Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States 13th Annual Conference



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Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association

of the Western United States

13th Annual Conference





The Public and Private Politics of Victorian England

University of Washington, Seattle

October 2-4, 2008


For the 13th Annual

VISAWUS Conference

special thanks to:


  • Karen Kurt Teal, Local Arrangements Coordinator

  • Julie Codell, Program Coordinator

  • Kathleen Peck, Advisor

  • the University of Washington, Seattle, especially

Gary Handwerk for the English Department and

Kathleen Woodward for the Walter Chapin Simpson

Center for the Humanities
VISAWUS
This non-profit organization was founded in 1995 by Kathleen Peck with the help of a committee of Victorianists who wanted to develop a new regional organization for interdisciplinary studies related to the Victorian era (1837-1901). It held its first conference in 1996. It is designed to bring together those with an interest in literature, history, music, and other topics. Membership is open to all who share an interest in its scholarship and goals. Conference participants come from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, and other countries around the world.
VISAWUS website: www.visawus.org.
Front cover: The cartoon is from Punch (15 April 1876):146 by John Tenniel and is taken from The Victorian Web. http://www.victorianweb.org/art/illustration/tenniel/1.html

Thursday, October 2 Suzzallo Library
7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast Petersen Room, Fourth Floor
8: 30 a.m. Conference Welcome Petersen Room, Fourth Floor

Constance M. Fulmer, President VISAWUS

Karen Kurt Teal, Local Arrangements Coordinator
8:45-10:15: Session I
POLITICS IN THE NOVEL -- Petersen Room

Chair: Karen Kurt Teal, University of Washington


  • “A Lady of Good Caricature: Becky Sharp and the Politics of Mimicry”

Bryn Gribben, Seattle University

  • “The Politics of Subversion: Elinor’s Revision of Marianne’s Methods of Resistance in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility”

Eric Dunnum, Marquette University

Kelly Hager, Simmons College
TRANSNATIONAL POLITICS -- Allen Auditorium

Chair: George Mariz, Western Washington University


  • “Olive Schreiner and Empire: Shifting Colonial Identities through Sacrifice”

Rachel Slivon, University of Florida

  • “The EBB and POE of Transatlantic Identity Politics”

Victoria Haynes, University of Victoria

  • “The King, the Cabinet, and the Opera Singer: European and Gender Politics in ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’”

Jim Barloon, University of St. Thomas
10:15 a.m. Break Petersen Room Fourth Floor
10:30-12:00: Session II
DOMESTIC POLITICS -- Peterson Room

Chair: Martha Rapp Sayles, California State University, Northridge


  • “`The Family Romance’: Politics, Power and Love in Disraeli’s Endymion

Robert Peter O’Kell, University of Manitoba

  • “Custodial Fictions: Narratives of Maternal Distress in England’s Custody Debates and Caroline Norton’s Early Writing”

Leslie J. Bruce, California State University, Fullerton

  • “Shaking British Dust from their Feet: The Deceased Wife's Sister Controversy and National Identity in Dinah Mulock Craik's Hannah

Anne D. Wallace, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Thursday, October 2 Suzzallo Library
10:30-12:00: Session II
COLONIAL POLITICS -- Allen Auditorium

Chair: Kristen Guest, University of Northern British Columbia


  • “From Dancers to Rebels: Nautch Girls and the Indian Mutiny of 1857”

Charn Jagpal, University of Alberta

  • “Writing Home and Empire: The Private/Public Divide in Victorian Zenana Narratives”

Jennifer Keys, University of California, Riverside

  • "Lady Montagu’s Smokers’ Pastils and The Graphic: Advertising the Harem in the Home"

Kellie Holzer, University of Washington
Noon Lunch Peterson Room Fourth Floor

1:30-3:00: Session III
THE POLITICS OF REPRESENTATION -- Peterson Room

Chair: Sophia Andres, University of Texas of the Permian Basin


  • “Realism in Retrospect: Representation, Disraeli’s Sybil and the ‘Two Nations’”

Michael Zeitler, Texas Southern University

  • “Malthus’s Essay: Conjectural History, Political Economy, and Ethnography”

Frank Palmeri, University of Miami

  • “To the Queen: Gender, Class, and the Victorian Subject”

Ingrid Ranum, Gonzaga University
POLITICS OF THE NOVEL -- Allen Auditorium

Chair: Kathleen Peck, Executive Director, VISAWUS


  • “Luck, Love, and the Law: Embracing Contingency in Trollope’s Mr. Scarborough’s Family

Larisa Tokmakoff Castillo, Pomona College

  • “Blackstone’s Plots: Law, Literature, and Politics in Victorian England”

George Scott Christian, University of Texas at Austin

  • “Rewriting Radicalism: Political Histories in Frankenstein and The Last Man

Jane J. Lee, University of Washington

Thursday, October 2 Suzzallo Library
3:15-4:30: Session IV
PUBLIC vs. PRIVATE POLITICS -- Peterson Room

Chair: Richard Fulton, Windward Community College, University of Hawai’i


  • “The Country in the City: Parks, Politics and Postcards”

Rory Wallace, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design

  • “How the Personal Became the Political: Gandhi’s Vegetarianism”

Frances Singh, Hostos Community College/CUNY

  • “Semi-private: Interpersonal Politics on the Victorian Omnibus”

Arlene Young, University of Manitoba
EUROPEAN POLITICS -- Allen Auditorium

Chair: William Scheuerle, University of South Florida


  • “Of Pets and People: Arnold’s Pet Elegies and Michelet’s The People

Shannon N. Gilstrap, Gainesville State College, Oakwood

  • “The Process of Unification: Italian Politics and Sensational Fiction in Mary Augusta Ward’s Eleanor

Kathryn Pivak, Cottey College

  • “`Why Should There Be Any Eastern Question?’: The Status of the Balkans in the British Political Discourse During the Crimean War”

Ana Savic, University of California, Riverside
4:30 – 6:45: Reception Peterson Room Fourth Floor
5:00 – 6:45: Panel on Research Peterson Room Fourth Floor

“How We Did It”:

The Ins and Outs of Financing a Research Trip Abroad
7:00 p.m. Dance Performance Faculty Club

All Golden in the Lamplight’s Gleam”


This dance is an examination of the life of D. G. Rossetti’s model and mistress, Fanny Cornforth. In her roles as prostitute, artist’s model, lover, housekeeper, collector and seller of fine art, and friend, Fanny Cornforth exemplifies public and private roles which are representative of the Victorian period. Susanne Seales and Susan Haines have incorporated poses taken from the paintings for which Cornforth sat. They capture through the lenses of history and dance both the icon and the woman. The actual performance is by Laura Bartczak.

This is the third dance in the triptych on Pre-Raphaelite stunners created and presented by Susanne Seales (historian and independent scholar) and Susan Haines (dance instructor, Western Washington University). The first was “Elizabeth S.” which was presented at the VISAWUS Conference in 2006 in Malibu. The second was “The Violet of Iffley Road” which was presented last year in Boulder.

Friday, October 3 Husky Union Building
7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast Husky Union Building 200C
8:45-10:15: Session V
BODY POLITICS -- HUB 200A

Chair: Laurel Williamson, San Jacinto College


  • “An Unlikely Hero in William M. Thackeray’s Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero

Nikole J. King, Gonzaga University

  • “‘I let the odious deceit go on’: Body Politics in Wilkie Collins’ The Law and the Lady

Mark Mossman, Western Illinois University

  • “Publicizing the Private in Fors Clavigera: John Ruskin’s Problems in Negotiating between Reading Publics”

Ji-Hyae Park, University of Michigan
POLITICS AND THE PRESS -- HUB 200B

Chair: Julie Codell, Arizona State University


  • "'Politics and the Press’ – An Unfamiliar Look at a Very Familiar Subject”

Eugenia M. Palmegiano, Saint Peter’s College

  • “Representing India(ns): The Art of Politics and the Politics of Poetry in the Indian-English Press”

Sheshalatha Reddy, Fordham University

  • “The Politics of Sentiment: Professionalization and Self-Representation in the Police Review and Parade Gossip

Kristen Guest, University of Northern British Columbia
10:15 a.m. Break HUB 200C
10:30-12:00: Session VI
POLITICS AND CLASS -- HUB 200A

Chair: George Mariz, Western Washington University


  • “See the Change: Confronting Social Convention in Pride and Prejudice and The Importance of Being Earnest
    Joey Schumacher, Clemson University

  • “The Mean Girls of Carlingford: Social Politics in Margaret Oliphant’s Miss Marjoribanks”

Lindsy Lawrence, Texas Christian University

  • “`I want all of these things, and you may depend on’t’: The Music Hall and the Desire for Social Mobility”

Scott Banville, University of Nevada, Reno

Friday, October 3 Husky Union Building
10:30-12:00: Session VI

THE POLITICS OF MORALITY -- HUB 200B

Chair: Constance M. Fulmer, Pepperdine University



  • “The Moral Implications of Politics in George Eliot’s Felix Holt and Middlemarch

Constance M. Fulmer, Pepperdine University

  • “A Dickens of a Political Agenda: War and Peace as Dickensian Fairy Tale”

Amy Sonheim, Ouachita Baptist University

  • “Matthew Arnold as Public Intellectual”

Alfred J. Drake, Chapman University
Noon Lunch and Business Meeting HUB200C

1:30-3:00: Session VII
INSTITUTIONALIZING POLITICS -- HUB 200A

Chair: George Mariz, Western Washington University


  • “Building the Empire, Book by Book: The British Museum Library and British National Identity”

Solveig C. Robinson, Pacific Lutheran University

  • “Land Reform and Irish Writing”

Andrew J. Garavel, Santa Clara University

  • “Elizabeth Strickland’s Life of Mary II (1848): Rereading the Glorious Revolution from the Perspective of a Victorian Woman Historian”

Robert C. Petersen, Middle Tennessee State University
VISUAL POLITICS -- HUB 200B

Chair: Genie Babb, University of Alaska Anchorage


  • “’Ugliness’ and ‘Disease’ in Pre-Raphaelite Paintings: Cultural Anxieties in Visual Politics”

Sophia Andres, University of Texas of the Permian Basin

  • “Market Cycles, Aesthetic Commodities and Heterotopias: The Politics of Tastemaking”

Julie F. Codell, Arizona State University

  • “Sexual/Textual/Visual Politics: Griffith Gaunt, Serial Illustration, and the Making of Victorian Sensation”

Lisa Surridge, University of Victoria, and Mary Elizabeth Leighton, University of Victoria
3:00 p.m. Break HUB 200C

Friday, October 3 Husky Union Building

3:15-4:30: Session VIII
POLITICS IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE -- HUB 200A

Chair: Constance M. Fulmer, Pepperdine University



  • “John Stuart Mill: The Power of Rhetoric vs. the Rhetoric of Power”

Dennis Rohatyn, University of San Diego

  • “Political Propaganda or Ladies’ Fair: Print Culture at the 1845 Anti-Corn Law Bazaar”

Leslee Thorne-Murphy, Brigham Young University

  • “Thomas Arnold and the ‘Oxford Malignants’: The Discourse of Religious Reform in Early Victorian England”

George Mariz, Western Washington University
AESTHETIC POLITICS -- HUB 200B

Chair: Laurel Williamson, San Jacinto College


  • “The Brawny Balladeer: The Ethno-musical Politics in “The Widow of Windsor” by Rudyard Kipling”

Erin R. McCoy, University of Louisville

  • “Public Prophets and Private Poets: Reconfigurations of Edward Burne Jones in George Bernard Shaw’s Candida

Clark Moreland, University of Texas of the Permian Basin

  • “The Medium's the Thing: Poetic Influence in the Poetry of Robert Browning and EBB”

Caley Liane Ehnes, University of Victoria

5:45 p.m. Reception Burke Natural History Museum
6:15 p.m. Keynote Address Burke Natural History Museum


Antony Harrison
Professor of English

North Carolina State University



“The Politics of Victorian Taste:

Culture and Sensation in Mid-Victorian England”
7:15 p.m. Dinner Burke Natural History Museum


Saturday, October 4 Husky Union Building
8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast Husky Union Building 309
8:45-10:15: Session IX
POLITICS OF AESTHETICISM: OUTSIDER AESTHETICISM -- HUB 309

Chair: Rory Wallace, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design


  • “The Figure of Watteau in Walter Pater’s “A Prince of Court Painters” and Michael Field’s Sight and Song

Kit Andrews, Western Oregon University

  • “Old Guard/Avant-Garde: Vernon Lee and the Politics of Aestheticism in the Twentieth Century”

Kristin Mahoney, Western Washington University

  • “Matilde Serao and Antonio Mancini: Decadence and Dream in the Belly of Naples”

Diana Maltz, Southern Oregon University
POLITICAL ECONOMY: WEALTH AND LABOR -- HUB 304F

Chair: Lisa Surridge, University of Victoria


  • “Adam Smith and the Delusional Scrooge: Wealth and Happiness in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol

Mary Elizabeth Hotz, University of San Diego

  • “Liberal Economics and the ‘New Woman’ in Olive Schreiner’s The Story of an African Farm”

Lana L. Dalley, California State University, Fullerton
10:00 a.m. Break HUB 309
10:30-12:00: Session X
GENDER POLITICS -- HUB 304

Chair: Charles LaPorte, University of Washington


  • “Gothic Fiction/Detective Fiction: The Heroines’ Work in The Woman in White

Sandra A. Grayson, Saint Mary’s College of California

  • “The Angel on the Estate: Rosa Mulholland’s Marcella Grace and the Moral Reform of Landlordism”

Sherrin Berezowsky, The University of Western Ontario

  • “Stolen Diamonds and Secret Selves: Same-Sex Male Desire in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone

Sharleen Mondal, University of Washington

Saturday, October 4 Husky Union Building
10:30-12:00: Session X
POLITICS AND THE SPIRITUAL -- HUB 304F

Chair: George Griffith, Chadron State College


  • “Indivisible Man: H. G. Wells and the Politics of Supernaturalism”

Genie Babb, University of Alaska Anchorage

  • “`The voice of a brother’: Religious Texts and Contexts in The Mill on the Floss

Kathleen Vejvoda, Bridgewater State College




The VISAWUS Board of Directors
Kathleen Peck, Executive Director and Founder, Pasadena, CA

Constance M. Fulmer, President, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

Julie F. Codell, Vice-President, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Genie Babb, Secretary, University of Alaska, Anchorage, AK

Richard Fulton, Treasurer, Windward Community College, Kaneohe, HI

Sophia Andres, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, TX

J. Jeffrey Franklin, University of Colorado, Denver, CO

George Griffith, Chadron State College, Chadron, NE

George Mariz, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Paul Thomas Murphy, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

William H. Scheuerle, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Lisa Surridge, University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.

Karen Kurt Teal, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Laurel Williamson, San Jacinto College District, Houston, TX



Keynote Speaker

Antony Harrison is Professor of English and Department Head

at North Carolina State University. The books he has written

include Swinburne’s Medievalism, Christina Rossetti in Context,

Victorian Poets and Romantic Poems, and Victorian Poets and

The Politics of Culture.
He has also edited The Letters of Christina Rossetti (4 vols.), a

special double issue of the journal Victorian Poetry on Christina

Rossetti, and a special issue of the John Donne Journal on “The

Metaphysical Poets in the Nineteenth Century.” He is co-editor

of The Blackwell Companion to Victorian Poetry, The Culture

of Christina Rossetti, and Gender and Discourse in Victorian

Literature and Art.
He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities

Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger

Shakespeare Library, and the ACLS. He is currently completing

a new book. The Cultural Production of Matthew Arnold and

has begun a major project on Victorian taste. He continues to

work as a completing editor for The Correspondence of Dante

Gabriel Rossetti (10 vols.).
He serves on the Advisory Board of the NINES and the Dante

Gabriel Rossetti Hypertext Archive as well as the editorial boards

of RaVoN, Victorian Poetry, Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies,

the Journal of Pre-Raphaelite Studies, and the Victorians Institute

Journal.






Program Outline

Thursday, October 2 _______ Suzzallo Library

7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast Petersen Room, Fourth Floor

8: 30 a.m. Conference Welcome Petersen Room, Fourth Floor

8:45-10:15: Session I

POLITICS IN THE NOVEL -- Petersen Room

TRANSNATIONAL POLITICS -- Allen Auditorium

10:15 a.m. Break Petersen Room Fourth Floor

10:30-12:00: Session II

DOMESTIC POLITICS -- Peterson Room

COLONIAL POLITICS --Allen Auditorium

Noon Lunch Peterson Room Fourth Floor

1:30-3:00: Session III

3:15-4:30: Session IV

PUBLIC vs. PRIVATE POLITICS -- Peterson Room

EUROPEAN POLITICS -- Allen Auditorium

4:30 – 6:45: Reception Petersen Room, Fourth Floor

5:00 – 6:45: Panel on Research Petersen Room, Fourth Floor

7:00 p.m. Dance Performance Faculty Club
Friday, October 3 Husky Union Building

7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast Husky Union Building 200C

8:45-10:15: Session V

BODY POLITICS -- HUB 200A

POLITICS AND THE PRESS -- HUB 200B

10:15 a.m. Break HUB 200C

10:30-12:00: Session VI

POLITICS AND CLASS -- HUB 200A

THE POLITICS OF MORALITY -- HUB 200B

Noon Lunch and Business Meeting HUB 200C

1:30-3:00: Session VII

INSTITUTIONALIZING POLITICS -- HUB 200A

VISUAL POLITICS -- HUB 200B

3:00 p.m. Break HUB 200C

3:15-4:30: Session VIII

POLITICS IN THE PUBLIC SPHERE -- HUB 200A

AESTHETIC POLITICS -- HUB 200B

5:45 p.m. Reception Burke Natural History Museum

6:15 p.m. Keynote Address Burke Natural History Museum

7:15 p.m. Dinner Burke Natural History Museum
Saturday, October 4 ____ ___ Husky Union Building

8:00 a.m. Continental Breakfast Husky Union Building 309

8:45-10:15: Session IX

POLITICS OF AESTHETICISM -- HUB 309

POLITICAL ECONOMY -- HUB 304F

10:00 a.m. Break HUB 309

10:30-12:00: Session X

GENDER POLITICS -- HUB 304

POLITICS AND THE SPIRITUAL-- HUB 304F



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