Curious Collectors, Collected Curiosities: An Interdisciplinary Study
Editor: Janelle A. Schwartz and Nhora Lucía Serrano
Date Of Publication: Sep 2010
Curious Collectors, Collected Curiosities: An Interdisciplinary Study asks its readers to enter into an investigation of the nature of collecting as an aesthetic exercise. Spanning the sixteenth century through today, this book gathers together the work of current scholars to re-envision the task of collectors and their collections in broad strokes. Each chapter appropriates the idea of a cabinet of curiosity in order to expand its boundaries of meaning and to complicate our understanding of the acts of display and observation. These chapters also demonstrate that collecting is a universal trope which nevertheless depends on time and place for its particular expressions. Whether the collection is made up of literary texts and criticism, visual art, including mechanical reproductions, taxidermy and photography, historical travelogues, museum exhibitions, blockbuster films, or airline in-flight briefing cards, it conveys an urgent relevance to our consumer age, in which information is abundant and attention is a commodity.
Janelle A. Schwartz is Assistant Professor of English and Environmental Studies at Loyola University New Orleans. Her forthcoming book is on the relationship between aesthetics and entomological studies in the Romantic Age.
Nhora Lucía Serrano is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at California State University, Long Beach. Her research interests include travel narratives, Visual Studies, and Medieval Studies. She is completing a book manuscript on visual images from illuminated manuscripts, illustrated texts to graphic narratives.
“These erudite and evocative essays effectively dislodge the Cabinet of Curiosities from its assigned place in the prehistory of the modern museum. In today’s heterotopic, globalizing contexts, where mobility and juxtaposition are the norm, an old form takes on new life.”
—James Clifford, author of Routes: Travel and Translation in the late 20th Century
“Curious Collectors, Collected Curiosities is an ambitious study that surprises and delights as it turns from Leonardo da Vinci to taxidermy to modern air travel. The collection constructs an architecture of curiosity by inhabiting the very form it is scrutinizing. It is a compelling catalogue of the productive energies and weird slippages that occur at the junctures of order and wonder.”
—Tina May Hall, author of The Physics of Imaginary Objects (Pitt Drue Heinz Lit Prize)
“Itself a veritable cabinet of curiosities, this volume takes the reader on an immensely gratifying tour of the world, from The Arabian Nights to taxidermic displays, from Renaissance museums to Eadweard Muybridge’s innovative images of animal motion.”
—Christoph Irmscher, Indiana University Bloomington
Price Uk Gbp: 34.99
Price Us Usd: 52.99
Sample pdf (including Table of Contents)