The major conference “Radical Victorians: Race, Labor, Identity” will take place online from January 20-22, 2022.

Organized by The Frick Pittsburgh, the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University, and Yale University, the conference will offer new responses to questions raised by the exhibition Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts and Crafts Movement. From the conference website:

Speakers will re-examine radical figures in Victorian visual and material culture, finding some surprising pre-echoes of contemporary thinking. In response to the concerns and crises of our own times, some papers delve deeper into the fraught relationship between art and ideas of race in an age of empire: is it possible to write an anti-racist history of Victorian art? Others investigate Victorian critiques of the environmental damage caused by industrialization and ways to counter it.  The conference challenges conventional narratives and asks us to think again about Victorian Britain from decolonial, feminist, and queer perspectives. A musical event brings to light a lost archive of radical Victorian song, and keynote lectures delve in more detail into Victorian Orientalism, Victorian art and Ireland, and the early history of art exhibitions.

Kate Bunce, "Melody (Musica)", an oil painting of a dark-haired woman playing a small guitar. 3/4 of her body is shown, facing forward. She wears a heavily embroidered green and red gown and is backed by flowers and a mirror.

Talks will focus on a wide range of topics of interest to those interested in William Morris, May Morris, the Pre-Raphaelites, and Victorian art and design. Speakers include current and former WMS-US board members.

Two talks of particular Morrisian interest are Emily Cox (PhD Candidate, Yale University), “The Gothic Casket: William Morris’s Iceland” and Sarah Mead Leonard (PhD, University of Delaware 2020), “May Morris, Remarkable Victorian,” both of which will be presented during the emerging scholar sessions on Thursday, January 20.