Crafting in the Classroom: Hands-On Approaches to Victorian Material Culture

This is the third post in the ‘Crafting Communities’ series on JVC Online. See Part One and Part Two. At a virtual roundtable on Victorian material culture held in February 2021, Andrea Korda presented on The Plough, a large-scale print published by London’s Art for Schools Association in 1899 for classroom walls. By large-scale, we mean enormous—five by six feet, to be exact, a height that would tower over most schoolchildren, and even over the teachers, once mounted on a

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Podcasting (and) the Victorians

This is the second post in the ‘Crafting Communities’ series on JVC Online. See Part One and Part Three. When Thomas Edison debuted the phonograph in 1878, he circulated an ambitious list of possible uses. In addition to the reproduction of music, the use we most readily associate with his invention, Edison anticipated the creation of phonographic books for blind people. He also proposed applications with notably less traction, such as phonographic clocks designed to announce meal times. Noteworthy among

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Crafting Communities: Rethinking Academic Engagement in Pandemic Times and Beyond

This is the first post in the ‘Crafting Communities’ series on JVC Online. See Part Two and Part Three. It is July 2020, the summer of Covid. Libraries are closed. Museums are closed. University courses and conferences have moved online. A small group of Victorianists gathers on Zoom to learn how to make hair art. Led by Vanessa Warne (U of Manitoba), the event is a test run for the upcoming semester, when Vanessa plans to make hair art with

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Alyson Hunt, An Unrecognised Memento of the Past

The link between geography and genius is a moot point. Every country, county, city, town and village lauds their links with celebrated artistes from history no matter how dubious or remote the connection, marking their traces with plaques asserting that they lived here, stayed there, performed nearby, were born in the vicinity and created their best work inspired by this place. In recent years this slightly eccentric British tradition has become of interest not just to local history groups and

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Ruth Mason, Odd Objects from Victorian Britain

Ruth is a PhD student in the Geography Department at University College London. Her research focuses on the designed spaces and material culture of Wesleyan Methodism in London between 1851 and 1932 and what they can reveal about contemporary congregational experiences of Methodism. Alongside other graduates from the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum’s History of Design MA, Ruth is a founding member of the Fig.9 experimental History of Design Collective (www.fig9collective.com). She is also a co-editor

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Ashley Cook, The Curious Case of the New Woman Chutney

Ashley Cook completed her PhD at the University of Otago, New Zealand on late-Victorian fairy tales. She is now guest lecturer and post-doctoral researcher in English at the University of Tuebingen, Germany. Her research interests include women’s writing, experiences and understandings of time and temporality, gender and genre fiction. In her increasingly elusive spare time, she enjoys extolling the virtues of children’s fiction, running, and attempting to reproduce (with varying amounts of success) cakes from the Great British Bake Off.

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Odd Objects from Victorian Britain: The Ceramic Lovefeast Mug

by Ruth Mason (University College London) Ruth is a PhD student in the Geography Department at University College London. Her research focuses on the designed spaces and material culture of Wesleyan Methodism in London between 1851 and 1932 and what they can reveal about contemporary congregational experiences of Methodism. Alongside other graduates from the Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum’s History of Design MA, Ruth is a founding member of the Fig.9 experimental History of Design Collective.

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A Digital Reader: 19th Century Disability—Cultures & Contexts

By Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi (University of Toronto) Based on an idea jestingly put forth in The Spectator, Ugly Face Clubs were gentleman’s clubs whose members prided themselves on their facial eccentricities and pledged their theoretical allegiance to physiognomy.[1] Spanning throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these clubs provide us with a compelling case study of deformity as a paradoxical practice of social exclusion and aesthetic inclusion. Ugly Clubs also offer us a window into the relationship between culture and disability.  While

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The Global and the Local: NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA Conference Report

By Barbara Franchi,  University of Kent The city of Venice is a labyrinth where the most different cultures and civilizations have met for centuries. So, no location could be better for the first NAVSA/BAVS/AVSA supernumerary conference. During June 3-6, 2013, Victorianists from every corner of the globe gathered on the Island of San Servolo for this unique opportunity to exchange and discuss ideas around the Global and the Local in the 19th century and beyond. With over one hundred participants

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The Victorian Tactile Imagination: Reappraising touch in nineteenth-century culture

THE VICTORIAN TACTILE IMAGINATION: Reappraising touch in the nineteenth-century culture Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies, Birkbeck, London 19-20 July, 2013 It is always exciting when you feel part of something big, and when Professor David Howes (Concordia University) asserts that there are some ‘stirrings’ in the academy then you know it’s special. Many claims are made for the impact of a conference’s scope, and they do establish new ideas and contribute to the wider scholarship as well as create new networks

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