VPFA Annual Conference

‘War and Peace’

10th Annual VPFA Conference

WotW3-7 July 2018
Institute of English Studies, Senate House, London




Tuesday 3rd July

1.25pm            First 90 Minute Guided Tour of the Victoria & Albert Museum

Address: Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 2RL. Get off at South Kensington Station. Spaces are limited, please sign up in advance.

3.25pm            Second 90 Minute Tour of the Victorian & Albert Museum

Address: Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London, SW7 2RL. Get off at South Kensington Station. Spaces are limited, please sign up in advance.


3.30pm            2 Hour Guided Walking Tour: ‘Darkest Victorian London’

Meet outside The Hops Exchange on Southwark St, near Borough Market. The walk ends at the Old Operating Theatre, just round the corner from London Bridge Station. Spaces are limited, please sign up in advance.

6.00pm            British Film Institute Film Showing of Lady Audley’s Secret (1920)

Address: 21 Stephen Street, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 1LN. The BFI is c.30 minutes from the Victoria and Albert Museum and c.20 minutes from London Bridge Station after the walking tour, both via the London Underground. Spaces are limited, please sign up in advance.

8.00pm            Drinks Reception at the British Film Institute (own arrangement)


Wednesday 4th July

9.00am            Registration (top of ceremonial stairs)

9.45am            Opening and Welcome (Court): Janine Hatter, Helena Ifill and Jane Jordan        

10.00am          Keynote 1 (Court)

Introduction: Janine Hatter

Mariaconcetta Costantini: ‘Britain and the Continent: Conflicts, Negotiations and Encounters in Victorian Popular Fiction’

11.15am          Refreshments (Jessel)

11.45am – 1.15pm: Parallel Panel 1

Panel A: Supernatural Short Stories (Court)

Chair: Janine Hatter

Anna Brecke, ‘No Peace at Home: Supernatural Disturbance in Domestic Home-Space’

Erin Louttit, ‘“he stood face to face with a remote antiquity”: At War with the Past in Grant Allen’s ‘Pallinghurst Barrow’ (1892) and ‘Wolverden Tower’ (1896)’

Helena Ifill, ‘Sceptics versus Spiritualists: Fictional and Non-Fictional Representations of Science and the Supernatural in the Victorian Periodical Press’

Panel B: Neo-Victorian War and Peace (Woburn, G22)

Chair: Kath Beal

Flaminia Nicora, ‘The Difficult Task of Coping with Complexity: The Representation of First Indian War in XXth Century English Novels’

Duygu Serdaroğlu, ‘Tipping the Velvet: A War against Victorian Gender Roles and Romance’

Anna Gasperini, ‘“I am modernity personified”: Human vs Improved Humanity in the Victorian Penny Dreadful and Penny Dreadful

12.00pm – 1.00pm: Women’s Library Guided Tour of the Suffragette Exhibition.

Address: London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE. The Women’s Library is c.20 minutes walk from Senate House. Spaces are limited, please sign up in advance.

1.15pm             Lunch (own arrangement)

2.00pm – 3.00pm: Reading Group: ‘Invasion Fiction’ (Court)

Hosts: Andrew King, Beth Gaskell and Ailise Bulfin

You are welcome to bring your lunch along.

3.00pm – 4.00pm: Parallel Panel 2

Panel C: Cultural Understanding (Court)

Chair: Duygu Serdaroğlu

Klaudia Lee, ‘Palimpsests: Cultural Imaginaries and Charles Halcombe’s “Mystic Flowery Land”’

Rachel Margaret Egloff, ‘The Continental Other: Imperial Rhetoric within Europe and a Literary Attempt at Parley’

Panel D: The Canonical/Popular at Home/Abroad (Woburn, G22)

Chair: Flaminia Nicora

Marysa Demoor, ‘Waterloo Blues: War and Peace in Popular British Fiction set in Belgium after 1815’

Amanda Ford, ‘Cotton, Drug Addiction and the Opium War (1839-1842) in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Mary Barton

Panel E: Peace at War (Montague, G26)

Chair: John Spiers

Nickianne Moody, ‘William Morris’ News From Nowhere and Peace Narratives’

Stephen Edwards, ‘Mary Ward’s War of Ideas: Romance’s Popular Audience and the Public Sphere’

4.00pm – 4.30pm             Refreshments (Jessel)

4.30pm – 6.30pm       Special Panels

Special Panel 1: Invasion, Empire and Popular Anxieties 1880-1918 – in association with the Invasion Network (Court)

Panel Host: Beth Gaskell

Ailise Bulfin, ‘Gothic Invasions: Demonising the Armed Forces of Europe’

Michael Matin, ‘Invasion Fiction and the Late-Victorian Prehistory of the Wellington House Propaganda Project’

Kim Wagner, ‘Sahibs in Disguise: The Trope of Going Native and the British Imagination’

Special Panel 2: Religious Controversy and Reconciliation (Woburn, G22)

Panel Host: Naomi Hetherington

Anne Chapman, ‘Dilemma, Folly, and Being on the Brink: the Uses of Sunday in Belgravia’s Short-Fiction Marriage Plots’

Miriam Elizabeth Burstein, ‘“The Pure Human Pity of the Story”: MacDonald, Ward, and Counter-Controversial Fiction’

Lindy Moore, ‘Promoting Human Brotherhood in the Cause of Peace: The Writings of Isabella Fyvie Mayo’

6.30pm                 Drinks Reception (Jessel)


Thursday 5th July

9.30am 11.00am: Parallel Panel 3

Panel F: Constructing Racial Identity (Court)

Chair: Helena Ifill

Jessica R. Valdez, ‘News Versus Novel: Speaking on Behalf of Minority Communities in Israel Zangwill’s Children of the Ghetto

Alisha Walters, ‘Race, Affect, and “the bonds of brotherhood”: Emotion as a Mechanism of Racial National Identity in Wilkie Collins’ Armadale

Courtney Floyd, ‘Victorian Pawn Wars: Exotic Objects and the Battle to Define the Racially ‘Other’ Body in late-Victorian Novels’

Panel G: Science Fiction (Woburn, G22)

Chair:              Anna Gasperini

Aren Roukema, ‘Mind Wars: H.G. Wells, Edward Bulwer-Lytton and the Boundaries of Science Fiction’

Gary Wihl, ‘Class War, Conflict and Resolution: Morris versus Wells’

11.00am           Refreshments (Jessel)

11.30am – 12.45pm  Keynote 2 (Court)

Introduction: Jane Jordan

Cathy Waters: ‘“Narratives of battle must nowadays be served up red hot”: special correspondents and the Franco-Prussian War’

An afternoon of peaceful activities

An afternoon excursion to Kew Gardens.

Address: Kew Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE.

It takes c.1 hour to get to Kew via the London Underground. Get off at Kew Gardens Station. We will find a suitable spot for a picnic lunch when we arrive.

3.30pm            90 Minute Guided Tour of Kew Gardens

Spaces are limited, please sign up in advance.

Dinner: a restaurant near Kew Gardens (own arrangement)


Friday 6th July

9.30am – 11.00am: Parallel Panel 4

Panel H: Sensation Fiction (Senate)

Chair: Helena Ifill

Tara MacDonald, ‘Class Conflict and the Mob in the Fiction of Ellen Wood’

Chris Louttit, ‘“It was for her to do battle with respectability”: Annie Edwards, Archie Lovell and the Bohemian Novel’

Di Yang, ‘“Silly Novels and Silly Novelists”: George Eliot’s Negotiation with Sensation Fiction’

Panel I: Cultural Consumption (Woburn, G22)

Chair: Andrew King

Michelle Smith, ‘The War on Female Ageing in Victorian Popular Fiction and Periodicals’

Jo Knowles, ‘“So utterly Arcadian!”: Peace and the Rustic Garden Scene in Braddon’s Novels’

Panel J: Detective Fiction (Montague, G26)

Chair: Kara Tennant

Manon Labrande, ‘From Infamous to Influential: Redefining the Literary Significance of the Penny Dreadful The String of Pearls: A Romance

Emma Kareno, ‘What To Do About Murder?: James Payn’s Found Dead (1869) and the Moral Dilemma of Detective Fiction’

11.00am          Refreshments (Jessel)

11.30am          Keynote 3 (Court)

Introduction: Helena Ifill

Carolyn Oulton: ‘”the ideal was not there”: Making Peace with Dickensian Kent’

12.45pm – 1.30pm:  VPFA AGM (Court)

1.30pm            Lunch (own arrangement)

2.30pm – 4.00pm: Parallel Panel 5

Panel K: Domestic Tensions (Court)

Chair: Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott

Sandra Perot, ‘Nature or Nurture: Internal Battles of Gender and Family in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Louise Benson James, ‘“The lying changefulness of a deceitful skin”: Blushing in Rhoda Broughton’s Nancy (1873)’

Deanna Stover, ‘“War in Miniature”: Robert Louis Stevenson’s Fake News’

Panel L: Women and War (Woburn, G22)

Chair: Holly-Gale Millette

Julia Kuehn, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword? Thackeray’s battles in Vanity Fair’

Kara Tennant, ‘In Fleeting Favour: Mid-Victorian Military Fashion Fads’

Tai-Chun Ho, ‘The Eastern Fairytale, the Place of Women, and Crimean War Poetry: Louisa Stuart Costello’s The Lay of the Stork’

Panel M: Invasion Fiction (Montague, G26)

Chair: Ailise Bulfin

Robert Dingley, ‘Secular Eschatology: The Guilty Pleasures of Invasion Fiction’

Yael Maurer, ‘Unmanned: H. G. Wells and the Breakdown of Masculinity’

Janine Hatter, ‘Rats as Late-Nineteenth-Century British Invaders’

 4.00pm            Refreshments (Jessel)

4.30pm – 6.30pm:      Special Panels

Special Panel 3: Class War, Conflict and Reconciliation (Court)

Panel Host: Tara MacDonald

John Morton, ‘Narratives of Tailors, Seamstresses, and Poverty in 1850’

Andrew Mangham, ‘At War with Nature: Malthusianism, Dickens, and the Language of Poverty’

Ingrid Hanson, ‘Rest in Peace: Death Notices, Class War and Community in Victorian Socialist Newspapers’

Special Panel 4: Peace, War and the Supernatural – in association with Revenant journal (Woburn, G22)

Panel Host: Ruth Heholt

James Green, ‘“Mortal hatred [deepening] into something diabolical”: Property, Inheritance and Vio-lence in J. S. Le Fanu’s Wylder’s Hand (1864)’

Holly-Gale Millette, ‘A Short Tale of Aboriginal Haunting: Colonial War, Peace and Super-Nature in Wells’ “Pollock and the Porroh Man”’

Joanne Ella Parsons, ‘The Curse of the Corpulent Male Body: Fighting the Fat Supernatural Style in H. G. Wells’ “The Truth About Pyecraft”’

7.00pm            Conference Dinner – Hot Bowl Buffet at Senate House (Jessel, conference extra cost)


Saturday 7th July

9.30am – 11.00am: Parallel Panel 6

Panel N: Professional Collaborations and Rivalries (Court)


Annachiara Cozzi, ‘From ‘literary friends’ to ‘sworn foes’: War and Peace Behind the Page in Late Victorian Collaboration’

Christopher Pittard, ‘The Bullet Catch, or Conjurors at War! Victorian Secular Magic in (and as) Conflict’

Beatrice Ashton-Lelliott, ‘“Mortal wounds on my adversary’s vanity”: Magical Rivalries of the Victorian Period’

Panel O: Unruly Women (Woburn, G22)

Chair: Ingrid Hanson

Pauline Suwanban, ‘Charlotte Dacre: Female ideal and female villains in Zofloya and The Passions

Helena Esser, ‘“Soldat de la France”? Heroism and Gender in Under Two Flags

Eva Chen, ‘“The Hate that Changed”: Cycling Romance and the Aestheticization of Women Cyclists in the 1890s’

Panel P: Soldiers at War (Montague, G35)

Chair: Deanna Stover

Richard Bonfiglio, ‘Cosmopolitan Patriots: The Italian Risorgimento and Masculine Self-Fashioning in Vittoria’

Chloé Holland, ‘“Young men will be young men; soldiers especially”: Masculinity, Profession, and Ellen Wood’

Kath Beal, ‘The Character of the Soldier in Victorian Literature’

11.00am          Refreshments (Jessel)

11.30am          Round Table on the State of the Field (Court)

Introduction: Jane Jordan

Juliet John, Andrew King, Kate Newey, Catherine Pope

12.45pm          Greta Depledge Prize Giving (Court)

1pm                 Conference Close