Monthly Roundup: December

December’s Happenings 

Sarah Bull’s talk

Thank you very much to Sarah Bull, who delivered an extremely interesting talk on the business of printing sexual advice in the 19th century. Sarah explored the function of sexual advice articles as entertainment, as seen in the pornography of Holwell Street, in addition to its role as an advertisement for both respectable medical practitioners and unqualified quacks, before revealing how the rise of mass print opened up such publications to poorer communities. Sarah also offered a fascinating insight into the plagiaristic nature of these texts, with the latest sexual advice publications, often made of materials from decades, or even centuries, earlier.

200 Years of the Nutcracker

On Saturday 3 December Anglia Ruskin University hosted a one-day conference celebrating 200 Years of The Nutcracker. Nineteenth-Century Studies at ARU weren’t involved with the conference, but some of us attended and enjoyed the event enormously. Hoffmann’s original story of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King was first published in 1816, and it was really interesting to engage with the text, particularly for those of us interested in adaptation theory. Many thanks to the conference organisers, Amy Crawford and Christopher Owen!

Coming Up

That’s it from us for this semester, but check back in January for more details of our exciting calendar of events for next semester! We are going to be hosting a special symposium, a one-day conference on George Eliot, a second postgraduate conference, as well as setting up a reading group and more. All information will be shared here next month.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in 2017!

Far From the Madding Crowd: Panel Discussion


For anyone who couldn’t make it to our Being Human 2016 event, we recorded the panel discussion that took place after the film screening and you can watch it by clicking here!

Many thanks to our speakers – Chris Lyon, Kirsty Harris and Kathy Rees – and to everyone who came along and got involved – it was a great evening and we hope to see many of you again at future events.

REVIEW: Dickens Day 2016: Dickens’s Days: Heritage, Celebrations and Anniversaries

Abderrezaq Ghafsi is a research student at Anglia Ruskin University, having studied for his MA in English Literature at Biskra University, where he specialized in Anglo-African literature and culture. He is in receipt of full scholarship from the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Currently, Abderrezaq’s research focuses on the influence and reception of Charles Dickens in Algeria. 


On October 8 2016, the Institute of English Studies hosted Dickens Day Conference 2016. Dickens Day turns 30 in 2016, so, in a mood both retrospective and celebratory, the interest was about time, memory, narrative and biography in Dickens’s work; the multiple, complex and sometimes contradictory ways he narrates, commemorates and celebrates time’s passing; and the different ways in which Dickens, in his turn, has been commemorated and celebrated.

The conference was dedicated to the memory of Barbara Hardy. It included some interesting readings organised by Tony Williams (President of the Dickens Fellowship) and given together with various topics such as Dickens and time, Dickens’s life narratives, celebrating Dickens, and Dickens’s understanding of memory. These were given by academics and researchers who found the conference a great opportunity to receive feedback before publishing their papers.

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Next Event: Reading Sexual Advice in the Age of Mass Print: The Sexual Knowledge Business in Victorian Britain

Our next visiting speaker will be Sarah Bull, who will give a guest lecture on Friday 9th December at 5pm in Helmore 223 entitled ‘Reading Sexual Advice in the Age of Mass Print: The Sexual Knowledge Business in Victorian Britain.’