Pre-Raphaelites in The City: Call for Papers for Cross-disciplinary Conference on Pre-Raphaelitism

Dinah Roe

Call for Papers for Cross-disciplinary Conference on Pre-Raphaelitism Pre-Raphaelitism: Past, Present and Future

Pre-Raphaelitism: Past, Present and Future

13–14 September 2013, Ashmolean Museum and St John’s College, Oxford

Click HERE to download CFP

Click HERE for conference website

Keynote speakers

  Dr Alison Smith (Tate Britain)
  Professor Isobel Armstrong (Birkbeck)

Context and aims

In the wake of recent major exhibitions and publications such as Tate Britain’s Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde and The Cambridge Companion to Pre-Raphaelitism, this two-day conference will present new and innovative approaches to the study of Pre-Raphaelitism by bringing together established academics, museum curators and research students. This conference also seeks to examine Pre-Raphaelitism as a bridge between Romanticism and Aestheticism, and to engage with current critical work regarding its relationship to Modernism in literature.

The breadth and diversity of Pre-Raphaelite art, literature and design will be drawn on in order to consider major questions such as: What is Pre-Raphaelitism? Where does the movement begin and end? Who should be included or excluded? What are its major influences, and to what extent has it influenced other artists and movements? How have perceptions of Pre-Raphaelitism changed or remained the same since its nineteenth-century beginnings?

We invite proposals for papers on all aspects of Pre-Raphaelite work, especially with a cross-disciplinary focus.

Format and themes

This will be a two-day conference, organized jointly by Professor Christiana Payne and Dr Dinah Roe (Oxford Brookes University), Colin Harrison (Ashmolean Museum) and Dr Alastair Wright (Oxford University). Academic sessions will be held at the Ashmolean Museum (Friday 13 September) and St John’s College (Saturday 14 September). A programme of guided walks and talks around Pre-Raphaelite sites in Oxford will be held on Sunday 15 September.

We invite proposals for papers on all aspects of Pre-Raphaelite work, especially with a cross-disciplinary focus. Papers by current or recently graduated research students are welcome, as well as those by more established scholars. Topics for discussion might include, but are not limited to:

The interaction of word and image in Pre-Raphaelite painting, writing and design

Reactions to the exhibition, Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

The events of 1848–50, and the original aims of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

The importance of science and technology

International contexts, reception and influences

Pre-Raphaelitism and religious and intellectual history (for example, the ideas of Carlyle, Ruskin, the Oxford Movement)

The Pre-Raphaelites and Oxford, including new research on paintings and drawings in the Ashmolean Museum

The relationship between painting and photography

Music in Pre-Raphaelite art and literature

The Pre-Raphaelites as art and literary critics

The significance of collectors and patrons of the Pre-Raphaelites

Women in Pre-Raphaelitism, as objects of representation and/or as artists and writers

Urban and natural landscapes in Pre-Raphaelite art and literature

Poetic innovations of the Pre-Raphaelites

Developments in technique (painting, materials, sculpture and frames)

The influence of Pre-Raphaelitism on architecture and public space

Portrayals of Pre-Raphaelites in biography, fiction, film and television

Print culture and journalism

The effect of digital culture on the study of Pre-Raphaelitism

Booking details
Conference booking opens in May 2013

If you are interested in attending as a delegate please email to reserve a place.

Professor Christiana Payne, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Dr Dinah Roe, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Call for papers
Please submit abstracts of 300 words for 20 minute papers with a CV to: Dr Dinah Roe (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) and Professor Christiana Payne (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). no later than 31 March 2013.


  1. Like the sound of this conference Dinah. I’ll circulate your CFP on the Geffrye’s networks. Good luck with it.

    Alex Goddard responded at 07:53pm on 02/09/2013
  2. Thank you very much Alex. I hope it will tempt some of your colleagues to join us in September!

    Dinah responded at 07:04pm on 02/10/2013

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Pre-Raphaelites in the City

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This blog explores the thriving Victorian cities which inspired the Pre-Raphaelites, and were shaped by them in turn. While the Pre-Raphaelites produced poetry and art praising the natural world, most were born and raised in urban environments, and their work retained a cosmopolitan sensibility. Although this blog will sometimes take excursions into the countryside, its focus will remain on city life. If you want more information on images or sources, please get in touch.