Thursday 23 October 2014, ‘Women Writing Art History in the Nineteenth Century: Looking Like a Woman’

Roundtable with Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck) and Birkbeck colleagues

When: Thursday 23 October 2014, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Where: Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 46 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD

The first event of the autumn term for the Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies will feature Hilary Fraser (Birkbeck) in discussion on her new book ‘Women Writing Art History in the Nineteenth Century: Looking Like a Woman’ on Thursday 23 October 2014 from 6.00pm to 8.00pm in the Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H 0PD.

The book sets out to correct received accounts of the emergence of art history as a masculine field. It investigates the importance of female writers from Anna Jameson, Elizabeth Eastlake and George Eliot to Alice Meynell, Vernon Lee and Michael Field in developing a discourse of art notable for its complexity and cultural power, its increasing professionalism and reach, and its integration with other discourses of modernity. Proposing a more flexible and inclusive model of what constitutes art historical writing, including fiction, poetry and travel literature, the book offers a radically revisionist account of the genealogy of a discipline and a profession. It shows how women experienced forms of professional exclusion that, whilst detrimental to their careers, could be aesthetically formative; how working from the margins of established institutional structures gave women the freedom to be audaciously experimental in their writing about art in ways that resonate with modern readers.

Listen to an audio recording of Hilary Fraser discussing this project below:

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