2003 Technologies and Media


NVSA 2003 Conference


Technologies and Media in the Nineteenth Century

The Northeast Victorian Studies Association Annual Meeting –

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA April
4-6, 2003

Karen Boiko (MIT), Site Committee
Chair     Talia Schaffer, Queens College CUNY, Program
Committee Chair


1:00-4:00 Registration

Rm. 5-134 – 77 Massachusetts Ave.

1:30-2:15 Burndy Library-Dibner Institute

Bldg. E56 – 38 Memorial Dr.

Introduction to the Burndy’s extensive collection of works on 19th-century
science and technology

2:30-3:15 Institute Archives and Special Collections

Rm. 14N-118 -77 Massachusetts Ave.

Learn about 19th century materials available for research. Sample19th century books and mss. will be displayed.

3:30 Welcome

Rm. 1-190 – 77 Massachusetts Ave.

3:45-5:15 The Art of Consumption

Chair: Aviva Briefel (Bowdoin College)

  • Beth Harris (Fashion Institute of Technology): “‘Fitted Up Like
    Palaces’: Show-Shops and the Victorian Seamstress”
  • Katherine Haskins (Yale University): “The Art Journal Print:
    Commercial Picture Engraving and the Taste for Modern Art in Britain,
  • Frances Robertson (University of Glasgow): “Mechanised Modern
    Art: Seeing Value in Paper Currency”

5:30-6:30 Cocktail Reception, List Visual Arts Center

Bldg. E15 – 20 Ames St.

Dinner on your own


8:30-9:30 Registration and Continental Breakfast

Rm. 1-134/Rm. 1-190 – 77 Massachusetts Ave.

9:30-11:30 Keynote Panel

History, Technology, and

Rm. 1-190

Moderator: Jonathan Loesberg (American University)

  • Joss Marsh (University of Indiana)
  • Leo Marx (MIT)
  • Leah Price (Harvard University)
  • Ronald Thomas (Trinity College)

11:45-1:30 Luncheon

20 Chimneys (Student Center)

1:45-3:15 Session A – Mapping New Spaces

Rm. 1-190

Chair: Fred Roden (University of Connecticut at Torrington)

  • Anna Henchman (Harvard University): “The All-Conquering
    Telescope: De Quincey on Lord Rosse’s Forty-Foot Reflector”
  • Anne-Julia Zwierlein (Bamberg University): “Microscopes and
    Man-Machines: Vegetative Past and Technological Future in T.H. Huxley
    and Samuel Butler”
  • Cara Murray (CUNY Graduate Center): “World-Circumventing
    Technologies: Round the World Voyages of the 1870s”

1:45-3:15 Session B – Making Mass Culture

Rm. 1-135

Chair: Sarah Heidt (Cornell University)

  • Susan Zieger (Stanford University): “The Media of Victorian
    Masculinity: Copes’ Smoking-Room Booklets”
  • Lorraine Janzen-Kooistra (Nipissing University): “Technologies
    of Reproduction, Commodity Culture, and the Illustrated Enoch
  • Lise Shapiro Sanders (Hampshire College): “Absorption,
    Distraction, and Mass Culture in Late Victorian and Edwardian

3:30-5:00 Technologies of Transportation

Rm. 1-190

Chair: John Plotz (Brandeis University)

  • Jonathan Grossman (UCLA): “The Speeding of the Pickwick
  • Terry S. Shapiro (SUNY Stony Brook): “Taking the Te-rain in
    Search of the River of the Arrow: Indian Railways in the Victorian
  • Uli Knoepflmacher (Princeton University): “The Political
    Aesthetics of Mechanism: The [Imperial] Muse Among the Motors”

5:30-6:30 Cocktails (Cash bar)

6:30-9:30: Banquet and Entertainment:

The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers.

(Informal Dress)

University Park Hotel @MIT


8:30-9:30 Continental Breakfast

Rm. 1-190

9:00-10:30 Forum on Teaching Victorian Studies (see the web
site for this panel here

Rm. 1-190

Moderator: Don Ulin (University of Pittsburgh at Bradford)

  • Abigail Burnham Bloom (The New School)
  • Priti Joshi (San Diego State University)
  • Sarah Maier (University of New Brunswick)
  • Russell A. Potter (Rhode Island College)

10:45-12:15 Session A – Electrifying Language


Rm. 1-190

Chair: Lisa Keller (SUNY Purchase)

  • Jason Rudy (Rutgers University): “Electric Meters”
  • Christopher Keep (University of Western Ontario): “‘Hung Upon Wires’:
    Telegraphy, Murder, and the Discourse Network of Victorian Britain”
  • Alice Jenkins (University of Glasgow): “Baptising a New Technology:
    Electrolysis, Class, and the Classics”

10:45-12:15 Session B – Machine Humans

Rm. 1-135

Chair: Gerhard Joseph

  • Vanessa Ryan (Yale University): “Mental Machinery: How the Victorians
    Tried to Harness the Mind”
  • Nanette Fornabai (UC Irvine): “The Victorian Posthuman in French
    Fin-de-Siecle Sci-Fi”
  • Kainoa Harbottle (University of Delaware): “‘More Complacent than
    Frankenstein’: Posthuman Subjectivity and Victorian Performance

12:30 Conference Wrap-Up

Rm. 1-190

Anne Humpherys (CUNY Graduate Center and Lehman College)

Jonah Siegel (Rutgers University)