Readers, Purveyors, Creators, and Users: Studying Victorian Print Consumption in 2014 - June 16th and 17th

The Hardiman Research Building G010 seminar room

Date & Time
16th June, 2014 @ 09:00:00

Readers, Purveyors, Creators, and Users: Studying Victorian Print Consumption in 2014

16-17 June 2014 Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway
Deadline for Proposals: 16 April 2014.

Plenary speakers Dr Stephen Colclough, Bangor University. Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Nineteenth-century studies continues to engender some of the most dynamic scholarship in the study of historical readership with works like Leah Price's How to Do Things with Books in Victorian Britain (2012) featuring some of the most thought-provoking commentary on reader encounters with print to emerge in recent times.

Conceptualisations of the functions print commodities served for various groups of nineteenth-century consumers grow increasingly nuanced. Much of this research into the history of reading has been fuelled by mass digitization endeavours like Google Books and digital humanities projects like The Reading Experience Database. However, while such resources offer significant possibilities, the conditions under which one now engages with this primary material can give rise to questions of context, materiality, and access. Accordingly, this two-day conference will seek to appraise the current state of the field and offer a forum for twenty-minute papers that address any aspect of the consumption and production of Victorian print culture matter, historical or contemporary. It is also envisaged that an edited collection published by an international academic house will result from the conference.
Possible topics upon which submissions are welcome include but are certainly not limited to:

· Historical readers and reading practices of the Victorian period

· Readership and issues of gender and/or sexuality: e.g. constructions of "the woman reader"; "masculine" reading matter; and "queer" reading experiences.

· Periodical and/or serial circulation and consumption in territories like nineteenth-century Britain, Ireland, Canada, the Antipodes, and Asia

· The publication, dissemination, and consumption of books and/or series in nineteenth-century Britain, Ireland, Canada, the Antipodes, and Asia

· Transnational print culture in the nineteenth century: national and global identities

· Methodological concerns in the study of the history of reading

· Consumers, producers, and Victorian visual culture

· Disposable literature and ephemera of the Victorian age

· Scholarly editing projects and nineteenth-century culture

· The planning, design, and use of digital resources in the study of nineteenth-century print culture, including debates surrounding open access and paywalls.

Please send a proposal of no more than 300 words together with a short biography (c. 100 words) to by 16 April 2014. Decisions will be announced in early May. Postgraduates and early career scholars are particularly welcome. Questions about any aspect of the conference should be addressed to
This conference is made possible by the generous support of
The Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing.
The Digital Arts and Humanities Programme at the Moore Institute for Research in the Humanities and Social Studies, National University of Ireland, Galway.


*All plenaries and panels take place in the Moore Institute Seminar Room: G011- Hardiman Building, National University of Ireland, Galway.

Monday 16 June

9.00-9.30: Registration in Hardiman Building Foyer

9.30-11.00: Plenary 1: Dr Stephen Colclough (Bangor University)

"‘Miss Cathy's riven th' back off "Th' Helmet uh Salvation"': Representing Book Destruction in Mid-Victorian Print Culture'

Chair: Elizabeth Tilley

11.00-11.30: Tea/Coffee

11.30-1.00: Panel 1-Mass Print Media and Nineteenth-Century Audiences

Chair: Anna Gasperini

John Hinks (University of Leicester), "‘Within the reach of the whole reading public': the genesis of the cheap series from 1825"

Jessica Hindes (Royal Holloway), "‘What a lot of print for the money': G.W.M. Reynolds's Mysteries of London and the question of artistic value"

Ruth Doherty (Trinity College Dublin), "Reading Reynolds: The Mysteries of London as ‘microscopic survey'"

1.00-2.00: Lunch

2.00-3.30: Panel 2-The Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press

Chair: Paul Rooney

Clara Dawson (University of Birmingham), "Poetic Gems: Valuations of Poetry in the Periodical Press"

Declan O'Keefe (Clongowes Wood College), "A Man for Others and a Beacon in the Twilight: Fr. Matthew Russell S.J. and The Irish Monthly"

Michael Connerty (Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology), "'We have nothing like that in Ireland, Mr. Punch': Percy French's The Jarvey and the Victorian Humour Magazine"

3.30-4.00: Tea/Coffee

4.00-5.30: Panel 3-Studying Nineteenth-Century Reception in 2014

Chair: Justin Tonra

Isabel Corfe (NUI, Galway), "Images of Ireland in the Nineteenth-century English Broadside"

Shuhita Bhattacharjee (University of Iowa and Presidency University, India), "Passionate Idols and Proliferating Objects: Consumption and Materialization in Marsh's The Goddess: A Demon"

6.00: Wine reception- College Bar, NUI, Galway.

Tuesday 17 June

9.30-11.00: Plenary 2: Dr Niall Ó Ciosáin (NUI, Galway)

"Publishing and reading in the Celtic languages in 19th-century North America and Australia"

Chair: Muireann O'Cinneide

11.00-11.30: Tea/Coffee

11.30-1.00: Panel 4-Spaces, Places, and Times in Victorian Print Culture

Chair: John Hinks

Kevin James (University of Guelph), "‘[I]diotic attempts at feeble and sometime fetid wit': Captive Readers, Captive Writers, and the Victorian Visitors' Book"

Quentin J. Broughall (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), "Retrospective steampunk? The decline and fall of the British Empire (1881), (1884) and (1905)"

1.00-2.00: Lunch

2.00-3.30: Panel 5-Illustration and Interpictoriality in Victorian Culture

Chair: Neassa Doherty

Carey Gibbons (Courtauld Institute of Art), "Bringing the Book to Life: Arthur Hughes's Illustrations for Tennyson's Enoch Arden"

Eavan O'Dochartaigh (NUI, Galway), "From Pencil to Publication: Evolving Representations of the Canadian Arctic in the Mid-Nineteenth Century"

Laura Strout (University of Michigan), "Intertextual Images: The Illustrations of William Wells Brown's Clotel"

3.30-4.00: Tea/Coffee

4.00-5.25: Panel 6-Nineteenth-Century Spheres of Print: Reading, Gender, and Identity

Chair: Quentin J. Broughall

Deirdre Brady (University of Limerick), "Reading practices of an intellectual woman: Rosamond Jacob (1888-1960) and her personal diaries"

Katie Garner (University College Cork), "More than a ‘book for boys'? Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur and the Victorian Girl Reader"

5.25-5.40: Conference close

5.45-6.45: Book launch of Niall Ó Ciosáin, Ireland in Official Print Culture, 1800-1850: A New Reading of the Poor Inquiry (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014).

7.30: Conference Dinner: Vina Mara Restaurant, Middle Street, Galway.

For more information please contact