Professor Jane Desmarais

Staff details

Position Professor of English, Deputy Head of Department and Director of the Decadence Research Centre
Email j.desmarais (@gold.ac.uk)
Phone +44 (0)20 7919 7448
Professor Jane Desmarais

Jane Desmarais is Professor of English and Deputy Head of Department. Her research is primarily focused on nineteenth-century literature and visual culture, specifically literary and visual decadence, and Anglo-French cultural relations at the fin de siècle.  Her recent publications include Decadence and Literature, co-edited with David Weir (Cambridge UP, 2019), Monsters Under Glass: A Cultural History of Hothouse Flowers from 1850 to the Present (Reaktion, 2018), Arthur Symons: Selected Early Poems, co-edited with Chris Baldick (MHRA, 2016), and Decadence and the Senses, co-edited with Alice Condé (Legenda, 2016).  She is currently editing with David Weir the Oxford Handbook of Decadence (forthcoming 2021) and Decadent Plays, 1890-1930, co-edited with Adam Alston (forthcoming with Bloomsbury, 2023).

Jane also publishes in the fields of history and psychoanalysis.  She has worked on the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham (Oxford) and the journal Utilitas (Edinburgh UP).  Her work in psychoanalysis focuses on two principal ideas: resistance and complementarity; and her most recent publication in this field is Presence of Mind in Neurophysiological Processes (with Lawrence Goldie).

Academic qualifications

  • 1996, Ph.D., ‘The Beardsley Industry’, Birkbeck, University of London
  • 1986, MA, Literature and the Visual Arts, 1840-1940, Reading University
  • 1985, BA Hons. English, Reading University

Teaching

Jane is the Convenor of Decadence.  She teaches on Literature of the Victorian Period, Introduction to Comparative Literature, Studies in Comparative Literature, and Literary London.  She also teaches an MA option, European Decadence: Literature and the Visual Arts.

Areas of supervision

Jane welcomes research proposals on any aspect of decadence (historical, cultural, theoretical), especially literary and visual decadence of the 19th and early-20th centuries. Recently completed and currently supervised PhD theses include:

  • Writing Masochism and the Cruel Woman in English Decadence, 1860-1900 (Alice Condé, PhD awarded 2014)
  • Body Integrity Identity Disorder and the Phantom Limb: Reflections on the Bodily Text (second supervisor: Monika Loewy, PhD awarded 2016)
  • Decadent Threshold Poetics: A Comparative Study of Threshold Space in Charles Baudelaire, Joris-Karl Huysmans, Ernest Dowson and Arthur Symons (Jessica Gossling, PhD awarded 2017)
  • All This Is For You (novel) and The Use of Observational Omniscient Narration in Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road (critical supervisor: Rachel White, PhD awarded 2019)
  • Laurence Binyon and the Influence of Paterian Aestheticism 1873-1915 (second supervisor: William Parker, PhD awarded 2020)
  • Seizure as Cipher: a Study of the Significance of Seizures in Fiction and Memoir (critical supervisor with Blake Morrison)
  • Grecian Urns and Tin Watermelons: Lyric, Truth and Beauty, with reference to Mark Doty and comparisons with Philip Larkin (critical supervisor with Stephen Knight)

Professional activities

Jane is Director of the Decadence Research Centre (DRC) in ECL, and Editor-in-Chief of Volupté: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies https://volupte.gold.ac.uk/.  She is a core member of both the Decadence and Translation Network and the Aestheticism and Decadence Network, and she is organiser (with Alice Condé and Jessica Gossling) of an annual series of international conferences and events on decadence, the most recent being Aesthetic Time, Decadent Archives in July 2019.  She is an Honorary Member of the Italian Oscar Wilde Society and was recently elected to the Academia Europaea.

Featured work

  • Decadence and Literature, eds. Jane Desmarais and David Weir.  Cambridge, 2019
  • Monsters under Glass: A Cultural History of Hothouse Flowers from 1850 to the Present. Reaktion Books, 2018
  • Arthur Symons: Selected Early Poems, eds. Jane Desmarais and Chris Baldick. MHRA, 2017
  • Decadence and the Senses, eds. Jane Desmarais and Alice Condé. Legenda, 2017
  • 'The Musical Aesthetics ("such as it is") of Arthur Symons (1865-1945)', in Arthur Symons: Writing Across the Arts and Culture, eds. Stefano Evangelista and Elisa Bizzotto. Legenda, 2017
  • ‘Perfume Clouds: olfaction, memory and desire in Arthur Symons’s London Nights (1895)’.  In Economies of Desire at the Victorian Fin de Siècle: Libidinal Lives, eds. Jane Ford, Kim Edwards Keates and Patricia Pulham.  Routledge, 2016.
  • 'Du Maurier and the Artist’s Model’.  In Beyond Svengali: George du Maurier: Illustrator, Critic, Author, eds. Paul Goldman and Simon Cooke.  Ashgate, 2015.

Research Interests

My research is primarily focused on nineteenth-century literature, visual culture, and music, specifically literary decadence, and Anglo-French cultural relations at the fin de siècle.  My recent publications include Decadence and Literature, co-edited with David Weir (Cambridge UP, 2019), Monsters Under Glass: A Cultural History of Hothouse Flowers from 1850 to the Present (Reaktion, 2018), Arthur Symons: Selected Early Poems, co-edited with Chris Baldick (MHRA, 2016), and Decadence and the Senses, co-edited with Alice Condé (Legenda, 2016).  I am currently editing with David Weir the Oxford Handbook of Decadence (forthcoming 2021) and Decadent Plays, 1890-1930, co-edited with Adam Alston (forthcoming with Bloomsbury, 2023).

I also publish in the fields of history and psychoanalysis.  I have worked as an editor on the Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham (Oxford), on the journal Utilitas (Edinburgh UP), and as a translator, most recently of manuscript material for Bentham, Law and Marriage (2011) by Mary Sokol.  My work in psychoanalysis is both theoretical and clinical in orientation, focusing on two principal ideas: resistance and complementarity; and my most recent publication in this field is Presence of Mind in Neurophysiological Processes, co-written with Lawrence Goldie.

 

Publications

Book

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2018. Monsters Under Glass: A Cultural History of Hothouse Flowers from 1850 to the Present. London: Reaktion. ISBN 9781780239750

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2016. A Cultural History of Decadence. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 978-0745626000

Goldie, Lawrence and Desmarais, Jane H.. 2013. Presence of Mind in Neurophysiological Processes. Karnac Books. ISBN 9781855758858

Goldie, Lawrence and Desmarais, Jane H.. 2005. Psychotherapy and the Treatment of Cancer Patients: Bearing Cancer in Mind. London: Routledge. ISBN 9781583918579

Desmarais, Jane H.. 1998. The Beardsley Industry: the Critical Reception in England and France from 1893 to 1914. Basingstoke: Ashgate. ISBN 781840142051

Edited Book

Desmarais, Jane H. and Weir, David, eds. 2019. Decadence and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781108550826

Desmarais, Jane H. and Condé, Alice, eds. 2017. Decadence and the Senses. Oxford: Legenda. ISBN 978-1-78188-481-2

Desmarais, Jane H. and Baldick, Chris, eds. 2017. Arthur Symons: Selected Early Poems, eds. Jane Desmarais and Chris Baldick. Cambridge: Modern Humanities Research Association. ISBN 9781781880999

Baldick, Chris and Desmarais, Jane H., eds. 2017. Arthur Symons: Selected Early Poems. Cambridge: Modern Humanities Research Association. ISBN 9781781880999

Desmarais, Jane and Baldick, Chris, eds. 2011. Decadence: An annotated anthology. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0719075513

Desmarais, Jane H. and Butler, Marilyn, eds. 2007. An Essay on Irish Bulls. University College Dublin Press. ISBN 9781904558750

Desmarais, Jane H.; Postle, Martin and Vaughan, Martin, eds. 2006. Model and Supermodel: The Artist’s Model in British Art and Culture. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-6662-7

Williams, Gianna; Williams, Paul; Ravenscroft, Kent and Desmarais, Jane H., eds. 2003. The Generosity of Acceptance: Exploring Feeding Difficulties in Children. London: Karnac. ISBN 9781855759343

Williams, Gianna; Williams, Paul; Ravenscroft, Kent and Desmarais, Jane H., eds. 2003. The Generosity of Acceptance: Exploring Eating Disorders in Adolescents. London: Karnac. ISBN 9781855752610

Desmarais, Jane H., ed. 1999. Irish Bulls in The Novels and selected Works of Maria Edgeworth Volume 1. Pickering and Chatto. ISBN 978 1 85196 188 7

Edited Journal

Desmarais, Jane H., ed. 2018. Volupté: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies, Volupté: Interdisciplinary Journal of Decadence Studies, 1(1).

Book Section

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2019. 'Symons, Beardsley, and the "Minims and Crotchets" of Art'. In: Stefano Evangelista and Elisa Bizzotto, eds. Arthur Symons: Poet, Critic, Vagabond. 44 Oxford: Legenda, pp. 30-41. ISBN 9781781884973

Baldick, Chris. 2019. Modern Prophetic Poetry and the Decadence of Empires: From Kipling to Auden. In: Jane H. Desmarais and David Weir, eds. Decadence and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 347-361. ISBN 9781108550826

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2019. Decadence and the Critique of Modernity. In: Jane H. Desmarais and David Weir, eds. Decadence and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 98-114. ISBN 9781108550826

Hurst, Isobel. 2019. Nineteenth-century Literary and Artistic Responses to Roman Decadence. In: Jane H. Desmarais and David Weir, eds. Decadence and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 47-65. ISBN 9781108426244

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2019. “The quintessence of quintessence”: music and musicality in Ernest Dowson’s Verse’. In: Alice Condé and Jessica Gossling, eds. In Cynara's Shadow: Collected Essays on Ernest Dowson. Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 245-272. ISBN 9781787076259

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2018. ‘Prig’s prattling’ at the Fin de Siècle: Haldane MacFall and the Decay of English Art’. In: Bénédicte Coste, ed. Politics and Aestheticism. UNSPECIFIED.

Gossling, Jessica. 2017. 'Things worldly and things spiritual': Joris-Karl Huysmans’s A rebours and the house at Fontenay. In: Alice Condé and Jane H. Desmarais, eds. Decadence and the Senses. Oxford: Legenda, pp. 66-82. ISBN 978-1-781884-81-2

Condé, Alice. 2017. Sensory Nullification in the Poetry of Ernest Dowson. In: Jane H. Desmarais and Alice Condé, eds. Decadence and the Senses. Cambridge: Legenda, pp. 200-218. ISBN 9781781884812

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2017. ”The quintessence of quintessence”: Ernest Dowson, music and beauty. In: , ed. UNSPECIFIED UNSPECIFIED.

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2016. Without Memory or desire: the model's progress in du Maurier's Trilby. In: Paul Goldman and Simon Cooke, eds. George du Maurier: Illustrator, Critic, Author. Ashgate Publishing Limited; New edition. ISBN 978-1472431592

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2016. Du Maurier and the Artist’s Model’. In: Paul Goldman and Simon Cooke, eds. George du Maurier: Illustrator, Critic, Author: Beyond Svengali. Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 9781472431592

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2016. Perfume Clouds: Olfaction, Memory, and Desire in Arthur Symons’s London Nights (1895). In: Jane Ford; Kim Edward Keates and Patricia Pulham, eds. Economies of Desire at the Victorian Fin de Siècle: Libidinal Lives. London: Routledge, pp. 62-79. ISBN 9781138826342

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2006. 'Model on the Writers' Block'. In: Jane H. Desmarais; Martin Postle and Martin Vaughan, eds. Model and Supermodel: The Artist’s Model in British Art and Culture. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-6662-7

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2006. The model on the writers' block: The model in fiction from Balzac to du Maurier. In: Jane H. Desmarais; M. Postle and W. Vaughan, eds. Model and Supermodel: The Artist's Model in British Art and Culture. Manchester University Press, pp. 47-60. ISBN 071906662X

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2006. ‘Motherless Child and the Refusal of Maternity’ (‘Enfant sans maman et le refus de la maternité’). In: Moira Inghilleri, ed. Swinging Her Breasts at History: Language, Body and Text in Caribbean Women’s Writing. Mango Publishing, pp. 210-223. ISBN 978-1902294216

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2006. The model on the writers' block: The model in fiction from Balzac to du Maurier. In: Jane H. Desmarais; Martin Postle and Martin Vaughan, eds. Model and supermodel: The artists' model in British art and culture. Manchester: Manchester University Press. ISBN 071906662X

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2005. The Model: Susannah Gregory in conversation with Jane Desmarais. In: Jane H. Desmarais; Martin Postle and William Vaughan, eds. Model and Supermodel: The Artist’s Model in British Art and Culture. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 151-161. ISBN 978-0-7190-6662-7

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2004. Charles Baudelaire’. In: Christopher John Murray, ed. Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era 1760–1850 Vol 1. 1 London: Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. 59-61. ISBN 978-1579583613

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2004. Joseph Wright’. In: Christopher John Murray, ed. Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era 1760–1850 Vol 2. 2 London: Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. 1235-1236. ISBN 978-1579583613

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2004. Le Salon de 1846. In: Christopher John Murray, ed. Encyclopedia of the Romantic Era 1760–1850 Vol 2. 2 London: Fitzroy Dearborn, pp. 985-986. ISBN 978-1579583613

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2001. ‘Judge a Book by Its Cover’. In: Warwick Gould, ed. Yeats and the Nineties Yeats Annual No 14: A Special Number. 14 Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 365-371. ISBN 978-0-333-71640-3

Desmarais, Jane H.. 1998. Maria Edgeworth 1768-1849. In: Joanne Shattock, ed. The Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature Volume 4. 1800–1900. 4 Cambridge University Press, pp. 901-907. ISBN 9780521391009

Desmarais, Jane H.. 1997. Honoré de Balzac’. In: , ed. The Novel. University of London. ISBN 07187 14342

Article

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2020. Late-Victorian Decadent Song-Literature. Victorian Literature and Culture, 48(4), ISSN 1060-1503

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2018. Voluptuous Interventionism: An Introductory Note from the Editor-in-Chief. Volupté: interdisciplinary journal of decadence studies, 1(1), i-vi. ISSN 2515-0073

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2017. Kenneth Grahame: The Wind in the Willows. Literary Encyclopedia, ISSN 1747-678X

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2017. Kenneth Grahame. Literary Encyclopedia, ISSN 1747-678X

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2016. Shedding light on the ‘Pre-Raphaelite stunners’. The Conversation,

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2015. Review: Kostas Boyiopoulos. The Decadent Image: The Poetry of Wilde, Symons and Dowson. Review of English Studies, 67(279), pp. 393-394. ISSN 0034-6551

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2015. Matthew Potolsky: The Decadent Republic of Letters: Taste, Politics, and Cosmopolitan Community from Baudelaire to Beardsley. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2013. 232 pages. arcadia, 50(2), pp. 464-467. ISSN 0003-7982

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2015. Review: Matthew Potolsky, The Decadent Republic of Letters: Taste, Politics, and Cosmopolitan Community from Baudelaire to Beardsley, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013, pp. 232. ISBN 978-0-8122-4449-6. The Oscholars, ISSN 2045-0753

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2015. Ernest Christopher Dowson. Literary Encyclopaedia,

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2014. Lionel Johnson. The Literary Encyclopedia,

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2014. Lord Alfred Douglas. Literary Encyclopedia,

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2014. John Henry Gray. The Literary Encyclopedia,

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2014. Arthur William Symons. The Literary Encyclopedia,

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2005. Shrinking the Stereotype of Psychoanalysis. Psychotherapy Section Review, 38, pp. 27-36.

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2001. Preferring not to: The Paradox of Passive Resistance in Herman Melville's 'Bartleby'. Journal of the Short Story in English, 36, pp. 25-39. ISSN 0294-0442

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2001. Anorexic and Passive Resistance in Melville’s “Bartleby” (1853): A Literary Case Study’. Soundings: A Journal of Politics and Culture, 18, pp. 82-93. ISSN 1362-6620

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2001. The Paradox of Passive Resistance in Herman Melville's "Bartleby". Journal of the Short Story in English, 36, pp. 25-39.

Desmarais, Jane H.. 1997. The Musical Analogy in Beardsley Criticism 1898-1914. Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, 6, pp. 64-90. ISSN 1060-149X

Desmarais, Jane H.. 1990. The Bentham Project. UCL News,

Conference or Workshop Item

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2015. 'The Musical Aesthetics (‘such as it is’) of Arthur Symons (1865-1945)'. In: Arthur Symons: Writing Across Arts and Cultures. IUAV, Venice, Italy.

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2011. 'Memory and desire in Arthur Symons’ London Nights (1895)'. In: Decadent Poetics. University of Exeter, United Kingdom.

Professional Activity

Desmarais, Jane H.. 2018. Editor-in-Chief of Volupté: interdisciplinary journal of decadence studies.