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Shared Visions I: Art, Theatre and Visual Culture in the Nineteenth Century

This one-day conference, held in conjunction with Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film, will explore the connections between art, theatre, and visual culture in the nineteenth century. During this period, the ‘art of seeing’ challenged the traditional dominance of the written word. Vision, previously denigrated as deceptive, became considered as a universal language, accessible to all, and more authentic than text. Popular theatre, especially melodrama, led the way in exploring the possibilities of the new visuality. This conference will explore the visual culture of theatre and exchanges between theatre and the visual arts.

Plenary Speaker: Professor Shearer West, Head of Humanities Division, University of Oxford

Saturday 11th February 2012
9.30am to 6.00pm (Registration from 9.00 am)
School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies, Millburn House, Warwick University
Conference fee: £20 (£10 for postgraduate students)
Tea and coffee, sandwich lunch, and an evening wine reception (6.00pm–7.30 pm) are all included.
Although the registration fee may be paid on the day of the conference, we would be grateful if delegates would register in advance, preferably by the 8th February, so that we have a sense of the numbers intended for catering purposes.
For further information please contact Jim Davis:, or Patricia Smyth:
Directions: The department is located in Milburn House (building 68 on the campus map) on the University of Warwick Science Park. It is about 10 minutes walk from the main campus by footpath. The closest railway station is Coventry. If you are arriving by train, either take a cab to Milburn House directly or take a bus to main campus and walk. Road acces is viat the Science Park as shown on the campus map. There are parking spaces for visitors at the front of the building. The main entrance to the building is at the side, facing right.

Accommodation: For any delegate who requires accommodation on campus on Friday 10th or Saturday 11th, accommodation is currently available starting from £60 per night at Scarman House and Radcliffe House, which may be contacted through Early booking is advisable.



9.30am – 10.00am: Registration, tea and coffee
10.00am – 11.15am: Plenary Speech: Shearer West, University of Oxford, 'Actors, Artists and Celebrity: Thomas Lawrence and the Siddons family'
11.15am – 11.45am: Tea and coffee
11.45am – 1.15pm: Parallel panel sessions 1 and 2
Panel 1: History and Narrative
Peter Cooke, University of Manchester, ‘Gustave Moreau: The Theatre, Theatricality, and Anti-Theatricality’
Cathy Haill, Victoria & Albert Museum, ‘“Hold it! What a Picture!” - Art, Living Pictures and Poses Plastiques on the Nineteenth-Century Stage’
Annabel Rutherford, York University, Toronto, ‘Drama in Art in Drama: The Interweaving of Visual Art and Theatre’
Panel 2: Stage Adaptation
Barbara Bell, Edinburgh Napier University, ‘“...taken from the original”: Word, Image and the Drive for Authenticity in Early Stagings of the Works of Sir Walter Scott’
Karen Laird, University of Manchester, ‘Reconstructing J. Ware's “The Woman in White: A Drama in Three Acts” (1860)’
Melissa Dickson, Kings College, London, ‘Visions of the Orient: Manufacturing the Arabian Nights on Early Nineteenth-Century London Stages’
1.15pm – 2.00pm: Lunch
2.00pm – 3.30pm: Parallel panel sessions 3 and 4
Panel 3: The Art of Theatre: Lights, Costume, Scenery
Veronica Isaac, Victoria & Albert Museum and University of Brighton, ‘The “Art” of Costume in the Late Nineteenth Century: Highlights from the Wardrobe of “The Painter's Actress”’
Janice Norwood, University of Hertfordshire, ‘Posing Questions: The Iconology of Two Female Theatrical Impresarios’
Jane Pritchard, Victoria & Albert Museum, ‘The Iconography of the Ballet at the Alhambra, 1884 – 1912’
Panel 4: Religious Spectacle
Peter Yeandle, University of Lancaster, ‘Spectacles of Sin or Performances of Divine Grace? Seeing the Ballet Through Anglican Eyes, c. 1880 – 1900’
Anjna Chouhan, University of Leicester, ‘Performing Religion in Shakespeare on the Late Victorian Stage'
Leanne Groenveld, Campion College, University of Regina, '“I felt as never before, under any sermon that I ever heard preached”: English and American Responses to and Representations of the Oberammergau Passion Play, 1840 – 1900’
3.30pm – 4.00pm: Tea and coffee
4.00pm – 5.30pm: Parallel panel sessions 5 and 6
Panel 5: Dramatizing the Environment
Viv Gardner, University of Manchester, ‘The Image of a Well-ordered City: Manchester Theatre Architecture, 1880 – 1910’
Trish Reid, Kingston University, ‘“Ah, my own village home before a palace”: Nostalgia and the Rural Idyll in Melodrama of the 1830s and 40s’
Mary Jane Boland, University of Nottingham, ‘Through the Eyes of Others: Reassessing Audience Engagement with Joseph Peacock's Pattern Day at Glendalough’
Panel 6: Stage Spectacle
Hayley Bradley, University of Manchester, ‘Delighting the Eye Rather than the Ear: The Triumvirate's Autumn Dramas at Drury Lane’
Jane Jordan, Kingston University, ‘From Popular Novel to “Sensational Equestrian Drama”: Late Nineteenth-Century Theatrical Adaptation for “an amusement loving public”’
David Mayer, University of Manchester and Cassie Mayer, Independent Scholar, ‘Exit with Dead Horse’
5.30pm – 6.00pm: Concluding Discussion
6.00pm – 7.30pm: Wine Reception