Henri Le Sidaner, ‘ A Canal in Bruges at Dusk’, c.1898 Courtesy of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

This one day symposium will by held at the Maison Française d’Oxford on Friday 7 October, from 915 to 5:00.  It is organized by David Hopkin (Oxford) and Juliet Simpson (Coventry) and supported by the John Fell Fund, University of Oxford.  And while not dedicated to lace per se, lace features quite a bit, hence we’ve included information about it on this site.

The imagined Flemish city was the antithesis of the teeming metropolis of modernist invention, it was a world of enclosed gardens, silent squares and still waters, where nameless figures disappeared through secret doors; a world of reflections and glimpses, in which gothic traceries, convent grills and lace veils concealed as much as they revealed. This was also an uncanny world, offering portals to the Catholic realm of miracles, the glorious Flemish medieval past, and the city of the dead.  Here social realist concern for the lives of the poor combined with the spiritual yearning of the fin-de-siècle. This vision of the city inspired artists and writers, but it also influenced urban planners and social campaigners, who looked forward by looking back to craft guilds, enclosed communities and urban autonomy.


9:15 Welcome
Marnix Beyen (Antwerp): Reverberating Silence: The Carillon as a Multisensorial Symbol of Flemish/Belgian Urbanity
Juliet Simpson (Coventry): Liminal Legends: Rematerializing Another Flanders in Life and Art
Maria Golovteeva (St Andrews): Dentelle de Bruges
David Hopkin (Oxford): A ‘Dying Art’ and the Flemish Movement: The Example of Mechelen Lace
Dominique Bauer (KU Leuven): ‘Dès que nous exprimons quelque chose’: Time, Surface and Interiority in Belgian Fin-de-Siècle Culture

Stijn Paredis (KU Leuven): Le Secret Schumannien: Schumann, Music, and Brussels’ Symbolism

3:15 Break
Hans Vandevoorde (VU Brussel): Small Cities in and as Prose Poems in Flemish Dutch Literature

Claire Moran (QU Belfast): Behind the Nets. Veiled Windows and Modernist Ideologies in Fin-de-Siècle Belgian Art and Literature