Material Traces and Tactility in Neo-Victorian Literature and Culture
Rosario Arias, 6 February 2017, CEIR Seminar Series
Leaving the warm shores of Malaga, Spain, and braving the wind and rain of Cardiff in February, Rosario Arias presented the first paper of 2017 for the Centre of Editorial and Intertextual Research. Drawing on her research for an upcoming book project, Arias focused her discussion on neo-Victorian literature and culture in relation to tactility and material traces.
Beginning by acknowledging the pervasiveness of haunting in neo-Victorian fiction and culture, Arias goes on to suggest that, in recent years, this emphasis on the presence of the spectral past has shifted to include a conceptualisation of the actual textual and material remains of the past. As she explains, the Victorians are at once ghostly and tangible in contemporary culture, both their philosophical and physical, or material, legacies retaining a strong affective presence in modern Britain. It is the material legacies of the Victorians that Arias focuses on in this paper, considering the overflow of the past into the present through materiality in contemporary literature. Employing critical approaches such as thing theory, affective materiality and phenomenology, her research is concerned with literary texts that emphasise the sensual interplay between contemporary Britain and Victorian culture. (more…)
Rosario Arias (Universidad de Málaga) will be presenting her paper, ‘Material Traces and Tactility in Neo-Victorian Literature and Culture’, at 5.30pm on Monday, 6 February 2017. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 2.47, and will be followed by a wine reception.
Abstract In the latest issue of the online journal Neo-Victorian Studies (9.1: 2016), devoted to neo-Victorianism and the stage, co-editors Beth Palmer and Benjamin Poore acknowledge the relevance that ‘the idea of haunting and hauntedness’ bears upon the field of neo-Victorian studies (1). Indeed, the pervasiveness of the Victorians in contemporary culture has been addressed through the master trope of haunting and spectrality, as many critics have noted. However, Cora Kaplan in Victoriana (2002) has aptly suggested that ‘[t]he Victorian as at once ghostly and tangible … [has] had a strong affective presence in modern Britain’. Therefore, time seems ripe for the consideration of the tangibility of Victorian traces and the traces of the Victorians in contemporary culture. In this talk, I will pay attention to the material side of the trace of the Victorian past, objects and things, as well as the overflow of the past into the present through sensorial materiality, in contemporary literature and culture. In so doing, I will focus on a selection of texts that illustrate the sensuous interplay between the Victorian past and today’s culture by employing critical approaches such as Thing theory, affective materiality and phenomenology. (more…)
Simon Grennan (University of Chester) will be presenting his paper, ‘Dispossession: A New Graphic Adaptation of a Novel by Anthony Trollope’, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 18 November 2014. The talk will take place in the Cardiff University’s John Percival Building, Room 0.36.
Abstract This paper will discuss Grennan’s forthcoming adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s John Caldigate (1878) as a new graphic novel, Dispossession. Produced in the context of an academic conference on Trollope in 2015, the new graphic novel functions as a research outcome in the sense that its academic audience is a ‘knowing one’, to use Linda Hutcheon’s term. Following Walter Benjamin’s theorisation of translation, the process of creating Dispossession approaches Trollope’s text as the source of a protocol or set of governing rules, including an apprehension of the reading behaviours of his contemporaries and of contemporary graphic novel readers. As a result, the relationship between novel and graphic novel constitutes both the process and product of adaptation as an experience for a knowing reader. In terms of drawing style, the challenge for this adaptation lies not only in identifying the existing different behaviours of novels and graphic novels, but in meaningfully producing a new style of drawing relative to an existing writing style. It is not the task of comparing existing styles, but one demanding the speculative creation of new rules within which to draw. As Dispossession also has a research function, the process of meaningfully inventing a new style also demands comprehensive rationalisation. From an analysis of Trollope’s style emerges the question of style in the adaptation, answers to which finalise its governing rules: how does Dispossession employ and/or depict equivocation in the style of its facture, distinct from the depiction of the plot? To answer this question, the paper will finally discuss the broader temporal implications of relationships between types of plot and drawing protocols, considering in detail examples of types of facture and storyboarding from 19th-century and 21st-century narrative drawing. (more…)