Call for Participation | British Print Culture in a Transnational Context

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on February 19, 2014

Call for Participation from The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art:

Graduate Summer Seminar | British Print Culture in a Transnational Context, 1700–2014
The Paul Mellon Centre for British Art, London, 21–25 July 2014

Applications due by 10 March 2014

In July 2014, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art will offer a week-long graduate student seminar focusing on British print culture. This is open to doctoral candidates who are working on related topics, or whose research would benefit from a deeper knowledge of the subject. There is a substantial body of literature on British prints that takes the form of survey publications, monographic studies of individual printmakers, and studies of individual techniques, and a number of scholars and doctoral students are currently undertaking research related to these topics. However, the broad field of British print culture still remains relatively underexplored, and its importance for those working in other areas of British visual culture tends to be underestimated. Two related areas, in particular, have been neglected and offer rich possibilities for further study: the reproductive print and the transnational aspect of the British print. The now canonical division between reproductive and ‘original’ prints has tended to elevate the latter category at the expense of the former, and the long-held perception of the status of professional engravers working in Britain as inferior to the artists whose work they translated has obscured appreciation of the collaborative relationships between artist and engraver, and so inhibited our understanding of the complexities of British artistic production. Secondly, Stephen Bann’s research on Anglo-French exchange in nineteenth-century reproductive printmaking has provided an important model for investigating the transnational nature of the British print trade, the various different manifestations of which include: British engravers working elsewhere in the world; foreign engravers working in Britain; the circulation of British prints around the world; the appropriation of imagery from non-British prints in Britain and vice-versa; and indeed the emergence of global modes of representation transmitted by way of prints throughout the former British empire.

The seminar will engage with the development of British print culture, in a transnational context, from 1770 to the present day. It will offer an opportunity for consideration of the state of the field, through a series of sessions taught at the Paul Mellon Centre and at various print rooms in central London, including the British Museum, the Courtauld Institute of Art, University College London, and the V & A Museum. Students will have the chance to see and discuss a wide range of primary materials. The seminar will also offer an introduction to the different techniques of printmaking in relation to their historical development, and includes a visit to a print studio.

The lead instructors of the seminar are Stephen Bann, Emeritus Professor of History of Art, University of Bristol; Gillian Forrester, Curator of Prints and Drawings, Yale Center for British Art, and Sarah Victoria Turner, Assistant Director for Research, Paul Mellon Centre. Other specialists, including art historians, curators, artists, printers, and publishers, will be involved in teaching special sessions during the week. The course is open to current PhD students within the United Kingdom and internationally whose research interests relate to the seminar’s focus (though not necessarily limited to a British context). Participants will be provided with economy airfare, ground transportation, meals, and accommodation in central London. Students are expected to undertake reading assignments in advance of the seminar, and to prepare and give short presentations at the end of the week. A syllabus and list of readings will be available in the late spring of 2014.

Applications must be submitted electronically (in PDF or Word format). Please include a CV and a statement (no more than two pages) of how your research interests intersect with the focus of the seminar, and what you hope to gain for your own work by participating. Applications and questions concerning the seminar should be emailed to: Nermin Abdulla, Yale-in-London Coordinator nabdulla@paul-mellon-centre.ac.uk. The deadline for receipt of applications is Monday 10th March 2014.

2 Responses

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  1. Sarah Turner, Assistant Director for Research, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art said, on February 19, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this – we are really looking forward to receiving the applications!

  2. Editor said, on February 20, 2014 at 11:38 am

    You’re welcome, Sarah. It sounds like a fabulous seminar! -Craig

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