We are an interdisciplinary community aiming to connect the wide range of expertise across the long nineteenth century and foster collaborative connections, both within and beyond Queen Mary University of London.
We were established as a Research Centre of the QMUL Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences in autumn 2022 (as a Centre: we were The Nineteenth-Century Network, 2020-2022). There is also a Teams channel (still named Nineteenth-Century Network) available to existing QMUL colleagues, for updates, shared files, and meeting links.
Tweets by Dr Clare Stainthorp
26th October, 2022
Research Conversation, part of Black History Month student-accessible events, in Collaboration with QMUL’s Postcolonial Seminar
First published in 1995, Gretchen Gerzina's Black England: A Forgotten History quickly became essential reading, shedding new light on the lives of Black Britons in the 18th and 19th century. This event enabled researchers to reflect on the significance of this book, which is republished this year with a new foreword by Zadie Smith.
Rachael Gilmour, Valentina Aparicio, and Amanda Sciampacone reflected upon the reissue of this book and how scholarship changes and is informed by the moment in which it is researched, written and published.
2nd November 2022
Lecture on celebrity theatrical postcards in late 19C London; Respondent: Aoife Monks
This talk examined the way the coming of the picture postcard in the 1890s changed the nature of theatrical celebrity and the relationship between performer and audience. Postcards are an under-used resource for the cultural historian. They were integral to the creation of the image of the star. What we find is the construction of a visual culture that sustained a fan base and predated the cinema. Professor McWilliam’s talk examines images of performers who appeared in straight drama and in musical comedy, contrasting the images of actors and actresses. His talk raised issues about celebrity culture, portraiture, performance and sexuality.
5th December 2022, hybrid/Durham Castle
Research conversation with Tim Barringer (Yale), Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan), Efram Sera-Shriar (Copenhagen), Adiva Lawrence (International Slavery Museum), Bennett Zon (Durham) and other essay contributors.
Preceded by PGR training workshop, with presentations by Amanda Sciampacone, Hannah-Rose Murray and Merrilees Roberts.
Rachel Bryant Davies and Erin Johnson-Williams lead a cast of renowned scholars to initiate an interdisciplinary conversation about the mechanisms of power that have shaped the nineteenth-century archive, to ask: What is a nineteenth-century archive, broadly defined?
This landmark collection of essays broaches critical and topical questions about how the complex discourses of power involved in constructions of the nineteenth-century archive have impacted, and continue to impact, constructions of knowledge across disciplinary boundaries, and beyond academic confines. The essays, written from a range of disciplinary perspectives, grapple with urgent problems of how to deal with potentially sensitive nineteenth-century archival items, both within academic scholarship and in present-day public-facing institutions, which often reflect erotic, colonial and imperial, racist, sexist, violent, or elitist ideologies.
7th December 2022, The Octagon
Carol singing led by a choir plus contextualised short critical commentaries from QMUL colleagues.
There will be a guided tour and introduction to the collection led by Steve Moore from the Barts Pathology Museum team, with informal research discussion for those interested in using the collection for research.
The museum is not open daily (only for special events and by appointment), so this is an exciting opportunity to visit the collection and learn about its history, as well as to discuss future research potential.
Booking essential as numbers are limited (and it is a requirement of the Human Tissue Authority that there is an accurate list of visitors so we will need to check registrations). For this reason, the event is restricted to QM staff and students (and Centre members) in the first instance:
A hybrid roundtable event on 19th century globalisation, movement and the circulation of people, identities, and rhetorics of belonging.
This hybrid roundtable event on global interconnectedness and decolonisation is part of the series 'Legacies and Liabilities? Decolonial, Interdisciplinary, and Intersectional Approaches to the Nineteenth Century Now'. Topics will include: Globalisation, movement & circulation of people; institutionalised inequalities & diasporic identities; rhetorics of immigration, belonging, and national identity.
We are excited to be joined by a panel of expert speakers:
The roundtable discussion will be followed by an opportunity to continue conversations over refreshments, for those able to attend in person.
The Legacies and Liabilities? Decolonial, Interdisciplinary, and Intersectional Approaches to the 19th Century Now Workshop Series is organised by Dr Rachel Bryant-Davies (QMUL) and Dr Amanda Sciampacone (The Open University) with generous support from the Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences.
'Nineteenth century interconnections between religion, science, and technology'
11 May 2023
This research conversation event is part of the series 'Legacies and Liabilities? Decolonial, Interdisciplinary, and Intersectional Approaches to the Nineteenth Century Now'. It will focus on interconnections between religion, science, and technology, including fact/faith binaries and links with political identity.
The roundtable discussion will be followed by an opportunity to continue conversations over refreshments.
'Approaches to The Nineteenth Century Now', with Dr Sria Chatterjee.
7th June 2023
A reflective workshop with Dr Sria Chatterjee (Paul Mellon Centre), including discussion of themes from her book project, which works towards new and interdisciplinary understandings of visual and material culture produced around and in response to the interrelated and enduring histories of colonialism, capitalism and climate change, and her Visualising the Virus project, as well as drawing on her experience as Head of Research and Learning at the Paul Mellon Centre.
This will be an opportunity to reflect on the seminar series 'Legacies and Liabilities? Decolonial, Interdisciplinary, and Intersectional Approaches to the Nineteenth Century Now', the Centre's activities to date, and explore next steps in an informal, collegial setting.
The discussion will be followed by an opportunity to continue conversations over refreshments.
Central London walking tour revealing the heroism of 19th century Black freedom fighters in their campaigns of freedom and social justice.
Led by Dr Hannah-Rose Murray (QMUL)
7th June 2023
Throughout the nineteenth-century, Black American activists travelled to the British Isles to educate and inform audiences about the brutalities of slavery, to write and publish their narratives, to raise money and legally purchase themselves or family members from slavery, or to settle and work here. In their radical and politicised journeys of freedom, they travelled thousands of miles to give lectures in large cities like London and Edinburgh, to small villages like Bakewell, Keswick and Pembroke.
Join Dr Hannah-Rose Murray (QMUL) for a walking tour across five sites in central London that serve as visual monuments to the heroism of Black freedom fighters in their international campaigns of freedom and social justice.
We begin at Freemason's Hall (the entrance opposite Philomena's Bar), and end just outside of Kings College London on Arundel Street. The walk is less than a mile and flat.
This is an in-person activity and limited to a group of 25 people. If tickets have sold out, please join the waiting list.
A guided tour and introduction to the Kew Gardens archive collections and their material histories.
5th June 2023 postponed
Join us for a guided tour and introduction to Kew's collection led by Kimberly Glassman from Kew’s PhD Humanities Cohort, with introductions to Kew’s archive facilities by Kew members of staff including curators from the Fungarium Collections, the Library and Archives, Herbarium, and Economic Botany Collection. Kimberly will showcase examples from her research that reveal the stories of overlooked contributors to the collections through material history.
This activity is in-person only and strictly limited to 30 people (split into two groups of 15 people). If tickets have sold out, please join the waiting list and you will be informed if space becomes available.
10:45-11:00am: Meet & greet at Kew Gardens Elizabeth Gate entrance
11:00am: All Groups visits the archives & library
12:00pm: Lunch break (places to eat will be identified) / walk around the gardens
1:15pm: Group 1 visits the herbarium; Group 2 visits the fungarium
2:00pm: Short break / groups change locations
2:15pm: Group 2 visits the herbarium; Group 1 visits the fungarium.
3:00pm: Group 1 visits the Economic Botany Collection; Group 2 discussion session
3:30pm: Group 2 visits the Economic Botany Collection; Group 1 discussion session
4:00pm: For those who wish to join, meet at The Botanist for an early evening pub social with option to book dinner.
A research discussion with Professor Leigh Gardner (LSE) about her new book, Sovereignty without Power: Liberia in the Age of Empires, 1822–1980.
19 June 2023 *Postponed*
"What did independence mean during the age of empires? How did independent governments balance different interests when they made policies about trade, money and access to foreign capital? Sovereignty without Power tells the story of Liberia, one of the few African countries to maintain independence through the colonial period. Established in 1822 as a colony for freed slaves from the United States, Liberia's history illustrates how the government's efforts to exercise its economic sovereignty and engage with the global economy shaped Liberia's economic and political development over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Drawing together a wide range of archival sources, Leigh A. Gardner presents the first quantitative estimates of Liberian's economic performance and uses these to compare it to its colonized neighbors and other independent countries. Liberia's history anticipated challenges still faced by developing countries today, and offers a new perspective on the role of power and power relationships in shaping Africa's economic history"
This event is part of the Queen Mary Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences seminar series 'Legacies and Liabilities? Decolonial, Interdisciplinary, and Intersectional Approaches to the Nineteenth Century Now'.
Monthly discussion forum: informal 'show and tell' format (online in 2020) on abstract topics and big themes with interdisciplinary scope (such as, for example, 'anecdotes', decades of the 1800s, melodrama, music, vaccinations...).
*Times and dates for the second half of Semester One coming soon: please fill out the doodle poll (on the Teams channel) and watch this space!*
A mixture of work-in-progress talks, research papers, and lectures from external speakers.
9th November 2020, 18:00 to 19:30
The virtual launch of Dr Rachel Bryant Davies and Dr Barbara Gribling’s edited collection Pasts at play: childhood encounters with history in British culture, 1750-1914 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2020)
Dr Rachel Bryant Davies, Lecturer in Comparative Literature, School of Languages, Linguistics, and Film
Dr Matthew Ingleby, Lecturer in Victorian Literature, School of English and Drama
Professor Alastair Owens, Professor of Historical Geography
Dr Clare Stainthorp, Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow
Dr Angela Dunstan (Senior Lecturer in SED, English Literature and Visual Culture)
Kimberly Glassman, (PhD candidate, SED (English) and Kew Gardens, PGR Rep)
Professor Astrid Köhler (Professor of German Literature and Comparative Cultural Studies, SLLF)
Dr David Mills (Lecturer in Imaging and Calcified Tissue, School of Dentistry)
Dr Aoife Monks (Reader in Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies)
Dr Hannah-Rose Murray (Lecturer in US History)
Professor Angus Nicholls (Professor of Comparative Literature and German, SLLF)
Dr Merrilees Roberts (Teaching Associate, SED (English), TA/TF Rep)
Dr Robert Saunders (Reader in Modern British History)
Dr Chloe Ward (Senior Lecturer in the History of British Art)
This section is being updated
Founding Members of the Nineteenth-Century Network in 2020
Dr Will Bowers, Lecturer in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Thought, School of English and Drama
Professor David Duff, Professor of Romanticism, School of English and Drama
Chunlin Men, 1st year PhD student, School of English and Drama
Professor Angus Nicholls, Professor of Comparative Literature and German, School of Languages, Linguistics, and Film
Dr Amanda Sciampacone, Lecturer in British and European Art since 1700, School of History
Professor Kiera Vaclavik, Director of the Centre for Childhood Cultures, School of Languages, Linguistics, and Film
Professor Georgios Varouxakis, Professor of the History of Political Thought, School of History