Objects of Research: The Material Turn in Nineteenth-Century Literary Studies Monday 18th July 2016

Objects of Research: The Material Turn in Nineteenth-Century Literary Studies

Monday 18th July 2016

1pm -6pm

The Woburn Room, Senate House Library, London

The Victorian fascination with objects and things has proved equally fascinating to the field of Victorian Studies. In keeping with this ‘material turn’, the last decade has seen an upsurge in interdisciplinary, collections-based research that enriches our understanding of Victorian Literature while expounding upon the diverse material culture of the period.

This workshop is a means of learning more about the nature and methodologies of current object-led research in Victorian Studies, as well as the broader issues surrounding this kind of research such as using online resources, locating materials, and searching collections. In bringing together researchers and curators, we will be asking questions about how to ‘read’ objects, how to situate such materials within a broader historical context, and how to construct narratives based on object-based research.

* Registration is free, but booking is essential as places are limited. *



1.00pm                        Welcome and Introduction


1.15 – 2.30                  Session One: Buildings and Bodies

Verity Burke (Reading): ‘Corpora: Articulating Literature and Anatomy in Collections-Based Research’

Nicola Kirkby (KCL): ‘Sketching, Engineering, Plotting: Brunel and Paddington Station’

Emma Curry (Birkbeck): ‘Mad Hats: Dickens’s Material Languages’


2.30-2.45                     Tea Break


2.45 – 4.00                  Session Two: Materialities of Writing and Reading

Hannah Field (Sussex): ‘The Destructible Book: Children’s Novelties and Materialized    Readers’

Joanna Robinson (Surrey): ‘Performance and Digital Palimpsests’

Katherine Ford (Science Museum): ‘The archives of the Royal Society and Victorian literary culture’


4.00-5.00                     Session Three: Conversations with Curators

Tim Boon (Science Museum)

Edwina Ehrman (V&A)

Kristin Hussey (QMUL)


5.00-6.00                     Wine Reception, Montague Room


The workshop will take place in the Woburn Room, Senate House Library, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. For a map and travel information, please click here.

For more information, please contact Dr Melissa Dickson, melissa.dickson@ell.ox.ac.uk

WHENMonday, 18 July 2016 from 13:00 to 18:00 (BST) – Add to CalendarWHERESenate House Library – Senate House Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU, United Kingdom –View Map



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