Registration Open: ‘Race, Nation and Empire on the Victorian Popular Stage’

Registration Open: ‘Race, Nation and Empire on the Victorian Popular Stage’

Registration is now open for the major international conference ‘Race, Nation and Empire on the Victorian Popular Stage’ (to be held in the Storey Institute, Lancaster, 11-14 July 2012).

Please visit the website for further information (

The full programme is available for download from the website. A list of confirmed panels and speakers is to be found at the base of this email. You’ll see an excellent line up of speakers from across the UK, North America and Australia. John MacKenzie will provide the keynote lecture: ‘All the Empire’s a Stage: the Context and Performance of Imperialism’. (Emeritus of Lancaster, Edinburgh etc). He is author of Propaganda and Empire, Imperialism and Popular Culture and series editor of Manchester University Press’ ‘Studies in Imperialism’. Jane Pritchard (Victoria and Albert Museum) will deliver a special session which includes the exhibition of early film footage highlighting dance practice. The conference includes papers from academics working in the fields of theatre history/performance studies, Victorian literature, cultural history and museum studies. Cengage is sponsoring a special session on digital archives and Victorian Studies.
Confirmed panels:

John MacKenzie: ‘All the Empire’s a Stage: the Context and Performance of Imperialism’

Special session:
Jane Pritchard (V&A), ‘Dancing the Empire: Imperialism on the ballet stage’
Including film showing

Theatres of Empire
– Jeffrey Richards (Lancaster), ‘Drury Lane Imperialism’
– Marty Gould (South Florida), ‘“Robinson Redux”: Crusoe on Stage’

Actors abroad
– Jim Davis (Warwick), ‘”In the city of Calcutta there are no cobras”: Empire actors encountering the ‘Other’
– Veronica Kelly (Queensland), ‘Come Over Here! The Local Hybridisation of International “Ragtime Revues” in Australia before the First World War.’

– Dongshin Chang (Hunter College, CUNY), ‘“Chinese Sorcerer: Spectacle and Anglo-Chinese Relations’
– Ross Forman (Warwick), ‘“A Street in Peking”: Pantomime and Other Theatrical Encounters with China in the Nineteenth Century’
– Anne Witchard (Westminster), ‘A proper pagoda in the Strand’: China on the Musical Comedy stage, 1894-1914

– Stuart Currie (Worcester), ‘The Crimean War as Performance: Text and Subtext 1854-56’
– Margery Masterson (Bristol), ‘Theatre of Operations: Scandal and Spectacle in Mid-Victorian Courts Martial’
– Hayley Bradley (Manchester), ‘Sing a song of Empire’

Gender and the performance of imperialism
– Laura Monros-Gaspar (Valencia), ‘The Spanish gipsy and the British imperial imagination’
– Matt Salyer (U.Conn), “‘Swords of Honour”: Staging the “Celebrities of the Zulu War”’
– Brian Murray (King’s), ‘“Enacting the part of a weird drama”: H. M. Stanley and the Staging of Anglo-Saxon Manliness’

Crossing boundaries
– Kate Newey (Exeter), ‘Pantomime Utopias’
– Marah Gubar (Pittsburgh), ‘Infant Punks International’

Local and topical reference
– Jo Robinson (Nottingham), ‘Seeing the world from the provinces’
– Cathy Haill (V&A), ‘Patriotic Pirates and a very English Japan: Race, nation and empire in the operas of Gilbert & Sullivan’

Special session: Victorian Studies and the Digital Archive
– Cengage representative
– Bob Nicholson (Manchester), ‘Breaking Boundaries: Digitisation and the Future of the Past’
– Peter Yeandle (Lancaster), ‘Harlequin and the Archive; or, Empire here, Empire there, Empire everywhere’

Race, hybridity and performance
– Christopher Ferguson (Auburn), ‘“The Trouble with Billy Waters”: Imposture, Liberty, and Poverty in Nineteenth-Century Britain’
– Michele Mendelssohn (Oxford), ‘Oscar Wilde’s Performance of Racial Hybridity’
– Holy Gale Millette (UEA), ‘Strangeness, Subversion and Tourism at the Shaftesbury’

From local to global
– Jacob Diggle (Oxford), ‘Acting Out: Theatre Networks in the British World (1860 – 1914)’
– Ellen Couchman Crook (Birmingham), ‘The exotic and the everyday of the ‘Imagined Orient’ in regional Victorian pantomime’
– Alexandra Appleton (RHUL), ‘A Distinctly Nautical Stage? The development of maritime theatre on the Liverpool stage, 1830-1850’

Exhibitions, museums and the performing artefact
– Sadiah Qureshi (Birmingham), ‘“A Peep at the Natives”: exhibitions, empire and the natural history of race in nineteenth-century Britain’
– Sarah Longair (British Museum), Staging imperial performance: Architecture and interior display in early British colonial Zanzibar
– Marcus Risdell (Garrick), ‘“Dramatic and Musical Art of All Nations.” The Javanese Gamelan at the Royal Aquarium 1882’

– Simon Sladen (Winchester), “That sort of fairy tale’s no use in the new Victorian age that’s coming”: The past as a metaphor for the present in the RSC’s Poppy (1982)
– David Mayer (Manchester), Jeffrey Richards (Lancaster) and Peter Yeandle (Lancaster), Plenary.


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