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Nineteenth-Century British Studies

This seminar explores all aspects of literature and culture during the "long nineteenth century," encompassing the Romantic and Victorian periods. We have an inclusive interdisciplinary approach and we collaborate with faculty in eighteenth-century British studies and nineteenth-century American studies. We read primary texts (fiction, non-fiction, poetry) as well as the latest critical works. Our topics of discussion are usually driven by the research of our members and by the speakers we host. Recent areas of focus have included transatlanticism, economic theory, biography, musical performance, and radical politics.

 

Fall 2016

  • Mon. Aug. 29
    4:00 pm
    Sunspot
    Meet and Greet; Organizational meeting
  • Mon. Sept. 12
    3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Read & Discuss: “The Seamstress” by George W. M. Reynolds, Chapters 1-20 (to page 69).
  • Mon. Oct. 3
    3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Read & Discuss: “The Seamstress” by George W. M. Reynolds, Chapters 21-conclusion (to page 134).
  • Oct. 13 and 14

    Literature Speaker Series: Professor Heather Love (University of Pennsylvania). Author of Feeling Backward: Loss and the Politics of Queer History (Harvard 2007).

  • Tues. Oct. 18
    11:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Invited Speaker: Ellen Rosenman (University of Kentucky). Author of Other Mothers: Beyond the Maternal Ideal (Ohio State 2008) and Unauthorized Pleasures: Accounts of Victorian Erotic Experience (Cornell 2003).
  • Mon. Oct. 31
    3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Robin Barrow will workshop her MLA presentation-in-progress titled “Active Victimhood and the Indian Rebellion of 1857.”
  • Nov. 2-5
    NAVSA Conference in Phoenix, AZ (“Social Victorians”).
  • Nov. 3 and 4
    Literature Speaker Series: Professor Susan Wolfson (Princeton University). Author of The Shiftings of Gender in British Romanticism (Stanford 2006) and Formal Charges: The Shaping of Poetry in British Romanticism (Stanford 1997).
  • Mon. Nov. 14
    3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Planning for Next Semester

Spring 2017

  • Tues. Feb. 7
    3:30-4:30 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Caroline Wilkinson & Alli Clymer will workshop their Dickens Winter Conference papers.
  • Mon. Feb. 13
    3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
    1210 McClung
    Invited Speaker: Ghislaine McDayter (Bucknell University) will give a lecture titled “The Anatomy of Flirtation.”
  • Mon. Feb. 20
    3:30 pm – 5 pm
    Lindsay Young Auditorium, Hodges Library
    Jeffrey N. Cox (University of Colorado, Boulder) will give a lecture titled “Knowing Romanticism.” Author of Poetry and Politics in the Cockney School: Keats, Shelley, Hunt and their Circle (Cambridge 1998).
  • Tues. Mar. 7
    3:30-4:30 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Read & Discuss: Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes, chapters 1-6 of Part I
  • Mar. 16-19
    Muhlenberg College
    INCS 2017: Odd Bodies
  • Tues. Mar. 21
    4 pm – 5 pm
    1210 McClung Tower
    18th Century Seminar Invited Speaker: Susan Lanser (Brandeis) will give a lecture titled “Lesbian Modernity: Sapphic Subjects from Absolutism to Austen.” Author of The Sexuality of History: Modernity and the Sapphic 1565-1830 (Chicago 2014). For free copies of this book, please contact Misty Anderson.
  • Tues. Mar. 28
    3:30-4:30 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Read & Discuss: Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes, chapter 7 of Part I through chapter 3 of Part 2.
  • Apr. 6-8
    AustenFest!
    Devoney Looser (Arizona State University) will give a plenary lecture on Friday, April 7, 4:00pm in 1210 McClung.
  • Tues. Apr. 18
    3:30-4:30 pm
    Melrose E-102
    Read & Discuss: Tom Brown’s School Days by Thomas Hughes, finish the novel.

***At the end of this semester, we are hoping to go on a group outing to Rugby, Tennessee to visit the historic experimental utopian colony founded by Thomas Hughes in 1880. More information on this to come!

Spring 2016

Tues. Jan. 26th
2-3pm
Melrose E-102
Organizational Meeting. Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud will workshop his work-in-progress titled "Castlereagh, Caricature, and the Art of Character Assassination."
Tues. Feb. 9th
2-3pm
Melrose E-102
Alli Clymer will workshop her INCS 2016 conference paper-in-progress titled "Transatlantic Boundaries of Industrial Pollution in Martin Chuzzlewit"
Tues. Feb. 23rd
2-3pm
Melrose E-102
Read & Discuss: "How Civilized Were the Victorians?" by Peter K. Andersson;  Responses to Andersson's article by Oliver Betts, Sophie Franklin, Lucinda Matthews-Jones, and Katrina Navickas.
Mar. 3-5 Nexus Conference at UT ("Alt + Shift: Alternative Methodologies, Marginal Positions")
Mar. 10-13 INCS Conference in Asheville, NC ("Natural and Unnatural Histories")
Mar. 18-20 Dickens Winter Conference @ UC Davis
Tues. Mar. 22th
2-3pm
Melrose E-102
Read & Discuss: Talia Schaffer's work (tbd)
Thurs. Mar. 24th
3:30-5pm
McClung 1210
Invited Speaker: Talia Schaffer (English, Queen's College) will give a talk on Thursday, March 24th at 3:30pm in McClung Tower 1210.
  • Talia Schaffer's works investigate issues in nineteenth-century literature and material culture, particularly as they relate to domestic realism, disability studies, and non-canonical writers.
  • One of her current projects, titled Familiar Marriage: Rereading the Victorian Marriage Plot (forthcoming from Oxford), rethinks the marriage plot in Victorian fiction by tracing an alternative idea of marriage, 'familiar marriage,' that provided a powerful counterweight to romantic unions.
Tues. Apr. 5th

3:30-4:30pm
Melrose E-102

UTK Faculty Speaker: Kelli MacCartey (English Dept. Senior Lecturer)
Apr. 7-8 Melville Festival at UT
Tues. Apr. 19th
2-3pm
Melrose E-102
Nancy Henry will workshop a paper-in-progress.

Fri. April 22th
3:30-5pm
McClung 1210

Invited Speaker: Lindsey Eckert (Georgia State U);

Fall 2015

Wed. Aug. 26th
2:30-3:30pm
Melrose E-102

Organizational Meeting;
Caroline Levine's Forms: Whole, Rhythm, Hierarchy, Network (Introduction)

Wed. Sept. 9
2:30-3:30pm
Melrose F-203 (upstairs)

Hilary Havens will workshop the second half of her chapter titled "Jane Austen: Revision as Empowerment"

Wed. Sept. 23
2:30-3:30pm
Melrose E-102

Read & Discuss: Levine, Chapters 2-3

Wed. Oct. 7
2:30-3:30pm
Melrose E-102

Read & Discuss: Levine, Chapters 4-6

Wed. Oct. 21
2:30-3:30pm
Melrose F-203 (upstairs)

Kat Powell will workshop a portion of a chapter-in-progress from her dissertation.

Mon. Nov. 2   

INCS Proposal due

Wed. Nov. 4
2:30-3:30pm
Melrose E-102

Read & Discuss: Elsie Michie's "Francis Trollope and the Problem of Appetite" from  The Vulgar Question of Money (2011); Chapters 1-6 of Francis Trollope's Domestic Manners of the Americans (1832)

 

Thurs. Nov. 12th
11:10am
Melrose E-102

Invited Speaker: Elsie Michie (English, Louisiana State University) will give a talk on Thursday, November 12th at 11:10am in Melrose E-102. Her talk is entitled "'Counterparts and Prototypes in the Great World': Martin Chuzzlewit and America."

  • Elsie Michie has published on such topics as nineteenth-century women novelists, the Victorian canon, and issues of money, taste, and gender difference in the Victorian novel. Her books include Outside the Pale: Cultural Exclusion, Gender Difference and the Victorian Woman Writer (Cornell 1993) and The Vulgar Question of Money: Heiresses Materialism and the Novel of Manners from Jane Austen to Henry James (Hopkins 2011).
  • She is currently working on a book tentatively titled Trollopizing the Canon about Frances Trollope's relation to canonical Victorian writers.

Wed. Nov. 18
2:30-3:30pm
Melrose F-203 (upstairs)

Gerard Cohen-Vrignaud will workshop his work-in-progress titled "Castlereagh, Caricature, and the Art of Character Assassination."


  • Lauren Goodlad (English and Criticism & Interpretive Theory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) gave her talk "The Way We Historicize Now" on Tuesday, September 10, 2013
  • Mark Canuel (English, University of Illinois-Chicago) gave his talk Shelley's Light on Monday, February 17, 2014
  • Kim Marra (Theatre Arts and American Studies, University of Iowa) gave her talk "Riding the Nineteenth Century" Friday, April 4, 2014
  • Virginia Zimmerman (English, Bucknell University) gave her talk "Stone Hinges: Archaeological Fantasy and Time Travel in Late-Victorian Children's Fiction" on Thursday, September 25th, 2014.
  • Michelle Meinhart (Music, Martin Methodist College) gave her talk "Music in Nineteenth-Century British Women's Travel Writing" on Friday, January 30th, 2015.
  • Deidre Lynch (English, Harvard University) gave her talk "Pride and Prejudice by Numbers" on Monday, April 13th, 2015.

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