Between Worlds: Culture, Biographies, Spectacle

National Portrait Gallery, London

10 -11 May 2007

A one and a half-day interdisciplinary conference organised to accompany the exhibition Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain 1700-1850 which opened at the National Portrait Gallery on 7 March 2007.  Drawing on some of the individuals and ideas in the exhibition, the conference aims to consider issues related to cultural exchange and entanglement, relationships forged across cultural boundaries, and different forms of portraiture and biography. It is divided into three sections:

Exhibitions and Spectacle – this will consider some of the ways in which different cultures have been presented and put on show, ranging from the “performance of gentility” enacted for a social elite in the 18th century to the public exhibition of individuals, societies and artefacts in the mid and later 19th century.

Multicultural London – this will explore aspects of the mutlicultural history of London and Londoners’ and visitors’ experiences of cultural diversity pre-1900. It will provide a context in which to consider both the individuals represented in the exhibition and the general idea of cultural exchange.

Transnational Biography – this will critique ways in which narratives about individuals from different cultures and about subjugated lives have been developed and retold in visual and textual discourses. It will also explore alternative biographies that can forefront authentic experiences and views. See more information about the conference programme here.  

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