"Form and Reform" Conference

Form and Reform conference banner
July 27-29, 2017 • UC Santa Cruz • Free and open to the public
Form and Reform is a conference on 19th-century literature, art, and history to be held at UC Santa Cruz, preceding the 2017 Dickens Universe. All genres of Victorian literature addressed the major questions of social and political reform that characterized the period, as did many art and craft practices, genres of history writing or scholarship, and forms of popular culture. This conference will give us an opportunity to think about the “form” of reform. Current debates about form and formalism in Victorian Studies open the door to this dimension of the word “reform,” and they urge us to re-consider their relation. 

THURSDAY, JULY 27 back to top
3:00-5:00 PM Check-In 
(see maps: overview | C9/10 detail | directions)
Colleges Nine and Ten (C9/10) Community Room
6:00-7:30 PM Drinks and Welcome Dinner Bhojwani Dining Room
7:30-9:00 PM Keynote Lecture: Caroline Arscott (Courtauld Institute of Art)
"Fluctuating Forms: Albert Moore, Walter Pater, Ernst Haeckel"
Bhojwani Dining Room
FRIDAY, JULY 28 back to top
7:45-8:30 AM Breakfast C9/10 Dining Commons
8:30-10:15 AM Panel I: Form and Reform in Dickens and Eliot
Moderator: Susan Zieger (UC Riverside)
Synthesizer: Helena Michie (Rice University)
Bhojwani Dining Room
John O. Jordan (UC Santa Cruz)
"Is David Copperfield a Chartist Novel?"
Deanna K. Kreisel (University of British Columbia)
"Forms of the Utopian in George Eliot's Fiction"
John Kucich (Rutgers University)
"Organic Reform in Felix Holt: From Paternalism to the Welfare State"
Jonathan Grossman (UC Los Angeles)
10:15-10:45 AM Coffee Break Levin Lanai
10:45-12:30 PM
concurrent panel

Panel II: Blanks, Gaps, Fissures
Moderator: Renee Fox (UC Santa Cruz)
Synthesizer: Jos Lavery (UC Berkeley)

Bhojwani Dining Room
Zoe Beenstock (University of Haifa)
"Reforming Sympathy: Adam Smith and Wordsworth in John Stuart Mill's Lyric Crisis"
Alicia Christoff (Amherst College)
"George Eliot and Unformulated Experience"
Ella Mershon (Center for the Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison)
"Fissure as Form"
Jesse Cordes Selbin (UC Berkeley)
"'A Definite Outline for Our Ignorance': Literary Method in the Balance"
10:45-12:30 PM
concurrent panel

Panel III: Forms of Poetry
Moderator: Tricia Lootens (University of Georgia)
Synthesizer: Jennifer McDonell (University of New England)

Alumni Room
Jason R. Rudy (University of Maryland)
"Reforming Hemans in the Colonies"
Simon Rennie (University of Exeter Centre for Victorian Studies)
"'Tuned by the Hand of Circumstance': Shifting Form in the Chartist Poetry of Ernest Jones"
Cornelia Pearsall (Smith College)
"Tennyson, Form! War's Lineations"
Michael Cohen (UC Los Angeles)
"Anti-Slavery and Its Conventions"
12:45-1:30 PM Lunch C9/10 Dining Commons

1:45-3:30 PM
concurrent panel

Panel IV: Forms of History
Moderator: Monique Morgan (University of Indiana, Bloomington)
Synthesizer: James Eli Adams (Columbia University)

Bhojwani Dining Room
Katherine J. Anderson (UC Davis)
"The Banality of Empire: Forms of Torture, 1855"
Julie Codell (Arizona State University)
"Folding the Canon: The Pre-Raphaelite List of Immortals and the Anti-Canon"
Helen Kingstone (Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies)
"'First, Climb to the Roof': Panorama as a Form of Contemporary History"
Sara Maurer (University of Notre Dame)
"I've Got a Blank Space, Baby: Filling Out Forms and Circulating Tracts in Victorian Charity"
1:45-3:30 PM
concurrent panel

Panel V: Forms of Fiction
Moderator: Murray Baumgarten (UC Santa Cruz)
Synthesizer: Elsie Michie (Louisiana State University)

Alumni Room
Ruth M. McAdams (Boğaziçi University, Istanbul)
"Victorian Perodization and the Roman-à-Clef Character"
Daniel Cook (Saginaw Valley State University)
"Labor Reform, Asymmetrical Experience, and Ellen Wood's Johnny Ludlow Series"
Rachel Teukolsky (Vanderbilt University)
"Pickwick's Zany Politics: Caricature and Violence after Reform"
Jesse Rosenthal (Johns Hopkins University)
"'The Bondswoman's Due': Broken Contracts in The Egoist"
3:30-4:00 PM Break Levin Lanai
4:00-5:45 PM

Panel VI: Moving Outward
Moderator: Catherine Robson (New York University)
Synthesizer: Kathleen Frederickson (UC Davis)

Bhojwani Dining Room
Sukanya Banerjee (University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee)
"Of Sensational Marriages and a Transimperial Genre"
Devin Griffiths (University of Southern California)
"Deforming the Novel"
Jonathan Farina (Seton Hall University)
"'Various Levels of Painstaking': The Reformative Work of Style in Victorian Criticism"
Ryan Fong (Kalamazoo College)
"The Afterlife of Forms: Middlemarch and Zadie Smith's NW"
6:00-7:30 PM Dinner C9/10 Dining Commons
8:00-9:30 PM Keynote Lecture: Ian Duncan (UC Berkeley)
"The Natural History of Form: From aesthetic education to sexual selection"
Bhojwani Dining Room
9:30-10:15 PM After-Dinner Drinks Levin Lanai and Ringold Rotunda
SATURDAY, JULY 29 back to top
7:45-8:30 AM Breakfast C9/10 Dining Commons
8:30-10:00 AM Panel VII: Synthesis and Discussion of Conference Bhojwani Dining Room
10:00-10:30 AM Coffee and Refreshments Levin Lanai and Ringold Rotunda

This event has been made possible through generous contributions from the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University, George Eliot–George Henry Lewes Studies, the Friends of the Dickens Project, the Institute for Humanities Research, Porter College, the Department of Literature, and the Department of History.

(Page last updated 07/03/2017)

See Also