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UCLA; Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA 90024-4201)
Joseph E. Bristow (Project Director: March 2008 to June 2010)

Seminars for Higher Education Faculty
Education Programs

$136,830 (approved)
$136,830 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2008 – 9/30/2009

The Decadent 1890s: English Literary Culture and the Fin de Siecle

A five-week seminar on the "decadent" literary culture of England that breaks with its Victorian antecedents, giving fifteen college and university faculty access to an extensive turn-of-the-century archive in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library.

The five-week summer seminar will bring together fifteen college-level instructors with the aim of deepening their knowledge of a comparatively brief but creatively dynamic period of literary history that bridges the Victorian and Modernist eras. The chief intellectual objective of the seminar is to show that the 1890 fin-de-siecle literary culture in England deserves serious critical attention for the ways in which it tried and succeeded in breaking with its Victorian antecedents. The seminar will take place at the UCLA William Andrews Clark Memorial Library, which contains not only the world's largest archive of materials related to Oscar Wilde and his fin-de-siecle circle but also extensive collections of books and manuscripts connected with different aspects of English literary history during the proverbially "Naughty" or "Yellow" 1890s. These holdings comprise a significant part of the Clark Library's principal collections.