With support from the Royal Entomological Society you’ll be able to discover the world of literary insects, from mythology to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland novels, Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach and M.G. Leonard’s Beetle Boy trilogy at Oxford’s Story Museum this summer! The exhibition will be on throughout National Insect Week to Oxford’s annual Alice’s Day, and run parallel to the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth exhibition at the Bodleian Library.
You’ll be able to delve into the history of entomology and the creation of the characters of some of your favourite children’s books, and discover how much we learn about the true biology of insects from them in interactive exhibits supported by the British Society for the History of Science, who have generously awarded us with their Outreach Grant. The exhibition will not only feature real Looking-Glass Insects, but will also be accompanied by numerous events – from live insect handling to school & illustration workshops, and readings my M.G. Leonard herself – as well as a museum trail. On the 23th of June, Dimitra Fimi will talk about J.R.R. Tolkien’s Insects in a lecture entitled ‘Wings, Antennae, and Stings: Tolkien’s Creepy Crawlies’. On the 7th of July – Alice’s Day, and the final day of the exhibition before the Museum closes for refurbishment – there will be a talk entitled ‘A bug-hunt in Wonderland: the symbolism and science of Alice’s insects and their transformations’ by the curators Chris Jeffs & Franziska Kohlt.
For the academic side of our project, we will be presenting a panel on Cross-Disciplinary Public Engagement at the Annual Conference of the British Society for Literature and Science (Panel 8B). We will shine a light the different sides of a cross-disciplinary collaboration in a panel discussion with Christopher Jeffs (University of Oxford), research scientist at the Department of Zoology, Luke Tilley (Royal Entomological Society), Deputy CEO and Director of Outreach, Katherine Ford, Science Museum London/ University of Sheffield Libraries Engagement, and Maya Leonard, author of ‘Beetle Boy’ trilogy and ‘Beetle Collectors Handbook’.
To create a future resource for future science communicators and everyone more widely involved in outreach and engagement on the intersections between the sciences and the humanities, we will be conducting a survey on how to create a successful cross-disciplinary outreach event – do participate & share widely!
The Arte documentary for which I was interviewed in December has just been aired, and I’m very excited and grateful for the generous feedback it has received – and the many views! It’s available online, dubbed French and German, until the 12th of May, and can be downloaded here.
I have taken over as editor of The Lewis Carroll Review which not only has a shiny new website, and an updated twitter profile but also a fresh call for reviewers and submissions out! If you are keen on reviewing a recent or forthcoming Carollian publication (a book, an academic article, etc.), or if you are the author of one, please do not hesitate to get in touch! I’m just pulling together my first issue as editor and am very much looking forward to hearing from you!
Find the Lewis Carroll Review & the Lewis Carroll Society on Twitter and Facebook!
Yesterday filming began for a Lewis Carroll documentary for the French/German TV channel Arte which will be aired in March 2018 – I was interviewed as an expert and got to hang out with the Oxford Dodo at the local Natural History Museum out of hours.
The documentary will be broadcast on Arte’s Invitation au Voyage on the 13th of March 16:30, and will be available for 7 days online thereafter.
It’s been a few months since the lovely George MacDonald’s Scotland Conference at Aberdeen University and we’ve been busy since -preparing for transforming our website into a new hub for George MacDonald scholars, with a guide to resources and log of scholars, planning a digitisation project and the publication we announced at the conference, and more (curious? have a look at our website!) – watch this space!
In the mean time, our bursary recipients Adam Walker (Bucknell), Sharin Shroeder (Taipei) and Caroline LaPlue (Aberystwyth) have written about what fascinated them most about the conference – have a look at their blog posts to find out more about the MacDonald archives, Huntly and its connections to MacDonald’s work – and more – all including beautiful photos!
And Tom? Ah, now comes the most wonderful part of this wonderful story. Tom, when he woke, for of course he woke—found himself swimming about in the stream, being about four inches, or—that I may be accurate—3.87902 inches long. In fact, the fairies had turned him into a water-baby.
UPDATE: The talk is now available on youtube – click here to watch!
I’m looking forward to giving a talk at the Heath Robinson Museum’s ‘Visualising the Water-Babies’ exhibition on the 2nd of November 2017.
With a focus on Linley Sambourne’s illustrations, but also including those of W.H. Robinson and Margaret Tarrant, I will look into the encoded messages of the tale’s illustrations, the cultural, scientific and social background they draw on, to illuminate the importance of fantasy in Kingsley’s fairy-tale and its visualizations. Thus, I will also address the question whether or not The Water-Babies is, really, a story for children.
‘Lewis Carroll and Violence’
Professor Dame Gillian Beer
7:00 pm Friday 13 October, The Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT
Lewis Carroll’s worlds of the imagination are places of unexpectedly violent encounters: from the despotic Queen of Hearts terrorising Wonderland with threats of wholesale decapitation to those battling duos beyond the Looking-Glass, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Lion and the Unicorn and the Red and White Knights.
The literary critic and academic, Gillian Beer – whose book, Alice in Space: The Sideways Victorian World of Lewis Carroll, has recently been awarded the Truman Capote Prize for Literary Criticism – is eminently placed to explore this topic in the Lewis Carroll Society’s 11th Roger Lancelyn Green Memorial Lecture.
Tickets £10 may be booked on line: http://lewiscarrollsociety.org.uk/store/
The Roger Lancelyn Green Memorial Lecture was inaugurated in 1988 by The Lewis Carroll Society to commemorate the work of the noted biographer and literary scholar, Roger Lancelyn Green, whose books include works on Lewis Carroll, J M Barrie, C S Lewis, Andrew Lang and Rudyard Kipling as well the seminal book on Children’s Literature, Tellers of Tales and many books for young readers retelling classic myths and legends.
Past Roger Lancelyn Green Memorial Lecturers include Sir Jonathan Miller CBE, John Vernon Lord, Colin Ford CBE and Professor Morton N Cohen.