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K-State Today

June 16, 2017



William Blake scholar to deliver keynote address in England

By Anne Phillips

Mark Crosby, associate professor of English, will deliver the opening keynote address at an international celebration July 22 at the Cowper and Newton Museum.

Crosby, who earned his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 2008, will return to England this summer to present "'Miniature is my Goddess': Blake and the Art of Miniature Painting." The talk is drawn from Crosby's current book project, "Blake and the Politics of Patronage."

A leading authority on the pivotal poet, artist and printer William Blake, Crosby also has edited and showcased the work of other Blake scholars in "Re-Envisioning Blake" (Huntington Library/University of California Press, 2012). He also has co-authored with Robert Essick, of the University of California at Riverside, the first critical edition of "Genesis: William Blake's Last Illuminated Book," the Bronze Medal recipient in the 2013 PubWest Book Awards.

His keynote presentation at the Cowper and Newton Museum will argue that Blake struggled with traditional, 18th-century ideas of patronage because they restricted his creative agency. In response, Blake deployed various nontraditional pictorial techniques in his miniature paintings. These techniques can be read as a rejection of his patron's influence and, more broadly, of traditional patronage models.

"An integral and essential figure in the development of K-State's Digital Humanities holdings, Mark is a world-class Blake scholar, and we celebrate his invitation to deliver the keynote address at this prestigious conference," said Anne Phillips associate head of the English department.