Working at the time of fracture of the sciences from classical studies, poetry and religion, Ruskin was one of the last great truly interdisciplinary thinkers. This new seminar series will pair speakers from across the arts, humanities and sciences to debate how Ruskin’s works challenged perception, language and perspective, and anticipated modes of thinking today.
After The Flood: George Eliot and the Apocalypse
Dr Matthew Bradley (Liverpool University, English Department) and Professor
Linda Woodhead (Lancaster University, Institute for Social Futures)
Thursday 3rd May, Bowland North, SR 23, 4.15-6.00pm
Matthew Bradley, Senior Lecturer in English, Liverpool University, thinks out loud about those occasions in Victorian culture ‘when o’er the world the conquering deluge ran,/Rolling its monster surges’, as Ruskin put it in a poem of 1835. Appealing to both Ruskin and George Eliot, most famously for the latter in the climax to The Mill of the Floss, the artistic and literary depiction of floods in the nineteenth century invites questions of structure, roots, sublimity, and of the end of the world. For Ruskin and Eliot, what comes ‘after’ the flood are the apocalyptic resonances – resonances of the Deluge, of Noah, of Deucalion, all of which help to illuminate some of the other powerful manifestations of apocalypse in both of their writings. In response, Linda Woodhead, Director, Institute of Social Futures, Lancaster University will consider the apocalyptic as an ancient and pervasive mode of future thinking – how the perdurable quality of the apocalyptic is related to its astonishing adaptability to different contexts of meaning and use.
Ruskin Library and Research Centre for Culture, Landscape and the Environment
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