Next Event: Academic Web Presence Workshop

We will meet for an informal postgraduate workshop about building up an academic web presence on social media between 1-2pm on October 7th  in Helmore 223. If you would like to come to this session, please read this article in advance: Early career Victorianists and social media: impact, audience and online identities’, Journal of Victorian Culture, 17: 3 (2012), 355-62.

Postgraduate Symposium: Review

On June 21 we held our first Postgraduate Symposium with a guest lecture by Dr Sarah Parker from the University of Loughborough.

The event included papers which spanned a variety of nineteenth-century topics and authors. Our aim was to provide our postgraduate researchers at Anglia Ruskin University with an opportunity to present their work for the first time, or to rehearse a conference paper and receive feedback before taking it to a wider audience, in a relaxed environment. We heard from seven members of the unit in addition to our guest lecture, and enjoyed some stimulating discussion of the papers.

In the first panel ‘Heroics and Sensations’, we explored revisions and reclamations of narratives throughout the nineteenth century. Kirsty Harris spoke about repurposing sacrifice and the sea-monsters of antiquity in Byron’s Don Juan. Shelley Walters gave a paper which reviewed Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s heroines, and Anne-Louise Russell discussed Florence Marryat’s engagement with sensation novels. Questions led to a discussion about transformative narratives, and how nineteenth-century writers adapted established forms and traditions in order to reclaim them to tell and shape their own stories.

Our second panel focused on Victorian women writers, and saw papers from Edwin Marr about ideas of universal salvation in the works of Anne Brontë and Marie Moxon discussing glass-space and identity in Elizabeth Gaskell’s novels. Both papers prompted conversation about the ways in which Brontë and Gaskell deal with identity and the view of the self in their works.

Sarah Parker’s keynote followed, which was a fascinating exploration of the woman’s role as muse in nineteenth-century art and literature. Sarah discussed the figure of the muse as artistic subject rather than object, and used an impressive collection of archive photographs to illustrate her paper. This led to an informative section on ways of working to create impact and outreach in academia, which was useful for postgraduate and early career scholars, as well as interesting to see how Sarah’s engagement with outreach projects had informed some of her work.

We filmed Sarah’s talk, and you can view it by clicking here.

The final panel of the day studied ideas about exploration in Victorian literature. Alison Blair-Underwood gave a paper on James Thompson’s City of Dreadful Night which examined the growth of atheism alongside industrial change in the city. Abderrezaq Ghafsi then spoke about the reception and continued legacy of Charles Dickens in Algeria, focusing especially on his life-narrative accounts. Questions provoked interesting discussion about the forward-looking narratives of both Thompson’s poem in its engagement with insomnia and depression, and Dickens’ works with their continuing global inspiration and relevance.

Many thanks to everyone who was able to attend the Postgraduate Symposium, and to Sarah Parker for giving such a fascinating keynote. It was a really informative and useful event for our postgraduate members, and very enjoyable to hear what so many of us are working on. We hope to run the symposium again next year!

Forthcoming Event

Following next week’s postgraduate symposium, our next event will be a talk by Dr Clare Walker Gore from the University of Cambridge, titled ‘Making the Most of Your
Research: Sharing Your Work, Reaching an Audience and Finding Your Way as
an Early Career Researcher’. Clare is a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and has also worked with the BBC as one of their 2015 New Generation Thinkers. Her talk will take place at 3pm on Thursday 7th July in Helmore 208.

And if you’ve not already done so, please register attendance for our postgraduate symposium here!

Postgraduate Symposium

We are very excited about our first postgraduate symposium on June 21st!

Our guest speaker is Dr Sarah Parker from the University of Loughborough, and seven of our members will be giving papers about their research. The event will run from 12 noon until 6:30pm in LAB 309 (Cambridge campus); lunch and refreshments will be served and we will finish with a wine reception.


12-12.30:         Welcome and lunch

12.30-2:           Panel 1: Heroics and Sensations (Chair: Steven White)

Kirsty J. Harris: ‘Sacrifice and Sea Monsters: The Metamorphoses of Shipwreck in Byron’s Don Juan Canto II’

Shelley Walters: ‘Elizabeth Barrett-Browning: Heroines and Heroism in Review’

Anne-Louise Russell: ‘My Own Child (1875-76): Florence Marryat and Sensation Fiction published in London Society’

2-3:                  Panel 2: Brontë & Gaskell (Chair: Lizzie Ludlow)

Edwin Marr: ‘Saved By Fire: Universal Salvation in the works of Anne Brontë’

Marie Moxon: ‘Ways of Seeing: Glass-Space and Identity in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton, North and South and Cranford’

3-4:                  Keynote (Chair: Kirsty J. Harris)

Dr Sarah Parker (University of Loughborough)

‘When the Muse Looks Back: Picturing the Poetess’

4-4.30:             Coffee

4.30-5.30:        Panel 3: Victorian Explorations (Chair: Anne-Louise Russell)

Alison Blair-Underwood: ‘Steetwalking, James Thompson, and The City of Dreadful Night

Abderrezaq Ghafsi: Exploring Charles Dickens’s Connectedness and Canonisation through his Algerian Historical and Life-narrative Accounts

5.30-6.30:        Wine reception

Please register here if you will be attending.