How to be a #socialmediahistorian: plug in and plog on

By Naomi Lloyd-Jones (King’s College London) The proliferation of that previously innocuous little symbol, the dear sweet hashtag, raises a big question for today’s historians. How do we build our networks and communicate with others in our profession, while simultaneously disseminating our research to a wider audience, in a world increasingly dominated by the use of social media? Seeking to answer this conundrum opens up a veritable Pandora’s Box and forces us to think about how far we are willing

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Rabindranath Tagore: The Poetics of Landscape

Supriya Chaudhuri  (Jadavpur University) The Tagore season has passed, with his 150th birth anniversary being celebrated in 2011, so it was refreshing to listen to Anita Desai’s reading of one of Rabindranath Tagore’s early short stories, ‘The Postmaster’, as a Guardian podcast. This is one of the three stories that were filmed by Satyajit Ray in a remarkable evocation of life in the Bengal countryside close to the turn of the nineteenth century. The stories that Ray chose were all

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The Work of Art in the Age of Steampunk: A Review of the Tate Britain’s ‘Pre-Raphaelites: Avant-Garde’ show

Gillian Piggott (Middlesex University) In our image-obsessed world, where versions of paintings are infinitely reproduced on cards, fridge magnets and coffee coasters, how is it possible to comport ourselves productively towards the great originals on display at an exhibition – such as those in the recent Pre-Raphaelites: Avant-Garde show at Tate Britain? In his late essay, ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’, Walter Benjamin outlines the phenomenon so descriptive of the experience one has nowadays of

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Ripper Street: The Historian’s Dilemma

Guy Woolnough (Keele University) I have watched Ripper Street with interest. There is an unpleasant interest in ‘Ripperology’ which distorts the popular view of Victorian crime and policing, and I feared that a series with this title might be focussed too narrowly. There are stories far more worthy of investigation by historians and programme makers than the unsolved Whitechapel murders. The first episode dispelled my fears, for although ‘The Ripper’ was the hook to catch the audience, the message to

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JVC Graduate Student Essay Prize 2013–14

The Journal of Victorian Culture successfully inaugurated an essay prize competition in 2007, and our past winners include Louise Lee, Tiffany Watt-Smith, and Bob Nicholson whose essays appear in issues 13.1 (2008), 15.1 (2010) and 17.3 (2012). We are pleased to announce the next competition. The aim of the JVC Essay Prize is to promote scholarship among postgraduate research students working on the Victorian period in any discipline in the UK and abroad. The essay, which must be no longer

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New Year’s Resolution: Let’s Self-Archive

Helen Rogers (Liverpool John Moores Univeristy, Editor of Journal of Victorian Culture) In July 2012 the British government declared the UK would take the lead in accelerating the drive towards Open Access. It would kick-start a stuttering global movement by mandating that publicly-funded research in the UK must be published in open access journals. This was a bold policy turn, taken it would seem with little international consultation, to the so-called ‘gold’ or ‘author pays’ open access model where publication

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The Lure of the Solution: How do we consume the detective story today?

Alfie Bown (University of Manchester) The place of the fictional detective in contemporary popular culture is as central now as it was when the form first became popular in the nineteenth-century.  Detective and crime fiction of innumerable sub-genres line the shelves of Waterstones, Poirot and Miss Marple are seemingly looped continuously on ITV3, film continues its interest in the whodunit, and the form is strangely prevalent in children’s and teenage television and fiction. But is there a continuity between the

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Les Misérables: Or, When Will Someone Set The Industrial Revolution To Song?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmvHzCLP6ug[/youtube] With today’s nationwide release of Les Misérables I booked my ticket and hurried off to my local cinema, excited to catch ‘The Best Film Of The Year’ – which is high praise indeed as it is only January. The film adaptation of the world’s longest running musical has a lot to live up to: a dedicated fan base more judgmental than any twihard, and reputation for having attracted some of the biggest names of stage and screen to its

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The elephant in the room: Questioning the absence of paedophilia in children’s histories

Lesley Hulonce (Swansea University)  For the past four years I have been researching how pauper children fared under the ‘new’ poor law in Swansea between 1834 and 1910.  Although the vast majority of these children stayed at home with their families or were fostered, the Swansea Guardians of the Poor paid for many children to live in a number of institutions. There were children in the workhouse, in cottage homes, privately-run orphanages, Catholic children’s homes and philanthropic institutions for deaf

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A Biographical Sketch of East London

Beyond the Tower: A History of East London, by John Marriott, London: Yale University Press, 2011, xii + 421 pp., £25 (hardback), ISBN 9780300148800 Reviewed by Lucinda Matthews-Jones (Liverpool John Moores University) L.M.Matthew-Jones@ljmu.ac.uk In Beyond the Tower: A History of East London, John Marriott joins historians such as Gareth Stedman Jones, Judith Walkowitz and Seth Koven in offering readers a journey through the eastern districts of London.  Our fascination with the East End continues apace, it seems. Nineteenth-century social commentators,

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