Forthcoming Study Days

 Victorian Animals


Victorian Popular Fiction Association and Liverpool John Moores University Study Day

 Saturday 18th November 2017

 Aldham Roberts Library, Liverpool John Moores University



9.30 – 10.00: Registration and Welcome

10.00 – 11.15: Hands on Workshop with LJMU’s 19th-Century Special Collections archive, periodicals and digitised materials

11.15 – 11.30: Refreshment Break (included)

11.30 – 1.00: Panel 1 – ‘Victorian Cats and Dogs’

Amber Regis: ‘Writing the Unreasoning Victorian Animal: Lucy Thornton’s The Story of a Poodle (1889)’

Christopher Pittard: ‘Her Dog’s Voice: Wilkie Collins, My Lady’s Money, and Rabies’

Nickianne Moody: ‘The Vicissitudes of Victorian Cats in The Cottager and Artisan

1.00 – 2.00: Lunch (included) with Exhibition Viewing

2.00 – 3.30: Panel 2 – ‘Victorian Beasts and Animalistic Behaviour’

Jo Knowles: ‘Donkeys in the Background: Representing the Beasts of Burden in 19th-Century Periodicals’

Janine Hatter: ‘The Theatre of Sudden Death: Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Circus Lions’

Monika Holder: ‘Animal Imagery in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Prose Fiction’

3.30 – 4.30: Keynote – Steven Gray (University of Portsmouth): ‘A Menagerie Afloat: Naval Animals and the Exotic Imagination at the Turn of the Twentieth Century’

4.30: Close

5.00: Conference Dinner at a local restaurant TBC


“A Sudden Swift Impression”: Re-Examining the Victorian Short Story

A Victorian Popular Fiction Association – Short Story Network Study Day

Hosted by the University of Brighton

Saturday 27th January 2018

Keynote Speaker: Dr Emma Liggins (Manchester Metropolitan University)

on ‘Victorian Women’s Ghost Stories and the Haunted Space: From Elizabeth Gaskell to Margaret Oliphant’

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association and the Short Story Network invite you to submit proposals for this Study Day on the short fiction of the long 19th century.

Scholarship is increasingly recognising the short story as a form that, far from being the inferior relation of the novel, has its own distinctive aesthetic and discursive possibilities. This Study Day will explore the contention that precisely the qualities that led to the short story’s marginal status – its brevity, immediacy, and possible ephemerality – provided writers scope for formal narrative experimentation and for exploring different ways of representing social reality. The conference organisers welcome proposals for 20 minute papers. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The ghost story and Gothic fiction
  • The short story, crime and detection
  • The short story and humour
  • The short story and romance
  • Imperial short stories
  • Short fiction and the periodicals market
  • The short story and women writers
  • The New Woman
  • Children’s literature / juvenile story papers
  • The short story and sensation
  • The serial short story
  • The short story and science fiction
  • Medicine and the short story

The Study Day will also include a Reading Group (story to be circulated in advance) and the first AGM of the Short Story Network (

Please submit a 300 word proposal and a 50 word biography to Dr Lucy Andrew and Dr Vicky Margree at by Monday 2nd October, 2017.