New Book | Itch, Clap, Pox

Posted in books by Editor on March 25, 2019

From Yale UP:

Noelle Gallagher, Itch, Clap, Pox: Venereal Disease in the Eighteenth-Century Imagination (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019), 288 pages, ISBN: 978-0300217056, $65.

A lively interdisciplinary study of how venereal disease was represented in eighteenth-century British literature and art

In eighteenth-century Britain, venereal disease was everywhere and nowhere: while physicians and commentators believed the condition to be widespread, it remained shrouded in secrecy, and was often represented using slang, symbolism, and wordplay. In this book, literary critic Noelle Gallagher explores the cultural significance of the ‘clap’ (gonorrhea), the ‘pox’ (syphilis), and the ‘itch’ (genital scabies) for the development of eighteenth-century British literature and art. As a condition both represented through metaphors and used as a metaphor, venereal disease provided a vehicle for the discussion of cultural anxieties about gender, race, commerce, and immigration. Gallagher highlights four key concepts associated with venereal disease, demonstrating how infection’s symbolic potency was enhanced by its links to elite masculinity, prostitution, foreignness, and facial deformities. Casting light where the sun rarely shines, this study will fascinate anyone interested in the history of literature, art, medicine, and sexuality.

Noelle Gallagher is Senior Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of Manchester. She is the author of Historical Literatures: Writing about the Past in England, 1600–1740.

Lecture | Kevin Salatino, Chasing Casanova

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on March 25, 2019

Next month at BGC:

Kevin Salatino, Chasing Casanova: Venice and the Grand Tour
Bard Graduate Center, New York, 3 April 2019

Kevin Salatino will speak at the Seminar in Renaissance and Early Modern Material Culture on Wednesday, April 3, at 6pm. His talk is entitled “Chasing Casanova: Venice and the Grand Tour.”

The Grand Tour was both finishing school and rite of passage for the British (male) aristocrat. As Samuel Johnson noted, “a man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.” While Rome was “the great object,” Venice was an essential stop on the way. The floating city’s wondrous novelty, its reputation for license and luxury, and its much-touted devotion to liberty were compelling attractions for the Grand Tourist. Famous for its courtesans, its masked revelers, its mystery and secrecy, its appeal inevitably swung toward the sensual and the sexual. This talk addresses the British Grand Tourist’s experience of eighteenth-century Venice in the context of the erotic, through a close examination of that city’s art, as well as texts and cultural artifacts from both sides, Venetian and British.

Kevin Salatino is Chair and Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago. He was previously Director of the Art Collections at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California; Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine; Curator and Head of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Curator of Graphic Arts at the Getty Research Institute. Salatino holds a BA from Columbia University and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. Among his publications are Incendiary Art: The Representation of Fireworks in Early Modern Europe (a revised French edition of which was recently published); Edward Hopper’s Maine; and Blue Boy and Company: European Art at The Huntington. He has published on artists as diverse as Henry Fuseli, Jacques-Louis David, Francisco Goya, Richard Pousette-Dart, and James Ensor, and has lectured extensively on subjects ranging from fireworks to the Grand Tour. Most recently, he curated the Art Institute exhibitions, Shockingly Mad: Henry Fuseli and the Art of Drawing; Gods and Superheroes: Drawing in an Age of Revolution; and Into the Void: Prints of Lee Bontecou.

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