DepositCriticism after Romanticism: 2. Art for Art’s Sake. 3. Impressionism and Subjectivism

A lecture on the history of critical ideas and aesthetics after the heyday of Romanticism, during the Victorian period. The movement of Art for Art’s sake is here presented with its French origins and an overview of the main ideas on poetics and aesthetics of its main representatives in the Anglophone sphere: Edgar Allan Poe, Walter Pater, and Oscar Wilde. This is followed by an account of Impressionist criticism.

MemberChristine Becker

Christine Becker is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre at the University of Notre Dame specializing in film and television history and critical analysis. Her book It’s the Pictures That Got Small: Hollywood Film Stars on 1950s Television (Wesleyan University Press, 2009) won the 2011 IAMHIST Michael Nelson Prize for a Work in Media and History. She is currently working on a research project exploring issues of cultural taste in contemporary American and British television. She also runs the blog and co-hosts the Aca-Media podcast. She’s taught at Notre Dame since 2000, specializing in film and television history and critical analysis. Recent courses include Media Industries, Television as a Storytelling Medium, History of Television, Basics of Film, and Television, and Media Stardom and Celebrity Culture.

DepositToward Critical Book History

This paper considers the prospect of a “critical book history” that blends critical theory with studies of the book as a material and cultural object. This concept parallels similar efforts in the digital humanities for a critically engaged digital practice, as explored in a 2018 American Quarterly special issue, the #transformdh movement, and Debates in the Digital Humanities. Critical digital humanities argues “that theory can be engaged through practice, that scholarship should be open and accessible to all, and that collaboration is pivotal” (American Quarterly 70.3). This presentation suggests that similar pushes in book history would create a productive dialogue between book history work, the digital humanities, critical theory, and public humanities. I explore: what would be the goal of a critical book history? What changes would be required in how we think about and practice our discipline? And most excitingly, what new inspiration does this provide for studies of materiality and cultural history; political praxis; theoretically informed work on race, ethnicity, gender, and class; technological methodologies that engage with the past and explore the future; and a reflexivity on the limitations of our historical narratives and practices.

DepositHIST3812 Winter 2018 Critical Digital Making

Syllabus for HIST3812, Winter 2018 at Carleton University, Department of History, on ‘Critical Digital Making’. “What happens to history as it gets digitized? That is, what does history look like, what happens to our materials, and the stories we tell or the questions we ask, as we abstract further and further away from ‘In Real Life’? What does ‘digital history’ really mean? How will we explore this question? You will choose a real world object/building/site here in Ottawa that you can access and: progressively abstract it away from the real world with a series of technologies from photogrammetry to augmented reality all the while attending lectures to learn the context of what we’re doing and why, annotating the readings collaboratively on the open web as you keep open notebooks reflecting on this progression so that you can build a digital experience of your understanding of your results for a public reveal to be held on campus at the end of term.