Work in Progress seminars

Our Work in Progress seminars will resume on Thursday October 5th when PhD student Sophie Phelps will discuss her current work on Dickens. This will take place between 4.30-6 in Helmore 105.

Our second work in Progress seminar will take place on Thursday Oct 19th between 4.30-6 in Helmore 105. In this, Paul Pattison will discuss his work on Middlemarch and Abderrezzaq Ghafsi will talk about his research on Dickens and Algeria.

On Thursday 26th October, unit member and PhD student Edwin Marr will deliver a preliminary version of his conference paper on Branwell Bronte. This will take place between 4-5pm in Helmore 114 and will be followed by the second session of our reading group on Shirley. 


Monthly Roundup: March 2017



This month we hosted a round-table bicentenary event about Branwell Brontë. This was organised by our unit member Edwin Marr, and was an informative and fun celebration of the neglected Brontë brother! Thanks to Edwin for doing a great job organising and chairing this event. You can download a pdf of the materials we looked at during the round-table here.

Our Middlemarch reading group continues to be well-attended and to provoke engaging discussions! Look out for a blog post soon discussing the experience of reading Middlemarch in instalments. 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 after Easter!

Notices and Publications

Congratulations to unit member Peter Cook, who passed his PhD Viva Voce examination on 28 March!


We are hosting a symposium on Jane Austen on April 26th between 1 and 4pm. Speakers will include Sophie Gilmartin (Royal Holloway university of London), Mary Joannou (Anglia Ruskin University) and unit member Kirsty J. Harris (Anglia Ruskin University). See the programme for the afternoon here and book your free ticket.

This year’s conference is on George Eliot and her Circle, taking place on May 26th! We are in the process of putting together the schedule, having received some exciting abstracts. Stay tuned for more information very soon – details will be listed here.

The Cambridge Literary Festival is running from 18-23 April this year, with a variety of talks, events, and debates that may be of interest to you!

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: 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.

Welcome to the new semester!

Welcome back to a new semester of exciting events at Nineteenth-Century Studies ARU!

We have got plenty going on this semester, including our new reading group to discuss George Eliot’s Middlemarch, which begins next Monday – see here for details. All welcome!

Our first seminar this semester will be on Wednesday 15th February. Unit members Kirsty J. Harris and Steven White will be discussing their recent experiences of finishing their doctoral research projects, and the move toward early career roles. See here for more details, as well as information about further seminars this semester which will follow soon. We are planning a symposium on Jane Austen and an event to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Branwell Bronte’s birth.

We are also looking forward to this year’s conference on George Eliot and her Circle, which we will be holding on Friday 26 May. The call for papers is open now!

If you are interested in catching up on some of our past events from 2016, we now have a page for recorded events and podcasts, which you can find here. And if you’d like to keep up to date with the latest news from us, please follow our Twitter and Facebook page!

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!

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.

Monthly Roundup: October

October’s Happenings 

We’ve had a busy start to the semester this October, with several meetings taking place, and we hope everyone who attended enjoyed them! Many thanks to this month’s speakers: Shelley Walters and Meg Gooding, who shared their work in progress at our first meeting of the year, and Rohan McWilliam, who spoke last week about Victorian nightlife in London. We also experimented with sharing a livestream of Rohan’s talk on our twitter feed. This worked well, and we’re hoping to livestream more events in the future.

October’s Work in Progress blog was on Charles Dickens and Edmund Gosse, written by Kathy Rees – if you missed it, you can read it here.

Coming Up: November & December

Our big event this semester is Far From The Madding Crowd. We are screening Thomas Vinterberg’s 2015 adaptation and discussing it afterward as part of the Being Human Festival. This event takes place on 24 November in the Mumford Theatre – more information here. Book your free ticket now!

Looking further ahead, in December we have a guest lecture from Sarah Bull on ‘Rethinking Sexual Advice in the Age of Mass Print: The Sexual Knowledge Business in Victorian Britain’, and we’re hoping to host something festive toward the end of the semester, too.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at our future events! To receive news and updates about our work and events as they happen, follow us on twitter, or click the button on the right to follow the blog via email.

Livestream: Rohan McWilliam on Victorian Nightlife

In case you missed Rohan McWilliam’s talk on ‘Victorian Nightlife and the West End of London’ today, we recorded a livestream of the event, and you can watch it at the link below. (Unfortunately our Internet connection dropped out halfway through so the recording is in two parts and missing a segment while we got it working again.) Many thanks to Rohan for such an interesting paper!

Watch/Listen again here!