When: Monday, November 9, 2020, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PMWhere: Online
Registration is now open for the Virtual Book Launch of Pasts at play: childhood encounters with history in British culture, 1750-1914 (Manchester University Press, 2020), chaired by Professor Bennett Zon (Durham), with response by Professor Kiera Vaclavik (QMUL).
This collection brings together scholars from disciplines including Children's Literature, Classics, and History to develop fresh approaches to children's culture and the uses of the past. It charts the significance of historical episodes and characters during the long nineteenth-century (1750-1914), a critical period in children's culture. Boys and girls across social classes often experienced different pasts simultaneously, for purposes of amusement and instruction. The book highlights an active and shifting market in history for children, and reveals how children were actively involved in consuming and repackaging the past: from playing with historically themed toys and games to performing in plays and pageants. Each chapter reconstructs encounters across different media, uncovering the cultural work done by particular pasts and exposing the key role of playfulness in the British historical imagination.
Bennett Zon is Professor of Music and founder and Director of the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies at Durham University Kiera Vaclavik is Professor of Children’s Literature and Childhood Culture and Co-founder and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Childhood Culture at Queen Mary University of London
Rachel Bryant Davies is Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Queen MaryUniversity of London. She previously held an Addison Wheeler ResearchFellowship in Classics with the Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies atDurham University. Her first monograph, Troy, Carthage and the Victoriansand anthology Victorian Epic Burlesques analysed contests over the popularisationof the Trojan War epics, especially in circus and burlesque performances. Herforthcoming monograph, Greco-Roman Antiquity in British Children’s Culture,c. 1750–1914 investigates how children’s earliest encounters with idealisedclassical role models embedded Greco-Roman antiquity in private and publiclife.
Barbara Gribling is a Research Associate in Children’s Literature and Cultureat Newcastle University, having previously been a Junior Research Fellow inthe Department of History at Durham University. Her book on The Image ofEdward the Black Prince in Georgian and Victorian England (2017) and essayon ‘The Dark Side of Chivalry’ (2016) explored the contested nature of themedieval past in Victorian Britain. Her new work investigates children’s everydayexperiences with British history and heritage from 1750 to 1945 in two separatebook projects: the first focusing on children’s encounters with built heritage andthe second on children’s encounters with the medieval past.
Stephen Basdeo is a Lecturer at Richmond: The American InternationalUniversity. He is interested in all aspects of eighteenth- and nineteenth-centurysocial and cultural history, although his research has led to a few areas offocus: he has recently written a book on post-medieval portrayals of WatTyler, and another on representations of Robin Hood from the early modernperiod onwards. He is currently writing Heroes of the British Empire, due forrelease in 2020.
M. O. Grenby is Professor of Eighteenth-Century Studies and Dean ofResearch and Innovation for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciencesat Newcastle University. He is the author of books on children’s literature,child readers, and eighteenth-century fiction, and is author or editor of manyessays, scholarly editions and edited collections, as well as co-producer ofinnovative digital tools designed to engage children and young people withheritage.
Melanie Keene is a Fellow of Homerton College, Cambridge in History andPhilosophy of Science. She is the author of Science in Wonderland: The ScientificFairy Tales of Victorian Britain (2015). Her work has explored children’sengagement with science from astronomy-themed board games to scientificinstruments to the Crystal Palace dinosaurs. Her new research investigatesscience in juvenile periodicals and medical education in schools.
Helen Lovatt is Professor of Classics at the University of Nottingham. Shehas worked on the epic tradition in both Latin and Greek literature, publishingStatius and Epic Games: Sport, Politics and Poetics in the Thebaid (2005), TheEpic Gaze: Vision, Gender and Narrative in Ancient Epic (2013) and a co-editedwork Epic Visions (2013) with Caroline Vout. She currently works on classicalreception, resulting in her co-edited volume Classical Reception and Children’sLiterature: Greece, Rome and Childhood Transformation (2018) with OwenHodkinson.
Rosemary Mitchell is Professor of Victorian Studies and Deputy Directorof the Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies at Leeds Trinity University. She isalso associate editor for the Journal of Victorian Culture. She is the author ofPicturing the Past: English History in Text and Image, 1830–1870 (2000), journalarticles in Nineteenth-Century Contexts, Clio, Women’s History Review and theJournal of Victorian Culture, as well as ten book chapters and over 150 biographicalentries for The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
Ellie Reid is a Local Studies Librarian at Oxfordshire History Centre. Shehas been a contributor to the Arts and Humanities Research Council-fundedproject ‘The Redress of the Past: Historical Pageants in Britain 1905–2016’and has published on historical pageants and their material culture.
Virginia Zimmerman is Professor of English at Bucknell University. Herpublications include Excavating Victorians (2008) and essays in Configurations,Journal of Literature and Science, Victorian Periodicals Review, BRANCH, Children’sLiterature and The Lion and the Unicorn. She has also published a novel forchildren, The Rosemary Spell (2015).