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Recent Posts

Blake Awakes: Reinvention, Revival and Rylands Collections

Blake Awakes: Reinvention, Revival and Rylands Collections, 1 May, 1-5pm

The Christie Room, The John Rylands Library, Manchester
This workshop will explore some of the ways in which the artistic vision of William Blake has been reimagined and reinvented in British art and culture, with a special focus on material held at the John Rylands Library.
Hosted by the John Rylands Research Institute, the event builds on previous Blake projects at the John Rylands Library, including the exhibition Burning Bright: William Blake and the Art and Craft of the Book, which explored Blake’s own work as a commercial engraver, and his legacy in the world of the book in the century after his death.
This workshop spotlights other themes relating to Blake and his legacy in material held at the John Rylands Library as part of continuing efforts to unlock Blakean materials in the collections. Topics include Blake himself as a re-inventor in his designs for Edward Young’s Night Thoughts (1795-97); reinventing Blake’s Songs in editions of the poems held in Rylands collections; and Blake and counter-culture, represented in modern literary archives held at the Library.
The event is free to attend, and open to all. Booking is essential as places are limited.
This event is funded by the John Rylands Research Institute.
1-1.15: Introduction (Christie Room)
1.15-2.15: 3 x 15 minute papers + discussion (Christie Room)
  • Lusia Calé (Birkbeck, University of London), ‘Disbound, Encircled, Unrolled: Physical and Metaphorical Materialities of the Book in Blake’s Night Thoughts’
  • Colin Trodd (University of Manchester), ‘Codifying Vision:James Smetham’s Monuments to William Blake’
  • Sarah Haggarty (University of Cambridge), ‘Blake’s namby-pamby? Responses in the Rylands Library to the childlikeness of Songs’
2.15-3.30: Collections Session (Bible Room) / Tea and Coffee Break (Christie Room)
The group will be split in half for refreshments and the collections session; the two groups will swap between the activities at 2.50. A virtual tour of William Blake’s Cottage and other materials will be available to view during the break.
3.30-4.45: 3 x 15 minute papers + discussion (Christie Room)
  • David Hopkins (University of Glasgow), ‘The Impact of Machines’: Blake, British Surrealism and the Machine’
  • Douglas Field (Blake & Counter-Culture), ‘Transatlantic Visions: William Blake, Allen Ginsberg and Michael Horovitz’
  • Jason Whittaker (University of Lincoln), ‘Here be Tygers: from composite art to sequential art’
4.45-5: Closing discussion (Christie Room)


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