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at the University of Michigan  
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past events with the ncf


December 5, 2013
"The Surface of the Past: Victorian Fictionalizations of the Napoleonic Wars." Workshop with Ruth McAdams, English Language and Literature

November 20, 2013
"Jane Austen, Attention, and Distraction: A Conversation with Natalie Phillips, Erin Beard, and Nathan Leaman, Digital Humanities and Literary Cognition Lab, Michigan State University."

October 8th. 2013
"There met my eyes a quite distressing sight": Visual-Textual (Mis)Information in Henry James's "Glasses"A Reading Group with Valentina Montero and Alex Kruse, English Language and Literature

September 17, 2013
"Ladies' Greek"A workshop with Yopie Prins, Professor of English and Comparative Literature


April 25, 2013
"Curious Inventions and Isabella Bird: Factual Accounts of Japan in the Nineteenth Century and the Japan of Pure Invention." A workshop with Bessie McAdams, 5th year grad student in English Lang & Lit.

April 16, 2013
"Garden Gate: The Fight for a Farmer's Market on the San Francisco Docks." A workshop with Laura Ferguson, postdoctoral Fellow at the Eisenberg Institute.

April 4, 2013
"Gender, Race and Nation: The Nineteenth Century -- Today." A Graduate Symposium with Adam Mazel, Bessie McAdams, Christie Peterson, and Alice Tsay. David Glover and Cora Kaplan respond.

April 3, 2013
"'A never ending tale': Jane Eyre Criticism and the Writing of Empire." A presentation by Cora Kaplan. This talk focuses on postcolonial analyses of Jane Eyre from the mid 1980s—and critics of such readings.  It explores the ways in which the evolving scholarship on 19th century history of slavery, race and empire has altered the place of Bronte’s novel in its moment of production—the embattled 1840’s—and made its narrative and figurative strategies—which can now be seen as embedded in that history—a political battleground.

April 2, 2013
"Gender, Violence and the Migrant's Time." A presentation by David Glover. This paper examines some of the answers offered in a series of representations of the experiences through which migrants begin to enter into legibility both to themselves and to others, drawing on nineteenth-century verse-drama, modernist fiction, and contemporary film.

February 26, 2013
"Between a Soliloquy and a Homily: Afghan Sovereignty in the Victorian Imperial Imaginary." A workshop with Zarena Aslami, Michigan State University.

January 22, 2013
"Racializing Difference before the (Pseudo-) Science of Race." A discussion featuring the following questions: How did early nineteenth-century European and Anglo-Americans construct racial-style difference? How often do we take these constructions on their own terms, and when is our interpretation of them informed by later nineteenth-century scientific racism? Are there significant differences in how scholars in different disciplines approach such questions?

November 28, 2012
"Making London Western." Making England Western: Occidentalism, Race and Imperial Culture, (Chicago, 2013) explores the cultural and political processes through which England turned itself into a recognizably Western country in the nineteenth century, and includes chapters on Wordsworth, Austen, Byron, Southey, Macaulay, and Dickens.  Professor Makdisi will discuss the “civilization” of London through the nineteenth century, addressing the social and political processes involved in the active production of a distinctively western metropole.

November 14, 2012
"Coleridge at Sea: Kubla Khan and the Invention of Religion." A workshop by UM alumnus Colin Jager, associate professor of English at Rutgers University. Colin specializes in British romantic-era literature, philosophy, secularism, religion, and cognitive science.

October 2, 2012
"William Morris Carpets: Action in Design." Caroline Arscott discussed ways in which action may be indicated even where figures are absent, and made reference to Riegl's discussion of cloud band motifs in carpets.

September 15, 2012
"Transporting Bodies and Minds: 18th-19th Century Travel" Conference. Keynote Speaker: Kate Flint, Provost Professor of English and Art History (University of Southern California).


March 7, 2012
"Rhyming Games: The Agency of Swinburne's Rhymes" Dissertation Chapter Workshop with Adam Mazel, a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Michigan.

February 17, 2012
"Chasing the Whale: Melville's Moby Dick as Polticial Theory." George Shulman is a Professor of political theory at NYU. He authored American Prophecy: Race and Redemption in American Political Culture (2008), winner of the David Easton prize in political theory.

September 20, 2011
The Octoroon Discussion. An interdisciplinary discussion of Dion Boucicault's 1859 play, The Octoroon.



April 2-9, 2011
Weeklong Residency with Harriet Guest and John Barrell.

April 7, 2011
Graduate Student Symposium. A symposium in which 3 or 4 graduate students will present their research and respond to the work of Professors John Barrell and Harriet Guest with short position papers (c. 6-8 minutes). Barrell and Guest will be present, in turn, to respond to the students.

April 6, 2011
"Edward Pugh and Richard Wilson at Carreg Carn March Arthur" Lecture by Professor Barrell, a Fellow of the British Academy and of the English Association, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters of the University of Chicago, and an honorary D.Litt, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. His subject is Richard Wilson (1714-1782), once known as the father of British landscape painting and regarded at the end of the eighteenth century as the greatest landscape-painter Britain had produced. He was related to many of the leading gentry families in North-East Wales. Edward Pugh (1763-1813) was the son of a country barber, a self-taught portrait-painter and landscape-artist. He and Wilson never met; but their careers somehow converged in 1794 at a point on the county line between Flintshire and Denbighshire. This paper is about that convergence, and some of the issues raised by the representation of the landscape of ‘Romantic Wales.’

April 5, 2011
"'A Better Likeness': Memorializing Mary Wollstonecraft" Lecture by Harriet Guest, the author of three monographs, the most recent of which is: Empire, Barbarism and Civilization: James Cook, William Hodges and the Return to the Pacific (Cambridge, 2007). This talk is drawn from Professor Guest's current research on the changing roles available to British women, and particularly women writers, in the 1790s. It looks at the way Wollstonecraft's friends and admirers wrote about her in the years immediately following her death.


March 22, 2011
"Bigotry and Alienation in A Simple Story" Dissertation Chapter Workshop with Geremy Carnes, a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at the University of Michigan. This chapter examines the disunity of Elizabeth Inchbald's novel, A Simple Story, in the context of changes within the English Catholic community during its composition.

March 15, 2011
"Religious Liberty on Trial" Dissertation Chapter Workshop with Susanna Linsley, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at the University of Michigan. This chapter is a part of her dissertation project, titled Constitutionalizing God: The Politics of Toleration in an Era of Religious Liberty, Charleston and New York, 1780-1830.

March 15, 2011
"Wicked Intriguers,or How Power and Pornography Intersected to Define the Catholic Menace in the Eighteenth-Century Anglophone World" Lecture by Monica Najar, Associate Professor of History at Lehigh University. In addition to numerous articles and essays, she is the author of Evangelizing the South: A Social History of Church and State in Early America. Her talk is based on her work for her current book project, "Gender, Sex, and the Catholic Menace in Anglophone Print Culture, 1700-1850."

February 23, 2011
"Historical Aesthetics" Roundtable discussion with J. Paul Hunter, Professor of English at the University of Virginia. Ten years ago, in an article entitled "Sleeping Beauties," J. Paul Hunter asked a cluster of questions which cut to the heart of humanist practice. What, he asked, might be the value of recovering a historical aesthetics? These questions launched a decade-long investigation into the history of the Anglophone couplet; this project forms a partial answer that is both a demonstration of scholarly practice and one elegant proof of its value. Join Professor Hunter and Michigan faculty members Lucy Hartley, Adela Pinch, Yopie Prins, and Sean Silver for a roundtable discussion of the historical nature of truth and beauty.

February 22, 2011
"Poetry on the Page and the Mind's Ear"Lecture by J. Paul Hunter, Professor of English at the University of Virginia. Winner of the Louis Gottschalk Prize, Professor Hunter is a pioneering authority on the relationships between culture and literary form. His major works include Before Novels, a groundbreaking study of journalistic ephemera and didactic literature, and the Norton Introductions to both Poetry and Literature.

February 17, 2011
"Martyred Covenanters and Recuperated Cavaliers: Religion, History, and the Problem of Legacy in Walter Scott's Old Mortality"Dissertation Chapter Workshop with Karen McConell, a doctoral candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan.

January 20, 2011
"The Darkest Cavities: Stomachs and Sinkholes in Early U.S. Texts."Dissertation Workshop with Alison Carr, Doctoral Candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan.

December 4, 2010
"Dialect Poetry in Nineteenth-century England and America."--An open meeting with the Historical Poetics Group, including Max Cavitch (University of Pennsylvania), Michael Cohen (Louisiana State University), Virginia Jackson (Tufts University), Meredith Martin (Princeton University), Meredith McGill (Rutgers University), Yopie Prins (University of Michigan), Eliza Richards (University of North Carolina), Jessica Roberts (Albion College), Jason Rudy (University of Maryland), and Carolyn Williams (Rutgers University).

November 8, 2010
"The Novel, Habeas Corpus, and Human Rights in the Long Nineteenth Century."--Seminar with Sarah Winter, Associate Professor of English at the University of Connecticut. She is the author of Freud and the Institution of Psychoanalytic Knowledge (1999) and the forthcoming book The Pleasures of Memory: Learning to Read with Charles Dickens (2011).

September 17, 2010
"Cross-Channel Poetics: Victorian Baudelaire and Other Examples"--Seminar with Anne Jamison, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Utah. She is the author of Poetics en Passant: Redefining the Relationship between Victorian and Modern Poetry (2010).



April 15, 2010
"Alternatives to Grand Narrative in the Visual Arts of the Nineteenth Century"--Seminar with Susan Siegfried, Professor of Art History and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Her most recent book is Ingres: Painting Reimagined (2009).

March 31, 2010
"The Canon in Front of Them: African American Deployments of 'The Charge of the Light Brigade'"--Book chapter workshop with Daniel Hack, Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan. He is the author of The Material Interests of the Victorian Novel (University of Virginia Press, 2005).

February 18, 2010
"[Music]: Prometheus Unbound and the Dramatization of the Lyric"--Dissertation chapter workshop with Jeffrey Lloyd, Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Michigan.

November 19, 2009
"West of Poetry: Poetic Form and the Transmission of Culture in Margaret Fuller's Summer on the Lakes"--Seminar with Meredith McGill, Associate Professor of English and Director, Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University.

October 23, 2009
"'Life is Tragicomedy!': Realism, Theatrical Self-Expression, and the Staging of Identity in Maria Edgeworth's Belinda"--Dissertation chapter workshop with Terry F. Robinson, Ph.D. Candidate in English at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Visiting Research Student at the University of Michigan. She is co-editor of Transnational England: Home and Abroad, 1780-1860 (Cambridge Scholars, 2009).

September 29, 2009
"Pleasure, Utility, Agency: 'The Sense of the Common'"--Book chapter workshop with Lucy Hartley, Associate Professor of English at the University of Michigan. She is the author of Physiognomy and the Meaning of Expression in Nineteenth-Century Culture (Cambridge, 2001).


March 31, 2009
"That People Might Be Like Things and Live."--Workshop with Professor Elaine Freedgood, professor of English at NYU. She is the author of The Ideas in Things: Fugitive Meaning in the Victorian Novel (Chicago, 2006) and Victorian Writing about Risk: Imagining a Safe England in a Dangerous World (Cambridge, 2000).

January 30, 2009
"The Past Jumps Up: Wordsworth and Southey in the Radical Press."-- Chapter workshop with Casie LeGette, PhD Candidate in English at the University of Michigan.

December 5, 2008
“The ‘Infinite Boon of Bliss’: Jane Morris, Astarte Syriaca, and D.G. Rossetti’s Re-Appropriation of Classical Sources--Seminar with Professor Amy Bingaman, Department of Art History, School of Art, Bowling Green State University in Ohio, on her research on Pre-Raphaelite portraiture.

November 10, 2008
"Did you say '"ome"?': Dialect without Regionalism"-- Chapter workshop with Taryn Hakala, PhD Candidate in English at the University of Michigan.

October 24, 2008
"George Eliot's Moral Sentence"--Dissertation chapter workshop with Sarah Allison, PhD Candidate in English at Stanford University.

September 23, 2008
Informal Job Market Workshop with D. Rae Greiner, Assistant Professor of English, Indiana University (and recent MLA jobseeker).

September 22, 2008
"Persuasion's Cases and the Forms of Realism"-- Presentation of a work-in-progress by D. Rae Greiner, Assistant Professor of English, Indiana University.



September 17, 2007
Seminar with Prof. Daniel Hack, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Michigan. We will discuss Prof. Hack's "Revenge Stories of Modern Life," which appeared in Victorian Studies 48:2 (Winter 2006), and is a part of Prof. Hack's new book project.

October 19, 2007
Presentation by Suzanne Matheson and Alex McKay on the Claude Glass and nineteenth-century visual culture. This event is co-sponsored by the Visual Culture Workshop.

December 7, 2007
Michael Tondre, English Department, University of Michigan, "Magical Processes: The Science of the Spirit in Alton Locke." The first meeting at the Detroit Observatory, located on the corner of Ann and Observatory streets.

March 12, 2008, 4 pm, 3184 Angell Hall
Lamont Egle, English, University of Michigan, "All-Male Communities and the Homo-Textual World of Oliver Twist."

April 18-19, 2008
The Future of Victorian Studies: A Conference in Honor of Martha Vicinus

Conference in Honor of Martha Vicinus


September 18, 2006
Ji-Hyae Park, English, University of Michigan, "The Problem of Audience in Ruskin's Fors Clavigera"

October 27, 2006
Roundtable "New Directions in Nineteenth-Century Literature," featuring Prof. Lucy Hartley, English, University of Michigan, and Michigan graduate students Taryn Hakala, Casie LeGette, Joanna Patterson, and Christa Vogelius. Moderated by Kelly Williams.

November 14, 2006
Sheshalatha Reddy, English, University of Michigan, "The Indian English Epic and the 'National' Imaginary'"

January 31, 2007
Jill Lamberton, English, University of Michigan, "Our Ancestor and Namesake, the English Cambridge': Transatlantic Exchange in Late 19th-Century Women's Higher Education"

March 15, 2007
Prof. Simon Jarvis,
English, University of Cambridge; Johns Hopkins University, "Wordsworth's Philosophic Song"

April 2, 2007
Prof. Sandra Gunning, English, University of Michigan, "Gender, Travel, and Imperial Subjectivity in the 19th-Century African Diaspora: The Story of Sarah Forbes Bonetta at Windsor and in Lagos"

April 16, 2007
Caroline Giordano, English, University of Michigan, “Roots Deeper than All Change”
David Ruderman
, English, University of Michigan, "The Voluptuary Poet: Begetting Song in the 'Princess'"


September 27, 2005
John Cords, English, University of Michigan, "The Art of Self-Defense: Labor and Repetition in Blake's Aesthetics"

November 1, 2005
Prof. Will Glover, Architecture, University of Michigan, "Reworking the Urban House"

November 29, 2005
Prof. Robert Aguirre, English, Wayne State University, "Agencies of the Letter: The British Museum, the Foreign Office, and the Ruins of Central America"

February 6, 2006
Olivera Jokic, English, University of Michigan, "Commanding Correspondence: The Letterbook of John Bruce, the East India Company Historiographer, 1793-1817"
Bhavani Raman, History, University of Michigan, "The Risk of Paper: Forging Credibility in Early Colonial South India, 1780-1857"

March 2006
Prof. Morris Kaplan, Philosophy, SUNY Purchase, "Men in Petticoats: The Queer Case of Mr. Boulton and Mr. Park"

April 2006
NCF Graduate Student Conference
Art and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America: A Transatlantic Exchange


September 28, 2004
Prof. Maria Sanchez, English, Universitiy of Michigan, "The Real World: Financial Panic, Truth, and Novels."

November 1, 2004
Prof. Ross Forman, SOAS, University of London, "Making a Meal of the Middle Kingdom:Chinese Dinners and British Readers in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries."
Co-sponsored by the Departments of History and Comparative Literature.

December 13, 2004
Jacqueline George, English, University of Michigan, "'I have ever been a glutton of books': Book Relationships in Hazlitt and Hunt."

January 28, 2005
Prof. Elizabeth Miller, English, University of Michigan, "Seeing Read: Gender, Criminality, and Visibility in the World of Sherlock Holmes"

March 14, 2005
Mary-Catherine Harrison, English, University of Michigan, "Sentimental Realism: Poverty and the Ethics of Empathy" 

March 31, 2005
Prof. William Galperin, English, Rutgers University, "'Describing What Never Happened': Jane Austen and the History of Missed Opportunities"

April 6, 2005
Prof. Geoffrey Hartman, Sterling Professor Emeritus of English and Comparative Literature, Yale University, on Lyrics of Emily Dickinson

visiting scholars

Prof. James Chandler, English, University of Chicago,"Sentimental Modernity: Rethinking Point of View in Fiction and Cinema"

Prof. Jeff Nunokawa, English, Princeton University

Prof. Virginia Jackson, English, Rutgers University

Prof. Christopher Lane, English, Northwestern University, "Meredithian Egoism"

Prof. Tricia Lootens, English, University of Georgia

Prof. Laura Mandell, English, Miami University of Ohio

Prof. Cora Kaplan, English, Southampton, UK, "‘Giant Propensities:' Gender and Racial Thinking in Victorian Britain, 1833-1865"

Prof. Andrew Miller, Indiana University and editor of Victorian Studies, "Perfectly Helpless" and "Victorian Self-Culture and Perfectionsim"

Prof. Kathy Psomiades, English, Duke University, "We Only Consent to What We Love: Fictions of Marriage, Progress, and Nation in the 1870s"

Prof. Dianne Sadoff, Miami University of Ohio, "Victoria at the Movies"

Prof. Scott Sandage, History, Carnegie Mellon

Prof. Melissa Gregory, University of Toledo

Prof. John Reed, Wayne State University, "‘Soldier Boy’: Masculinity and Soldiering in George Eliot’s Adam Bede"

Prof. Carolyn Williams, Rutgers University, "‘Moving Pictures’: George Eliot and Melodrama"

Prof. Jerome McGann, University of Virginia, "Electronic Textuality"

Prof. Seth Koven, History, Villanova University, "Nasty Books: Dirt, Sex, and Sisterhood in Women’s Slum Narratives"

Prof. Alison Winter, History, University of Chicago, Mesmerized: Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain (Chicago UP, 1998)

Prof. Alan Richardson, English, Boston College, "Byron’s The Giaour: An Editor’s Confessions, A Teacher’s Dilemma"

Prof. Joseph Bristow, English, UCLA, "Oscar Wilde and Textual Criticism: The Variorum Dorian Gray"

Prof. Anna Clark, History, University of Minnesota, " The Twilight Realm: Approaches to the History of Sexuality"


NCF conferences

Art and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Britain and America: A Transatlantic Exchange

Revising Antiquity: Re-Imagining the Ancient World in Nineteenth-Century Britain


university of michigan faculty

Prof. Yopie Prins, English and Comparative Literature

Prof. David Thomas, English

Prof. Saloni Mathur, visiting in Women's Studies and the Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies

Prof. Kali Israel, History, "Asking Alice: Victorian and Other Alices in Contemporary Culture"

Prof. Sandra Gunning, English and American Culture, "Negotiated Displacements and Heterogeneous Subjectivities in Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands"

Prof. Pamela Gilbert, visiting in English from the University of Florida, "Producing the Public: Public Medicine in Private Spaces"

Prof. Andrea Henderson, English, "The Melancholy Masochism of Suburbia"

Prof. Julie Early, English, "Edwardian Barristers, Journalists, and Literary Men"

Prof. Martha Vicinus, English, Women's Studies, and History, "Nostalgia and Homosexual Desire in Vernon Lee (1856-1935)

Prof. Ilana Blumberg, visiting in English, "Sacrificial Text: The Spiritual Economy of The Moonstone"

Prof. Maya Jasanoff, Michigan Society Of Fellows, History, "Collecting and Empire in Egypt"


university of michigan graduate students

Monika Cassel, Comparative Literature

Chris Matthews, English, "Love at First Sight: The Velocity of Victorian Sexual Instinct"

Parna Sengupta, History, "Vaishnavites, Missionaries and Native Christians: The Woman Teacher as Outsider and Moral Guide"

Emily Harrington, English, "Speaking Silences: Christina Rossetti’s Religious Aestheticism"

James Crane, English, "Love and Merit in The Pilot"

Charles La Porte, English, "'To contain the whole Learning of his time': Tennyson and the Crisis of Religious Epic"

Meilee D. Bridges, English, "Ruining History: The Topographical And Textual Fragments Of Mary Shelley's Rome"

Jessica Forbes Roberts, English, "'Little Graves': Anthologies of Dead Children"

Kelly Diane Williams, English, "A 'House of All Nations': Domesticity, Prostitution, and Representations of Global New Orleans, 1880-1917"

Julia Carlson, English, "Simplon Pass and the Dissolution of Cartographic Form"


transatlantic nineteenth-century studies

Meilee D. Bridges, English, "‘Presenting’ the Past: Literary Excavations of Classical Antiquity in the Nineteenth Century"

Charles La Porte, English, "On George Eliot’s Investment in Poetry"

Tamara Walker, History, "Los Esclavos de la Libertad: Urban Slavery and Freedom, 1821-1861"

Kelly Diane Williams, English, "Women, Race, and Emigration: Liberia and New Orleans in the 1890s"