papers that explore the implications of travel, tourism, boundary crossing, exploration, and other related topics–from a wide range of disciplinary perspectives. Submissions of either individual papers or full panels are welcome. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to Karen McConnell (mcconnka@umich.edu) by May 1, 2012.

Suggested paper topics include (but are not limited to): (more…)

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