CAA 2021 Notes

1. Saree Makdisi, William Blake and the Impossible History of the 1790s (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2033), xiv.

2. Françoise Vergès, "Like a Riot: The Politics of Forgetfulness, Relearning the South, and the Island of Dr. Moreau," South as a State of Mind , no.6 (Fall/Winter  2015), (accessed January 14, 2021)

3. William Blake,The First Book of Urizen, plate 3, lines 1-6; The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake, ed. David V. Erdman (Garden Grove, NJ: Anchor Books, 1988), 70. Subsequent references to Blake's poetry and prose will be cited parenthetically, in text, to this edition, abbreviated "E."

4. See John Milton's lines in Paradise List describing Satan's taking in of the landscape of hell: "At once as far as angels kenn he views / The dismal Situation waste and wilde, / A Dungeon horrible, on all sides round / As one great Furnace flam'd, yet from those flames / No light, but rather darkness visible" (Book I: Lines 59-63); "Paradise Lost" in The John Milton Reading Room, ed. Thomas H. Luxon, Digital Arts Leadership & Innovation Lab, Dartmouth University, (accessed January 14, 2021). One also notes the extent to which the matrix of Milton's poetic phrasing might be read proleptically to anticipate the hellish interiors and conditions of sites of industrial production, later.    

5. Here in the conference paper I'm starting to think through a mode of interpretation that may be in tension with assigning conscious meaning to the work of art in its historical milieu. That is, what are the stakes of thinking with a work from an epistemological point in the future that is beyond possibilities of knowing in the moment of creation but allied with struggle within it, connecting with contemporary critical concerns. I want to find a way to theorize, and make this kind of interpretive move in such a manner that forestalls (or even convincingly disregards) charges of anachronism.

6. Leslie Bethell, "The Independence of Brazil and the Abolition of the Brazilian Slave Trade," Journal of Latin American Studies, vol. 1,

no. 2 (November 1969): 119-20.

7. C.R. Boxer, "Gold and British Traders in the First Half of the Eighteenth Century," The Hispanic-American Historical Review, vol. 49,

no. 3 (August 1969): 472.

8. John Mawe, Travels in the Interior of Brazil (London: Longman, Hurst, Orme, and Brown, 1812), 108-9. 

9. Stephen Leo Carr, "Illuminated Printing: Toward a Logic of Difference" in Unnam'd Forms: Blake and Textuality, eds. Nelson Hilton and Thomas A. Vogler (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986), 177.

10. Ibid., 196.

11. I am thinking most of Deleuze's point that repetition "change[s] something in the mind which contemplates it" with implications for his argument that the "role of imagination, or the mind which contemplates in its multiple and fragmented states, is to draw something new from repetition, to draw difference from it. For that matter, repetition is itself in essence imaginary, since the imagination alone here forms the 'moment' of the via repetitiva from the point of view of constitution: it makes that which it contracts appear as elements or cases of repetition." Gilles Deleuze, Difference & Repetition, trans. Paul Patton, European Perspectives, series ed. Lawrence D. Kritzman (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 70; 76. In getting at Deleuze as perhaps the best critical reflection on images, I'm grateful to Régis Michel who led the workshop, "Whither Art History?" convened by Holly Clayson at the Institut National Histoire de L'Art, June 14, 2013. With regard to Deleuze's repetition and Blake's differential addition of gold to the repeated plate, I believe the Book of Urizen mobilizes a sense of the contemporaneity of imagination that propagates Michel's thinking on what he calls "the truly contemporary" as a means of liberating bodies from ur codes of behavior, with methological cues to stand against what Michel finds to be the repressive regimes of art-historical interpretation.


©2018 by Jacob Henry Leveton. Proudly created with