Category criticism

Homage to Tom Raworth’s Writing

Here at the Institute we very much admire Tom Raworth’s book Writing. Written in the 1970s and published by The Figures, Berkeley, California in 1982, the book is seminal both as a poetic text and as an instance of stylish book publishing. Reprints of the text, as in the version in Tom Raworth’s¬†Collected Poems (Manchester: […]

archive of the crinoline: team work

There’s a good deal of doubt about whether this photograph, part of a group, was made to mock or celebrate the spirit of the crinoline, but either way, what is revealed is the sociality of its production.¬†No-one said it was going to be easy to make a spectacle, but with a bit of patience, team […]

dubious nineteenth century sexual politics

archive of the crinoline: redeem the unredeemable!

There’s a sorry history of cultural appropriations of the crinoline, often for purposes other than high fashion, usually with the intent of debunking or perverting the gloire of the crinoline’s architecture. This awkward specimen, widely reproduced, sometimes goes by the title of ‘The Bachelor’s Dream’, an albumen print from around 1860, and not, as they […]

News of Research at the Institute Continued: GENEALOGY OF THE CRINOLINE… ‘Hegel’s Embarrassment’

As if the wealth of superficial analogies were not sufficiently dazzling anecdotal material for confirmed cultural materialists, the final insult to injury is added by the discovery that this myth of nuns and fossils makes its sorry way into Walter Scott’s scandalously underpowered long poem Marmion(1806): When Whitby’s nuns exalting told, Of thousand snakes, each […]

St. Hilda

News of Research at the Institute:GENEALOGY OF THE CRINOLINE… ‘Byproducts and Snakestones’

Among byproducts of research into the cultural imagination of the fossil, two intriguing counter-mythologies emerge. Short of funds for a full research trip, the Institute purchased the fossil pictured in the previous post on ebay. While able to confirm the Jurassic status of the specimen, the Institute were unable to verify the Whitby provenance claimed […]

Arrivals at The Institute: Robert Hampson / Crater Press

At The Institute we were very pleased to be sent a copy of Robert Hampson’s new publication ‘Out of Sight’ from the lovely Crater Press. The artificial highs of Robert Hampson’s noir on overload are given the appearance of having been captured as if only in passing by R. Parker’s elegant design of the page. […]

or make a cape

You Could Always Make a Cape?