[REMINDER] (Re)Reading John Addington Symonds

full name / name of organization: 
Keele University, UK

(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 a.k.regis@engl.keele.ac.uk by 18 June 2010.

Informal enquiries should be addressed to the conference organisers: David Amigoni (d.amigoni@engl.keele.ac.uk) and Amber K. Regis (a.k.regis@engl.keele.ac.uk).

More information can be found at the conference website:

This conference is generously supported by the British Association for Victorian Studies, The London Library, and the Research Institute for Humanities, Keele University.