The ‘Heart’ and ‘Science’ of Wilkie Collins Study Day

Deadline for CFP: Friday 17th June 2016

Conference date: 24th September 2016

Location: Barts Pathology Museum, London

Keynote: Dr. Tara MacDonald (University of Idaho)

‘“Why can’t I look into your heart, and see what secrets it is keeping from me?”’

The protagonist of Wilkie Collins’s Heart and Science (1883), surgeon Ovid de Vere, laments the difficulty in deciphering hidden emotions and secrets. Yet, the language suggests his medical background, striking a note with the novel’s supposedly anti-vivisection message and highlighting contemporary debates into the nature of experimental medicine, observation and epistemology. What is the best way of uncovering secrets, and what part does knowledge of the body play in this? Can medical training benefit from a thorough understanding of emotion? And does gender play a part in this? Issues of ‘heart’ and ‘science’ reverberate across Collins’s work, from the Major’s collection of women’s hair in The Law and the Lady (1875) to Ezra Jenning’s solution to the crime of The Moonstone (1868). This conference takes as its focus the proliferation of “heart” and “science” throughout Collins’s work.

See the full CFP here.

Email abstracts to jo.parsons@falmouth.ac.uk and V.Burke@pgr.reading.ac.uk