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MLA Vides 2023

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Welcome to the 11th 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 - 26 of 26
Type Resource Description People Full details
Document Preface


Document Introduction


Document ‘Embellished nature’: William Shenstone’s Contribution to English Landscape Gardening in the Mid-Eighteenth Century by Alison Mayne

The eighteenth century was a period of transition in English Landscape Gardening from a European- and classically-influenced formality to a...

Document Performing Harmonics: Representations of Domestic Music-Making in Early Nineteenth-Century England by Alexandra Cross

Domestic music-making was commonly portrayed as the essential female accomplishment of genteel Regency society, especially for those with...

Document ‘Dead Paper’: The Deconstruction of Patriarchy by Nineteenth-Century Women Writers by Isabella Green

This article examines the written word as a form of liberation in the nineteenth century, centring on two artefacts which demonstrate attempts to...

Document ‘The Dead Tell No Tales’: Female Agency in Spirit Photography and Victorian Ghost Fiction by Béatrice Chevrot

Spirit photography went from being, in its earliest stages, a powerful evidence of the tangible existence of spirits, to a compelling and...

Document Fashioning Statements of Sovereignty and Self: The Language of Gloves in Early Modern Elite Society by Jane Rae

Building on the work of scholars who have turned to the glove as a valuable primary object to study, this paper considers two artefacts: Mary...

Document ‘Wearing my mother’s laces’: Experiential History Through Dress by Lauren Spallone

What does an altered eighteenth century dress tell us about making and remaking a dress as historiography? In recent decades, scholars have...

Document Performance and Propriety: Tracing Ballet’s Evolution from Risqué to Elite by Patricia Yaker Ekall

This article takes ballet as a case study to demonstrate that, historically, the intersections of law, media, and celebrity culture helped to...

Document The Queen’s Triumph? An Exploration of the Written Presentation of the Battle of Flodden by Catherine of Aragon and John Skelton by Rebecca Thomas

This essay evaluates how Catherine of Aragon’s influence on the English victory at the Battle of Flodden was understated by both herself and John...

Document Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector: Perceived as ‘King in all but name’? The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Widening the Evidence Base in History by Alexandra Owen

This article focuses on the nature of historical evidence, that is evidence which might be useful to a
historian, in an increasingly...

Document Queer Expression in Georgian England : Subverting Norms in the Face of Oppression by Jack Nall

At first glance, British Georgian society may have expressed rather strict codes regarding the expression of love, gender, and sexuality inherited...

Document Elizabeth Montagu: Queen of the Bluestockings by Gill Woodcock

Elizabeth Montagu (1718-1800) was a central figure in the Bluestocking Circle in eighteenth-century London. Samuel Johnson called her ‘Queen of...

Document ‘They turned me inside out / for sand and stones and grit’: Representations of Quarries and Gravel Pits in the Age of Enclosure by Alan Tate

The acceleration of the enclosure movement in England in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century marked the final transformation from...

Document Awakening Consciousness: Ford Madox Brown’s Work and Friedrich Engels’ Condition of the Working Class in England by Chris Easton

Ford Madox Brown was born in France, Friedrich Engels in Germany. Apart from their European naissance, they had in common a recognition of, and a...

Document Are Diamonds a Girl’s Best Friend? ‘Commodity Fetishism’ and Ownership in the Social Economy of Victorian Britain by Deborah Olds

f India was perceived as the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of the British Empire by the imperialists then the acquisition by Britain of the Koh-i-Noor...

Document Red Slippers: The ‘Detection’ of Foreign Evil and the Celebration of Domestic Tradition by Jim Blankenship

Critics have habitually seen in the evil Dr Roylott a product of ‘Orientalisation’. In Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Adventure of the Speckled...

Document The ‘Artist of the Chief Mourner’ and The British: Knowledge Sharing in Tahiti across Dance, Death, and Watercolour by Will Higginbotham

This essay will examine a watercolour by Tupaia – a high priest from Raiatea – who became, amongst other roles, an artist with the British HMB...

Document ‘Pictures of the Pen’: Oroonoko and the Formation of Colour-based Racial Patriarchy in Eighteenth-century Britain by Troy Walden Ewing

This essay contrasts the 1688 novella Oroonoko by Aphra Behn with an illustration by A.E. Smith and William Hamilton from a 1791 theatrical...

Document Botany as a Colonial Discourse? The Case of Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles by Eliza Gleeson

Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles is best known as the founder of Singapore. Less well known is that he was a distinguished amateur naturalist...

Document The Abolitionist Movement’s Good Samaritans: Sensibility in William Cowper’s ‘The Negro’s Complaint’ and Olaudah Equiano’s Autobiography by Justin MacGregor

This essay evaluates William Cowper’s and Olaudah Equiano’s advocacy for abolition by analysing Cowper’s anti-slavery ballad, ‘The Negro’s...

Document Circulation and Taste: The Return of the Royal Navy at the Turn of the Eighteenth Century by Liam Furniss

By the end of the eighteenth century, Britain had come to occupy the strongest position in the global economy. This was done via military conquest...

Document The Destructive Myth of the Juggernaut: Exploring Representations of the Rath Jatra Festival in Early Nineteenth-Century Art and Literature by Amy Jones

This article compares two near-contemporary depictions of the cart transporting the Hindu god Jagannatha (or Jaga-Nath, Juggernaut) during the...

Document Christianity Against Itself: Antagonism Between Russian Orthodoxy and British Anglicanism in the Crimean War by Peter Hutton

The Crimean war was fought between Russia and an alliance of Turkey, Britain and France. It started when the Russian Tsar, Nicholas I, entered...

Document Romantic Prophecy: how J. M. W. Turner and Percy Bysshe Shelley used portrayals of North Africa to foreshadow the fall of the British Empire by Hallam Bullock

The region of North Africa was described by Michel Foucault as a 'heterotopia': a physical site in which diverse and ambiguous liniments of time...

Document The Stamp of Life’: New Imaginative Realities in the Late Georgian Era by James Turner

The turbulent progress of natural philosophy in the late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-centuries created an intellectual landscape rife for...