(Re)Reading John Addington Symonds
Saturday 11th September 2010
A one-day conference at Keele University
Plenary Speakers: Howard J. Booth (Manchester) and Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck)
Interest in John Addington Symonds has revived in recent years due to the 1984 publication of his Memoirs (edited by Phyllis Grosskurth), a unique and important record of Victorian homosexuality. He has since become an important figure for historians of sexuality and queer criticism. Despite this resurgence, Symonds has remained a marginalised figure; his participation across multiple academic and creative disciplines is largely excluded from the canon of nineteenth century cultural criticism. This has prompted John Pemble to write: ‘[Symonds’s contemporary readership] kept his reputation alive and most of his books in print until the 1930s; but his prestige faded as they aged and died off.’
Interest in Symonds has grown and diversified during the 2000s. This one-day conference will provide a forum within which to assimilate and evaluate this new and emerging work; it will offer a wide ranging re-assessment of Symonds, exploring his contribution to multiple disciplines and his significance for current fields of academic study.
Papers might address (but are not limited to):
• Symonds and art/art history
• Symonds and Hellenism
• Symonds as ‘man of letters’; literary critic; historian; poet; essayist; translator
• Symonds and nineteenth-century science; sexology; evolution
• Symonds and life writing
• Symonds and travel writing
• Symonds in collaboration
• Symonds and his contemporaries
• Symonds and his critics/advocates
• Symonds and publication; textuality; book history
• Symonds’s reception, reputation and ‘afterlife’
• Symonds and gender/sexuality
Abstracts for 15 to 20 minute papers (c. 250 words) should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by 18 June 2010.
Informal enquiries should be addressed to the conference organisers: David Amigoni (email@example.com) and Amber K. Regis (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This conference is generously supported by the British Association for Victorian Studies.
UPDATE: There's now a conference website: http://sites.google.com/site/johnaddingtonsymonds/
(Image of Symonds is from the Wikimedia Commons.)