SHows of London

Nineteenth-century Reading Group Meeting

Nineteenth-century Aesthetics

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

18.00, Research Forum South Room

Speaker(s): Curated by Dr David Russell (King’s College London)

Ticket/entry details: Open to academic staff and postgraduate students of The Courtauld, King’s College London and other institutions

Organised by: Professor Caroline Arscott (The Courtauld Institute of Art) with Professor Clare Pettitt and Dr Adelene Buckland (Kings College London)

Shows of London is an interdepartmental, intercollegiate group studying Nineteenth-Century Culture that meets regularly to discuss texts on topics such as representation, networks, and the metropolis.

The two Spring 2014 sessions follow on from the previous semester’s topic, ‘The Aesthetic Turn’, as we continue to discuss how nineteenth-century thinking on aesthetics might resonate with very recent work in this field. In previous seminars, discussion moved from claims for the revolutionary potential of particular artistic works, through a reading of Aisthesis (2013) by Jacques Rancière; to exploring questions around eccentric taxonomies and artistic perception, through selected works by Sianne Ngai, John Ruskin and William Morris.

In the second of these sessions (5 March) we attempt to bridge the gap between nineteenth-century and present day theories of the aesthetic by looking at twentieth-century engagement with the category. Readings will be selected from I. A. Richards and Martin Jay.

Texts for both sessions, and previous readings will be available through the Shows of London website:

All welcome. Refreshments will be served. Please direct any enquiries to Nicola Kirkby at

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