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MLA Vides 2021

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Welcome to the ninth edition of VIDES, the online journal produced by the students of the Department for Continuing Education, University of Oxford, as part of their Master’s degree in Literature and Arts. As the name of the degree suggests, the course covers many different academic fields alongside literature: history, material culture, history of art, philosophy and architecture. The journal features essays that combine these disciplines, enlightening understanding in one field through study of another.

Resources for this course

Displaying 1 - 19 of 19
Type Resource Description People Full details
Document Introduction


Document ‘Kind words from a distant friend are the most precious of all gifts’: manifesting colonial power under the guise of ‘gift’, from India to Iraq by Nesma Shubber

Beyond mere expressions of sentimentality or altruism, gifts are mechanisms of exchange providing sociological and anthropological insights into...

Document Cacao and colonialism: examining the intersection between science and commerce in the life and work of Sir Hans Sloane by Sarah Gray Isenberg

Sir Hans Sloane, who would become the founder of the British Museum, sourced his early knowledge of natural history from Jamaica, acquired during...

Document ‘The ign’rant present’s all’: acts of listening and silencing in early colonial New South Wales by James Bonney

This study excavates divergent approaches to the British colonial project by analysing two artefacts created by British colonial officials living...

Document Persuasive landscapes: representations of Victoria Falls and colonial migration in the mid-nineteenth century by Chala Dodds

This article studies the representations of Victoria Falls through David Livingstone’s descriptions in Missionary Travels and Researches in South...

Document British culture in Porfirian Mexico: the clown Ricardo Bell and the Circo Orrin by John Gray

British actors had a lasting socioeconomic impact on Mexico throughout the period of the Porfiriato (1876–1911). Understanding this influence...

Document The Nocturne and the ‘Native Village’: contrasting Japonismes in late-Victorian London by Jonathan Parker

This article contrasts two manifestations of the late-Victorian fascination with Japonisme – James Whistler’s painting Nocturne in Blue and Silver...

Document From gentility to genitalia: the koto, a Japanese writing box and the transformative power of Dante Gabriel Rossetti by Timothy Hanson

In the latter half of the nineteenth century, a wave of interest in Japan that was comparable to Hokusai’s Great Wave off Kanagawa, broke upon...

Document ‘This subtile wreath’: the significance of hair in John Donne’s ‘The Relique’ and an example of seventeenth century hair lace by Amy Norton

This essay explores the significance of hair in John Donne’s ‘The Relique’ and an example of hair lace from the early seventeenth century. Whether...

Document Covetousness and commodification: the eroticised female body and cultural representations of death by Natasha Shirman

The Victorian cult of mourning meant that the ritual of death became a visual affair, which placed women firmly at its centre. These gendered...

Document ‘Miner poet’ or ‘seer and singer’? Joseph Skipsey’s performance of the identities of miner and poet by Joy Brindle

Northumberland poet Joseph Skipsey (1832- 1903) published 11 volumes of poetry between 1858 and 1895. For the majority of this time he was also...

Document Pastoral perfection or tormented toil? contrasting views of rural labour in the second half of the nineteenth century, in works by Richard Jefferies and John Linnell by Catherine Usher

This article considers and contrasts the representations of the life of the agricultural labourer in the second half of the nineteenth century by...

Document Why set a portrait in a landscape or a landscape in a portrait? a comparative analysis of the functions of landscape in Thomas Gainsborough’s Mr. and Mrs. Andrews (c 1750) and Cornelia Parker’s Landscape with Gun and Tree (2010) by Nicola Catterall

Consideration of the 2010 sculpture that clearly references the 1750 painting, selecting and exaggerating just a few of the painting’s elements,...

Document Know thyself? Did Phrenology help William Powell Frith address middleclass Victorian crowd anxiety? by Jane de Beneducci

Lorenzo Niles Fowler’s Phrenology bust of circa 1850 has achieved a modern iconic status as an artefact that represents either a quackish...

Document The promotion of moral values through Victorian children’s stories: Charles Dickens’s ‘Frauds on the Fairies’ (1853) and a ‘Robinson Crusoe’ nursery wallpaper design (1875-1900) by Eleri Ryley

This essay considers an article by Charles Dickens on the alteration of fairy tales alongside a nursery wallpaper design depicting scenes from the...

Document Christ in the everyday nineteenth-century experience: examining a collection of daily prayers and a painting of Jesus by Celia Jarvis

John Keble and William Holman Hunt produced work at the bookends of a century renowned for its scientific and industrial progress. Both men,...

Document Reflections of reflections of reflections: Shelley and the terrifying necessity of fragmentary art by Andrew Turner

This article is concerned with an analysis of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s ‘On the Medusa of Leonardo da Vinci in the Florentine Gallery’ as a...

Document Defending the ‘faith’: Henry VIII, the Pilgrimage of Grace, and the power of images by Oliver Markeson

The pamphlet Assertio Septem Sacramentorum [Defence of the Seven Sacraments], published in 1521, seeded the idea that Catholicism was not only...

Document Preface