Consuming (the) Victorians: BAVS 2016
31 August 2016
Cardiff University’s School of English, Communications and Philosophy hosts the annual British Association for Victorian Studies (BAVS).
Founded in 2000, BAVS is a multidisciplinary organisation dedicated to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge about the Victorian period. It has over 800 members based in the UK and worldwide, drawn both from the academic community and the general public.
The Victorian age saw the emergence of ‘modern’ consumer culture: in urban life, commerce, literature, art, science and medicine, entertainment, the leisure and tourist industries. The expansion and proliferation of new mass markets and inessential goods opened up pleasurable and democratising forms of consumption while also raising anxieties about urban space, the collapse of social and gendered boundaries, the pollution of domestic and public life, the degeneration of the moral and social health of the nation.
Bringing together over 330 academics, postgraduate research students and early career researchers from across the globe, the 2016 conference will explore the complexity and diversity of Victorian consumer cultures and also seeks to consider our contemporary consumption of the Victorians.
This fully booked event includes lectures by leading Victorianists: on George Eliot and the neo-Victorian imagination by Patricia Duncker (Manchester University), the late-Victorian ‘violin craze’ by Christina Bashford (University of Illinois), and the global aspects of Victorian consumer culture by Frank Trentmann (Birkbeck College).
Concluded by a ‘President’s Panel’ of pre-eminent speakers drawn from the conference, the three days are organised into a series of open and themed panel sessions, with additional workshops on Illustration and Editing. Strands range from ‘Consuming Otherness’, ‘Visual Culture’, ‘Travel and Tourism’ and ‘Digitisation’ to ‘Music and Theatre’, ‘Medicine, Science and Technology’ and ‘Victorian Afterlives’.
Professor Ann Heilmann said “As well as a stimulating range of speakers, this event offers delegates a chance to explore some of Cardiff’s most exciting Victoriana, from its beautiful arcades to the interior of Cardiff Castle designed by pre-eminent Victorian architect William Burges for the 3rd Marquess of Bute. Delegates will also have the opportunity to enjoy a pre-dinner organ recital in the Impressionist and Victorian Art galleries of the National Museum, a rare privilege!”
The conference will host exhibitions on the Dickensian curated by the Charles Dickens Museum in partnership with Red Planet, and on ‘Tennyson’s Women’, Anthony Rhys’s neo-Victorian ‘Bible Paintings’ inspired by the Carmarthen Felony register, and on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Strand illustrator Sidney Paget.”
The conference is additionally supported by the Schools of Modern Languages and History, Archaeology and Religion at Cardiff, and the School of Music, Humanities & Media at the University of Huddersfield.