Conference Program

The Northeast Victorian Studies Association will host its 2016 conference, “Victorian Outliers,” at Rutgers University, April 8-10. Among the conference highlights will be a plenary panel featuring David Kurnick, Tricia Lootens, and Sharon Marcus, and a dinner banquet at the extraordinary Due Mari. Program details below.

To register for the conference, please click on “Registration” on the black bar above.

Friday, April 8

11:00am-12:30pm Nineteenth-Century Special Exhibition 
The Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University will be hosting an open house for conference attendees in the study room of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts. Highlights from the Zimmerli’s extensive collection of nineteenth-century prints, drawings, photographs, and rare books, as well as more contemporary works inspired by Victorian literature will be on view. Curator Christine Giviskos will be available to answer questions about the works on view and the collection.

1:00pm (and following) Registration
Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue (4th Floor Lecture Hall)

12:45-2:00pm Walking Tour of Victorian Rutgers
Led by Carla Yanni (Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, Rutgers)

2:15pm Welcome
Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue (4th Floor Lecture Hall)

2:30-4:00pm Panel I: Extraordinary Care
Jonathan Farina (Seton Hall), Chair

  • Talia Schaffer (CUNY), “Why Lucy Doesn’t Care: Migration and Emotional Labor in Villette
  • Alicia Williams (Rutgers), “Rhetorical Outliers and Democratic Inclusivity in George Eliot’s Fiction”
  • Michael Harwick (Ohio State), “‘There Seemed Always to be “Shames’’’: Divorce, Stigma, and Familial Feeling in What Maisie Knew’

4:00-4:15pm Coffee

4:15-5:45pm Panel II: Edges and Durations of Empire
Kyle McAuley (Rutgers), Chair

  • Will Glovinsky (Columbia), “Livingstone’s Mummy, Wainwright’s Archive: Feeling Outside of Imperial Time”
  • Nienke Boer (NYU), “‘A Long Trip’: Boer Prisoners-of-War as Imperial Tourists”
  • Mary Ellis Gibson (Glasgow), “Around the Edges of Empire: Migrant Poets in Nineteenth-Century India’’ 

5:45-7:30pm Opening Reception
Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue (4th Floor Lecture Hall)
Sponsored by the Rutgers British Studies Center

7:30 Optional group dinners
Various New Brunswick restaurants


Saturday, April 9

9:00-10:00am Breakfast
Brower Commons ABC, 145 College Avenue (2nd Floor)
Panels follow in Alexander Library, 169 College Avenue (4th Floor Lecture Hall)

10:15am-12:15pm Keynote Panel
Tanya Agathocleous (Hunter College, CUNY), Chair

  • David Kurnick (Rutgers)
  • Tricia Lootens (Georgia)
  • Sharon Marcus (Columbia)

12:15-2:00pm Lunch

2:00-3:30pm Panel III: Thinking Outside the Victorian Box
Gregory Vargo (NYU), Chair

  • Jesse Rosenthal (Johns Hopkins University), “What the Egoist Knew”
  • Nick Bujak (U of Maryland, College Park), “Was the Novel-in-Verse an Outlier Genre?”
  • Natalie Houston (U Mass, Lowell), “Exploring the Outliers in the Cultural Field: Non-Canonical Poetry of the 1860s”

3:30-4:00pm Coffee

4:00pm-5:30pm Panel IV: Socializing Outliers, Outlying Societies
Vincent Lankewish (Professional Performing Arts School), Chair

  • Miriam Elizabeth Burstein (SUNY Brockport), “‘If some Catholic were to give it an opportunity it might still appear and speak’: Converting British Fiction in the Victorian Catholic Novel”
  • Tom Joudrey (Penn State), “Obscene Sociality: Displacing Nostalgia with Lust in the Pornographic Ballad”
  • Mimi Winick (Rutgers), “An Alternative History of Alternative Histories: Jane Harrison, Matthew Arnold, and Finding Religion in Victorian Ancient Greece”

6:30-7:30 Reception
Due Mari, 78 Albany St.

7:30-9:30 Dinner Banquet
Due Mari, 78 Albany St.


Sunday, April 10

All events today in Brower Commons ABC, 145 College Avenue (2nd Floor)

8:00-9:00am Breakfast

9:00-10:30am Panel V: Central Peripheries and Other Aesthetics
Annmarie Drury (Queens College, CUNY), Chair

  • Rebecca Rainoff (Catholic U), “Stooped, Beheaded, Occluded: Outliers in Victorian Portraiture”
  • Pritika Pradhan (Rutgers), “‘The Bold Outlier’: the Detail in John Ruskin’s Gothic Aesthetics”
  • Timothy Chandler (U of Pennsylvania), “Pater’s Aestheticism and the Science of the Exceptional; or, Marius the What?”

10:30-10:45am Coffee

10:45am-12:15pm Panel VI: Special Agents, Outlying Forms
Anne Humpherys (Lehman College and the Graduate Center, CUNY), Chair

  • Mary Bowden (Indiana University), “What Happens When You Chloroform a Plant? Darwin’s Environmental Vision”
  • Simon Reader (CUNY Staten Island), “Scaping: Hopkins’s Notework”
  • Abigail Joseph (NYU), “Design as Anti-Pornography: The Conflicting Visions of Henry Spencer Ashbee and Charles Robert Ashbee”

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

  • Carolyn Betensky (University of Rhode Island)
  • Jonah Siegel (Rutgers)