Programme available: VPFA 6th Annual Conference, 8-10 July 2014

The VPFA is pleased to announce the release of the conference programme for its 6th annual conference on ‘Victorian Treasure and Trash’.

We have a lot to offer with three special author panels on Braddon, Collins and Ouida, three consecutive panels throughout the conference, two keynotes, a guest speaker, a postgraduate training session and a reading group.  You can register here:

We are also looking for panel chairs, so if there is a particular panel you would like to chair, or are happy to volunteer for any, please do get in contact with us at



Tuesday 8th July 2014

1.00pm      Registration

1.45pm      Opening and Welcome: Kirsty Bunting, Janine Hatter and Helena Ifill

2.00pm      Keynote: Jonathon Shears: ‘“[…] battered […] soiled […] broken […] empty […] half-smoked […] stale”: The Hangover in Victorian Popular Fiction’

3.30pm      Tea

4.00pm – 5.30pm – Parallel Panel 1 and Postgraduate Training Session

Name: Supernatural Treasures

Panel host: Nickianne Moody

Helena Ifill: ‘Rethinking the Trivial and the Valuable: Occult Fiction in the Popular Press’

Ruth Holt and Rebecca Lloyd: ‘Treasure into Trash: Ghostly Objects and the Horrors of Ghastly Ancestors in the Ghost Stories of Louisa Baldwin’

Anne Chapman: ‘“With Goodwill and Earnest Purpose”: Treasuring Time at Mugby Junction’

Name: Domestic Value

Panel host:

Kim Clayton-Greene: ‘A Hierarchy in the Home: Displaying Prints in the Nineteenth-Century Domestic Interior’

Sophia (Pei-Ching) Huang: ‘“Where’s the Pearl”: Women’s Place in the Home and Beyond in Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South

Kara Tennant: ‘A Question of Value: Virtue, Danger and Victorian Dressmaking’

Postgraduate Training Session

Panel host: Janine Hatter

Kirsty Bunting – Publishing Your First Article

Katie Garner – Grant Writing

Janine Hatter – Social Media and Public Engagement

Barbara Leckie – Alt-Ac

5.30pm                   VPFA Meeting and MEBA Launch

6.30pm                  Drinks Reception

Wednesday 9th July 2014

9.00am – 10.30am – Parallel Panel 2

Name: Inheritance

Panel host: Janine Hatter

Hyunsoo Jang: ‘Morality and Property: Trollope’s Questioning of the Reform of the Inheritance Laws in Eustace Diamonds

Angharad Eyre: ‘“My Mothers Pearls”: Women’s Treasures, Capital and Value in Margaret Oliphant’s Hester

Anna-Louise Russell: ‘Strangers and Pilgrims: Contagious Diseases and the Fatal Marriage’

Name: Dangerous Objects

Panel host:

Thomas Graf: ‘Weaponized Trash: London’s Refuse as London’s Saviour in Invasion Fiction’

Susan Shelangoskie: ‘Technology’s Treasure and Human Trash: E. W. Hornung’s The Camera Fiend

Christopher Gage: ‘Dirty Jobs: Sherlock Holmes’s Disgust Threshold and Filth Expertise’

Name: Treasure Seeking

Panel host:

Laura Wood: ‘“Let’s Read All the Books Again. We Shall Get Lots of Ideas Out of Them”: Reading and the Search for Treasure in Edith Nesbit’s The Treasure Seekers

Stacey Kirkendall: ‘Visual Threat in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone

Erin Louttit: ‘Treasuring the Soul in Trash Fiction: A. M. Diehl’s Dr. Paull’s Theory (1893)’

10.30am              Tea

11.00am – 12.30pm Parallel Panel 3

Name: Corrupting Clubs

Panel host: Kirsty Bunting

Laurel Brake: ‘W. H. Pater’s Notion of “Choice”’

James Machin: ‘Eric, Count Stenbock: “Scholar, Connoisseur, Drunkard, Poet, Pervert, Most Charming of Men”’

Emma Butcher: ‘Drunken Degeneration: Corrupting Clubs and Masculine Monsters in Bessie Gordon’s Story

Name: Witnessing the Extreme

Panel host: Emily Bowles

Rosalyn Buckland: ‘“The Black Diamond”: Creating Value in the Dickensian Coalmine’

Terry Scarborough: ‘Dirty Dogs and Dumb Dirt: Animal Agency and Human Sentiment in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations

Ellie Byrne: ‘Alcohol, Tobacco, Fleas and Mosquitos: Trashing Hawaii, Colonial Devastation in the Writings of Robert Louis Stevenson’

Name: Creating Treasures

Panel host: Catherine Pope

Sara Clayson: ‘“What Genius Wild/Yet Mighty, was Enclosed Within One Simple Child!”: P. B. Shelley’s Cythna and Dinah Craik’s Olive as Revolutionary Sisters’

Nickianne Moody: ‘Felicia Hemans, Landscape and an Englishwoman’s Garden’

Jane Jordan: ‘Victorian Popular Women Novelists and the Dictionary of National Biography’

12.30pm              Lunch

1.00pm                Reading Pack Discussion

1.30pm                Guest Talk: Karen Attar: ‘Trash, Treasure or Trashy Treasure at the Institutional Library’

2.45pm – 4.15pm – Parallel Panel 4

Name: Literary Cross-Dressing

Panel host:

Catherine Addison: ‘Owen Meredith’s Lucile: A Trove of Neglected Treasures’

Tara MacDonald: ‘Sensational Trash, Spasmodic Poetry, and Rhoda Broughton’s Cometh Up as a Flower

Kristan Tetens: ‘“That Deciduous Trash which Our Publishers Call Fiction”: Hall Caine’s The Manxman in the Late-Victorian Literary Marketplace’

Name: Reading for Improvement

Panel host:

Barbara Leckie: ‘Wasting time: Perseverance, Reading, Procrastination’

Lindy Moore: ‘A Trashy Victorian Popular Fiction Writer Comments in Victorian Literary Rubbish’

Christopher Pittard: ‘Silas K. Hocking and the Poetics of the Prolific’

Name: Dickens and Material Culture

Panel host: Emma Butcher

Emily Bowles: ‘Pornographers, Barristers, Journalists and the Carcass of Literary Celebrity: Charles Dickens’s Early Biographers’

Maureen England: ‘From Ebay to Bonhams: Curiosity Shopping for Dickens’

Mary Addyman: ‘“A Long, Long Rust in the Dark”: Tales of Hoarders and Misers’

4.15pm         Tea

4.45pm – 6.35pm – Parallel Panel 5

Name: Special Author Panel 1: Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Panel host: Anne-Marie Beller

Anna Brecke: ‘From Trash to Treasure: Confessions and Redemption in the Sensation Novel and Reform Literature’

Janine Hatter: ‘Reinterpreting Faust: Reading M. E. Braddon’s Gerard through its Intertextual Links with Goethe and Balzac’

Jo Knowles: ‘Home, and the gardens, and the dear old park: landscape in Braddon’s EarlyBelgravia Fiction’

Name: Special Author Panel 2: Wilkie Collins

Panel host: Mariaconcetta Costantini

Mia Frazen and Penian Rosenberg: ‘“Here was our quiet English house suddenly invaded by a devilish Indian Diamond”: The True Price of Treasure in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone

Alison Moulds: ‘Filling the “vacant space”: constructing learning disability in Wilkie Collins’sNo Name and The Law and the Lady

Kathleen Hudson: ‘“Old, ugly, bad and lost”: Women of Vice and Value in Louisa May Alcott’sBehind the Mask and Wilkie Collins’s Armadale

Name: Special Author Panel 3: Ouida

Panel hosts: Jane Jordan and Andrew King

Barbara Vrachnas: ‘“With Chains of Gold about Her Ankles”: Ouida’s “Worthless’ Female Characters’

Richard Espley: ‘“Lumps of sodden flesh … who do but cumber the earth they pollute”: human and canine value in the works of Ouida’

Katie Garner: ‘Diamonds, Silks, and Other Treasures: The Value of the Arthurian Legend in Victorian Popular Fiction’

7.00pm  Conference Dinner: An email with details of the restaurant and costs and  asking for expressions of interest will follow. 

Thursday 10th July 2014

9.00am – 10.30am – Parallel Panel 6

Name: Imperial Treasures

Panel host: Nickianne Moody

Melissa Dickson: ‘Excavating the Treasures of the Arabian Nights in Early Nineteenth-Century Egypt and the Middle East’

Eleanor Dobson: ‘Marie Corelli and Egyptiana’

Maria Grazia Messore: ‘Imperialism at Home: The Case of the Porcelain in Jane Eyre

Name: Literary Appropriation

Panel host: Kirsty Bunting

Ann M. Hale: ‘Irene Adler’s Antecedents in W. Stephens Hayward’s Revelations of a Lady Detective

Lucy Brown: ‘Bleak House to Black Sheep: Literacy and the Street Boy’

Sarah Lill: ‘Dickens’s “Dishonest Dullard”: Edward Lloyd’s Plagiarisms, 1836-8’

Name: Marketing Victorian Fiction

Panel host: Janine Hatter

Anna Gasperini: ‘Relished, Trashed, Recovered: The Survival of the Victorian Penny Dreadful’

Jessica Cox: ‘From Trash to Treasure (To Trash?): Victorian Sensation Fiction, Neo-Victorianism, and the Rise of a New Literary Canon’

Chris Louttit: ‘Turning Trash into Treasure: Penguin’s Remarketing of Victorian Popular Fiction’

10.30am                 Tea

11.00am                 Keynote: Judith Flanders: ‘Painting Reality: Home vs Home-ness’

12.30pm                Lunch

1.15pm – 3.00pm – Parallel Panel 7

Name: Unspeakable Bodies

Panel host:

Louise Creechan: ‘The Unspeakable: Liminal Texts, Liminal Disabilities’

Jennifer Jones: ‘Medical Waste as Memorial’

Claire Furlong: ‘“A Structure so Exquisitely Perfect”: The Anatomist and his Subject in Popular Periodical Press’

Michael Bedo: ‘“Utterly Subversive of Female Delicacy”: Victorian Sensibilities and the Unspeakable Allegations in Countess Russell’s Divorce Suit’

Name: Consuming and Adulteration

Panel host: Andrew King

Annemarie McAllister: ‘Treasures from Trash: Tropes and Narrative Legacies in Temperance Novels’

Silvana Colella: ‘The Marriage of Chicory and Coffee: Adulteration and Adultery in Charlotte Riddel’s The Race for Wealth

Emma Kareno: ‘Cocaine or Crime: Sherlock Holmes’s Drug of Choice’

3.00pm – 3.15pm           Close


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