The international online conference is a joint project between the University of Lincoln and Bishop Grosseteste University, led by Sibylle Erle and Jason Whittaker, and it explores how global audiences responded to the English poet and artist that became such an important figure in British cultural life.
Across three days, 200 years of influence from more than 20 countries was explored across presentations and keynote speakers from a variety of backgrounds with an interest in Blake. The conference also created the opportunity to launch the network on Blake’s worldwide, academic and creative reception, further details of this will be shared soon.
Dr Sibylle Erle, Reader in English Literature at Bishop Grosseteste University and co-organiser of the conference, said: “There was much that was familiar and much that gave occasion for surprise and wonder. Papers ranged from occult and esoteric contexts in counterculture and the legacy of William Butler Yeats to astonishing artworks in Russia, South Africa, and Scotland - Phoebe Traquair’s illustrations to Elizabeth Barrett Browing’s Sonnets of the Portuguese - and to new translations of Blake into Turkish, Serbian, and Portuguese (Brazilian version).
“Blake is a visionary artist and had visions; his works, poetry (illuminated books) and art (paintings, drawings, and sketches) have undergone a popular renaissance, propelled by multimodal approaches in translation, literature (including comic books), art, criticism, and music.
“Reception studies attempts capture the afterlives of authors and texts that can be appear in unexpected places. Discussions revolve around the use of Blake, historical connections as well as mythographic resonances or connecting contexts, and juxtapositions that debate influence and mediation through complex networks in which Blake exists as a node.”
For more information about the conference, including the programme, please visit: https://globalblake.zoamorphosis.com/ . Recordings of the papers, events (poetry reading, musical performance), keynotes and round table can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/c/ZoavisionMedia/videos
Following the conference, Blake in Europe: Case Studies will be published on 31 January by Blake/An Illustrated Quarterly. These special papers were conceived during a Symposium at Tate Britain (September 2019), organised to celebrate the publication of The Reception of William Blake in Europe (co-edited by Sibylle Erle and Morton D. Paley and part of Elinor Shaffer’s longstanding and successful series on The Reception of British and Irish Authors in Europe).
At BGU Blake is taught as part of the Romanticism and Children’s Literature modules (Undergraduate English Programmes – joined and single honours) as well as the MA Children’s Literature and Literacies strand of the MA English Literature.