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EN9A1 Victorian Materialities

Dr Justin Tackett

Module updates for 2021-2022 TBC

The Victorians’ fascination with the increasingly opulent and diverse material culture of their time has become a central concern for the field of Victorian studies, particularly in the last decade. In keeping with this ‘material turn’, we will focus on the numerous, seemingly trivial objects that populate the writing of the period, existing on the fringes of the reader’s consciousness. The module attempts to explore the dynamic ways in which subjects and objects merge, become metonyms of each other, and find themselves materially transformed through this exchange. We will examine a wide range of literary and cultural concepts, and consider the porous boundaries between Victorian subjects and objects, as well as the category of ‘thing’. The aim of the module is to investigate how these artefacts contribute to an understanding Victorian literature and culture. While literature is the dominant focus of the module, we might also examine paintings, literary illustrations, sound recordings, architecture, furniture, cities, clothes, automatons, and other objects.