2008 Victorian Underworlds

Victorian Underworlds


The Northeast Victorian Studies Association


University of Toronto,

11-13 April 2008




1-2pm & 2-3pm Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library Tour 

3:30-5pm Uncovering the Underclass 

Sarah Gates, Moderator

  • Aaron Worth (Boston University), “Mindreading in the Underworld”

  • Barry Faulk (Florida State), “Walter Sickert’s Music Hall Scenes and the Late Victorian Social Explorer”

  • LaMont Egle (Michigan-Ann Arbor), “The Fashionable Prig: Newgate Novels and their New Hero”

5:15-6:15pm Special presentation: 

Ludwig Maria Vogl-Bienek, “Casting Light into Poverty’s Shadow: The Magic Lantern and the Poor in Victorian Britain”

6:30-8pm Reception




8-9am Registration & Continental Breakfast

9-10:45am Keynote Panel:

Seth Koven (Rutgers), Moderator

Ø      Deborah Nord (Princeton)

Ø    David Pike (American)

Ø     Jenny Bourne Taylor (Sussex)

11am-12:30pm Below the Fold

Jason Rudy, Moderator

Matthew Rubery (Leeds), “Broken Vows and Lost Bow-Wows: Reading the Victorian Agony Column”

Ø      Jill McMillan (Guelph), “Patient Writing and The New Moon, 1844-1916”

Ø      Natalie Neill (York), “Underground Perils: Victorian Tunnel Stories”

12:30-2pm Lunch

2:15-3:30pm Session A: Underworld Mental States:

Gage McWeeny, Moderator

Ø      Benjamin Morgan (Berkeley), “The Pleasures of Sinking: Decadent Self-Loss as Sublime Immersion”

Ø      Michael Tondre (Michigan-Ann Arbor), “George Eliot’s ‘Fine Excess’: Middlemarch, Energy, and the Afterlife of Feeling”

Ø      Jennifer Judge (York), “The ‘Seamy Side’ of Human Perfectibility: Satire on Habit in Bulwer-Lytton’s The Coming Race”

2:15-3:30pm Session B: Underworlds of Empire:

Anna Henchman, Moderator

Mary Ellis Gibson (North Carolina-Greensboro), “The Colonial Poet in the London Demi-Monde”

Charn Jagpal (Alberta), “We of the Bazaar Kiss No Cowards…: Nautch Girls as Leaders of the Colonial Underworld”

Dan Shea (Houston), “King Charles’s Mines: England’s Buried Treasures and the Turn from Empire in H. Rider Haggard’s Colonel Quaritch, V.C.

4-5:30pm Underworlds of Gender

Jonathan Loesberg, Moderator

Ø      Mia Chen (CUNY), “‘Strangely Fascinated’: Shame-Interest and the Woman Question in The Coming Race

Ø      Ashly Bennett (Cornell), “‘Clothed and in Her Right Mind’: The Shameful Domestic and Aesthetic Woman in George du Maurier’s Trilby

Ø     Rachel Teukolsky (Penn State), “Queens of the Underworld: Walter Pater’s Mythic Feminism”

6pm-7pm Reception 

7pm-9pm Dinner Banquet



8-9am Breakfast

9-10:30am In the Grave

Barbara Black, Moderator

Ø      Anne C. McCarthy (CUNY), “‘Ever so little deeper’: Maud’s Buried Lives”

Ø      Renee Fox (Princeton), “Robert Browning’s Necropoetics”

Ø     Tyson Stolte (British Columbia), “Peering into the Grave: Bleak House, Victorian Psychology, and the Status of the Buried Body”

10:45am-12:15pm Conspiracies and Secret Societies:

Deb Gettelman, Moderator

Ø      Alison Butler (St. Francis Xavier), “Counterculture or ‘Muddling Middle-Class Mediocrities’: Magical Societies in Late Victorian Britain”

Ø      Angela Schwer (Fairmont State), “Sherlock Holmes vs. Anarchy: The Underworld of Victorian Secret Societies in Popular Adventure Fiction”

Ø      Danielle Kinsey (Illinois-Urbana, Champaign), “Legitimizing a Conspiracy: The Celebration of Diamond Mining Compounds in Late Victorian

12:30-1:30pm Conference Wrap-up

Ø      Elaine Freedgood

Ø     Chip Tucker