The Northeast Victorian Studies Association will celebrate its 40-year anniversary in Providence, RI, at the University of Rhode Island’s Providence campus, with a conference on the topic “Victorian Accidents.” Click here for the NVSA main site.

NVSA 2015:
Victorian Accidents

Unless otherwise noted, all conference events take place at
80 Washington Street, on the URI Providence campus

Friday, April 10th

1:15pm Tour of the Rhode Island School of Design’s Fleet LibraryMeet at 80 Washington Street for the walk over to the Fleet Library. Our tour will include the Art-Journal Illustrated Catalog of the 1851 Great Exhibition, nineteenth-century issues of Fibre and Fabric (a record of American textile factories that recounts some gruesome factory accidents), the original of George Cruikshank’s The Bachelor’s Own Book, and the absolutely astounding Grammar of Ornament by Owen Jones (“One of the most remarkable books ever published, a tour de force of chromolithography of profound and enduring design significance” according to the Victorian Bibliomania Catalog). Click here for a complete catalogue of our tour.

2:30-4:00pm Conference Registration

3:45pm Welcome

4:00-5:45pm Panel I: Agency, Determinism, and Chance
Matthew John Phillips (Rutgers University), Chair

  • Caolan Madden (Rutgers), “The Counterfactual Castaway: Chance, Contingency, Commerce, and the Fallen Woman”
  • Barbara Barrow (Point Park U), “The ‘anatomy of the Immanent Will’: Determinism, Language, and Thomas Hardy’s The Dynaststrain
  • Rachel Stern (Harvard), “‘Such accidents are the characteristics of persons’: Contingent Experience and the Realist Conversion Narrative in John Henry Newman’s Loss and Gain
  • Abigail Joseph (NYU), “‘Whirl’d,’ ‘Wildly Tossed’: Representing Crisis in ‘The Lady of Shalott’”

6:00-7:30pm Opening Reception
Local 121 at the Dreyfus, 121 Washington Street

7:30-9:00pm Optional group dinner
Details to be given on arrival at registration

Saturday, April 11th 

8:00-9:00am Breakfast

9:00-11:00am Keynote Panel
Laura Green (Northeastern University), Chair

  • George Levine (Rutgers)
  • Jason Puskar (Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
  • Ross Hamilton (Barnard)

11:00-11:15 Coffee break

11:15-12:45 Panel II: Narrating Contingency
Sarah Gates (St. Lawrence University), Chair

  • Nasser Mufti (University of Illinois, Chicago), “Glimpsing the City: Engels’s Spatial Stories”
  • Alison Georgina Chapman (Harvard), “Scroff, Murder, and other Side Effects in Thomas Hardy’s Novels”
  • John Plotz (Brandeis), “Slips under the Microscope: Accidental Revelations in the fin-de-siècle Short Stories of H.G. Wells”

1:00-2:30 Lunch
Bravo Brasserie, 123 Empire Street

2:45-4:15pm Panel III: Accidents and Literary Form
Annmarie Drury (Queens College, CUNY), Chairboat

  • Daniel Benjamin Williams (Harvard), “The Crystal Orders: Structure and Accident in Victorian Aesthetics”
  • Dustin Brown (Chicago), “The Accidental Aesthetics of Personality”
  • Jesse Rosenthal (Johns Hopkins), “How to Tell Secrets in Public Places”

4:15-4:30pm Coffee break

4:30-5:45pm Panel IV: Institutions and Accidents
Jonathan Loesberg (American University), Chair

  • Michael Gamer (University of Pennsylvania), “Hedging Fame: Insuring the Laureateship”
  • Alexis Goodin (Clark Art Institute), “A World Undone: Fire at the Crystal Palace, 1866”
  • Sheila Cordner (Boston University), “Accidental Reading”

6:00 Reception and Banquet
Aspire Seasonal Kitchen at the Hotel Providence, 311 Westminster Street

Sunday, April 12th

8:30-9:30am Breakfast

9:30-10:30am NVSA 40th Anniversary Retrospective
A panel of speakers on NVSA’s 40-year history; Jonah Siegel (Rutgers), Chair

Anne Humpherys (Lehman College, CUNY), Jonathan Loesberg (American University), Sarah Gates (St. Lawrence University), Will Lee (Yeshiva University), Adrienne Munich (Stony Brook University), and James Eli Adams (Columbia University)

10:30-10:45am Coffee break

10:45am-12:15pm Panel V: Disaster and Representation
Michelle Boswell (University of Maryland), Chair

  • Natalie Prizel (Yale), “Rubbernecking: Black Bodies in Peril in Turner’s Slave Ship and Mayhew’s Edward Albert”
  • Khristina Gonzalez (Princeton), “Accounting for Pleasure and Pain: Hardy’s Utilitarian Tragedy”
  • Emily Steinlight (University of Pennsylvania), “Not Quite on Purpose: Realist Causation and the Necessity of Chance”

12:15-1:00pm Conference Wrap-Up

  • Jonathan Farina (Seton Hall)
  • Anne McCarthy (Penn State)

Bag Design final

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