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Countercultural Blake in the Therapoetic Practice of maelstrÖm reEvolution
Franca Bellarsi

This article explores the reception and transformation of William Blake’s countercultural legacy by focusing on the neo-Romantic resurgences within maelstrÖm reEvolution, an experimental performance and arts collective based in Brussels but with heavy transnational affiliations. In relation to the company’s neo-shamanic and therapeutic conception of poiesis, Blake is an inspirational figure amongst a broader family of mentors ranging from Beat Generation writers to Arthur Rimbaud and Alexandro Jodorowsky. The Blake–maelstrÖm connection is here examined for the first time. Blending classical reception studies with a broader interest in the intersections between poiesis and the ‘sacred’, this article approaches countercultural Blake as the archetypal embodiment of the shamanic poet. More specifically, it reflects on how, as the poet of ‘double-edged madness’ and ‘Spiritual Strife’, Blake’s subversion of alienation into ecstasy feeds maelstrÖm’s own ‘therapoetic’ experimentalism and psycho-aesthetic endeavours to restore the lines of communication between the ‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Abstract only
Jeff Nuttall and Visceral Intelligence
Timothy Emlyn Jones

Celebrated as a leader of London’s ‘Underground’ in the 1960–70s, and a leading British poet and performance artist of his time, Jeff Nuttall found fame through his critique of post-nuclear culture, Bomb Culture, which provided an influential rationale for artistic practice through absurdism but lost that recognition a decade or so later. Less well recognised, and with greater influence, is the distinctively visceral sensibility underlying much of his creative work, notably his poetry that draws on Dylan Thomas and the Beat Movement, his graphic drawing and luscious painting styles, and his pioneering performance art. This article argues that it is through these artistic expressions of visceral intelligence that Jeff Nuttall’s art and its long-term influence can now best be understood. It is intended to complement the Jeff Nuttall Papers in the Special Collections of The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of Manchester, deposited by the gallerist and poetry publisher Robert Bank (1941–2015), to whose memory this article is dedicated. Further papers have been added by Nuttall’s friends and relatives.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Commemoration, gender, and the postcolonial carceral state

Legacies of the Magdalen Laundries brings together a range of perspectives on Magdalen history, experience, and representation and, indeed, institutionalisation in Ireland. It attends to many different manifestations of the lives and afterlives of institutional systems. The contributors seek to understand how these systems operated and how, after their closure, they have been remembered by varied stakeholders from survivors to artists to politicians. The Magdalen Laundries provide a focus for the volume as they potently illuminate the distinct social experience for vulnerable women in modern Ireland. Magdalen history brings to the fore the contested nature of institutional history, the particular attitudes towards women that saw them incarcerated (many for life), and the equally gendered attitudes that underpin the ways this history was first repressed then, more recently, commemorated. The laundries did not exist in a vacuum: they were part of a network that included Industrial Schools and Mother and Child Institutions. Given the proliferation of institutions, it is startling to note that investigations of Irish institutional history have lacked intersectionality – so alongside an examination of the history and remembrance of the Laundries, this volume considers the wider institutional context to demonstrate the broader dimensions of Ireland’s postcolonial carceral history. To understand this history we must see these institutions, and the women and children incarcerated in them, not as exceptional cases but as expressions of social attitudes that viewed vulnerable members of the population as morally suspect, a ‘problem’ to which the state, church, and citizenry responded through mass institutionalisation.

Waterford’s Magdalen Laundry
Jennifer O’Mahoney
Kate McCarthy
, and
Jonathan Culleton

society. 17 Live art emphasises the body in space. The centrality of the body, alongside the elements of time, site, and the relationship between audience and performer, characterise the pillars of performance art, or live art, practice. 18 In acknowledging the relationship between the audience and the performers’ bodies in a space, the audience are framed as participants and ‘co-creators’ of the work. 19

in Legacies of the Magdalen Laundries
Abstract only
Writing American sexual histories

The archive has assumed a new significance in the history of sex, and this book visits a series of such archives, including the Kinsey Institute’s erotic art; gay masturbatory journals in the New York Public Library; the private archive of an amateur pornographer; and one man’s lifetime photographic dossier on Baltimore hustlers. The subject topics covered are wide-ranging: the art history of homoeroticism; casual sex before hooking-up; transgender; New York queer sex; masturbation; pornography; sex in the city. The duality indicated by the book’s title reflects its themes. It is an experiment in writing an American sexual history that refuses the confines of identity sexuality studies, spanning the spectrum of queer, trans, and the allegedly ‘normal’. What unites this project is a fascination with sex at the margins, refusing the classificatory frameworks of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and demonstrating gender and sexual indecision and flexibility. And the book is also an exploration of the role of the archive in such histories. The sex discussed is located both in the margins of the archives, what has been termed the counterarchive, but also, importantly, in the pockets of recorded desire located in the most traditional and respectable repositories. The sexual histories in this book are those where pornography and sexual research are indistinguishable; where personal obsession becomes tomorrow’s archive. The market is potentially extensive: those interested in American studies, sexuality studies, contemporary history, the history of sex, psychology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, queer studies, trans studies, pornography studies, visual studies, museum studies, and media studies.

Living spirituality

Between 1598 and 1800, an estimated 3, 271 Catholic women left England to enter convents on the Continent. This study focuses more particularly upon those who became Benedictines in the seventeenth century, choosing exile in order to pursue their vocation for an enclosed life. Through the study of a wide variety of original manuscripts, including chronicles, death notices, clerical instructions, texts of spiritual guidance, but also the nuns’ own collections of notes, this book highlights the tensions between the contemplative ideal and the nuns’ personal experiences. Its first four chapters adopt a traditional historical approach to illustrate the tensions between theory and practice in the ideal of being dead to the world. They offer a prosopographical study of Benedictine convents in exile, and show how those houses were both cut-off and enclosed yet very much in touch with the religious and political developments at home. The next fur chapters propose a different point of entry into the history of nuns, with a study of emotions and the senses in the cloister, delving into the textual analysis of the nuns’ personal and communal documents to explore aspect of a lived spirituality, when the body, which so often hindered the spirit, at times enabled spiritual experience.

David J. Appleby

/55, fos 48–50, quoted in Miller, After the Civil Wars, p. 183. 13 CSPD 1660–1, pp. 538–9. 14 Pepys, Diary, iv, p. 163, and iii, pp. 166–8. 15 Exact Collection, p. 367; Hancock, Pastor’s Last Legacy, sig. [A3v]; Jenkyn, Burning Yet Un-consumed Bush, preface. 16 Master Edmund Calamy’s Leading Case, p. 12. 17 Third Volume, p. 18. 18 Compleat Collection, sig. [Aav]. 19 Bremer and Rydell, ‘Performance art?’, p. 52; J. Walter, Understanding Popular Violence in the English Revolution (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 175–6. 20 Lye, Fixed Saint, pp. 1–2. 21 Evelyn quoted in Spurr

in Black Bartholomew’s Day
Fearghus Roulston

cultural imaginary of east Belfast in the period when Hector was growing up. 35 Reflecting on the way in which punk had enlarged his sense of the potential world, he said: ‘But you know people were like, sorta performance art was creeping in [pauses], paintings and stuff, fanzines. So there was a lotta sorta possibilities were springing to mind where there had been effectively zero, like. You worked at the shipyard or Shorts.’  36 The shipyard, in the context of the

in Belfast punk and the Troubles
A quick history of masturbation
Barry Reay

singularity. Unlike other chapters that focus on specific archives, either institutional or counter-institutional, this chapter, somewhat like Ann Cvetkovich’s An Archive of Feelings (2003), necessarily creates its own dossier. Based on evidentiary fragments from US sex surveys, masturbation forums, feminist texts, films, performance art, accounts of sex therapy, self-help books, philosophical discussion, and the body itself (in the form of the circumcised US penis), it becomes an archive of feelings with a different focus. The aim of this chapter is to explore masturbation

in Sex in the archives
Rakhee Balaram

/kinetic art, Surrealism, performance art, sculpture, photography, etc., that spanned several generations. 15 The exhibition received some positive attention in the press for its focus on women. 16 Clert herself, however, did not support the idea that exhibiting women artists was any type of meaningful ‘liberation’ and distanced herself from the MLF: Je ne sais pourquoi, le fait de réunir quatre

in Counterpractice