Annual Conference 2019:

Mediating Ruskin: “Through a Kaleidoscope, Brightly”





For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13: 12-13)

Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour/  Château de Pau

 February 8&9 2019

(Laboratoires ALTER, EA 7504, UPPA / CLIMAS, EA 4196, UBM)


February 2019 will mark the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth and the eminent Victorian’s name and ideas still regularly crop up in a variety of contexts and media on both sides of the Channel and the Atlantic. Like an image fixed on one’s retina long after the contemplated object has been removed, Ruskin’s presence continues to permeate through many writings ranging from architecture and art to economics and environment. Rejected by the Edwardians as the epitome of the stiff, upper-lip Victorian sage, he is now recognized as a major figure for his significant achievements, whether it be his defence of William Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites and his insightful utopic views that nourished Gandhi’s political thought as much as today’s projects on sustainability.

For the members of the French Victorian and Edwardian Society (SFEVE), the anniversary is a timely opportunity to reappraise the ways in which Ruskin’s ideas have been interpreted, translated, transplanted on foreign soil – France but also Italy – and accommodated in the numerous fields that were impacted by his writings.

In a distant echo of one of Ruskin’s often-used lines from the Bible and in homage to classical studies of Ruskin (John Rosenberg’s study of Ruskin, The Darkening Glass, 1986) and to recent, thought-provoking studies (Isobel Armstrong’s Victorian Glassworlds, 2008) this conference aims to explore the filters and theoretical frames through which Ruskin’s ideas have been viewed and appropriated but also distorted, enlarged and perhaps diminished.

Abstracts are invited for a twenty-five minute presentation on any of the following subjects:

-          the reception and interpretation of Ruskin’s ideas, whether aesthetic, political, economic or broadly cultural

-          the interaction between Ruskin and other writers, artists or movements (Carlyle, Turner, the Pre-Raphaelites, Impressionism, Whistler, Aestheticism)

-          the translation of Ruskin’s writings into French or into other languages

-          Ruskin and the emergence of new ways of seeing and thinking (art criticism, politics, education): influences, transpositions, oppositions and legacies

-          Ruskinian pilgrimages in France (“Pèlerinages ruskiniens en France”, Proust)

-          Ruskin (and other Victorians) in the Mountains

-          Ruskin and women

-          “Green Ruskin”: environmental issues then and now



To submit, please send a 300-word abstract and a short biographical notice to the three conference organisers: Fabienne Gaspari (, Laurence Roussillon-Constanty ( (UPPA) and Béatrice Laurent (UBM) (

The deadline for submissions is October 15th .


Confirmed Keynote Speakers:

- Pr Emily Eells, Université Paris Nanterre

- Mr Jérôme Bastianelli, Directeur Général Délégué, Musée du Quai Branly

- Pr George P. Landow, Brown University, USA



Scientific Committee :

Pr Bénédicte Coste, Université de Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, France

Dr Anuradha Chatterjee, University of New South Wales, Australia

Pr Philippe Chassaigne, Université Montaigne Bordeaux 3, France

Dr Rachel Dickinson, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Pr Luc Fraisse, Université de Strasbourg, IUF, France

Dr Mark Frost, University of Portsmouth, UK

Pr Lawrence Gasquet, Université Jean Moulin, Lyon 3, France

Pr George Landow, Brown University, USA

Pr Fabienne Moine, Université de Créteil, France

Pr Emma Sdegno, Universita Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy

Pr Sara Thornton, Université Paris Diderot, France

Mr. Clive Wilmer, University of Cambridge, UK.



Conference Website:

Online user: 1