Arts, Contemporary

Doris Salcedo’s Untitleds

By Emily Oldham. Picture a room: spacious, with blank-white walls, it seems the height of impersonality. From this coldness loom dozens of furniture pieces, every crevice suffused by cement, figures of unapologetically brutal beauty. Some contain embedded hair, bone and even clothing. The absence of a body becomes starkly physical; concrete seeps into every inch of… Continue reading Doris Salcedo’s Untitleds

Arts, Interviews

An Interview with Lalla Essaydi

By Sophie Dowle. Lalla Essaydi is an influential Moroccan-American artist, whose uncompromising portrayals of women have sent waves across the art world. Bold, brave and unafraid to make frank and honest statements regarding gender and the Middle East, Essaydi challenges the tropes of Orientalism head-on in her work. When I spoke to her, her passion… Continue reading An Interview with Lalla Essaydi

16th century, Arts

A Renaissance Flâneur: Isabella Whitney’s willed urban self

By Alice Theobald In executing a fictional will, sixteenth-century poet Isabella Whitney not only presented a defence of women's legal legitimacy but also externalised herself into the city, channelling her personal impulses into the physical structures and material goods of her London. However, rather than reducing herself to a commodity, she uses her distribution of… Continue reading A Renaissance Flâneur: Isabella Whitney’s willed urban self

18th century, Arts

‘Nature is the nurse of sentiment’: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Scandinavian Travelogue

By Alice Theobald So much more than an exercise in travel writing, Mary Wollstonecraft’s Letters Written During a Short Residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark accounts her unrequited love for her supposed partner, Gilbert Imlay. Reading more like a tragedy in epistolary form, Wollstonecraft’s account of the landscape is interwoven with personal reflections on her… Continue reading ‘Nature is the nurse of sentiment’: Mary Wollstonecraft’s Scandinavian Travelogue

19th century, Arts

An Unwilling Empress: Sisi through the lens of her poetry and the portraits of Franz Xaver Winterhalter

By Alice Theobald Termed by Brigitte Hamann ‘a woman who refused to behave according to her rank’, Empress Sisi’s somewhat playful audacity was always at odds with the official role of Empress of Austria she assumed at the tender age of sixteen. Her childhood spent at Possenhofen Castle fostered an unrestrained environment with few rules… Continue reading An Unwilling Empress: Sisi through the lens of her poetry and the portraits of Franz Xaver Winterhalter

19th century, Arts

Madame de Staël – Literature, Society and “Woman”

By Helen Craske “Un homme doit savoir braver l’opinion; une femme s’y soumettre” [Delphine] (“A man must know how to defy opinion; a woman, how to obey it.”[1]) Madame de Staël has been called ‘one of the most important women in history’ (Bowman, in Dixon, 2009, p.9), and this is for her impact over politics,… Continue reading Madame de Staël – Literature, Society and “Woman”

19th century, Arts

Registering Desire: Spousal and Appetitive Imagery in the Religious and Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti

By Alice Theobald In a period noted for its ostensible conservatism and censorship of linguistic taboos, Christina Rossetti is often taken as paradigmatic of this aversion towards the open expression of sensuality and female sensation. However, her religious poetry in fact displays a marked tendency towards images of physical desire, appropriating the language of erotic… Continue reading Registering Desire: Spousal and Appetitive Imagery in the Religious and Devotional Poetry of Christina Rossetti

17th century, Arts

Friendship in Emblem: Negotiating Gender and Sexuality in the Poetry of Katherine Philips

By Mimi Goodall It is fascinating to analyse the ways in which female writers, working within a predominantly male tradition, negotiate their gender, femininity and sexuality in their writing. In women’s writing, the “female” shifts from existing as written object to active creator of the text. As they subvert or adapt traditional representations of women… Continue reading Friendship in Emblem: Negotiating Gender and Sexuality in the Poetry of Katherine Philips

20th century, Arts

Gertrude Stein

By Siobhan Fenton Behind every great man is a great woman. The shallow reality of this phrase is perhaps never so brilliantly exposed than through the life of Gertrude Stein, who was not merely behind one great man, but several geniuses: Picasso, Hemmingway, Matisse and Cezanne. Stein, the American art collector and modern writer, is… Continue reading Gertrude Stein

20th century, Arts

Book Review: The Persephone Book of Short Stories

By Riana Patel Over the course of nearly fifteen years Persephone Books has been publishing a range of books written by women around the middle of the 20th century, from biographies to science fiction to poetry and even to cookery. Every book is selected to be “intelligent, thought-provoking, and beautifully written” and also features a… Continue reading Book Review: The Persephone Book of Short Stories