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Titles and bio notes

Zoe Alker, ‘Building Bentham’s Panopticon’

Zoe Alker is a postdoctoral research associate on the Digital Panopticon project where she explores how different digital techniques can be used to reconstruct the social and spatial worlds of crime and punishment in the nineteenth century.

Sukanya Banerjee, ‘Ecology and/of Empire’

Sukanya Banerjee is Associate Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is the author of Becoming Imperial Citizens: Indians in the Late-Victorian Empire (Duke UP, 2010), which received the NVSA 2012 Sonya Rudikoff Prize for the best first book in Victorian studies. She is co-editor of New Routes for Diaspora Studies (Indiana UP, 2012), and her articles have appeared in journals such as Victorian Studies, Victorian Literature and Culture, and Prose Studies. As part of her current book project, tentatively titled, ”Loyalty and the Making of the Modern,” she is interested in thinking further about how nineteenth century “vernacular” literatures reconstitute our understanding of “Victorian.”

Kirstie Blair, '"Stands Scotland Where It Did?": Scottish Studies, Victorian Studies and Transnational Verse Culture'

Prof Kirstie Blair is a Chair in English Studies at the University of Stirling. Her primary research interests are in the field of Victorian poetry and poetics: she is the author of two OUP monographs, Victorian Poetry and the Culture of the Heart (2006) and Form and Faith in Victorian Poetry and Religion (2012), and numerous articles and book chapters on Victorian literature and culture. She currently holds a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to complete her new monograph on Working Verse in Victorian Scotland. This is a product of her longstanding interest in working-class verse cultures, and her growing involvement in reassessing the literature and print culture of Victorian Scotland. She is also completing an anthology of Scottish working-class newspaper verse, The Poets of the People (Association for Scottish Literary Studies, 2017), and is CI in the Carnegie-funded collaborative project ‘The People’s Voice: Poetry, Song and the Franchise, 1832-1918’, with Dr Catriona Macdonald and Prof Gerry Carruthers, University of Glasgow.

Elleke Bohemer, ‘Imperial, Victorian, Indian and Worldly: "Travelling in the West" in the Late 19th Century’

Elleke Boehmer is the Professor of World Literature in English, in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. She is the Director of The Oxford Research in the Humanities (TORCH) and a Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. She is the author of five monographs and five highly praised novels, the recent The Shouting in the Dark, as well as Screens again the Sky (short-listed David Hyam Prize, 1990), Bloodlines (shortlisted SANLAM prize), and Nile Baby (2008), and of the short-story collection Sharmilla and Other Portraits (2010). Her monographs include Colonial and Postcolonial Literature (1995, 2005), the biography Nelson Mandela (2008), Stories of Women (2005), and Indian Arrivals (2015). She edited the British best-seller Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting for Boys (2004), and the anthology Empire Writing (1998), and has co-edited several books, including J.M. Coetzee in Writing and Theory (2009). She is the General Editor of the Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures Series, and she was a Man Booker International judge 2013-15.

Joseph Childers, ‘Troubling the Archive: Disciplines, Timeframes,and other Annoying Limitations’

Professor English and Dean of the Graduate Division at the University of California, Riverside, where he also is convener of the Workshop on the Global 19th Century.

Emily Cuming, '"Sailors" homes and global networks: a case-study of Victorian working-class worldliness'

Emily Cuming is a Research Fellow in the School of English at the University of Leeds where she teaches Victorian and Modern literature. She has recently completed her first monograph, Housing, Class and Gender in Modern British Writing, 1880-2012 (forthcoming with Cambridge University Press, 2016) and has published articles in the Journal of Victorian Culture, Contemporary Women’s Writing, and Life Writing. Her most recent research explores housing as a social phenomenon and proposes a re-evaluation of dominant discourses of ‘home’. Working from the Victorian to the contemporary, and with a focus on writing that crosses received boundaries of fiction, history and autobiography, her work is centrally concerned with the relations of form, place and identity. She is currently researching nineteenth-century Sailors’ Homes and port-side culture, and contemporary asylum fiction. She is a member of the editorial board of Key Words: A Journal of Cultural Materialism.

Nick Daley, ‘The Streets of Wherever: French Melodrama and British and American Localization’

Nicholas Daly is Professor of Modern English and American Literature at University College Dublin, and a member of the Royal Irish Academy. He is the author of the monographs Modernism, Romance, and the Fin de Siècle (1999), Literature, Technology and Modernity (2004), Sensation and Modernity in the 1860s (2009), and The Demographic Imagination and the Nineteenth-Century City: Paris, London, New York; as well as of many articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature and culture. He serves on the advisory boards of the Journal of Victorian Culture, Victoriographies, Novel, and the Irish University Review. Currently he is working on a collaborative project on Ruritanian fiction, drama and film, from The Prisoner of Zenda to The Princess Diaries

Stefano Evangelista,’Koizumi Yakumo: Cosmopolitan Aestheticism in Japan'

Stefano Evangelista is a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He works on nineteenth-century English and comparative literature and is especially interested in Aestheticism and Decadence, the reception of the classics, and the relationship between literary and visual cultures. He is the author of British Aestheticism and Ancient Greece: Hellenism, Reception, Gods in Exile (2009) and the editor of The Reception of Oscar Wilde in Europe (2010) and of A. C. Swinburne: Unofficial Laureate (2013). He is currently working on a book-length study of literary cosmopolitanism in the English 1890s.

Regenia Gagnier, 'The Transcultural Transformation of Victorian Studies: Global Circulation and Some Problems in Liberalism, Liberalisation, and Neoliberalism'

Regenia Gagnier (Professor of English, University of Exeter, and Senior Research Fellow in Egenis, Centre for the Study of Life Sciences) is Editor of Literature Compass’s Global Circulation Project. Her books include Idylls of the Marketplace: Oscar Wilde and the Victorian Public (Stanford, 1986); Subjectivities: A History of Self-Representation in Britain 1832-1920 (Oxford, 1991); The Insatiability of Human Wants: Economics and Aesthetics in Market Society (Chicago, 2000); Individualism, Decadence and Globalization: on the Relationship of Part to Whole 1859-1920 (Palgrave Macmillan 2010). Her current research is on the global circulation of the literatures of liberalization. From 2009-2012 she was President of the British Association for Victorian Studies.

Beginning with Victorian legacies of “Progress” and human under-determination, the lecture interrogates the connections between liberalism as open-mindedness and tolerance of diversity, liberalization as modernization and the opening up of cultures, and neoliberalism as the reduction of all values to those of the market. With examples from world-historical literatures from China, India, Latin America, and the Middle East, it considers engagement with western liberalisms and some recent conflicts between liberalism and neoliberalism.

Pamela K. Gilbert, The magnifying glass and the telescope: incommensurability and complementarity in nineteenth-century studies

This paper will proceed in three phases, each taking up a different challenge and critique posed by current questions in the field. The first will take up calls for a renewed attention to form, and will historicize that discussion. It will then move on to briefly discuss some of the interesting challenges and opportunities provided by the development of “distant” reading and the digital humanities. Finally, the importance of an international and global approach to the period will be discussed, looking at the different perspectives gained through the use of all these different “lenses” (English, British, European, global). What is at stake in these discussions, and how do we best frame them?

John Holmes, 'Building Science: The Natural History Museum Worldwide'

John Holmes is Professor of Victorian Literature and Culture at the University of Birmingham. He was the Chair of the British Society for Literature and Science from 2012 to 2015 and is currently Secretary of the Commission on Science and Literature. His books include Darwin's Bards: British and American Poetry in the Age of Evolution (Edinburgh University Press, 2009; paperback 2013) and the edited collection Science in Modern Poetry: New Directions (Liverpool University Press, 2012). He has recently written a study of the relationship between Pre-Raphaelite art and science, funded by an AHRC Science in Culture Fellowship, and co-edited with Sharon Ruston a research companion to nineteenth-century British literature and science, forthcoming with Routledge. He is now beginning a new research project funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, entitled Building the Book of Nature: The Poetics of the Natural History Museum, in collaboration with Janine Rogers at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick.

Ruth Livesey, ‘On Learning the ‘World of Words’ at Griff: George Eliot and the Multilingualism of Victorian Culture; or, the shortcomings of the 21st Century Monoglot Victorianist’

Ruth Livesey is Reader in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Thought in the Department of English, Royal Holloway, University of London. She is the author of Socialism, Sex, and the Culture of Aestheticism (OUP. 2007) and the forthcoming Writing the Stage Coach Nation: Locality on the Move in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (OUP, 2016). She co-edited The American Experiment and the Idea of Democracy in British Culture, 1776-1914 (Ashgate 2013) and served as an Editor of Journal of Victorian Culture from 2008-2015. Her next project is provisionally entitled ‘George Eliot’s Midlands: Writing and Reading Places on the Move’.

Josephine McDonagh, '"Literature in a Time of Migration'

Josephine McDonagh is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature in the Department of English, King’s College London. She is author of DeQuincey’s Disciplines (1994), George Eliot (1997), and Child Murder and British Culture 1720-1900 (2003), and has co-edited a number of volumes of essays including, with Sally Ledger and Jane Spencer, Political Gender: Texts and Contexts (1994), with Colin Jones and Jon Mee, Charles Dickens and the French Revolution (2009), and currently in press, with Joseph Bristow, Nineteenth-Century Radical Traditions. Between 2009 and 2013 she directed (with Supriya Chaudhuri and Rajeswari Sunderrajan) the international research network, ‘Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust; a co-edited volume of essays derived from this project is currently in preparation. Her current work considers nineteenth-century British literature in relation to contemporary theories and practices of migration and mobility. The book explores the proposition that place, property and personhood, the familiar terms of nineteenth-century literature, should be seen in dialogue with ambient discourses and practices of mobility, dislocation, and colonisation.

For this conference, my paper will consider what happens when we take migrancy as a lens through which to analyse nineteenth-century literature.

Clare Pettitt, ‘Seriality, Revolution and Europe in 1848: Rethinking “Victorian Literature”’

Clare Pettitt is Professor of Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture in the English Department at King’s College London. She is currently Research Director of a four-year AHRC-funded project, ‘Scrambled Messages: The Telegraphic Imaginary 1857-1900’, which is focused on the laying of the Atlantic Cable. Clare’s research interests include the history of print culture and ideas of authorship, media and technology, and Victorian ideas of multiple pasts. She has long been interested in the intersections of what we call 'technology' and what we call 'culture.' She published Patent Inventions: Intellectual Property and the Victorian Novel in 2004, but it was her research for Dr. Livingstone, I Presume: Missionaries, Journalists, Explorers, and Empire (2007) that first got her interested in the transatlantic and transnational. She wrote the chapter on ‘The New Transatlanticism’ in The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel (2012), and two recent pieces, ‘Time Lag and Elizabeth Gaskell’s Transatlantic Imagination’ in Victorian Studies, and ‘Henry James and the Materiality of Metaphor’ which is forthcoming in the Henry James Review, both draw on her current research into the impact on literature of networked transatlantic communications after about 1850. Clare is currently finishing two books; one called Distant Contemporaries: Revolution, Time Lag and Form in the Early Nineteenth Century and a second linked volume tentatively entitled The Digital Switch: Literature and Transmission 1850-1920, which comes directly out of her work on telegraph technologies on the Scrambled Messages project.

John Plunkett

Jason Rudy, 'The Poetry of Greater Britain'

Jason Rudy is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Maryland, College Park, in the United States, and the current president of the Northeast Victorian Studies Association. Recipient of fellowships from both the National Endowment of the Humanities and the American Council of Learned Societies, he is the author of Electric Meters: Victorian Physiological Poetics (2009) and a book-length study of Victorian settler-colonial poetry, under contract with the Johns Hopkins University Press. Starting in 2008, he has taught annual short-term education abroad courses in Australia and New Zealand, fueling his interests in the broader worlds of Victorian Britain.

Sandra Guardini Vasconcelos, 'Two Victorians in the periphery: Machado de Assis's appropriations of Dickens and Thackeray'

Sandra Guardini Vasconcelos is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of São Paulo. She did her post-doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge (1993-1994) and at the University of Manchester (2008), and was Visiting Research Associate at the Centre for Brazilian Studies at the University of Oxford (2005). Over the past years, she has been carrying out research on the presence and circulation of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British novels in nineteenth-century Brazil. She has edited several books, has published articles and chapters both in Brazil and abroad. She has recently edited Books and Periodicals in Brazil 1768-1930. A Transatlantic Perspective with Ana Cláudia Suriani da Silva (Legenda, 2014) and Tropical Gothic in Literature and Culture. The Americas with Justin Edwards (Routledge, 2016).

Her paper aims to discuss how British novels travelled abroad in the nineteenth century by engaging with appropriations by Brazilian novelist Machado de Assis of specific aspects of Dickens's and Thackeray's works, which he held in his library and seems to have been familiar with, since he was responsible for an unfinished translation of Oliver Twist into Portuguese and cites Thackeray in one of his novels. She asks to what literary ends Machado may have used his interest in these two Victorian novelists, considering the very different socio-historical context in which he was writing his work.

Journal of Victorian Culture panel, Trev Broughton, Peter Andersson, Alistair Jones, Lucy Mathews-Jones, 'Beyond "Victorian Culture"'