Romantic Disorder: Predisciplinarity and the Divisions of Knowledge 1750-1850
Modern disciplines like geology, history, and anthropology often trace their origins to Romantic-era developments. "Literature," as a distinct category of expressive writing also emerged in conjunction with other disciplines, a synthetic dialogue that would later be characterized as a contentious division between "two cultures." So too do sites such as the gallery, the museum, and the academy emerge around this time as new forms of sociability, as attempts to display unruly arrays of pictures and other eccentric specimens.
What can Romantic-era aesthetic practices contribute to our understandings of the rise of disciplinarity in the nineteenth century? How can the increasing professionalization and isolation of practices like botany, literary criticism, geology, art and theatre reviews, and collecting illuminate the unruly dynamism of aesthetic forms, both verbal and visual? How do the spaces (whether institutional, geographic, or social) of predisciplinary encounters and formations help shape disciplinary discourses, and how do subjects with varying degrees of agency participate in these discourses? Reading against the grain of the "rise of disciplinarity", and trying to undo its teleological short circuits, this conference seeks to engage imaginatively with the possibilities of predisciplinarity.
Conference Venue: Roberts Building, UCL, Malet Place, Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7JE (opposite the Gower St Waterstones)
Conference Committee: Luisa Calè (Birkbeck), Adriana Craciun (University of California, Riverside), Luciana Martins (Birkbeck).