full name / name of organization:
Midlands Interdisciplinary Victorian Studies Seminar
Exploring Alternate Realms, Realities, and Identities in the Nineteenth
Birmingham and Midlands Institute, 20 October 2007
You are a clever man, friend John. You reason well, and your wit is bold,
but you are too prejudiced. You do not let your eyes see nor your ears
hear, and that which is outside your daily life is not of account to you.
Do you not think that there are things which you cannot understand, and
yet which are, that some people see things that others cannot? But there
are things old and new which must not be contemplated by menâ€™s eyes,
because they know, or think they know, some things which other men have
told them. Ah, it is the fault of our science that it wants to explain
all, and if it explain not, then it says there is nothing to explain. But
yet we see around us every day the growth of new beliefs, which think
themselves new, and which are yet but the old, which pretend to be young,
like the fine ladies at the opera. I suppose now you do not believe in
corporeal transference. No? Nor in materialization. No? Nor in astral
bodies. No? Nor in the reading of thought. No? Nor in hypnotism . . .â€
Dr. Van Helsing to Dr. Jack Seward, Dracula, Bram Stoker, 1897
Victorian society grappled with the intersection between rapid advances in
technology and a surge in explorations of the occult and paranormal. The
2007 session of the MIVSS postgraduate conference looks to explore the
various interconnections between spiritual and social lives represented in
literature, history, the visual and plastic arts, and the sciences. We are
especially interested in topics connected with, but certainly not limited
to spiritualism, the fantastic, hauntings, faeries, and other examples of
the paranormal and spectral worlds. Topics might also include:
Myth Mesmerism Visions of Heavens The Double
Textual Haunting Somnambulism Visions of Hells Magic
Vampirism Mediumship Divination Transformed Bodies
Lycanthropy Automatic Writing Non-Physical Realm Afterlives
We are pleased to have Dr. Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Fellow in English,
Magdalen College, Oxford as our plenary speaker. Dr. Douglas-Fairhurst has
most recently published â€œVictorian Afterlives: The Shaping of Influence in
Nineteenth Century Literatureâ€ in 2002 and is currently writing a book on
The conference schedule will proceed as follows:
10.30-10.50 AMANDA J. BULL, UWE :
"HINTS TO MEN ABOUT TOWN: TOWARDS AN IVESTIGATION OF FLANERIE AND SEX
TOURISM IN VICTORIAN LONDON."
10.50-11.10 TONY W. GARLAND : "DECADENT REVERIE."
11.25- 12.00 Coffee
12.00- 12.20 WILLIAM ROUGH, UNIVERSITY OF ST. ANDREWS :
"MUSIC HALLS AND MIRRORS: WALTER SICKERT AND THE DIVIDED SELF."
12.20-12.40 JESSICA MORDSLEY, CARDIFF UNIVERSITY :
"GHOSTLY VOICES: TALKING PARROTS AND THE TRANSMIGRATION OF SELF IN THE
1.00 -2.00 Lunch â€“ there are a number of catering outlets within easy
walking distance of the BMI, including those beside Birmingham Central
Library in Chamberlain Square. There are also cafes in the BMI and in the
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.
2.00- 2.20 YUKI YOSHINO, UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH :
"MAGIC SPY-GLASS AND SECOND SIGHT: ILLUSION, DISILLUSION AND THE PROBLEM
OF IDENTITY IN ANGREW LANGâ€™S FAIRYTALES."
2.20-2.40 ANTONIO SANNA, UNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER
"THE DOMESTICATION OF AFTERLIFE: AN ANALYSIS OF THE CONCEPT OF LOVE
FORMULATED BY NINETEENTH CENTURY SPIRITUALISTS."
2.40- 2.55 Questions
2.55 â€“ 3.15 Coffee
3.15 -4.15: Dr Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, Magdalen College, Oxford. "The
Lady Vanishes: Magic and Metamorphosis in Victorian Culture."
The Postgraduate Conference of the Midlands Interdisciplinary Studies
Seminar is funded by the Graduate School, University of Birmingham and the
Roberts Training Fund, University of Birmingham.
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Received on Thu Sep 13 2007 - 12:04:39 EDT