State of the Field: Victorian Literature

By: Elissa Myers

3-5 Journals
Victorian Periodicals Review
I am particularly interested in Victorian Periodicals, and this journal is the primary place in which arguments centered on periodicals rather than novels or poetry are published
Victorian Literature and Culture
This journal is interdisciplinary, so it has a lot of articles about historical phenomena and popular culture in the Victorian era as well as literature.
Victorian Studies
One of the premier journals for Victorian Studies. Important for knowing the debates being had by big names in the field.
19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century
This journal is published online by Birkbeck College, University of London. Their issues are always themed, so you get to understand what they consider the big issues in the field to be. It is also open-access.

3 Books
Kaplan, Fred. Sacred Tears: Sentimentality in Victorian Literature. New York: Oen Road Integrated Media, 2013. Print.
More specifically, I am interested in how writers deployed sentiment in their novels in order to have certain emotional effects on their readers.
Moruzi, Kristine. Constructing Girlhood Through the Periodical Press: 1850-1915. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012. Print.
This book combines my interests in chidren’s literature and periodicals.
Mussell, James. The Nineteenth-Century Press in the Digital Age. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Print.
This book will help me get a sense of what periodicals scholars have already done towards  incorporating digital methods into their scholarship, enabling me to create a proposal for a project in Digital Praxis that engages with current scholarly conversations.

3-5 Conferences
Research Society for Victorian Periodicals Conference
North American Victorian Studies Association
NAVSA is widely known as the premier conference for Victorian Studies in America.
British Women Writers Conference
I attended this conference last year and was impressed by how welcoming the senior scholars were, as well as how engaged all the discussion panels were. This seems like a great conference because it strikes a balance between selectivity and warmth. Plus it is all about women writers—one of my specializations.
NEVSA, Northeast Victorian Studies Association
The Northeast Victorian Studies Association is known for being friendly toward grad students and for having an intimate environment.
VISAWUS, Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western U.S.
I just attended this conference, and found it extremely helpful. Because it was small (only 2-3 concurrent panels throughout the conference), I got lots of good feedback from grad students and professors. There was a more collegial atmosphere because we were all going to each other’s panels and forming stronger connections.

3 University Press Series
Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture, Edinburgh UP –  This series publishes many books making historical arguments. One title that was particularly interesting to me was Roomscape: Women Writers in the British Museum from George Eliot to Virginia Woolf. I am also interested in some of their othe titles that are about urban culture and transportation at the fin-de-siècle.
Ashgate Nineteenth Century Series – This series focuses on popular culture and literature of the entire nineteenth century, rather than just the Victorian period. This is useful for me because I also like to study “the long nineteenth century.”
Palgrave Studies in Nineteenth-Century Writing and Culture – The series’ inclusion of the word “writing” rather than literature indicates its commitment to historicism and to publishing not only traditionally-recognized “literary” writers, but also non-canonical writers.

3 Speaker Series
Birkbeck Forum for Nineteenth-Century Studies
Seems like one of the most vibrant Victorian communities I have heard of. They have many talks that tend to be interdisciplinary, incorporating art history, history, science, and other disciplines. Also mirror my interests to a large degree with strong interests in affect theory and reader experiences of 19th century works. One interesting talk is about the “Our Mutual Friend” reading project in which people read the novel according to the time frame in which it was serialized, took on characters from the novel and tweeted as them during the duration of the group’s reading of the novel. They are also available in podcasts from their website.
Victorian Seminars at the CUNY Grad Center
I recently attended a Victorian Seminar that discussed the use of French in Jane Eyre. It was very engaging, and both professors and students came from all around the New York and New Jersey area to attend.
The Victorian Centre’s Spring Seminar Series (University of Leicester)
These lectures focus on a wide variety of nineteenth-century topics

3-5 Scholarly Blogs
Pope, Catherine. Victorian Geek. Web. 19 Oct. 2014.
Reviews books, gives advice on digital methods and pedagogy in Victorian lit.
Nicholson, Bob. The Digital Victorianist. Web. 19 Oct. 2014
Blogs about transatlantic literature and conferences, Victorian humor, and using digital methods in Victorian scholarship and pedagogy.
Tetens, Kristan. The Victorian Peeper.  Web. 19 Oct. 2014. Print.
This blog as one reviewer says “knows more about Britain than is safe.” There is a wealth of posts on a variety of nineteenth-century historical issues.

3-5 Twitter accounts by scholars
Ana Parejo Vadillo – @aipv2010
Studies the effects of late nineteenth-century technologies of mobility, as well as place, on British female poets.
Anne Helmreich – @anne_alh
Digital humanities and art history scholar who studies the codification of certain ways of looking at art in the nineteenth century
Laurel Brake – @printjournalism
Wrote foundational works on Victorian periodicals
Patrick Leary – @PatrickLearyVIC
Also an important figure in Victorian periodicals scholarship
Caroline Reitz – @CWWrites
Works on periodicals at the Grad Center

3-5 Twitter accounts by institutions
Birkbeck C19 Studies – @BirkbeckC19
Details the many events both on location and digital that the C19 Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies hosts and links to other events of interest.
UoL (University of Leicester) Victorian Studies @victoriancentre
Details events of interest such as conferences, as well as current news and extracurricular events related to Victorian Studies
Victorian Studies – @VictStudies
Again is up to date on a wide variety of Victorian-related events
Victorian Periodicals Review @vpreditors
Mentions events and ideas specific to periodical scholarship as well as ones for a broader audience.