Edwin Marr on ‘The Obnoxious Railroad”: Railway Time and Space in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell’ at the next Gaskell Society London and SE meeting on Sat May 11th

Unit member and PhD student Edwin Marr will be speaking at the next Gaskell Society meeting on Saturday 11th May. His paper, ‘The Obnoxious Railroad”: Railway Time and Space in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell’, will look at Gaskell’s representations of the railway in several of her novels, novellas and letters, exploring how she uses the railway to symbolise increasing societal regulation, distinctions between rural past and industrialised future, and issues of social class and social mobility.

The meeting will take place at Francis Holland School from 12.45 onwards, with the talk at 2.00 pm. All are welcome!

Please find the directions and further details on this PDF: London and SE Gaskell Society Programme 2018-19

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Professor Martin Hewitt on ‘Domestic visiting as a means of social knowledge and reconciliation in Gaskell’s fiction’  at the Gaskell Society SE Branch Meeting on Feb 9th. All welcome!

Dear all,

Professor Martin Hewitt (History, Anglia Ruskin University) will be giving a paper at our next Gaskell Society branch meeting on ‘‘Domestic visiting as a means of social knowledge and reconciliation in Gaskell’s fiction’. Do come along; all are very welcome!

All meetings are held at Francis Holland School for Girls, 39 Graham Terrace London SW1W 8JF The school is a three-minute walk from Sloane Square tube station, which is on the District and Circle line (see the map below).

 

Everyone is welcome any time after 12.45pm. Please bring a packed lunch. Talks begin at 2pm and usually last about an hour. Each talk is followed by questions, and then tea is served.

At each meeting there is a bring-and-buy book stall in aid of The Gaskell House in Manchester. Please bring any books that you wish to rehome and which will be of interest to other members, marked with an appropriate price. If, at the end of the meeting, your books have not been sold, we will ask you to take them away with you again.

We ask for a contribution of £5.00 to cover speakers’ expenses, a donation to the school and tea.

screen shot 2019-01-09 at 15.11.17

 

For details about further meetings please click London and SE Gaskell Society Programme 2018-19

VICTORIAN POPULAR FICTION ASSOCIATION’S 11TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: ‘Mind, Matter(s), Spirit: Forms of Knowledge in Victorian Popular Fiction and Culture’

The 2019 VPFA conference is taking place between 8-10 in London. Please find the CFP below. The VPFA conferences that I’ve attended have always been very good and I think that the theme this year will be of interest to a few unit members.

VPFA 2019 – CFP[1]

Great Expectations at the Cambridge Arts Theatre

I very much enjoyed giving the pre-show talk on Great Expectations at the Cambridge Arts Theatre last Tuesday. I have since been asked for details about the material I discussed, so I thought I would share some links and further references here.

I began the talk by discussing the initial publication context of Great Expectations. It was published in weekly parts between October 1861 and January 1862 in Dickens’s Journal All the Year Round. You can browse through the journal on Dickens Journals Online. This site also includes a film about the London of Great Expectations and details of the online community who are reading the novel week-by-week, as the novel’s first readers did. In my module on Victorian Literature and Culture at Anglia Ruskin University, I ask students to read a novel in weekly parts over the course of a semester in order that they might get a taste of the experience of the early readers who were engaged with a novel over months and sometimes even years. It is always really interesting and exciting to reflect on how reading a novel in this way affects our experience of the plot and the characterisation.

After outlining the initial context of publication, I moved on in the talk to discuss issues relating to adaptations of Dickens’s novels and to highlight the theatrical elements in Great Expectations. If you would like to read more about Dickens’s own experiences with the theatre then I would recommend this piece by Simon Callow on the British Library website. These are the details of some of the three cinematic adaptations of Great Expectations which  I discussed:

David Lean (dir), 1946

Alfonso Cuaron (dir) 1998

Mike Newell (dir), 2012

In the Q&A time, I brought up the mini-series Dickensian. I would strongly recommend it and am very pleased to see the whole series is now available on Netflix. An earlier post by unit member Valerie Purton offers some reflections on the production.

Finally, my thoughts on Dickens and adaptation have been shaped by the following books:

  • Linda H. Hutcheon. A Theory of Adaptation (Routledge, 2012)
  • Karen E. Laird. The Art of Adapting Victorian Literature, 1848-1920 (Ashgate, 2016)
  • James, Naremore (ed). Film Adaptation (Althone, 2000)

Elizabeth Ludlow

CFP: Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Bodily Fluids in the Long Nineteenth Century. One-day conference at Aston University

Call for Papers: Anxious Forms 2018

Blood, Sweat, and Tears: Bodily Fluids in the Long Nineteenth Century

Friday 27th July 2018, Aston University, Birmingham

Speakers:

Professor Talia Schaffer, CUNY

Dr Kate Lister, Leeds Trinity University

‘The power of blood is so difficult to decipher because it is at once the foundational social metaphor and the most basic necessity for life.’

(Priscilla Wald, foreword of The Cultural Politics of Blood, 1500-1900)

After the success of Anxious Forms: Bodies in Crisis (2014) and Anxious Forms: Masculinities in Crisis (2016), we are pleased to announce a third one-day conference which considers the construction of bodily fluids—both metaphorical and material, both abject and desirable—in the long nineteenth century. The period in question witnessed the first blood transfusion, the first English medical text on menstruation and menopause, anxieties around spermatorrhea and hysteria, the rise of vampire and werewolf fiction, and massive infrastructure reform around sewage and water to combat infectious diseases. This interdisciplinary event will explore the advancements, crises, contradictions, and understandings of bodily fluids in the long nineteenth century across a range of media, including fiction, poetry, drama, journalism, photography, visual arts, material culture, and medical and scientific texts. The event will also explore the challenges of critical discussions of topics traditionally considered taboo or hampered by the dynamics of disgust. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Blood

Bloodlines, lineage, and primogeniture

Diseases and treatments

Wounds and trauma

Blood as metaphor

Vampirism, and lycanthropy

Puberty, menstruation, and menopause

  • Sweat

Work and exertion

Sports and Christian masculinity

Fever and illness

 

  • Tears

Discourses of emotion

  • Digestion

Bile and vomit

Excrement

Sewage, wells, and communicable diseases

  • The Eucharist and Transubstantiation
  • Sexual Fluids
  • The Humours
  • Ectoplasm and the Supernatural

 

We welcome proposals for individual 20 minute papers or panels from PGRs and ECRs as well as more established academics. Please send 300-word abstracts with an academic CV and a 50-word biography to Abby Boucher and Daniel Jenkin-Smith at anxiousforms2018@gmail.com by 1st May. Successful applicants will be notified by 15th May.

We are able to award a number of postgraduate travel bursaries. If you would like to be considered for a bursary, please include a 200-word explanation about how the conference relates to your research, along with a breakdown of your expenses.