About

Beyond Genius and Muse: Collaborating Couples in Twentieth-Century Arts
Interdisciplinary Conference
18th-19th April 2017
Victoria Rooms, Queen’s Road
Department of Music
University of Bristol, BS8 1SA

Common perceptions of the artist still picture a lonely genius in a room of his own, writing, painting, or composing great works in isolation while amanuenses or, more likely, his wife takes care of worldly matters. Conversely, cultural history can sometimes cast artists as vessels floating on a tide of external events. Reality is more complex, especially in the twentieth century: here, the pace of change in societal and relationship dynamics render both these imaginary positions problematic. Examining collaborating couples can force us to rethink the paradigms of working relationships in the arts. Whether couples collaborated or hindered each other, what are the means to describe such complex creative partnerships? How can feminism, gender theories, and queer studies help shift perceptions and rediscover hidden powers and intimate connections? What methodologies can we use to research and write about intra-art and interdisciplinary couples? How do such couples perceive themselves and their work? This conference seeks to engage with all kinds of collaborating couples, be it cases where traditional roles are intact, reversed, or changed otherwise.

Keynotes
Prof. Frances Spalding CBE, FRSL
Anthony Payne & Jane Manning OBE

Organiser and Programme Committee
Dr Annika Forkert (Organiser; Music, University of Bristol)
Dr Adrian Paterson (English, NUI Galway)
Dr Sarah Terry (English, Oglethorpe University)
Dr Tom Walker (English, Trinity College Dublin)

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