The Ruskin Seminar Programme 2019-2020


V. & F. Albritton, Green Victorians & S. F. Cooper, Why Ruskin Matters - cover images
The Ruskin Seminars

We are delighted to announce The Ruskin Seminar Series 2019-2020.

The Ruskin Seminars invite scholars, artists and thinkers to explore how Ruskin's ideas can unlock the pressing cultural, social and environmental issues of today and tomorrow. This year, our seminars explore the relevance of Ruskin’s thinking to topics ranging from ecological crisis to evolutionary theory.

To join the conversation, come along to our Reading Group. We’ll be looking closely at Ruskin’s own research methods, as well as considering the ways Ruskin responded to the environmental concerns of his own time. Each meeting will focus on a different selection from Ruskin’s collected works, which will be chosen and introduced by a member of the group.

Image: Franziska Schenk, Erebus Obscura, diptych II, 2010. © Franziska Schenk.



Franziska Schenk: Close Looking - Nature’s Microcosm as seen through Ruskin’s Lens

Date & Time: Friday 18 October 2019, 16:15 - 18:00

Venue: The Ruskin 

Franziska Schenk (Visual Artist and Researcher, School of Art, Birmingham City University) casts a close eye on Ruskin’s high-resolution nature-centric artwork to extend the Victorian’s sharp-focused vision into the contemporary nano-realm. To register your attendance, visit this page.


Mark Frost: Divine and Defiled Waters - Ruskin, the Wandel, and Victorian Ecocrisis

Date & Time: Thursday 31 October 2019, 16:15 - 18:00

Venue: Bowland North, SR06

Dr Mark Frost (Senior Lecturer in English Literature, University of Portsmouth) speaks about his research into waterways, bodies and ecocrisis in Victorian Britain, with reference to Ruskin’s often misunderstood efforts to cleanse the River Wandel at Carshalton, in Surrey, during the 1870s. To register your attendance, visit this page.


Suzanne Fagence Cooper: Storm Clouds and the Sea of Ice - Ruskin in the Alps

Date & Time: Thursday 13 February 2020, 16:15 - 18:00

Venue: The Ruskin 

Dr Suzanne Fagence Cooper (Research Curator, York Art Gallery) will examine the interconnections between Ruskin’s observations of changing Alpine skyscapes and landscapes over 40 years, with his own concerns about personal fragility and decline. To register your attendance, visit this page.


Fredrik Albritton Jonsson: Ruskin’s Post Carbon Society - Imagining the Future during the Victorian Coal Panic

Date & Time: Thursday 19 March 2020, 16:15 - 18:00

Venue: The Ruskin 

Dr Fredrik Albritton Jonsson (Associate Professor of British History, University of Chicago) explores fossil fuels, economic growth, and the relevance of Ruskin’s thinking for understanding the ecological concerns of the late nineteenth century as well as those of our own era. To register your attendance, visit this page.


The Ruskin Seminar Reading Group will take place at The Ruskin, on 7 and 28 November 2019, and 30 January and 27 February 2020, 16:15 - 18:00. Please write to the-ruskin@lancaster.ac.uk, if you would like to be added to the mailing list.


To register your attendance, visit the event pages.


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