CFP: [Romantic] Sculpture and Literature in the Nineteenth Century

full name / name of organization: 
Vicky Greenaway
contact email: 

Sculpture and Literature in the Nineteenth Century

A one-day interdisciplinary conference on Saturday 25th April 2009

Hosted by the Centre for Victorian Studies at Royal Holloway, University
of London in association with the Henry Moore Institute

Keynote speakers: Professor Peter Read (Kent), Dr Jane Thomas (Hull)

A.W. Schlegel set out to define the new literary aesthetic of the 19th
century in his lectures of 1809. Here, he concluded that a new aesthetics
of ‘the picturesque’ had overtaken an old order associated with ‘the
sculpturesque’. This first attempt to define modern literature had
therefore decreed that literature and sculpture were incompatible,
aesthetically speaking. And yet, contra Schlegel, 19th century literature
continued to show an abiding concern with the trope of sculpture.
Romantic and Victorian texts are full of references to the plastic arts
despite Schlegel’s early theoretical embargo on their interrelation.

This conference seeks to encourage academic discussion of that continuing
interdisciplinary conversation between literature and sculpture in the
19th century. Interdisciplinary studies of Romantic and Victorian
conversations between the arts have tended to focus on the ‘sister arts’
of painting and poetry. This interdisciplinary conference seeks to
develop such work by turning our attention to the relations between
literary texts and the plastic arts.

The conference organisers welcome paper abstracts dealing with any aspect
of the literary-sculptural connection in the nineteenth century. We
welcome submissions from those working in the fields of literature, art-
history and sculptural studies. Possible topics may include, but are not
limited to, the following:

• Influence and interchange between the arts: relationships between
sculptors and literary figures
• The Pygmalion myth in literature
• Ekphrasis: literary responses to works of sculpture
• Idealism/Classicism and the statue
• Sculpture in aesthetic theory: Keats and Haydon on the Elgin
Marbles; Walter Pater on Winckelmann

The deadline for paper proposals is October 31st 2008. Please send
abstracts of not more than 300 words to the conference organisers, Dr
Vicky Greenaway and Dr Ruth Livesey, at and

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Received on Thu Jun 19 2008 - 12:08:21 EDT