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victorian review • Volume 33 Number 1 14 such a reader also knows that what appears to be outside and other than her discipline actually comes from within it. She knows that reading reproduces, revises, and updates the boundaries of her discipline to include whatever a literary reading may require by way of a context. To put it another way, the disciplinary reader invariably produces a text that observes the paradox of the Möbius strip, striving at once to put its inside on the outside and to contain the outside within itself. Works Cited Foucault, Michel. “Society Must Be Defended”: Lectures at the College de France 1975-76.Trans. David Macey. Eds. Mauro Bertani and Alessandro Fontana. Picador; Reprint Editions, 2003. • Interdisciplinarity and Historians ofVictorian Art J u lie F. Codell • The study of Victorian art has been by necessity interdisciplinary. Originally a small group—the majority of jobs went to scholars of French orAmerican art—Victorian art historians frequentedVictorian studies conferences largely populated by historians and literary scholars. Susan Casteras and Linda Nochlin , the “mothers” of nineteenth-century art history in America, and Marcia Pointon in the UK worked on feminist issues from the 1960s on, so the topic of gender dominates much of the field. Recently, imperialism and postcolonial theory have interested art historians. Having existed on every inhabited continent , the empire fosters awareness of multiple“nineteenth centuries,” allowing Victorianists to interface with Asian, Irish,African, diasporic, Caribbean, and now LatinAmerican studies. ExaminingVictorian England in the light of other cultures’ histories and viewpoints happily undermines and expands notions of what constitutes “Victorian” art history. Pr actice a n d Impact Interdisciplinary research attends less to art historical periodization and styles and more to topics that cross disciplines (recently, Anne Helmreich on landscape, Lynda Nead on London’s public spaces, Griselda Pollock and Valerie Mainz on work, Kristina Huneault on images of working women, and Romita Ray on tea). Such amorphous,“undisciplined” topics have expanded the parameters of what constitutes art and the object, provoking reassessments of museums and exhibitions (largely nineteenth-century institutions) and culture’s relations to race, class, gender, nation, and empire.The study of Victorian art offers a vantage from which to critique assumptions about modernism (usually defined by French art; on British modernism from 1880 on, 15 Special Forum: Victorian Studies and Interdisciplinarity see work by LisaTickner, Elizabeth Prettejohn, and Andrew Stephenson), and art’s contribution to formations ofVictorian concepts of gender, race, class, and nation. As gender issues broaden to include masculinity and homosexuality, art historians turn to media other than painting (see work by Michael Hatt on Victorian sculpture). Because photography crosses fine, commercial, and amateur art categories, scholars ofVictorian photography venture into psychology, imperial history, anthropology, material culture, media, and popular culture, focusing on uses and circulations of objects as material objects—photo albums or cartes-de-visite, for example. Recent studies of material culture drawing on anthropology permit art historians to scrutinize the object’s physicality and explore topics of circulation, production, dissemination, consumption and reception, and ideology. Recent consideration of the “visual turn”—oneVictorian legacy we inherited —has helped us reconsider the very object of our study.The visual turn recognizes differences between vision (physical and psychological) and visuality (socially and historically constructed recognition and interpretation).The rise of the visual is sometimes dated to early photographic and accessible print technologies in the 1840s.As a research subject, it is more recent and addresses (1) what constitutes cultural objects; (2) how to assess visual objects’ excess beyond language; (3) how to map new relationships among cultural objects (image and text, as in work by Gerard Curtis and others); (4) how production and consumption are part of art’s“aesthetics”; and (5) what comprises cultural history.These issues now embrace studies of cultural constructions of hearing, taste, touch, and smell, often in connection with visual phenomena in public spaces of spectacles, monuments, rituals, and celebrations—all relatively new topics in art history. In art history, interdisciplinarity can be both innovative and conventional. Art historians studying “traditional” topics such as patronage, art markets, iconography, artists’ lives, and uses of art regularly venture into other disciplines (literature, archeology, economics, and history). But...


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