I'm Reader in Print and Digital Cultures, and Director of the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research at Cardiff University. My research interests include Jane Austen, 19th-century fiction, the gothic, print culture and history of the book, and digital humanities. I have published books and essays on Austen, popular fiction and print culture, and have developed a number of literary databases. I'm currently working on various projects, including an encyclopaedia of gothic publishing during the Romantic period. I'm also one of the General Editors of the New Edinburgh Edition of the Works of Robert Louis Stevenson.
Jim Mussell (University of Leeds) will be presenting his paper, ‘Moving Things: Media and Mediation in Dickens’s Mugby Junction’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 1 April 2014. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.
Media move things, but media are also things that move. This paper focus on the mediating bodies of nineteenth-century print culture and the effects that they had on the human bodies they mediated. My focus throughout is on repetition, the characteristic movement of industrial print culture. Repetition puts into play a gothic pattern of return and my paper draws upon this tradition to account for repetition’s cultural effects. In a sort of repetition of my own, I will keep coming back to Mugby Junction, Dickens’s Christmas issue of All the Year Round from 1866. The frame narrative tells the story of Barbox Brothers, who haunts Mugby Junction as he does not know which line to take. I argue that Barbox’s decision to stay is similar to the way periodicals like Household Words and All the Year Round mediate through repetition. Just as Barbox Brothers moves on by becoming part of Mugby, so the Christmas number of All the Year Round becomes part of the archive, part of a space called the past, on the appearance of the January number. From the steam engine to the heart, my argument is that until we take repetition seriously we cannot understand the print culture of the past.
About the speaker
Dr James Mussell is Associate Professor of Victorian Literature at the University of Leeds. He is the author of The Nineteenth-Century Press in the Digital Age (Palgrave, 2012) and Science, Time and Space in the Late Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press (Ashgate, 2007). He is the one of the editors of The Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (ncse 2008) and W. T. Stead: Newspaper Revolutionary (British Library, 2012). Since 2009 he has edited the Digital Forum in the Journal of Victorian Culture.
Matthew Rubery (Queen Mary, London) will be presenting his paper, ‘How to Read a Talking Book’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 18 March 2014. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.
The United States Library of Congress’s Talking Book Service was established in 1934 to provide books for war-blinded soldiers and blind civilians who could not read braille. The first recordings included the Bible, Shakespeare’s plays and best-selling novels. This presentation traces a series of controversies that arose soon afterward among the blind community over the appropriate way to narrate a talking book. Audiences faced a choice between a deliberately understated style that privileged the printed book and a theatrical style that took full advantage of the phonograph’s sound. Such disputes raise fundamental questions about the legitimacy of reading practices among people with visual disabilities and, ultimately, what it means to read a book. Read the rest of this entry »
Elizabeth Edwards (Centre for Advanced Welsh & Celtic Studies) will be presenting her paper, ‘ “In Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring, / The business of his life—to sing”: Richard Llwyd and the Labouring-Class Voice’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 11 March 2014. The talk will take place in Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.
Richard Llwyd’s brief pen portrait of the bird free ‘to sing’ points towards the diurnal nature of the labouring-class artist’s life, implicitly time-bound and work-bound. But it also celebrates the liberating and transformative effects of the creative life. Using the concept of voice as a way of introducing Llwyd’s work, this paper will consider his place within a still-expanding tradition of labouring-class poetry, his relation to the new archipelagic Romanticism, and the revelation of a distinct cultural perspective (or voice) in his writing. Read the rest of this entry »
Angie Dunstan (University of Kent) will be presenting her paper, ‘Romantic Literary Societies and their Victorian Afterlives’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 25 February 2014. The talk will take place in Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.48.
In 1889, Andrew Lang bemoaned the rise of literary societies devoted to Romantic poets, complaining ‘They all demonstrate that people have not the courage to study verse in solitude and for their proper pleasure; men and women need confederates in this adventure’. Lang’s was only one voice in a lively debate as to the purpose and usefulness of Romantic literary societies at this time, particularly as the movement towards single-author societies coincided with rising suspicion towards cults of celebrity. The 1880s saw the formation of the Wordsworth Society, the Shelley Society and the Lamb Society, and each rapidly acquired authority through the membership of prominent literati. Taking the Wordsworth and the Shelley Societies as case studies, this paper explores the role of Romantic literary societies in the Victorian era, questioning whether members of such literary societies were meaningfully influenced by the politics and poetics of their Romantic figureheads, or whether such societies were, as one critic expressed it, merely places of ‘congregational enthusiasm’. Read the rest of this entry »
The Arts and Humanities Research Council has awarded a Collaborative Skills Development training grant for ‘WISE—What is Scholarly Editing?’ The programme is led by Dr Wim Van Mierlo at the Institute of English Studies, in collaboration with Dr Jane Winters (Institute of Historical Research), Dr Anthony Mandal (Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, Cardiff University) and Dr Jason Harding (Department of English, University of Durham).
Scholarly editing and the production of critical editions underpin much research in the humanities, notably in the fields of Classics, History and Literary Studies. Yet training in appropriate theoretical and methodological approaches, and importantly research management skills, is practically absent from existing research skills programmes available to postgraduate students and early career researchers. A significant portion of critical and scholarly editions are produced, it would appear, by editors who are largely self-taught. The objective of the WISE programme is to offer training and guidance for new editors to gain some experience early on in their career as editors. The development of an appropriate training framework for this core humanities research activity will help both to enhance the national skill set and to secure increased recognition for editorial activity, and indeed for collaborative, trans-disciplinary editorial work more generally. Read the rest of this entry »
‘The Theatre of the Book’: Marginalia and Mise en Page in the Cardiff Rare Books Restoration Drama Collection
by Melanie Bigold*
Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research, Occasional Publications No. 1
The value-added aspect of both marginalia and provenance has long been recognized. Ownership marks and autograph annotations from well-known writers or public figures increase the intellectual interest as well as monetary value of a given book. Handwritten keys, pointers, and marginal glosses can help to reveal unique, historical information unavailable in the printed text; information that, in turn, can be used to reconstruct various reading and interpretive experiences of the past. However, increasingly scholars such as Alan Westphall have acknowledged that the ‘study of marginalia and annotations’ results in ‘microhistory, producing narratives that are often idiosyncratic.’ While twenty to fifty percent of early modern texts have some sort of marking in them, many of these forays in textual alterity are unsystematic and fail to address, as William Sherman notes, ‘the larger patterns that most literary and historical scholars have as their goal.’
On the other hand, Heidi Hackel Brayman has shown that our commitment to ‘the singular “ideal” or transhistorical reader and the extraordinary male reader’ fails to take into account ‘less extraordinary readers.’ In particular, the reciprocity between such readers and their ‘recreational’ texts is often overlooked in the early modern cycle of textual production. Surviving exemplars of these types of texts can, however, reveal varied attitudes towards books and reading from a vast range of early as well as later readers. The types of annotation evident in the Cardiff Rare Books collection reveal patterns of engagement on the part of readers that challenge critical orthodoxies—particularly in relation to the evolution of the play text. The attached paper explores, therefore, the mediations between performance and text, between stage and page, as it appears in terms of authors’, publishers’, but, most importantly, readers’ alterations to the mise en page – the layout of the printed text.
Click here to download the publication (173pp, inc. essay plus 800 records). [The file is also available for download from Research > Scholarship.]
* This research was made possible by generous funding from the Cardiff Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (CUROP), and the School of English, Communication, and Philosophy at Cardiff University. My research assistants, Lewis Coyne and Emma Feloy, contributed blog posts on their own findings here and here. I would like to thank Lewis and Emma for their diligent and exemplary work on this project, and the team in Special Collections and Archives (SCOLAR): Peter Keelan, Ken Gibb, and Alison Harvey, for their invaluable guidance and help.
Ronan Deazley (University of Glasgow) will be presenting his paper, ‘Comics, Copyright and Academic Publishing’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 19 November 2013. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 0.31.
This paper explores the culture of copyright clearance within the domain of scholarly communications through the prism of comics scholarship. It will be of interest to copyright scholars, as well as to academics working in the arts, humanities and social sciences who make use of copyright material in their research publications.
About the speaker
Ronan Deazley is Professor of Copyright Law at the University of Glasgow and Founding Director of CREATe, the RCUK-funded Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy (www.create.ac.uk). He is the author of numerous publications on the issue of copyright and intellectual property, including On the Origin of the Right to Copy: Charting the Movement of Copyright Law in Eighteenth Century Britain, 1695–1775 (2004) and Re-Thinking Copyright: History, Theory, Language (2006, 2008). Between 2006 and 2008 he was the UK national editor for an AHRC-funded digital resource concerning the history of copyright in Italy, France, Germany, the UK and the US: Primary Sources on Copyright 1450-1900. More recently, he secured £5.1M of RCUK funding to establish CREATe: the RCUK Centre for Copyright and New Business Models in the Creative Economy.
Alice Jenkins (University of Glasgow) will be presenting her paper, ‘Nineteenth-Century Euclid: Storytelling and Deductive Reasoning’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 12 November 2013. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 0.31, and is co-hosted by the Centre for Editorial and Intertextual Research and the Collaborative Interdisciplinary Study for Science, Medicine and the Imagination (CISSMI) research network.
‘Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a lovestory or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid.’
Holmes’s expostulation to Watson in The Sign of Four embodies a conventional Victorian view of the purity of mathematics as utterly distinct from the flim-flam of fiction. Does an attempt to read Victorian mathematics in the context of literary culture carry the principles of literature and science studies too far? Had the period’s mathematics any significant relationship with affect, rhetoric, poetics, ambiguity, those qualities we think of as basic to literature? In particular, what kinds of relationship can a deductive science have with narrative? In this paper I explore some of the ways in which Victorian writers grappled with mathematics and tried to tell deductive stories.
Stephen Bending (University of Southampton) will be presenting his paper, ‘Retirement and Disgrace: Women and Gardens in the Eighteenth Century’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 29 October 2013. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 0.31.
Traditional accounts of women in eighteenth-century gardens tend to emphasise flower gardens, piety and domestic retirement, but alongside this we should recognise an equally powerful image of women and gardens articulated in terms of sex, voyeurism, scandal and disgrace. This paper begins by outlining some of those conventional—and frequently male—accounts which align the garden with femininity, piety, and domesticity, but then turns to some less comfortable alternatives in order to explore what happens when women—rather than men—imagine themselves in the garden, how they engage with double standards, female desire, and the recognition that if the garden is a place of pleasure, it can also be a place of punishment and shame.