Past Lectures & Conferences
Van Sinderen Lecture (2019)
A Literary Walpole Weekend (2017)
Talk with Edward Koren (2016)
Public Talk: Eating People (2016)
June 24, 2020, 1 p.m. EDT
Dr. Amelia Rauser, Professor of Art History, Franklin & Marshall College
Women who wore the high-waisted, white muslin dress fashionable in the 1790s strove to participate in the elevated aesthetics of neoclassicism and to construe themselves as living statues, Pygmalions to their own Galatea. The dress articulated an anti-fashion stance that created space for women’s artistic expression. But neoclassical dress was also enmeshed with emergent concepts of race in the 1790s– not via a simple mapping of whiteness onto classicism, but rather, and perhaps unexpectedly, by invoking the plantation culture of the West Indies. In this talk, Dr. Rauser will argue that several elements of the neoclassical ensemble, including gold earrings, madras-cloth accessories, headwraps, and especially the materiality of muslin itself, specifically articulated the wearer’s racialized whiteness. Yet at the same time, the idea of metamorphosis inherent in the living statue undermined racial binaries and provided space to explore a spectrum of embodiment.
Amelia Rauser will be introduced by Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Theater, Professor Emeritus of English, Yale University.
Panel discussants Dr. Carolyn Day, Associate Professor of History, Furman University, and Dr. Jennifer Germann, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Art History, Ithaca College, will lead a Q&A. Registered attendees will be invited to submit questions and comments through chat.
This lecture is presented in connection with the exhibition Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770-1830 which was co-curated by Laura Engel, Professor of English, Duquesne University, and Amelia Rauser. Other related online content includes:
- Artful Nature exhibition
- Keynote Fashionable Enemies: Glamour as Argument, 1770-1830 delivered by Joseph Roach on February 6, 2020
- Exhibition video tour with the curators
Dr. Rauser’s new book, The Age of Undress, is now available from Yale University Press.
A Keynote Lecture by Joseph Roach, Sterling Professor Emeritus of Theater and Professor Emeritus of English, Yale University
February 6, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
Yale Center for British Art
Joseph Roach will deliver a keynote lecture in association with the opening of the exhibition Artful Nature: Fashion and Theatricality, 1770-1830, on view February 6 to May 22, 2020 at the Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, CT. The exhibition is co-curated by Laura Engel, Professor of English, Duquesne University, and Amelia Rauser, Professor of Art History, Franklin & Marshall College.
Between 1770 and 1830, both fashionable dress and theatrical practice underwent dramatic changes in an attempt to become more “natural.” And yet this desire was widely recognized as paradoxical, since both fashion and the theater were longstanding tropes of artifice. In this exhibition, we examine this paradox of “artful nature” through the changing conception of theatricality during these decades, as mirrored and expressed in fashionable dress. Theater and performance practices in the late eighteenth-century, including the vogue for private theatricals, reinforced the blurred lines between the theater and everyday life. Classical sculpture became a reference point for women, as its artistic excellence was acclaimed precisely because it seemed so “natural.” But when actresses, dancers, painters, or just regular fashionistas posed themselves as classical statues come to life, they acted as both Pygmalion and Galatea, both the genius artist and the living artwork. “Artful Nature” refers simultaneously to the theatricality and deception typically attributed to fashionable women in the late eighteenth century, and at the same time to the potential survival strategies employed by women artists, authors, and actresses to craft their own parts.
The Keynote Lecture was recorded and is available to view on the Yale University YouTube Channel: Fashionable Enemies: Glamour as Argument, 1770-1830
Under the direction of Laura Engel, a performance based on Mary Berry’s Fashionable Friends, acted as an amateur theatrical at Strawberry Hill in November 1801, is planned for May 15, 2020 in the newly restored eighteenth-century Cowles House on the campus of The Lewis Walpole Library in Farmington, Connecticut.
The Lewis Walpole Library, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the English Department of Yale University, are pleased to host this mini-conference, led by Jonathan Kramnick, Maynard Mack Professor of English, focusing on the Defoe / Robinson Crusoe tercentenary and the 18th-century novel.
Symposium: Robinson Crusoe at 300
Friday, Nov 8, 2019, 9:30 – 4:30
Beinecke Rare Book Library, Room 38/39
Reception to follow
• David Alff, SUNY University at Buffalo
• Dwight Codr, University of Connecticut, Storrs
• Margaret Cohen, Stanford University
• Lynn Festa, Rutgers University
• Heather Keenleyside, University of Chicago
• Thomas Keymer, University of Toronto
• Jayne E. Lewis, University of California, Irvine
• Ramesh Mallipeddi, University of Colorado, Boulder
Roundtable discussion: The Eighteenth-Century Novel, led by Jonathan Kramnick
Saturday, Nov 9, 2019, 9:30 – 12:30
Linsly-Chittenden Hall, Room 319
Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 4:30 to 5:30 PM
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (BRBL)
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
Clarke, a Successor Manager on the Board of Managers of the Lewis Walpole Library, will speak on “’Lefty’ Lewis and the Waldegraves: Collecting, Obsession, and Friendship” in the 2019 Adrian Van Sinderen Lecture.
This event is open to the public.
by Stephen Clarke, Curator of the Lewis Walpole Library’s 40th anniversary exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis, and Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool
Monday, October 28, 2019, 7 pm
Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main St. Farmington, CT
by: Stephen Clarke, Curator of the Lewis Walpole Library’s 40th anniversary exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis, and Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool
To mark the fortieth anniversary of the gift of W.S. Lewis’s house on Main Street and his collection to Yale University, the Lewis Walpole Library has mounted an exhibition Rescuing Horace Walpole: the Achievement of W.S. Lewis’. On Monday October 28 the exhibition’s curator, Stephen Clarke, will give a talk on the story of Lewis’s collecting; how it was driven, the skills he deployed, and the web of friendships, archives, scholars, and acquisitions that converted a young bibliophile Farmington resident into an internationally recognized figure, and permanently linked Farmington to Yale University.
The talk is presented in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries. Space is limited and registration is required.
Friday, October 4, 2019
1:30 to 5:15 pm
Yale Law School, Room 121
127 Wall Street
New Haven, Connecticut
Presented in connection with the Trial by Media: The Queen Caroline Affair exhibition on view at the Lillian Goldman Law Library.
1:30 to 3:00
Panel: Law, Lawyers and the Queen Caroline Trial
Cristina S. Martinez, Adjunct Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa, chair
Simon Stern, Professor of Law and English; Co-Director, Centre for Innovation Law & Policy, University of Toronto
John Bull, Public Sentiment and the Reasonable Man
Mark L. Schoenfield, Professor of English, Director of Undergraduate Studies, English Department Vanderbilt University
Henry Brougham Per(for)ming the Defense
Ryan Martins, Third Year Law Student, Rare Book Fellow, Yale Law School
The Legal Legacy of Queen Caroline’s Trial
3:00 to 3:45
Coffee Break and Exhibition Viewing
3:45 to 5:15
Panel: Media, Public Opinion and the Queen Caroline Affair
Janice Carlisle, Professor Emeritus of English, Yale University, chair
William Anthony Hay, Professor of History, Mississippi State University, and 2019-20 Garwood Visiting Fellow, James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, Department of Politics, Princeton University.
Perfect Storm: What Made the Queen Caroline Affair a Scandal that Shook the Realm?
Kristin F. Samuelian, Associate Professor, Department of English, Coordinator, English Honors Program, George Mason University
Engaging Ambiguity: Allusion and Intertext in Queen Caroline Prints
Jennifer Tucker, Associate Professor of History, Wesleyan University
Queen Caroline and the Sexual Politics of Popular Culture and the Law in Georgian England
Saturday, September 21, 2019
9:15 am to 3:00 pm
The Graduate Club
155 Elm Street
New Haven, CT 06511
This program has emerged from the preparation of the forthcoming exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: the Achievement of W.S. Lewis, which will be on view at the Lewis Walpole Library September 2019 – January 2020. The exhibition addresses the scope and function of Lewis’s collecting and the way it fed into the editorial project of The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence (1937–83), of which he was General Editor. Given Yale’s association with the recently completed edition of the works of Samuel Johnson (1958–2018) and the ongoing work of The Yale Edition of the Private Papers of James Boswell (1950―), it is an appropriate venue for a symposium on the editorial issues and the future of scholarly editions of the collected works and correspondences of British writers from the long eighteenth century.
The impact of digital resources, issues of funding and readership, and the fact that there are several major editions just reaching completion and a number just commencing, make this a fitting time to reflect on the history, present state and future prospects of these editions. The edition of the journals and letters of Frances Burney, for example, which had to battle with manuscripts such as that here illustrated (courtesy of the Berg Collection, New York Public Library) has been completed this year. Approaches to use of copy text, attribution, normalization of text, levels of annotation and comprehensiveness of indexing, have varied over time and between (and in some cases within) editions. New editions are being planned making use of digital technology that was never available to the Yale Walpole, and only became available to more recent editions for their later volumes. The editions now being planned for the Cambridge Aphra Behn and the Oxford Pope will have these resources available to them from their inception.
Scholarly editions are fundamental to the development of scholarship for their respective authors, and their shelf-life is far longer than for many other academic texts. They provide the authoritative and annotated text to which readers and scholars ultimately refer, and the research required to produce them often results in the discovery of additional manuscript material or other bibliographical evidence, and the reconsideration of questions of attribution. This symposium will provide an opportunity to consider their past achievements, current issues in methodology and production, and their future prospects.
The program will consist of two panels of three speakers each; all but one of whom are General Editors of their respective editions. The speakers will prepare presentations of 25 minutes each, leaving the remaining 30 minutes of each panel session for questions and answers and discussion.
Misty Anderson, James R. Cox Professor, University of Tennessee
Stephen Clarke, Curator of the Lewis Walpole Library’s 40th anniversary exhibition, Rescuing Horace Walpole: The Achievement of W.S. Lewis, and Honorary Research Fellow of the University of Liverpool (The Yale Edition of Horace Walpole’s Correspondence)
Robert DeMaria Jr., Henry Noble MacCracken Professor of English, Vassar College (The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson)
Registration is requested for catering and space-planning purposes.
The Lewis Walpole Library is delighted to support the ISECS Congress 2019, being held Sunday, July 14 through Friday, July 19 in Edinburgh. The Library is sponsoring the grand reception and two panels. Look for us also at the Publishers’ Showcase in McEwan Hall where we will have a table along with Yale University Press who will be featuring the publications from the Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History. See you in Edinburgh!
Monday, July 15, 6:30 PM to 8 PM
All congress attendees are invited to the Grand Reception in the stunning Grand Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, just a few minutes’ walk from the university. Doors open at 6 pm and wine and canapes will be served to the accompaniment of traditional Scottish pipers.
Tuesday, July 16, 10 - 11:45 am
Room G.07 Meadows Lecture Theatre, Old Medical School
Chair: Stephen Clarke (University of Liverpool)
Dale Townshend (Manchester Metropolitan University) Catholicism and the early Gothic Revival
Misty Anderson (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) Staging The Mysterious Mother
Elizabeth Denlinger (Carl H. Pforzheimer Collection of Shelley and his Circle, New York Public Library) The Half-Extinguished Light: Looking to Gothic Art to Illuminate Frankenstein
Claire Grogan (Bishop’s University) The Challenges of Political Caricature: Identifying the women in Contrasted Opinions of Paine’s Pamphlet (May 26 1791)
Session 15, Panel 476 - Visual and Literary Topography
Friday, July 19, 2 - 3:45 pm
Room 2.14, Appleton Tower
Chair: Cynthia Roman (The Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University)
Dana Arnold (Art History, Art History and World Art Studies, The University of East Anglia) “Through a Glass Darkly:” the Visual and Verbal Topographies of a Sensory Aesthetic
Stephen Bending (Director, Southampton Centre for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Director MA Programmes, English Department, University of Southampton) Walpole’s Pleasures: Topography and
fantasy at Strawberry Hill
Matthew Sangster (Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Material Culture, University of Glasgow) Collaborative Versions of the British Metropolis
Jennifer Johnson (Junior Research Fellow, St John’s College, Oxford) William Gilpin’s Picturesque Composition and Twentieth-Century Abstraction
Chair: Jill Campbell
Dale Townshend, Professor of Gothic Literature, Manchester Metropolitan University, “The Mystery of The Mysterious Mother: Textual Lives and Afterlives”
Matthew Reeve, Associate Professor, Art History, Queen’s University, “The Mysterious Mother and Crypto-Catholicism in the Circle of Horace Walpole”
Nicole Garret, Lecturer, Department of English, SUNY Stony Brook, “Mis-reading in The Mysterious Mother”
Cheryl Nixon, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Massachusetts, Boston, ”The Mysterious Orphan: Dramatizing the Betrayal of the Child”
Nicole Wright, Assistant Professor of English, University of Colorado, Boulder, “ ‘Kindest Laws’: Intimate Adjudication in The Mysterious Mother”
Session II, 2—4 pm: Staging The Mysterious Mother
Chair: Misty Anderson, Lindsay Young Professor of English and Adjunct Professor of Theater and Religious Studies, University of Tennessee
Marcie Frank, Professor of English, Concordia University, ”Wilful Walpole: Performing Publication and The Mysterious Mother”
Jean Marsden, Professor of English, University of Connecticut, ”Family Dramas: The Mysterious Mother and the Eighteenth-Century Incest Play”
Al Coppola, Associate Professor of English, John Jay College, CUNY, “Spectacles of Science and Superstition”
Judith Hawley, Professor of English, Royal Holloway, University of London, “’the beautiful negligence of a gentleman’: Horace Walpole and Amateur Theatricals”
David Worrall, Professor Emeritus, Nottingham Trent University, “ ‘I beg you would keep it under lock and key:’ the Mystery of the 1821 Mysterious Mother performances”
November 9 - November 11, 2017
As part of our celebration of Horace Walpole’s tercentenary this fall, the Library hosted a mini-conference on Walpole’s “The Castle of Otranto”. Organized by Jonathan Kramnick, LWL Faculty Director and Maynard Mack Professor of English at Yale, the program consisted of short paper presentations by panelists led by a moderator followed by lively discussion with an audience of other panelists, faculty, and graduate students.
list of participants
- Jonathan Kramnick, Yale University
- Joseph Roach, Yale University
- Ruth Yeazell , Yale University
- John Bender, Stanford University
- Sophie Gee, Princeton University
- Sarah Kareem, University of California, Los Angeles
- Wendy Ann Lee, New York University
- Sandra Macpherson, Ohio State University
- Jesse Marti Molesworth, Indiana University Bloomington
- Sean Silver, University of Michigan
- Courtney Weiss Smith, Wesleyan University
- Cynthia Wall, University of Virginia
- Eugenia Zuroski, McMaster University
Friday, February 9 - Saturday, February 10
The Graduate Club, New Haven
As part of the Lewis Walpole Library’s celebration of Horace Walpole’s tercentenary and the 100th anniversary of W.S. Lewis’s Yale class of 1918, the library is working with Steve Pincus, Bradford Durfee Professor of History, Yale University, to organize a two-day conference on Friday and Saturday, February 9 and 10, 2018, to consider how current multi-disciplinary methodologies invite creative research in archival and special collections at the Lewis Walpole Library and beyond. Planned thematic sessions include “What is Empire?,” “Conceptualizing Political Economy,” “Slavery,” “Indigenous Peoples,” “Diplomacy,” and “Material Culture.” This conference is organized in association with the exhibition, Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire during the Age of Horace Walpole.
Wednesday November 1, 2017
7:00 PM until 9:00 PM
Lewis Walpole Library
Justin Brooks, Doctoral Candidate in History, Yale University, will speak on the the Lewis Walpole Library’s exhibition “Global Encounters and the Archives: Britain’s Empire in the Age of Horace Walpole.” The exhibition, which looks at aspects of the global British Empire in the long eighteenth century, takes full advantage of the diverse range of archival resources held by the Library and which Mr. Brooks co-curated, including manuscripts, printed texts, graphic images, and objects. Interrelated themes include political economy, diplomacy, indigeneity, and slavery. The talk, exhibition, and other related programs celebrate the broad pre-disciplinary collecting activities of Horace Walpole (1717-1797) and W.S. Lewis (1895-1979) and will explore how current multi-disciplinary methodologies invite creative research in the Library’s archival collections. Mr. Brooks’s talk is offered as part of a year’s worth of events celebrating the 300th anniversary of Horace Walpole’s birth.
This Lewis Walpole Library lecture is held in partnership with the Farmington Libraries.
Space is limited. Registration required: http://bit.ly/2wYUAwN .
Thursday, October 26, 2017, 5:30 pm
Yale Center for British Art Lecture Hall
1080 Chapel St, New Haven, CT 06510
George E. Haggerty, Distinguished Professor and Chair
Department of English, University of California, Riverside
In his charming biography of Horace Walpole, R.W. Ketton-Cremer makes the point that “one of the difficulties which confront a biographer of Walpole is his remarkable versatility. He was active in many fields—in politics, social life, literature, architecture, antiquarianism, printing, virtú; and it is not easy to include them all in the compass of a single volume.” George Haggerty, who is currently writing a new biography of Horace Walpole, will take up this challenge in his lecture with and through Walpole’s letters. Haggerty asserts that Walpole writes himself into his experience by means of his epistolary imagination.
Professor Haggerty’s talk will be streamed live from the Yale Center for British Art at: https://britishart.yale.edu/multimedia-video/26/5796
Thursday, May 18th, 7pm
The Lewis Walpole Library, 154 Main St. Farmington CT 06032
Evening public talk by Amy Dunagin, Postdoctoral Associate, European Studies Council, Yale University, and Managing Editor, Eighteenth-Century Studies, and curator of the exhibition “The Land without Music: Satirizing Song in Eighteenth-Century England” at the Lewis Walpole Library. The talk is presented in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries.
Cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Edward Koren’s iconic images record the comedy of manners in society and politics that have captured his attention for decades. In this talk, he will reflect on his career as a New Yorker artist, and on the many and diverse influences that have contributed to the development of his thinking and drawing.
“In my cartoon drawings, I like getting things right… What captures my attention is all the human theater around me. I can never quite believe my luck in stumbling upon riveting minidramas taking place within earshot (and eyeshot), a comedy of manners that seem inexhaustible. And to be always undercover makes my practice of deep noticing more delicious. I can take in all the details as long as I appear inattentive – false moustache and dark glasses in place. All kinds of wonderful moments of comedy happen right under my nose…”
On Cartooning, by Edward Koren
Moderated by Cynthia Roman
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
121 Wall St, New Haven, CT 06511
Edward Koren, a long-time cartoonist for The New Yorker, and Rachel Brownstein, a literary scholar, will reflect on the enduring tradition of social satire.
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Professor Emerita, Brooklyn College and The Graduate Center, CUNY
Offered in collaboration with the Farmington Libraries.