The Nineteenth Century Research Group is hosting two events across the week starting 16th May (one in-person, one online).
On Monday 16th May 4-6pm we will have our first in-person research event in two years!
Join us for an interdisciplinary panel session with postgraduate researchers from across the College of Arts working on the nineteenth century. Alyson Cunningham will be presenting on coaching in nineteenth-century British literature, Conor Broughton will be presenting on Italian opera and ‘national indifference’ and Phillipa McDonnell will be presenting on nineteenth-century paint.
Please join us in MB3203. All are welcome!
On Wednesday 18th May, via MS Teams, we have a research seminar co-organised with the 21st Century Research Group, to mark the end of the teaching year.
Dr Claire O’Callaghan (Loughborough) will be giving a talk on ‘The Afterlives of Wuthering Heights and the Legacy of Wide Sargasso Sea; Or, Reading Race, Identity and Violence in Caryl Philip’s The Lost Child and Michael Stewart’s Ill Will.’ Dr O’Callaghan’s research interests lie in Victorian and neo-Victorian studies, with a focus on the politics of gender, sexuality and identity. She is an expert on the lives and works of the Brontës and the writing of the contemporary novelist, Sarah Waters.
The paper will begin at 4.30pm, but the Teams room will open at 4.15pm. The paper will be recorded, but the Q&A session will not.
Again, all are welcome: please email Laura Gill (firstname.lastname@example.org) for a link to join the meeting, and do get in touch if you have any queries.
You are warmly invited to attend a lunchtime seminar organised by the Nineteenth-Century Research Group on Monday 13th December, starting at 12pm (ending before 2pm). The meeting will be held on Microsoft Teams and the meeting room will be open from 11.50am. Please email Laura Gill (email@example.com) to register and receive the meeting link.
This event brings together scholars from the College of Arts working in different disciplines to share focused aspects of their current writing and research. Researchers working in English and History will each give a short paper of c. 10 minutes, covering a range of topics related to the nineteenth century:
- Dr Jim Cheshire (History): Remembering ‘Hodson’s Horse’: Commemoration and the Indian Uprising of 1857–8.
This paper will analyse a memorial to William Hodson in Lichfield Cathedral designed by George Edmund Street in 1859 and question the way that it commemorates Hodson’s controversial military career. I will argue that the aesthetic agenda of the Gothic Revival and the moral agenda of muscular Christianity combined with Anglo-Catholicism to generate an ideologically partisan and inaccurate representation of events surrounding the Indian Uprising of 1857-8 and that the monument has subsequently functioned as a focus of conservative military historians.
- Dr Rebecca Styler (English): George Macdonald and Human-Animal Fellowship.
The Scottish author George Macdonald (1824-1905) is best known for his fairy tales which embody some of his most cherished theological and moral ideals. In the context of Macdonald’s beliefs about animals’ spiritual consciousness and afterlife, stated in his Unspoken Sermons, I consider the depiction of inter-species sympathy in ‘The History of Photogen and Nycteris’ (1879) as a poetic form of ecotheology, and ecofeminism. Macdonald can be placed among other Victorian ecotheological poets, and a longer Christian tradition of reverencing animals as spiritual fellows and co-tenants of the earth.
[The story can be found at http://www.public-library.uk/ebooks/26/69.pdf.]
- Dr Pietro Di Paola (History): A Furious Champion of Goodness: Anarchist Women and Emotions.
Focusing on the contrasting representations of the revolutionary Louise Michel, a furious champion of goodness, the paper investigates emotions as an analytical tool to reassess the political significance of militant women in the anarchist and radical movements.
Talks will be followed by a Q&A. Please note that the research papers will be recorded, but the Q&A section of the seminar will not be recorded. The event is open to all and you are welcome to join us just for the talks if you are not able to stay for the whole session.
The next Nineteenth-Century Research Seminar will be ,online at 4.15pm (for a 4.30pm start) on Wednesday 28th April 2021
We will be joined by Dr Richard Fallon(University of Birmingham), who will be talking to us about ‘Literature and Borderline Geoscience: The Case of Paranormal Paleontology in the Late Nineteenth Century’
You can register for the event using the EventBrite link below, by the end of the day on 27th April
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, researchers in Britain and North America locked horns over fundamental aspects of planetary prehistory, from evolution to continental drift. Figures both within and beyond the elite scientific community addressed these controversies, frequently relating them to religious belief or exploring their implications in fiction. The story of deep history was far from unified in a climate characterised not only by disputing experts but also by occultists’ claims to see through time and the re-emergence of young-earth creationism. Novelists, meanwhile, took advantage of the most sensational geo-theories, turning lost worlds like Atlantis into literary mainstays – sometimes making more serious truth claims than their fictional garbs implied.
Focusing on print, my current project seeks to map this little-understood culture of ‘borderlinegeoscience’ and to determine how researchers and the general public navigated its amorphous terrain. This paper introduces the project before turning to a case study of clairvoyant visionaries, including the freethinking Anglo-American family of William and Elizabeth Denton. I show how literary techniques formerly developed to encourage imaginative ‘seeing’ through time were literalised in the Dentons’ writings of the 1860s and 1870s. These writings claimed to recount genuine visions of the prehistoric past made through the power of ‘psychometry’.
Richard Fallon is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow at the University of Birmingham. His collection of nineteenth-century palaeontological literature,Creatures of Another Age: Classic Visions of Prehistoric Monsters, is published this month by Valancourt Books. His monographReimagining Dinosaurs in Late Victorian and Edwardian Literature: How the ‘Terrible Lizard’ Became a Transatlantic Cultural Iconwill be published in November by Cambridge University Press.