Conference Program

The Northeast Victorian Studies Association will host its 2017 conference, “The Question of Victorian Literature,” at Georgetown University, April 21-23. Among the conference highlights will be a plenary panel featuring Lauren Goodlad, Sangeeta Ray, Gauri Viswanathan, and Carolyn Williams. Program details below.

To register for the conference, please click on “Registration” on the black bar above.

We gratefully acknowledge sponsorship from the Georgetown University Office of the Provost, the Georgetown University Department of English, the Georgetown University Modernities Working Group, the George Washington University Department of English, the University of Maryland Department of English, and the American University Department of Literature.

Friday, April 21

All panels will take place in the New South Film Screening Room

12:00-1:30pm Georgetown Special Collections
Pre-conference library exhibit of Victorian-era books and artifacts from the Georgetown Special Collections themed around the “materiality of Victorian literature.” Please join us at the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, Lauinger Library Fifth Floor. The exhibit contains serialized first editions of several Charles Dickens novels, the Oxford notebook of Charles Algernon Swinburne, Gerard Manley Hopkins’ personal copy of Christina Rossetti’s poems (signed and dated by Hopkins), and many other pieces from the period. Also notable is a Victorian herbarium, a large book with hundreds of plant species dried and meticulously taped inside, carefully labeled by the author. Images Courtesy of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections at Georgetown University:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

1:00pm (and following) Registration
New South Lobby

2:00pm Welcome
New South Film Screening Room

2:15-3:45pm Panel I: Questioning Genre
Sharon McGrady (Seton Hall), Chair

  • Lee Behlman (Montclair State), “A Victorian Paraliterature in the Middle Register: The Case of Light Verse”
  • Jesse Hoffman (Bryn Mawr), “An Uninvited Photograph: The Question of Victorian Elegy at Christina Rossetti’s Funeral”
  • Irena Yamboliev (Stanford), “Decorative Realism”

3:45-4:00pm Coffee

4:00-5:30pm Panel II: Questioning Canonicity
Natalie Prizel (Bard), Chair

  • Rosalind Parry (Princeton), “Q. D. Leavis and Bringing Back Victorian Literature”
  • Kristen H. Starkowski (Princeton), “Recycling the Canon: Novelty in Penny Plagiarisms of Dickens’s Fiction”
  • Margaret Deli (Yale), “Henry James, Connoisseurship, and the Question of Victorian Literature”

5:30-6:30pm Opening Receptionstring-of-pearls
English Department Conference Room,
New North Hall 311

6:30 Optional group dinners
Various Georgetown restaurants

8:45 Dickens Dinners: Pickwick & Pip
Two of the funniest eating scenes in Dickens, performed for you by NVSA participants! Please join us at the Healey Family Student Center Social Room (same building as the New South areas)

Saturday, April 22

All panels will take place in the New South Film Screening Room

9:00-10:00am Breakfast
Healey Family Student Center Social Room (same building as the New South areas)

10:00am-12:00pm Keynote Panel in Honor of Carole Silver
Tanya Agathocleous (Hunter College, CUNY), Chair

  • Carolyn Williams (Rutgers)
  • Gauri Viswanathan (Columbia)
  • Sangeeta Ray (Maryland)
  • Lauren Goodlad (Illinois)

The plenary session is underwritten by the George Washington University (Department of English) and Georgetown University Modernities Working Group.

12:00-1:45pm Lunch (at which next year’s conference topic will be determined)
Healey Family Student Center Social Room

2:00-3:30pm Panel III: Questioning Language and Geography
Jonah Siegel (Rutgers), Chair

  • Juliette Atkinson (University College London), “Victorian Literature under French Scrutiny: Hippolyte Taine’s History of English Literature and its British Reception”
  • Sarah Weaver (Independent Scholar), “Victorian Poetry and the Question of English”
  • Jessie Reeder (Binghamton), “From Transatlantic to Translinguistic”

3:30-4:00pm Coffee

4:00pm-6:00pm Panel IV: Questioning Periodization
Daniel Wright (U Toronto), Chair

  • Carolyn Betensky (U Rhode Island), “Casual Racism in Victorian Literature”
  • Lucy Sheehan (Texas A&M-Corpus Christi), “The Victorian Afterlife of British Slavery, 1844-2014”
  • Andrew Lynn (Barnard), “Minstrels in the Drawing Room: Walter Scott and the Victorians”
  • James Buzard (MIT), “David Copperfield and the Thresholds of Modernity”

6:30-7:30 Reception
Healy Hall First Floor Corridor

7:30-9:30 Dinner Banquet
Bioethics Research Library, Healy Hall

Sunday, April 23

All panels will take place in the New South Film Screening Room

8:00-9:00am Breakfast
Healey Family Student Center Social Room

9:00-10:20am Pedagogy Session:
The Ways We Teach Victorian Literature Now

Jason Rudy (U Maryland), Chair

  • Dustin Friedman (American)
  • Anna Henchman (Boston U)
  • Vincent Lankewish (Professional Performing Arts School)
  • Emily Steinlight (U Pennsylvania)

10:20-10:30am Coffee

10:30am-12:00pm Panel V: Questioning the Literary
Simon Reader (Staten Island, CUNY), Chair

  • Imogen Forbes-Macphail (UC-Berkeley), “The Colors of the Dying Dolphin: Nineteenth-Century Defences of Literature and Mathematics”
  • Angus Ledingham (Yale), “John Henry Newman’s Secular Formalism”
  • Matthew Sussman (U Sydney), “Victorian Literature and the Death of Rhetoric”

12:00-1:00pm Conference Wrap-Up

  • Nathan Hensley (Georgetown)
  • Cornelia Pearsall (Smith College)

Victorian Literature (7)