The Floating Academy is a blogging collective. We take our name from the slang expression used to describe the Hulks, those notorious merchant and naval ships that were converted into prisons to ease overcrowded gaols between the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. More specifically, we take inspiration from the reference to the Hulks that can be found in Dickens’s Great Expectations, during which Pip is threatened with transport to the Hulks on account of his irrepressible habit of asking questions.
We like asking questions, and we set up this blog as a way to exchange ideas and answers to all kinds of questions in a relaxed and informal context. While our current research projects are diverse, we share a common interest in the affinities between nineteenth- and twenty-first-century culture, technology, and aesthetics. We are interested in Victorian books (the things themselves), novels and poetry; printed materials such as newspapers, periodicals, and visual images; representations of masculinity and femininity (whether fixed or floating); constructions of disability; the culture of Empire and its management; and technologies of mobility and communication and their transformations or continuations in our own age of digitization and globalization.
The Floating Academy is currently made up of nine scholars. Karen Bourrier is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Western Ontario. Gregory Brophy is an Assistant Professor of English at Bishop’s University. Fiona Coll is completing a dissertation in the English department at the University of Toronto. Constance Crompton is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Victoria’s Electronic Textual Cultures Laboratory. Jennifer Esmail is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. Alan Galey is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Information/Book History and Print Culture program at the University of Toronto. Eddy Kent is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Alberta. Tara MacDonald is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English at the University of Amsterdam. Daniel Martin is a Lecturer in English Literature at Red Deer College in Alberta.