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Stuart Sillars and Rosie Dias

 Thursday 16th October 2008 at 5.00 pm in The Rehearsal Room, the CAPITAL Centre, Millburn House

Stuart Sillars (University of Bergen) 

"Reading Illustrated Shakespeare: Issues and Methods"

From Rowe's edition of 1709, the plays of Shakespeare have appeared in editions in which visual treatments of event, character and idea have been increasingly important, yet they have been largely ignored by critics. This talk will explore some of the ways in which images direct and redefine the reader's experience of the plays, and suggest how scholarly work may take account of their power and influence.

Stuart Sillars is Professor of English Literature at the University of Bergen in Norway, having previously been a member of the faculty of English at the University of Cambridge. His research has focused largely on literature and the visual arts, with publications including Art and Survival in First World War Britain (1987), British Romantic Art and the Second World War (1992), Visualisation in English Popular Fiction (1995), Structure and Dissolution in English Writing (1999) and Painting Shakespeare: the Artist as Critic, 1720-1820 (2006).

The Illustrated Shakespeare, 1709-1875 will be published in October 2008 by Cambridge University Press, and he is currently writing Shakespeare, Time and the Victorian Visual Sense for the same publisher. Professor Sillars has been a visiting professor at universities in Texas, Washington State, Zagreb and New Delhi. He is a member of the Norwegian Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Visiting Fellow of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

 Rosie Dias (University of Warwick)

"Boydell's Shakespeare: Illustration and Imagination"

This talk will examine the complex issues around "illustrating" Shakespeare in Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and its associated publications. As well as providing an overview of the various cultural agendas the Gallery embraced, the paper will discuss the appropriation of Shakespeare's artistic identity in the formation of a British school of painting.

Rosie Dias joined the History of Art department at Warwick in 2005, following a teaching fellowship in the History of Art department at the University of York and a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. She works on eighteenth and early nineteenth-century British art, and is currently completing a book manuscript, based on her PhD thesis, entitled Exhibiting Englishness: John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and the Promotion of a National Aesthetic. Her current research interests include exhibition culture and urban contexts for art in the eighteenth century; national identity and the visual arts; print culture in the Georgian period; and the relationship between word and image. She is also interested in the ways in which English artists, writers and film-makers have perceived and represented Venice and Venetian art from the eighteenth century to the present day.