NCRS: Call for Papers for Spring 2019

Nineteenth Century Research Seminars 
Call for Papers

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The Nineteenth Century Research Seminars (NCRS) invites proposals for twenty-minute papers from postgraduate and early career researchers that address any aspect of nineteenth-century literature, history, art, and culture.

The seminar series is designed to be a cross- and inter-disciplinary forum where postgraduate and early career researchers can meet, form connections, debate, and collaborate on all issues pertaining to the long nineteenth century.

We accept abstracts addressing any aspect of research on the 19th century, but would particularly welcome those addressing any of the following themes:

  • Philosophy from Hegel to Nietzsche 

  • Empire, War, and Politics

  • Religion and Society

  • Ecology, Environment, and Industrialisation

  • Travelling and Exploration

  • Gender and Sexuality

  • German Classicism and German Idealism

  • Art, Architecture, and Aesthetics


Monthly seminars take place at the University of Edinburgh, on the first Thursday of the month: 7 February, 7 March, 4 April, 2 May, and 6 June 2019 at 16:30-18:30. Each seminar will consist of 2-3 twenty-minute papers, with at least one paper from a University of Edinburgh-based researcher and the other(s) from a researcher based in another institution, followed by discussion and refreshments. 

Abstracts of up to 250 words along with a brief biography and institutional affiliation should be submitted in the body of an email to edinburgh19thcentury@gmail.com. The closing date for submissions is Sunday 1 December 2018; speakers will be notified of a decision by mid-December. If for any reason you are not available for any of the dates listed above for the 2019 seminars, please let us know in your email submission; this will help us to pair papers and schedule more effectively.

For those travelling from outside of Edinburgh, reimbursement of travel expenses (up to £40) is available.

Follow us on Facebook to stay updated: @EdinburghNCRS, or visit our website.

The NCRS is supported by the University of Edinburgh’s Student-Led Initiative Fund.

NCRS: Nation-Building and Identity

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For more information on the Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series, including forthcoming seminars, check out the Facebook page and website.


Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series

Spring 2018 Seminar 5: Nation-Building and Identity

Speakers:

  • Elly Grayson, Edinburgh. J. M. Barrie’s Margaret Ogilvy: Appropriating the Biography and Conceptions of Storytelling, “Scottishness”, Mothers and Children.
    • Elly Grayson is a first year English Literature PhD Candidate at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on J. M. Barrie, and his evocation of Scottish folklore and fairy tales in his prose and drama. She is particularly interested in highlighting the progressive nature of his work, his metafictional inclinations and how they relate to storytelling, myth-making and the presentation of the child in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 
    • Elly examined the female storyteller as the source of national identity in Barrie's works.

"I shall get no more old world Scotch out of her this afternoon, she weeds her talk determinedly, and it is as great a falling away as when the mutch gives place to the cap..."
J.M. Barrie, Margaret Ogilvy, 1896

  • Guy Hinton, Newcastle. Representing the Wars of the 1850s and 1880s: panoramas in the north east of England.
    • Guy Hinton is a PhD History candidate and teaching assistant at Newcastle University. His thesis looks at the representation and memorialisation of wars in the second half of the nineteenth century, through a range of cultural activities, war trophies and memorials in the North East. Guy previously worked in the cultural sector.
    • Guy examined panoramic paintings as a vehicle for depicting war, imperialism, and sensationalist news reporting.
 Garibaldi, his life, character, and glorious career (1860), scene 5 Image Source:  https://library.brown.edu/cds/garibaldi/panoramaHTML5/panorama_scroll.php

Garibaldi, his life, character, and glorious career (1860), scene 5
Image Source: https://library.brown.edu/cds/garibaldi/panoramaHTML5/panorama_scroll.php

This was the final session of the 2018 Seminar Series. The NCRS will be back in Spring 2019.

NCRS: Philosophy and Literature

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For more information on the Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series, including forthcoming seminars, check out the Facebook page and website.


Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series

Spring 2018 Seminar 4: Philosophy and Literature

Speakers:

  • Amadeus Kang-Po Chen: Erotic Love, Poetic Imagination, and Self-annihilation: the Pathological Poetics in John Keats’s Isabella
    • Amadeus Kang-Po Chen obtained his MA degree in English literature at the National Chengchi University in Taiwan. He joined the university of Edinburgh for his PhD studies in 2015. His doctoral project aims to re-conceptualise the idea of “obscenity” in the Romantic period, and examine the erotic images and motifs as a unique aesthetic phenomenon of self-annihilation in the works of Blake, Shelley, and Keats.
  • Carla Wiggs: An exploration of 19th Century Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard’s use of pseudonyms as a literary device for portraying the three ‘existence spheres’ in his authorship
    • Carla Wiggs is a second year PhD Philosophy candidate, primarily based at the University of Southampton (supervised by Prof Genia Schoenbaumsfeld) and co-supervised by Dr Edward Skidelsky (Exeter). Her intended thesis title is: Kierkegaard's Portrayal of the Existence Spheres: A Challenge to the Tiered Interpretation.
  • Roxanne Gentry: “All is not exactly as I had pictured it”: The Illustrated Editions of Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South
    • Roxanne L. Gentry is a third-year PhD student at the University of Connecticut studying the long nineteenth-century novel, women's literature, material culture, and textual afterlives, communities, and mediation. She earned her MSc from the University of Edinburgh in 2014 and her BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2011. 

The next NCRS is on May 31, on the topic of 'Nation Building and Identity'. 

NCRS: Colonialism and Literature

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For more information on the Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series, including forthcoming seminars, check out the Facebook page and website.


Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series

Spring 2018 Seminar 3: Colonialism and Literature

Speakers:

  • Nicola John: Cleopatra and the Colonial Context: Looking Closer at Juan Luna
    • Nicola John is a second year postgraduate research student at the University of St Andrews, where she is working towards a PhD in Art History. Her research concerns the use of pre-colonial material culture, especially costume, in the visual language of modern art in Indonesia and the Philippines. 
  • Elizabeth Chant: Cartography and the Argentine Nation: mapping the mítico sur
    • Elizabeth Chant is a PhD candidate in the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, School of European Languages, Cultures and Society, University College London. Her research focuses on cultural representations of Patagonia, and how said representations vary in different languages and sub-regions, considering the conflict of forces such as time-space compression, indigenous epistemology and neo-colonialism in various media. 
  • Bowen Wang: Mark Twain’s “China Complex”: His Literary Portrayal of the Chinese of the Nineteenth Century
    • Bowen is a postgraduate studying in MSc Literature and Modernity of the University of Edinburgh. He holds a BA in English Language and Literature from Sun Yat-sen University, with an exchange year in English/American Studies from the University of Southern Denmark.

Nicola and Liz's talks both concerned colonialism across the Spanish empire, one through the perspective of history of art, the other through the perspective of cartography.

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Nicola discussed Juan Luna's The Death of Cleopatra from 1881. The historical background to the painting is colonialism and nationalism in the Philippines: they wanted full representation in the Spanish government. Art played an anti-colonial role, and Luna himself had a role in the anti-Spanish movement. In the painting, Cleopatra chooses to die sovereign than live colonised, and the Madrid audience observing the painting take the same role as the roman soldiers entering to discover Cleopatra dead: the third wall is broken to complete the painting.

Liz spoke about representations of Patagonia - in what is now known as Argentina - in 19th century cartography. 'Patagonia' was part of the Spanish empire, and they attempted to colonise it many times. We find a colonising agenda maps of the region. They often lack a representation of people, erasing the provicial and territorial divisons of indigenous cultures. The result is a history of violent geography. Indigenous cultures are sometimes named but their territory isn't indicated, diminishing their claims to Patagonia. 

Bowen offered a different but complementary account about the prejudice and colonial attitudes towards the Chinese immigrants in San Francisco through the writing of Mark Twain. One of the works Bowen examined was Twain's 'Disgraceful Persecution of a Boy', from Galaxy Magazine, May 1870, which is about the stoning of a Chinese man. It is indicative of the anti-Chinese bias in wider american society at this time, intensified by Californian nationalists who thought that the Chinese were competing unfairly with the Americans. Another of Bowen's examples was 'John Chinaman in New York', from the Galaxy Magazine, September 1870, which contains racial stereotypes and colonial descriptions of dress.

The next NCRS is on April 26, on the topic of 'Philosophy and Literature'.

NCRS: Issues in Theology

For more information on the Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series, including forthcoming seminars, check out the Facebook page and website.

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Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series

Spring 2018 Seminar 2: Issues in Theology

Speakers:

  • Kyle Lincoln, Edinburgh: Exploring Pulpit Shaming within a Nineteenth Century Scottish Literary Context
  • David Rathel, St Andrews: Ecclesiology and Empire: Surveying Nineteenth Century Evangelical Attitudes to British Expansion in India

The third speaker booked for this seminar had to cancel due to unforeseen circumstances. Regardless, we had a great turnout for Kyle Lincoln and David Rathel, who explored topics in theology and religion in the context of the 19th century.  

Thoughts on the talks:

  • Kyle Lincoln
    • Kyle's opening discussion of 'shame' in different contexts was very interesting; he continued to explore the theological issues raised by pulpit shaming - the denouncement of an individual, group, or activity by the minister, speaking from the authority of the pulpit - as presented in Scottish literature by Robert Burns and James Hogg.
    • There were many concepts and feelings connected with the concept of shame, such as hypocrisy, dishonour, and discipline. The individual's privacy is destroyed by the polemical, public nature of the shaming.
  • David Rathel
    • David spoke about Buchanan's sermon 'The Star in the East', and Britain's evangelical-colonial delusion - that God chose Britain in the way that he had once chosen the Israelites, to become his missionaries across the world - in particular, in India. Convictions about the role of divine providence in the rise of Britain's power provided the Church with evangelical - and moral - justifications for colonial activity. The expansion of Christianity and growth of the British Empire in the 19th century are intimately connected.
    • I found David's presentation of the idea of the 'providential view of history' very interesting - that is, the belief that God is guiding history in a certain way or to a certain end. This is one of the ideas that Nietzsche vehemently attacks, in essays such as 'On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life'

The next NCRS is on March 29th. The topic is 'Colonialism and Literature'.

NCRS: Travel and Exploration

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For more information on the Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series, including forthcoming seminars, check out the Facebook page and website.


Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series

Spring 2018 Seminar 1: Travel and Exploration

Speakers:

  • Dr Ilda Erkoçi, Edinburgh: The image of Albania in 19th century travel writing
  • Gesa Jessen, Oxford: Germans up on the Mountain and down by the Sea - Heinrich Heine’s Travel Pictures and the Emergence of Nature Tourism
  • Edwina Watson, Oxford: “Headlong perpendicular”: The Elevation of Poetry in Byron’s Manfred and Alpine Journal

Today was the first session of the Nineteenth Century Research Seminar Series. I was very pleased at how well-attended the session was. Though the topic, 'Travel and Exploration', is quite outside of my area of expertise, any broadening my knowledge of the 19th century serves to provide context for my research on Nietzsche and 19th century European philosophy and philology. However, Edwina's paper inspired an investigation that filled in a gap in my knowledge of Nietzsche's development: that is, Nietzsche's engagement with Byron.

Thoughts on the talks:

  • Dr Ilda Erkoçi
    • Ilda discussed how Albania was recorded in 19th century British travel writing. I was interested to hear about how Classics had a role in the British interest in the 'near east': archeology was a motivation for travel, for middle-class travellers educated in classical studies.
    • Travel writing was largely by educated, upper class writers - resulting in colonial or superior tone in their reportage. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, however, many of the prominent and influential travel writers were actually women. An example is Mary Edith Durham, who wrote about the Balkans; she first introduced anthropological elements in travel writing. 
  • Gessa Jessen
    • Gessa addressed the travel of Germans in Germany in the 19th century. There was a bourgeois infatuation between the German middle classes and the Harz mountains in the 19th century, whilst the seaside emerged as an exclusive travel destination for the upper classes. 
    • In his 1826 work Reisebilder (Travel Pictures), Heinrich Heine evokes Goethe's Faust in his approach to the peak of the Brocken. There is at once a nationalist and romantic nature to this interplay of German Classicism and nature tourism. 
  • Edwina Watson
    • Edwina talked about Byron's excursions into the Alps, as referenced in Manfred and the Alpine Journal, and how they relate to an 'elevation' of poetry and Byron's vertiginous aspirations in the literary sphere. Byron's Manfred is Goethe's Faust reimagined - and this metaphysical, gothic drama is full of allusions to Byron's own experiences in the Alps. 
    • I thought that there seemed to be similarities between Edwina's description of Byron's Manfred and Nietzsche's Zarathustra, from the mountainside setting, image of the eagle, and philosophical themes. It turns out this intuition was spot on: "Ich will das Ganze als eine Art Manfred und ganz persönlich schreiben," Nietzsche writes, in reference to the Zarathustra (NF-1881,12[70]). In Ecce Homo, 'Why I am so wise' §4, he reports having read Manfred at 13 years of age.

The next NCRS is on February 22nd, and the topic is 'Issues in Theology'.