Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Dickens and Google Maps

Charlotte's Google Map of Bleak House

I'd like to draw your attention to a blog post recommended to me last week, 'Dickens and Google Maps', in which Charlotte Mathieson displays the locations of some Victorian novels using Google Maps. Her research blog on the Warwick University webpages includes some example images, showing how useful a tool this can be. Charlotte has also blogged about recent conferences that might be of interest to readers, such as 'Rural Geographies of Gender and Space, Britain 1840-1920' and 'Travel in the 19th Century'. Image courtesey of Charlotte Mathieson.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Summary of October Meeting

Tristram charts the plots of the first four volumes of
Tristram Shandy, 1762 (vol. 6, ch. 40, p. 152).

Thank you to everyone who turned up for Friday’s reading group, we hope you enjoyed the discussion. For the curious who didn’t make it, here’s a brief summary:

After some appropriately nomadic wandering from Lipman building to Squires building in search of a suitable room, we watched Penny Grennan’s short film A Journey Around my Life with a glass of white wine (Helen forgot the red). We then pondered the distinction between charts and maps, the influence of Laurence Sterne and Descartes on de Maistre, and the complex fusion of seriality and plot in Penny’s film. There was also a healthy debate about the economy of travel theory proposed by Georges Van Den Abbeele and how perhaps nomadic cultures (and even rambling texts) are difficult to assimilate to the A to B kind of travel that he favours. This led to a consideration of a changing or multiple sense of ‘home’. We also discussed ennui, walking, typographic margins and textual spaces, and the securing of national boundaries arising from the French Revolution. Quite a mixture!

The next meeting will be Friday 18th November, when Laurie McKee will introduce some Robin Hood texts which we will be comparing to Derrida’s theory of hospitality. Red wine will be available, and keep your eyes peeled for a confirmation of the room, as our usual one seems to be missing a computer. If you want to plan ahead even further, the 2011/12 schedule can be found here. Laurie’s extracts will be circulated in early November.

In the meantime, keep checking our ‘Useful Pages’ tab - it's regularly updated with related links and CFPs.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A Journey Around my Life

We are very excited to announce that Penny Grennan's short film, A Journey Around my Life, will be shown as part of the reading group on Friday. The film neatly brings us from the theme of the last academic year, 'Objects', to that of this year, 'Spaces', via Xavier de Maistre. Unfortunately Penny can't attend this month's meeting, but we look forward to viewing and discussing her work. Image courtesey of Penny Grennan.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Seminar Series on Early Modern Spaces at LSE

Members of the reading group may be interested in the 2011/12 seminar series at LSE: 'The Uses of Space in Early Modern History 1500-1850'. It kicks off at 6pm on 13th October with Dr. David Lambert (Warwick) delivering a paper entitled 'Mastering the Niger: Spaces of cartography, accounting and slavery, 1797-1845'. Seminars are held in LSE New Academic Building, room 2.12. Contact Dr. Paul Stock for further details.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Readings for 7th October 2011

Emails have been sent out with this week's reading:

If you haven't received the email please contact us at See you on Friday!
  • Georges Van Den Abbeele, Travel as Metaphor: From Montaigne to Rousseau (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1992), pp. xvii-xxi. (attached)
  • Xavier de Maistre (1795), A Journey round my Room (Philadelphia: Carey, 1829), pp. 1-25.