Who Shall Deliver Me?’: Christina Rossetti and the Illustrated Poetry Book

17th – 18th December 2018
This conference accompanies a new art exhibition ‘Christina Rossetti: Vision and Verse’
at Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village

Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village and the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies, School of Arts

17 December: Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village (Compton, Surrey). A shuttle service will be available from Guildford Station.
18 December: School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London (43-46 Gordon Sq, London)

Professor Lorraine Janzen Kooistra (Ryerson University) and Professor Antony H. Harrison (North Carolina State University): ‘Visualizing Christina Rossetti’s Poetry in Print, Pigment, and Pixel’.

Christina Rossetti’s (1830-1894) poetry has inspired visual artists since it first began to be published in the 1840s. Artists who made designs to accompany her poetry in illustrated books include her brother Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Frederick Sandys, Arthur Hughes, Laurence Housman and later Florence Harrison, Lucien Pissarro and Charles Ricketts. Those who engraved these designs include the prolific Dalziel Brothers firm and Joseph Swain. This Autumn Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village will host the exhibition ‘Christina Rossetti: Vision and Verse’, which is accompanied by a new publication Christina Rossetti: Poetry in Art (edited by Dr Susan Owens and Dr Nicholas Tromans, Yale University Press). This two-day symposium will bring together established and emerging scholars in the field to examine Rossetti’s work in the context of the mid-nineteenth-century illustrated poetry book. How did poets collaborate with publishers and artists in the production of illustrated poetry books? What role does ornament play in the formation of meaning? How did women poets work with illustrators and publishers?

Organised between the Birkbeck Centre for Nineteenth –Century Studies and Watts Gallery – Artists’ Village, this two-day symposium will include an opportunity to tour the exhibition and a launch of the new digital edition of Goblin Market edited by Lorraine Janzen Kooistra and Anthony H. Harrison.

We welcome proposals for papers and will be particularly interested in the following topics:

The Pre-Raphaelite Illustrated Poetry Book
The Illustrated Decadent Book
The Illustrated Poetry Book in the Digital Age
In the engravers’ workshop: The Dalziel Brothers and the Illustrated Poetry Book
Ornament, Colour, and Lines: the Visual Culture of Poetry
Poetry as Collaboration
Women Poets and Women Illustrators
Christina Rossetti as a visual artist
Christina Rossetti and the Ut Pictura Poesis Tradition
Christina Rossetti, Illustrated.