The Martin Chuzzlewit Support Group (Part 2 of 2)

By Susan E. Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) and Elizabeth Coggin Womack (Penn State Brandywine) You can read part one here. Reading Discussion 4 (Serial Parts VII, VIII, and IX): In America (Can We Go Home Now?) Susan: Well, this section was a downer.  To summarize, Dickens does not like America or Americans.  Between Chapters 16 and 23, we learn that Americans: sustain a totally corrupt press, which regularly engages in forgery (Ch. 16); are either slave owners

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Victorian Movember: The Return of the Monarch Beard.

Charlotte Conway As Movember draws to a close social networking sites are filled with images of men proudly displaying their Franz Josef, Napoleon III and Kaiser Wilhelm inspired facial hair. It therefore seems apt to reflect upon the latter part of the nineteenth century when these individuals were at the cutting edge of fashionable hirsuteness; a time when wearing facial hair was worn by virtually every man, irrespective of social class; and a time when to be clean shaven became

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Victoriana: The Art of Revival

by Helen Goodman (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Emma Curry (Birkbeck, University of London) EC: Reinventing the Victorian period in film and literature has become something of a trend in recent years, from the multiple new versions of Sherlock Holmes to Sarah Waters’s fantastic Neo-Victorian novels. In response to this repeated reimagining and reshaping, the Guildhall Art Gallery has put together a wonderful new collection of work inspired by the nineteenth century, entitled, appropriately, ‘Victoriana: The Art of Revival’.

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The Chartist Mural: Destroyed

On the 3rd of October, 2013, the Chartist Mural was demolished. A familiar presence in the city of Newport since 1978, the mural had become firmly established as arguably the best known tribute to the political rising of 1839. Yet, despite its prized position within the affections of locals, the mural was torn down in an act of clandestine cultural vandalism. The Chartist movement has long maintained a position of significance in south east Wales, and Newport in particular. Historically,

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The Government Shutdown and History

By Susan Cook (Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH) On October 1, 2013, close to two weeks ago as I write this, the United States Congress failed to agree on a spending bill. This triggered a government shutdown, the eighteenth in this country since the creation of a new congressional budgetary procedure in 1976. The eighteenth shutdown in less than 40 years. This number would indicate that we’ve been there, done that. Except, as some journalists and political pundits inform

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‘Rethinking the Nineteenth Century’ Conference Report

By Kirsten Harris, University of Nottingham The University of Sheffield’s one day conference ‘Rethinking the Nineteenth Century’, held on 24th August, centred on the timely question ‘what constitutes nineteenth century studies today?’.  This stimulated a thought-provoking and broad set of responses, with some papers offering rethinkings of specific texts, ideas or historical assumptions while others focused on considerations of the changing field itself. The day began with Mark Llewellyn’s interrogation of contemporary engagement with Victorian culture in his keynote paper,

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Peter J. Katz, ‘Dickens, the Digital, and The Doctor’

By Peter J. Katz, Syracuse University In the latest Doctor Who Christmas Special (watch from 53:41 to 54:30), the Great Intelligence, a disembodied and purely intellectual power, threatens to take over Victorian London with an army of snowmen. At the last moment, The Doctor stumbles upon the secret weapon to use against the horde: a family crying on Christmas Eve. To be more particular, though: a Victorian family crying on a Victorian Christmas Eve. Doctor Who taps into a nostalgia

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Dickens, the Digital, and The Doctor

By Peter J. Katz, Syracuse University In the latest Doctor Who Christmas Special (watch from 53:41 to 54:30), the Great Intelligence, a disembodied and purely intellectual power, threatens to take over Victorian London with an army of snowmen. At the last moment, The Doctor stumbles upon the secret weapon to use against the horde: a family crying on Christmas Eve. To be more particular, though: a Victorian family crying on a Victorian Christmas Eve. Doctor Who taps into a nostalgia

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Digital Continuations of Victorian Classics

By Carrie Sickmann Han, Indiana University Charles Dickens’s novels might actually go on forever, not only as immortal works of literature, but as infinitely continuable fictions, thanks in part to tweets like the one above. It’s a familiar fact that the digital humanities supply us with new methodological tools and reading platforms, but these technologies also produce a seemingly inexhaustible, living archive of neo-Victorian fictions that reposition us as co-authors of beloved Victorian novels. Twitter isn’t only “like” a Dickens

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Steampunk, Technological Time & Beyond Victoriana: Advocacy and the Archive

By Diana Pho Steampunk studies is an outlier in Victorian scholarship. In fact, steampunk subculture can arguably be called “neo-Victorian” or even “non-Victorian” in the way that it defies strict adherence to a certain periodization or topic relevance. Steampunk is an aesthetic movement inspired by nineteenth-century science fiction and fantasy. Over the years, however, that umbrella phrase has expanded to include speculation outside of an established time-frame (such as post-apocalyptic or futuristic), outside of the established geography of the Western

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