Monthly Archives: January 2018

Bentham and the Arts

Camberwell, Chelsea, Wimbledon’s Graduate School Director and Associate Dean of Research, Professor Malcolm Quinn, is co-convening a seminar series on Bentham and the Arts.

The seminar series will consider the sceptical challenge presented by Jeremy Bentham’s hedonistic utilitarianism to the existence of the aesthetic, as represented in the oft-quoted statement that, ‘Prejudice apart, the game of push-pin is of equal value with the arts and sciences of music and poetry. If the game of push-pin furnish more pleasure, it is more valuable than either.’ This statement is one part of a complex set of arguments on culture, taste, and utility that Bentham pursued over his lifetime, in which sensations of pleasure and pain were opposed to aesthetic sensibility.

Hosted by the Bentham Project and Faculty of Laws, University College London and the University of the Arts, London

Sponsored by UCL Faculty of Laws; UCL Bentham Project; and the International Society for Utilitarian Studies (ISUS)

Co convenors: Anthony Julius (UCL); Malcolm Quinn (UAL); Philip Schofield (UCL)

All seminars take place on Tuesday evenings, at 6.00 pm, at UCL.  All are welcome.

The seminars on 30 January, 20 February, 6 March and 20 March 2018 will take place in G10 Lecture Theatre, Chandler House, 2 Wakefield Street, London, WC1N 1PF.

The remaining seminars will take place in the Moot Court, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London, WC1H 0EG.

For abstracts of papers, please consult the full programme.

30 January 2018 BENTHAM SYMPOSIUM. Bentham’s Challenge to Aesthetics: Benjamin Bourcier (Catholic University of Lille); Malcolm Quinn (University of the Arts, London); Philip Schofield (UCL)
20 February 2018 Anthony Julius (UCL): Who was the greater champion of literature, Bentham or Mill?
6 March 2018 Stella Sandford (Kingston): ‘Envy accompanied with Antipathy’: Bentham and Freud on the Psychology of Sexual Ressentiment
20 March 2018 Tim Milnes (Edinburgh): Bentham, Romanticism, and the Arts
1 May 2018 Frances Ferguson (Chicago): Jeremy Bentham’s Expansive Aesthetics: Pushpin Too
22 May 2018 Emmanuelle de Champs (Cergy-Pointoise): Bentham and Dumont on Taste and Literature
29 May 2018 Carey Young (UCL): tbc
5 June 2018 Fran Cottell (University of the Arts London) and Marianne Mueller (Architectural Association): Pentagon Petal: from Pain to Pleasure
19 June 2018 Carolyn Shapiro (Falmouth): The Image of Bentham

For enquiries please contact Phil Baker, UCL Laws: [email protected] (020 3108 8480).

Call for Papers: Victorian Patterns

The British Association for Victorian Studies is holding its 2018 annual conference at the University of Exeter, 29-31 August 2018 on the topic ‘Victorian Patterns’.

Pattern in the nineteenth century was a much-debated topic. The execution of repetitive forms of design became both industrialized and institutionalized thanks to new techniques of mechanized production. Everywhere the surfaces of material culture were alive with a profusion of ornamental patterns. An insatiable appetite for pattern affected the appearance of public spaces, domestic interiors, clothing and the objects of everyday life. At the same time, revolutions in science and technologies, in the global circulation of people, commodities and ideas, and in the conception and creation of new forms explored and exploited the ways in which patterns, both cultural and natural, shape and organize experience and subjectivity. Pattern was (and is) often seen as repetitive, constraining, unimaginative, and deadening, but patterns also live, energizing, structuring, and acting both within and beyond the reach of human intentionality and subjectivity. This conference will explore the life of pattern in the nineteenth century and the way in which in its contradictions, its reproducibility and its close connections with materiality and the everyday, pattern can be seen as a representative natural, aesthetic, cultural and techno-scientific mode. We invite proposals for individual papers of 15 minutes or 3-paper panel sessions, and we would particularly welcome alternative session formats designed to foster discussion or pose research problems for discussions (e.g. poster presentations, 3×5 minute position papers, roundtables or working groups, etc.) on, but not limited to, the following topics:

• Patterns in nature: temporal (geologic, seasonal), energy, physics, evolution.

• Scientific and technological patterns: mathematics, markets, engineering, textiles, city-planning.

• Patterns of imagery: language, style, and genre.

• Design and decorative patterns: arts, crafts, ornament, textiles, The House Beautiful, book design.

• Music and metrical patterns, poetics, performance.

• Global patterns: travel and circulation; settlement and empire; inheritance.

• Repetitions, replications, rhythm, habits, habitus, disruption of pattern, linearity, circularity, randomness, emergence, chaos.

• Patterns of behaviour and mood.

Please submit an individual proposal of 250-300 words or a group proposal of 1000 words to [email protected] by the deadline of Tuesday 3rd of April. All proposals should include your name, email address and academic affiliation (if applicable).

See Call for papers PDF below…

BAVS 2018 CFP small