Branwell Brontë: A Bicentenary Celebration

Last week our unit member Edwin Marr put together a round-table event to celebrate the life of Branwell Brontë, following from the round-table we held in 2016 celebrating Charlotte Brontë. The event was a great success and everyone who attended enjoyed the discussions and the texts we read. Many thanks to Edwin for organising the event!

You can download a pdf version of the materials from the event here: Branwell Brontë Roundtable.

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Monthly Roundup: February

February’s Events

This month Kirsty J Harris and Steven White gave a joint talk discussing their research and the experience of completing their PhDs. Thanks to all who attended and joined in the stimulating discussion afterwards, and to Cassie Gorman for chairing the event.

Our Middlemarch reading group has begun and is going well! We meet every other Monday in Helmore 115 to discuss a section of Eliot’s novel. See details here if you would like to join us!

 

Notices and Publications

Our Dean of Studies Martin Hewitt appeared on BBC 1’s Who Do You Think You Are?with Sir Ian McKellen on Wed 25th January. You can watch again here on the BBC iPlayer if you missed it!

Congratulations to unit member Zoe Bennett, whose book, co-written with Christopher Rowland, In a Glass Darkly, was published in January. See here for more information.

 

Upcoming: March & Beyond

Our seminar series continues with a talk entitled “Pioneer or Copycat? The Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine in its European Context” by Marianne Van Remoortel (University of Ghent) today, March 1st, in Helmore 112between 16:00 and 17:00. Refreshments will be served.

Unit member Edwin Marr has organised a bicentenary celebration of Branwell Brontë on March 22nd in LAB 216 between 16:15 and 17:15. This event is a round-table discussion; all are welcome! For more information, please see here.

We are hosting a symposium on Jane Austen on April 26th between 12.00 and 16.00, lunch included. Speakers will include Sophie Gilmartin (Royal Holloway university of London) and Kirsty J. Harris (Anglia Ruskin University). For more information and to book your ticket, see here.

There is still time to put in an abstract for our conference on George Eliot and her Circle, taking place on May 26th! Information can be found here.

And finally, a reminder that our Middlemarch reading group continues every second Monday in Helmore 115 between 17:00 and 18:00. Check dates and reading sections here.

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

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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. 

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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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Monthly Roundup: November

November’s Happenings 

Nineteenth Century Studies at ARU are now on Facebook! Our page is still growing at the moment, but if you’re a Facebook user please do add us to your feed for updates and information.

Our major event for November was last week’s screening and panel discussion of Thomas Vinterberg’s Far From The Madding Crowd for the Being Human Festival. Many thanks to everyone who got involved and made the evening such a success, especially Mary Joannou who chaired the discussion, and our three panelists: Kathy Rees, Kirsty Harris, and Chris Lyon who also shared a wonderful blog about Thomas Hardy here. It was fantastic to see so many new faces in the audience alongside the familiar ones, and we are hoping to open more events to similar public engagement in the future.

In case you missed it, we have recorded the panel discussion after the film, and will be sharing a link to it here on the blog in a few days!

Coming Up

Our next event is a talk from Sarah Bull entitled ‘Rethinking Sexual Advice in the Age of Mass Print: The Sexual Knowledge Business in Victorian Britain’, on Friday 9th December at 5pm in Helmore 223. This is our last event for the semester, so we’re hoping that all our members can join us for what promises to be a fascinating talk and discussion!

Also of interest is the conference on 200 Years of the Nutcracker being held at Anglia Ruskin University this coming Saturday, 3rd December, with special guests Maria Tatar (Harvard University) and Kevin Crossley-Holland (Carnegie Medal Winning Children’s Author). You can book your place here.

Hardy and Me: A Personal Account

In honour of tomorrow’s Far From the Madding Crowd event for the Being Human Festival 2016, unit member Chris Lyon has written a post for us about his experiences with reading Thomas Hardy.

We’re looking forward to our free screening and discussion of Far From the Madding Crowd tomorrow, and hope to see you there!

Hardy and Me. A Personal Account.

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The Tithe Barn, Abbotsbury near Wymouth, by Walter Tyndale

 

Like most people passing through the English state education system, my first encounter with Thomas Hardy was an obligatory study of a Hardy novel as part of the GCE (now GCSE) National Curriculum for English Literature. No explanation was given as to why Hardy was and still is deemed essential reading. He just appeared in the classroom one day. In my case that day happened to be in 1974, exactly 100 years after its first publication. The novel in question was Far from the Madding Crowd.

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