VPFA Conference Programme

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association (VPFA) are pleased to announce that they have released their final programme and that registration is now open. The conference is running 14th – 16th July, 2021, 1-10.30pm (BST) – elongated days to allow for international speakers and delegates, but they encourage people to take regular breaks as needed. 

Like last year they are running the conference online via MS Teams, through the University of Greenwich, with papers uploaded in advance. The conference is then the live Q&A sessions, keynotes, reading group and training session. These are: 

Keynote: ‘Excluding the Maternal Body in Victorian Popular Literature’

Jess Cox (Brunel University London)

Keynote: ‘Energy Problems, SF and the Late-Victorian World’

Upamanyu Pablo Mukherjee (Warwick University)

Keynote: ‘“You might say, sir … that they all were Chartists”: Popular Theatre and Radical Politics in the 1830s and 1840s’

Greg Vargo (New York University)

Reading Group: ‘Against the Grain:…

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BAVS@Home: Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

14 July 2021, 4pm-5pm BST, online via Zoom

Presenters: Pearl Chaozon Bauer (Notre Dame de Namur University), Ryan Fong (Kalamazoo College), Sophia Hsu (Lehman College, CUNY), and Adrian Wisnicki (University of Nebraska)

Host: Claudia Capancioni (University of Lincoln)

Undisciplining the Victorian Classroom is a digital humanities project that reimagines how to teach Victorian studies through a positive, race-conscious lens. Beyond advocating to foster the application of innovative, interdisciplinary teaching approaches by introducing less-studied, global, Victorian-era writers, artists, and communities into the classroom, the project developers make every effort to reach consensus by building a collaborative model of community based on care. As a form of knowledge building that seeks to destabilize central authority, collaboration, the developers contend, has been the best approach for imagining antiracist possibilities for Victorian studies.

This presentation by Dr. Pearl Chaozon Bauer, Dr. Ryan Fong, Dr. Sophia Hsu, and Dr. Adrian Wisnicki will explain the dialogue…

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Women and Humour in the Long Nineteenth Century – 23rd – 26th June 2021

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

This interdisciplinary conference is interested in women’s active participation in humour and comedy in the long nineteenth century.

About this event

Wit is a prominent feature of nineteenth-century culture that encompasses genres from satire to nonsense. Well-known examples range from Dickens’s humorous sketches to joke pages in magazines, and from political cartoons in the tradition of Cruikshank and Gillray to music hall routines. Women’s participation in these discourses, however, still goes underacknowledged or even completely unrecognised. This reflects on cultural attitudes of the present day as well as the nineteenth century. While feminist comedy is now a genre in its own right, the question ‘Can women be funny?’ is still regularly posed. In popular imagination of the nineteenth century, women are the subjects of humour rather than humourists themselves. The centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act brought back into the public eye many contemporary cartoons ridiculing the…

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CFP: Vulnerability and Resilience in the English Literature of the Long Nineteenth Century – International Online Conference

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

Co-organised by Raffaella Antinucci, Università Parthenope, Naples, and Adrian Grafe, Université d’Artois (Research Lab “Textes et Cultures”).

16th-17th December 2021

Art in general, and literature in particular, have long been used as means to represent and give visibility to dynamics of violence, hurting and endurance. Vulnerability and resilience are two strongly related and almost antonymic concepts whose first meanings originate in the physical world. If vulnerability indicates the quality of being easily physically hurt or attacked, the word resilience was first used in physics to describe the ability of a substance or body to recover its shape and size after being bent, stretched, or pressed. When transferred into the social sciences, vulnerability denotes the diminished capacity of an individual or group to anticipate, cope with, resist and recover from the impact of a traumatic situation, whereas resilience points to a human intrinsic quality or “inner strength” that varies according to…

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Proposed essay collection (book):  “The Time of Close Reading:  Victorian Fiction’s Presents”

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

Editors:  Debra Gettelman, Audrey Jaffe, and Mary Ann O’Farrell

Despite the spatializing intimacy that animates and names it, close reading exists in and as time. Our collection “The Time of Close Reading” seeks to interrogate the multiple meanings that attach to each of our titular terms—“time,” “close,” and “reading”—in the present moment, specifically within studies of the Victorian novel.

Taking up the question of close reading’s present—the present of its practice and its presentist desires—the collection invites contributors to consider close reading’s place in the current debates about interpretive method, approaching these questions by way of the nineteenth century. Has close reading come of age as a theoretical method, or is it a ghost of our critical pasts? Is close reading a pedagogy or a methodology? Is distant reading also close reading? Closeness is an intimate spatial fantasy that, if it is achievable, is so as a function of slow…

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Pre-Raphaelites: Drawings and Watercolours Exhibition

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates


Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

18 May – 20 June 2021

From a sketch on the back of an envelope to grand, elaborate chalk drawings, our upcoming exhibition offers an opportunity to view our internationally-renowned collection of Pre-Raphaelite works on paper.

Explore the enormous range of techniques and media used by the artists that made up this movement – as well as the intimate and often complex friendships and love affairs between them.

Book now: https://www.ashmolean.org/pre-raphaelites#/

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Florence Nightingale – Beyond the Lady with the Lamp

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

The next BAVS@Home event will take place on 26 May at 6pm: ‘Florence Nightingale – Beyond the Lady with the Lamp’.

Despite rich scholarship on the history and writings of Florence Nightingale, very little attention has been paid to the influence of the many different concepts and material realities of home on her life and work. Nightingale’s life was spent almost entirely in houses and in institutions that she consciously sought to render more home-like. It is clear from her writings and recorded experiences that homes are physically and figuratively central to her conception of good and ill health.

This talk by Professor Paul Crawford, Dr Anna Greenwood, Dr Richard Bates and Dr Jonathan Memel at the University of Nottingham and Bishop Grosseteste University will present research from‘Florence Nightingale Comes Home for 2020’, a three-year, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded project, and related book,Florence Nightingale at…

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BAVS Writing Retreat – Spring Edition

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

BAVS Writing Retreat – Spring edition – Wed 26 May, 4-6pm

About this Event

Spring has sprung, but does your writing need to blossom? Do you find the company of others gives you that extra bit of motivation? If so, join us for the BAVS Writing Retreat at 4-6pm on Wed 26 May.

Whether you are writing, researching or catching up on some reading, join us online and work peacefully in the company of others. There will be goal-setting, structured writing sessions and short breaks. The event is open to all career stages including PGRs, ECRs, mid-career and senior researchers.

After the Writing Retreat, there will be a BAVS@Home event, which you can enjoy after your hard work.

Once registered for the Writing Retreat, a Zoom link will be emailed on the day of the event.

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bavs-writing-retreat-4-6pm-spring-edition-tickets-153521610269


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Decoding Dickens: Contexts, Inspirations, Approaches – 21 May 2021

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

Decoding Dickens: Contexts, Inspirations, Approaches – 21 May 2021, 2pm-6.40pm (BST)

An online networking symposium that introduces the ‘savage stenographic mystery’ of Dickens’s shorthand and the challenges of deciphering unusual scripts

Organisers:Dr Claire Wood (University of Leicester) and Professor Hugo Bowles (University of Foggia)

Join us on 21 May to explore Charles Dickens’s mysterious shorthand writing and its place within a little-known stenographic culture.

• Learn about the history of shorthand from the seventeenth century through to the nineteenth, as well as Dickens’s struggles to master Gurney’sBrachygraphy.

• Try your hand at decoding Dickens’s shorthand (optional pre-symposium task).

• Hear from curators about fascinating shorthand manuscripts in their collections.

• Engage with a range of inspirational digital humanities projects through case studies presented by ‘Dickens Code’ network members.

• Reflect upon the challenges of decoding one of Dickens’s undeciphered shorthand scripts and hear about approaches rooted in…

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CFP: Photographic Art Reproductions, from 1839 to the Present

The Victorianist: BAVS Postgraduates

23 July 2021, online

deadline for submissions: June 18, 2021

University of St Andrews, UK / Centre André Chastel, France

contact email: sofya.k.dmitrieva@gmail.com

The photographic art reproduction came into being simultaneously with the invention of the medium: Joseph Nicéphore Niépce captured engravings in his earliest heliographs, while William Henry Fox Talbot praised the reproductive capacities of the calotype in The Pencil of Nature (1844). As much as art has influenced photographic reproduction (for instance, Louis Daguerre who arranged sculptural pieces into elaborate still lives recalling those by Dutch Golden Age masters or, perhaps, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin), the reproduction has influenced art. As Walter Benjamin has influentially argued, it put the ‘aura’ of the original into question. Together with Paul Valery and Erwin Panofsky, Benjamin sparked a century-long debate on the interrelationship between the original and the copy, which is still far from any decisive conclusion with Peter Walsh, Michelle Henning, Georges…

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