Aquarium Colonies and Nineteenth-Century Narratives of Marine Monstrosity
In this essay the author proposes that a detailed study of the context of the production and reception of the spate of best-selling marine natural history books published in the 1850s provides an important and neglected opportunity for understanding Victorian conceptions of evolutionary,and anthropological monstrosity. Whilst the ape has received a good deal of attention as the primary evolutionary icon, through which the Victorians dreamed their nightmares of descent, the marine invertebrate has been much neglected. However, represented by evolutionists as the first life forms on the planet from which all higher life forms had evolved, marine invertebrates were an important alternative evolutionary ancestor, and were used to express ideas about the `nature of class, race and masculinity‘.
Methodist Central Halls were built in most British towns and cities. They were
designed not to look like churches in order to appeal to the working classes.
Entirely multi-functional, they provided room for concerts, plays, film shows
and social work alongside ordinary worship. Some contained shops in order to pay
for the future upkeep of the building. The prototype for this programme was
provided in Manchester and opened on Oldham Street in 1886. This article offers
a first analysis of it as a building type and looks at the wider social and
cultural contribution of the building. It continues the narrative by discussing
changing use and design during a twentieth century that witnessed the widespread
contraction of Methodist congregations.
The Boom of 1960s–70s Erotic
Cinema and the Policing of Young Female Subjects in Japanese
The purpose of this article is to analyse the ambivalent politics of looking and
discourses of gender, class and sexuality in a variety of 1960s–70s
Japanese studio-made exploitation films, known as sukeban
films. It first contextualises their production within a transnational and
domestic shift emphasising sex and violence in film and popular culture. The
article then highlights instances where the visual, narrative and discursive
articulation of non-conforming femininities flips the gendered power balance, as
in the sketches that satirise men’s sexual fetishes for girls. In
conclusion, it suggests to understand the filmic construction of young
women’s agency, and their bodily and sexual performance, in terms of a
recurring modus operandi of Japanese media that ambivalently panders to and
co-constitutes youth phenomena.
This essay introduces this special issue on ‘Romanticism and the “New Gothic”’, which contains revisions of essays presented at a special seminar at the 1999 joint conferences of the International Gothic Association (IGA) and the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR) held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Hogle argues that the ‘Gothic’ as a highly counterfeit and generically mixed mode in the eighteenth century was a quite new, rather than revived old, aesthetic which allowed for the disguised projection - or really abjection - of current middle-class cultural fears into symbols that only seemed antiquated, supernatural, or monstrous on the surface. Romantic writers thus faced this mode as a symbolic location where feared anomalies of their own moment could be faced and displaced, and such writers reacted to this possibility using some similar and quite different techniques. Post-Romantic writers, in turn, ranging from Emily Dickinson all the way to the writers and directors of modern films with Gothic elements, have since proceeded to make the Gothic quite new again, in memory of and reaction to Romantic-era uses of the new Gothic. This recurrent remaking of the Gothic comes less from the survival of certain features and more from the cultural purposes of displacing new fears into symbols that recall both the eighteenth-century Gothic and Romantic redactions of it. The papers in this special issue cover different points in this history of a complex relationship among aesthetic modes.
Francis Lathom was a novelist and playwright, well-known in his lifetime, but whose reputation died with him. He is best known today for his novel The Midnight Bell (1798) which formed part of the Gothic reading material on which Jane Austen‘s Northanger Abbey is founded. Lathom is described as a second or third rank Gothicist, who also wrote novels dealing with upper-class social life. This article begins with a brief biography, collated from a series of ‘facts’ that have survived about Lathom. The article debates and queries these received facts. Was he from an aristocratic family? Why did he move from Norwich to reside in a series of small Scottish villages? His life is itself considered as a narrative construct that has been amended and has accreted layers of rumour through time. The combination of secrecy and display which seem to characterise his life are the same as those found in Gothic fiction itself. These themes are explored in The Midnight Bell. A plot summary is followed with an examination of the connections between the narrative of the book and the narrative of the life of Francis Lathom.
Écorchés, moulages and anatomical preparations – the
cadaver in the teaching of artistic anatomy at the Accademia di Belle Arti di
Since the sixteenth century, artistic anatomy – a branch of medical
science subordinated to the Fine Arts – has understood itself as a
comparative investigation halfway between forensic dissection and the analysis
of classical art and live bodies. Its teaching was first instituted in Italy by
the 1802 curriculum of the national Fine Arts academies, but underwent a drastic
transformation at the turn of the century, as the rise of photography brought
about both a new aesthetics of vision and an increase in the precision of
iconographic documentation. In this article I will attempt to provide a history
of the teaching of this discipline at the close of the nineteenth century within
the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, with a focus on its ties to
contemporary French practices. Drawing on archival materials including lesson
plans, letters and notes from the classes of the three medical doctors who
subsequently held the chair (Gaetano Strambio, Alessandro Lanzillotti-Buonsanti
and Carlo Biaggi), I will argue that the deep connections between their teaching
of the discipline and their work at the city hospital reveal a hybrid approach,
with the modern drive towards live-body study unable to wholly supplant the
central role still granted to corpses in the grammar of the visual arts.
The spirituality of Brunswick Chapel, Leeds, in the Victorian era illustrates the legacy of John Wesley when Wesleyan Methodism was a power in the land. The priorities were conversion, turning to Christ in repentance and faith, the Bible as the source of divine instruction, the cross as the way in which salvation was achieved and activism as the proper human response. These features were prominent in the whole of the broader Evangelical movement which Wesley inaugurated. There was concern with death, and especially last words, in providing evidence of the assurance on which Wesley insisted and which was cultivated in the class meetings he began. Prayer, Charles Wesley’s hymns and sermons loomed large. Men and women had their own channels for the expression of piety, but some avenues, especially in Sunday school teaching, were open to either sex. Some still professed Wesley’s sublime doctrine of entire sanctification. Towards the end of the period there were signs that the tradition was decaying, with the spirituality becoming shallower, but for the bulk of the period the tradition was flourishing.
Deaths and politicised deaths in Buenos Aires’s refuse
Mariano D. Perelman
The appearance of corpses in rubbish tips is not a recent phenomenon. In
Argentina, tips have served not only as sites for the disposal of bodies but
also as murder scenes. Many of these other bodies found in such places belong to
individuals who have suffered violent deaths, which go on to become public
issues, or else are ‘politicised deaths’. Focusing on two cases
that have received differing degrees of social, political and media attention
– Diego Duarte, a 15-year-old boy from a poor background who went
waste-picking on an open dump and never came back, and Ángeles Rawson, a
girl of 16 murdered in the middle-class neighbourhood of Colegiales, whose body
was found in the same tip – this article deals with the social meanings
of bodies that appear in landfills. In each case, there followed a series of
events that placed a certain construction on the death – and, more
importantly, the life – of the victim. Corpses, once recognised, become
people, and through this process they are given new life. It is my contention
that bodies in rubbish tips express – and configure – not only the
limits of the social but also, in some cases, the limits of the human
Humanitarian actors touting financial inclusion posit that access to financial
services builds refugees’ resilience and self-reliance. They claim that
new digital financial tools create more efficient and dignified pathways for
humanitarian assistance and enable refugees to better manage their savings and
invest in livelihoods, especially during protracted displacement. Our in-depth,
repeat interviews with refugees in Kenya and Jordan refute this narrative.
Instead, self-reliance was hindered primarily by refugees’ lack of
foundational rights to move and work. Financial services had limited ability to
support livelihoods in the absence of those rights. The digital financial
services offered to refugees under the banner of ‘financial
inclusion’ were not mainstream services designed to empower and connect.
Instead, they were segregated, second-class offerings meant to further isolate
and limit refugee transactions in line with broader political desires to encamp
and exclude them. The article raises questions about the circumstances in which
humanitarian funding ought to fund financial service interventions and what
those interventions are capable of achieving.
In 1807, the Duchess of Bedford and several of her circle attended a performance of the opera The First Attempt at Dublin‘s Theatre Royal. Their hair was not coifed in the style of the day but rather swept up and fastened with golden bodkins in the ancient Irish manner. Soon this became all the rage in polite Irish society, and Dublin jewellers, struggling to compete, took out advertisements to accuse other firms of making less than authentic replicas. Indeed, the great demand in Dublin for these golden bodkins inflated the price of gold in Ireland. Drapers soon saw a business opportunity in this Celtic fashion renaissance and started producing the `Glorvina Mantle, a flowing scarlet cape, ideally secured with golden replicas of Celtic broaches. Eventually these ancient Gaelic styles made their way to London and became fashionable among ladies from the upper class. The popularity of this exotic dress resulted from a confluence of factors. While the growing interest in Irish antiquarianism, the European fascination with orientalism and the popularity of Gothic romance fed the fire, the spark that ignited the blaze was The Wild Irish Girl, a novel written by a young Irish governess. Not only does this fashion craze bear witness to the popularity of the text, but so do the sales figures. This popular novel, first published in 1806, went through seven editions in two years, and was even successful on the Continent, especially in Germany, where the young authors popularity almost eclipsed Scott‘s and Byron‘s and her sales figures surpassed those of her fellow Irish writers, Maria Edgeworth and Charles Maturin. In fact, the great Gothic writer Maturin openly borrowed from The Wild Irish Girl in his own work.