Talia Schaffer, Queens College CUNY and the Graduate Center CUNY: Care Ethics and Victorian Fiction
Amardeep Singh, Lehigh University: Thinking Justice Across the Imperial Divide: Narrating Anglo-India
Greg Vargo, New York University, & Catherine Quirk, Edge Hill University: Political Literature and Popular Culture
Martha Stoddard Holmes, California State University, San Marcos, & Joyce L. Huff, Ball State University: Disabling Victorian Studies
The diverse field of disability studies approaches disability from multiple angles: as lived experience, aesthetic, set of cultural and literary tropes, embodied identity, social construction, material condition, political stance, effect of power, and/or epistemological (or cripistemological) lens. This seminar will investigate some of the practices, representations, and understandings of disability in the nineteenth century and will also explore the impact and potential of disability studies for Victorian studies today. Some of the questions we would like to address are: What are some of the methodologies available for making meaning of Victorian disability? How might disability critique intervene in or augment current conversations about topics such as undisciplining Victorian studies, marginalized voices, ecocriticism, animal studies, cultures of caring, or queer studies? How does disability studies reread familiar texts, images, and events?
How does attention to or centering of disability transform Victorian studies and how would the field need to change to accommodate more work in this field? What systemic assumptions about disability structure our readings—and what would it mean to disable Victorian Studies? We welcome scholars and creators with all levels of familiarity with disability studies, from those who work regularly in the field to those who want to learn about it, as well as those working in a variety of disciplines within Victorian studies.
Priti Joshi, University of Puget Sound, Materiality|Emphera; or, What Can the Study of Periodicals Offer Us Today?
This space will offer us an occasion to think with some of the striking work scholars of periodicals (of the UK, US, and other parts of the Anglophone world) are doing that has expanded our geographical and disciplinary boundaries. The seminar will ask us to think together about how we might approach periodicals and newspapers less as accessories and more as historical artifacts. How might this simple reorientation alter what we read, how we read, and where? Might the study of periodicals allow us not merely to expand “Victorian Studies,” but reorient it?
Jim Downs, Gettysburg University: Interdisciplinary Scholarship and its Discontents
Those trained in literary studies might sometimes feel that we are only dipping our toes into historical scholarship per se, citing historical accounts in monographs on literature; perhaps we read an article in the Social History of Medicine or Environmental History and are left unsure how much we should consult the scholarly conversation within that discipline. Likewise, historians might write about or reference fiction or poetry without extensively consulting the most current work on genre or theory and worry about a second reader whole might be an English Ph.D. What might we be missing? How does one know if they have done due diligence vis-a-vis a second discipline? How does one write to a readership in both?
What happens if you contextualize or triangulate into a third field or discipline such as health humanities or deploy theoretical or critical approaches such as Black feminist criticism? This seminar will broach the challenges and affordances of doing interdisciplinary work in the nineteenth century, looking at case studies in the history of medicine, science studies, and health humanities.