Pre-Conference Events

The Lie of the Land

Professor John Dixon Hunt
Friday 5 December 2014

Lecture Theatre 1
B117, Basement
Melbourne School of Design
The University of Melbourne

Landscape architecture requires an attention to topography and geology, to how land lies on the surface of the earth and to what the architect does to what they find. All landscape architecture is essentially and excitingly a “lie”, a falsehood, or what Shakespeare calls a “feigned truth”. To explore this paradox, Professor John Dixon Hunt will invoke six different designs from the 16th and 20th centuries.

Booking essential: click here or call (03) 5990 2200.


John Dixon Hunt is Professor Emeritus of Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the former Director of Studies in Landscape Architecture at Dumbarton Oaks. He is the author of numerous articles and books on garden history and theory, including a catalogue of the landscape drawings of William Kent, Garden and Grove, Gardens and the Picturesque, The Picturesque Garden in Europe (2002), The Afterlife of Gardens (2004), and A World of Gardens (2013), as well as editor of the journal Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. Professor Hunt is also the inaugural series editor of the Penn Studies in Landscape Architecture, in which was published his own theoretic study of landscape architecture, Greater Perfections: The Practice of Garden Theory (1999).

Professor Hunt’s visit to Melbourne is supported by: The Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, The Australian Garden History Society, The University of Melbourne and The Botanic Gardens Australia and New Zealand Network Victoria.

"Accompanied in our tears": Women, Shakespeare and sentiment in the eighteenth-century theatre

Covent Garden Theatre

Henry Brookes, English, Covent Garden Theatre, Etching on paper, 9.1 x 17.7 in.

Associate Professor Fiona Ritchie
Tuesday 9 December 2014

Room S325
John Woolley Building
The University of Sydney

Sponsored by Sydney Intellectual History Network Putting Periodisation to Use Group

This talk will examine the development of a sentimental response to theatre in the eighteenth century, particularly amongst women and particularly with regard to the staging of Shakespeare. Letter and diary accounts by female audience members frequently attest to them crying in the playhouse as they watched actors renowned for their emotional acting style (such as David Garrick) perform in adaptations of Shakespeare plays designed to augment the affective impact of the text. I will argue that the emphasis in these accounts on the shared nature of this emotional response with others in the audience enabled sentimental playgoing to function as an important form of affective community. The tears shed by female playgoers as they watched Shakespeare on stage therefore allowed women audience members to play a crucial role in the eighteenth-century cultural phenomena of sensibility and sociability.

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Fiona Ritchie is Associate Professor of Drama and Theatre in the Department of English at McGill University, Montreal. Her recent monograph Women and Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge University Press) examines the part played by women in eighteenth-century bardolatry, analysing the ways in which actresses, critics and playgoers responded to and shaped Shakespeare. She has also edited, with Peter Sabor, a collection of essays entitled Shakespeare in the Eighteenth Century (also published by Cambridge University Press). Her next project, funded by a five-year grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is a study of women and regional theatre in the long eighteenth century, which will investigate the working lives of actresses outside London, as well as women performing off-stage labour (for example as theatre managers). She is currently an Early Career International Research Fellow at the ARC Centre for the History of Emotions.