Open Access (free)
Imposters, legislators and civil religion
Justin Champion

in the conversations and scribal materials he circulated amongst his powerful friends. One potent relationship was the connection with Hanover. From the very moment Toland managed to intrude himself into the diplomatic mission charged with presenting the Act of Settlement to Sophia, he used his intimacy with her as a theatre for the display of his arguments. This relationship with Sophia (and her daughter) was both public and private: the series of public defences and eloges of her political legitimacy and rational character were matched by a private liaison

in Republican learning
Open Access (free)
Troubling race, ethnicity, and masculinity in Beowulf
Catalin Taranu

Sometimes we find the deepest intimacy not in sex, friendship, communal joy, or grief, but in shared anxiety. It is a subtler, though no less powerful, kind of togetherness, communed less overtly through sideways glances, heavy silences, nervous laughter. As such, it subtends ‘emotional communities’ that are harder to trace in texts such as Beowulf , notorious for how opaque their emotional language has become to us. 1 Perceiving anxiety in others is difficult primarily because the people

in Dating Beowulf
A queer history
Peter Buchanan

Elizabeth Freeman's argument for a queer writing of embodied intimacy. I will also draw on H.D., whose poems inspired by the London Blitz use the concept of the palimpsest as a metaphor for a queer, feminist historiography of ancient mythologies. These different modes of queer historiography all shape my understanding of Bryher's distinctive mode of intimacy and community in the novel to shape engagement with tradition and the place of women in a world that can be hostile to them. Bryher's Beowulf shows readers the Blitz through the eyes of the owners and patrons of the

in Dating Beowulf
Christopher Abram

or beyond the surface of the mere as somehow parodic of Heorot's true manifestation of civilization; 46 but the monsters’ hall was there first, as far as we know, and it exists in a state of intimacy with its environment – however unpleasant that environment might be to the land-dwellers – in a way that Heorot never can. If we choose, we can read Heorot as being the parody: it is all show, no substance, a simulacrum of a heroic hall, built on dreams – the conventional human dreams of our mastery of nature, of the

in Dating Beowulf
Open Access (free)
Studies in intimacy

Featuring essays from some of the most prominent voices in early medieval English studies, Dating Beowulf: studies in intimacy playfully redeploys the word ‘dating’, which usually heralds some of the most divisive critical impasses in the field, to provocatively phrase a set of new relationships with an Old English poem. This volume presents an argument for the relevance of the early Middle Ages to affect studies and vice versa, while offering a riposte to anti-feminist discourse and opening avenues for future work by specialists in the history of emotions, feminist criticism, literary theory, Old English literature, and medieval studies alike. To this end, the chapters embody a range of critical approaches, from queer theory to animal studies and ecocriticism to Actor-Network theory, all organized into clusters that articulate new modes of intimacy with the poem.

Open Access (free)
Jen Archer-Martin
Julieanna Preston

kind of perversity in this sensuality which induces discomfort … the interchangeable qualities of human and machine, organic and inorganic … the artist embodies the machine but also bodies-forth human desires … this is a private and intimate moment unfolding in public … this intimacy complicates the relations between road, machine, and human … this is vital: the audience must endure this work so that they might access these indeterminate spaces of human, machine and road as they are held together by flesh, breath and bitumen. (Adapted

in Performing care
Handling urban overflows
Orvar Löfgren

technologies and patterns of migrating and commuting took shape in the industrializing world of the nineteenth century, there was a need to learn a new skill – how to move in a sea of strangers. How should one deal with an overflow or overload of people – faces, movements, gestures, and impressions from strangers – and at a quickening pace? Questions of anonymity, intimacy, and distance came to the foreground – a new psychology of handling crowds. Today many of these skills have become tacit, merely taken-for-granted routines and reflexes; but at that time, people had to

in Overwhelmed by overflows?
Open Access (free)
John Toland and the crisis of Christian culture, 1696–1722

This book explores the life, thought and political commitments of the free-thinker John Toland (1670–1722). Studying both his private archive and published works, it illustrates how he moved in both subversive and elite political circles in England and abroad. The book explores the connections between Toland's republican political thought and his irreligious belief about Christian doctrine, the ecclesiastical establishment and divine revelation, arguing that far from being a marginal and insignificant figure, he counted queens, princes and government ministers as his friends and political associates. In particular, Toland's intimate relationship with the Electress Sophia of Hanover saw him act as a court philosopher, but also as a powerful publicist for the Hanoverian succession. The book argues that he shaped the republican tradition after the Glorious Revolution into a practical and politically viable programme, focused not on destroying the monarchy but on reforming public religion and the Church of England. It also examines how Toland used his social intimacy with a wide circle of men and women (ranging from Prince Eugene of Savoy to Robert Harley) to distribute his ideas in private. The book explores the connections between his erudition and print culture, arguing that his intellectual project was aimed at compromising the authority of Christian ‘knowledge’ as much as the political power of the Church. Overall, it illustrates how Toland's ideas and influence impacted upon English political life between the 1690s and the 1720s.

Open Access (free)
Joe Turner

Bordering intimacy 5  ‘These water melons’, c.1860. The second time I encountered the image was in the Bristol Museum gallery in a display on Empire through the Lens, a display of twenty-seven images describing the impact of the British Empire. This time, the image was accompanied by a reading by Anderson and Mortimer Evelyn (2019). They highlight the racist composition of the image but also argue that in these labourers ‘look’ is a recognition that they are being caricatured. Within this look, they argue, ‘resides a testament to endurance’. The children’s stare, which

in Bordering intimacy
Open Access (free)
The hygienic utopia in Jules Verne, Camille Flammarion, and William Morris
Manon Mathias

Manon Mathias analyses new attitudes towards disease and hygiene in the nineteenth century in the context of the unprecedented growth of cities in this period, which provoked a parallel rise in diseases from human excrement (such as typhus, typhoid fever, and cholera). This analysis is placed in the context of new scientific understandings of bacteria that began to develop in the late nineteenth century, as the realisation that germs spread through human contact led to an acute fear of dirt and an increased obsession with cleanliness. As human excrement came to dominate discussions of public health and disease, fictions of the period provoked and explored imaginative extensions of these concerns. Jules Verne’s Cinq cents millions de la Bégum (1880), Camille Flammarion’s Uranie (1889), and William Morris’s News from Nowhere (1890) each created compelling fantasies of alternative, faeces-free societies in which bodily waste and dirt have been eradicated. These somewhat anodyne and sterile hygienic utopias, however, also reveal the potential unintended consequences of extreme cleanliness. Implicated in the rational rejection of disease and infection, Mathias argues, is a rejection of human physicality, intimacy, and passion.

in Progress and pathology