Oh, this is going to be really cool! You might remember Jennifer Angus–I’ve covered her work before here. Amazing art work using dried insect specimens.
I just discovered there will be a special issue of Insects (ISSN 2075-4450), an open-access journal. Edited by Angus!
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2011
Children’s literature is populated with wonderful six legged characters such as the insect companions in Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach or the fabulously glamorous cockroach in La Cuchuracha Martina based on a Caribbean folk tale. In fact, what is considered the first children’s story in the English language which was not a moral tale or fable is The Butterflies Ball and The Grasshoppers Feast by William Roscoe dating from 1808. In the Victorian era, both adults and children were introduced to the natural world through a large number of educational publications in which insects were anthropomorphized so as to have greater appeal to the general reading public. Voracious collecting of all manner of plant and wildlife was extremely popular at that time.
However in this millennium, an adult’s worry of insects extends to serious diseases such as West Nile Virus, dengue fever and malaria. In fact there is a certain hysteria, as insects culturally are a sign of dirtiness and disease in the Western world.
Currently many artists play on the public’s intense dislike of insects. For example American Catherine Chalmers’ gigantic photographic portraits of cockroaches in domestic settings repulse many viewers. Yet other artists’ use of insects amazes and inspires. In 2002, Belgian Jan Fabre decorated the 19th-century Hall of Mirrors of the Brussels Royal Palace and the central chandelier with the elytra of a million Asian jewel beetles.
This issue is devoted to exploring insects in art, music and literature.
Prof. Jennifer Angus