Espaces imaginaires

Espaces imaginaires

Discipline rare Non




2e semestre.

Direction de mémoires : civilisation GB XVIIIe, arts, paysage et environnement etc

(prise de rendez-vous :

This “civilisation britannique” seminar offers a cross between visual arts, cultural studies and digital humanities: it is an opportunity to explore the British representations of nature in the 18th and 19th centuries; it focuses on the contribution of the Georgian as well as the Victorian age to environmental awareness. As a multidisciplinary seminar, it includes studies in visual culture, art history, ecocriticism, literature and garden history ; students will be invited to try out different methodologies, using alternately texts, paintings, engravings, and internet sites.

The main focus is the perception, treatment, and protection of nature by British men and women throughout the Georgian and Victorian ages as well as their sustainability and permanence today. There will be garden history studies (the role of gardens in shaping landscape and environmental awareness); visual art studies (how did British artists deal visually with nature?); word and image studies (comparative criticism of figures such as Milton, Evelyn, Pope, Thomson, Beckford, Wordsworth, Hardy, Ruskin will provide insights into the impact of fiction on environmental awareness); inroads into social history, assessing the perception of each social class in land management. The course will raise the following issues:

- thinking out landscapes : what is a landscape ? why was British thinking pioneering and what has landscape awareness brought along down the ages ?
- scopic regimes : how did one gaze, observe, and inspect in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain? Specific case studies such as walking in the garden, viewing « scenery », mobility and transport, will provide various angles on the intricacy and wealth of experiences of visuality;

- reception studies : Georgian and Victorian visuality will also be studied from the point of view of those who ‘received’ nature then and those who continue to ‘receive’ it today;
- cultural heritage : what’s left of landscapes today? how does one preserve, protect and enhance historic sites today ? How can gardens be restored and preserved? What is landscape protection?

- landscape and digital humanities : how can technology help compensate for the frailty of the built and natural environment? Various websites, applications and new technologies will be studied. 


A bibliography will be distributed in the seminar & on moodle; access to moodle and are required. Seminar : Thursday 13h00-15h00 (to be confirmed)

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CHATEL Laurent

Email : Laurent.Chatel @