Neo-Victorian Afterlives: Time, Empire, and the Occult in Final Fantasy VIII

The Final Fantasy video game series is famous for its idiosyncratic narratives and eclectic references to different historical time periods. Often using concrete eras and locales as inspiration for their imagined fantasy-based worlds, the series has oscillated between medieval, steampunk, futuristic, Mediterranean, and Western settings. But what happens when a title modernizes specific aspects of nineteenth-century culture and represents them in a stylized format for the contemporary consumer? In the 1999 Japanese Role-Playing Game, Final Fantasy VIII, which was recently

Read more

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

Read more

Bloggers Fair: Mark Blacklock’s ‘The Fairyland of Geometry’

All-too-infrequently updated, The Fairyland of Geometry is a blog on which I post material surrounding my PhD research into the late-nineteenth-century engagement with the idea of higher-dimensioned space. The thesis aims to understand and describe how this engagement altered the spatial imaginary of the period by examining the passage of the idea across disparate cultural terrains, departing from August Mobius’s 1827 paper on barycentric calculus, in which he tentatively speculated a fourth dimension of space as a useful idea in

Read more