Breaking the Network

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Breaking the Network: Infrastructure and Community (Fractures) in the Long Nineteenth Century

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Keynotes: Prof. Claire Connolly and Dr James Smith (University College Cork), Dr Nicola Kirkby (Royal Holloway), Prof. Ruth Livesey (Royal Holloway), Dr Nitin Sinha (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient)

Recent studies in nineteenth-century culture have investigated the connectedness of individuals, places, nations and markets, shaped by uneven development and asymmetric power relations. The rapid but asymmetric development of infrastructure in the nineteenth century laid the foundations for such far-reaching networks, and continue to affect individuals’ social experiences and spatial practices to this day. For example, the inaccessibility of most of London’s Victorian underground railway network for wheelchair users draws attention to infrastructure’s double potential to enable and to restrict social and spatial connections. Meanwhile, urban studies concepts, such as “splintering urbanism” (Graham and Marvin, 2001), direct our attention to the fragmentation of social groups and experiences both within and across spaces. This two-day symposium asks how we can reconcile the coexistence of such fragmentation with shared economies, communities, and spaces.


Thursday 2nd September

9.15 – 9.30 Opening remarks

9.30 – 10.45 Keynote 1: Nitin Sinha (Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient)

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee

11.00 – 12.30 Panel 1: Urban Space and Urbanising Spaces

Klaudia Lee (City University of Hong Kong), “Discordant Whispers: Silence, Gaps and Infrastructure in Kipling’s and Maugham’s Narratives of Hong Kong”

David Schley (Hong Kong Baptist University), “City Streets and Global Capitalism: New York City, 1811-1830”

Clare O’ Halloran (Emeritus, University College Cork), “Hurtling Towards the Past: popular antiquarianism and emerging transport networks in nineteenth-century Ireland”

Sandra Dinter (Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuermberg), “‘It Don’t Look Well for Young Women to Be Comin’ in After Dark’: Fractures of Gender in ‘Walking Tour Networks’ of Nineteenth-Century Britain”

12.30 – 1.30 Lunch

1.30 – 3.00 Panel 2: Infrastructure, Bodies, Crowds

Fionnghuala Sweeney and Bruce E. Baker (Newcastle University), “Fugitive Network: Moses Roper Tours Ireland, 1838”

Jeremy Goheen (University of Texas), “‘Africans of our own growth:’ Infrastructure, Race, and the Atmospheric Passages of Chimney-Sweep Literature”

Priyanjana Das (University of Edinburgh), “Landscape, Desire and the Heroic Self in Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights”

Jessica R. Valdez (University of Hong Kong), “Foreign Crowds and Working-Class Mobs: Collectivities and their Limits in Mid-Century British Writing”

3.00 – 3.15 Coffee

3.15 – 4.30 Panel 3: Infrastructures Across Scales: Region, Nation, World

Susan Shelangoskie (Lourdes University), “What Did the Network Break? Telegraph Work and the Disruption of Cultural Narratives”

Trish Bredar (University of Notre Dame), “‘I want them to be one with me’: Community and Mobility in Charlotte Yonge’s The Pillars of the House”

John Blackmore (University of Exeter and University of Bristol), “Tunnel Vision: Brunel’s concession to ‘Dorchester People and the Antiquarians of England’”

Patricia Frick (Otterbein University), “Infrastructures and Communities in Maria Graham’s Journal of a Residence in Chile During the Year, 1822”

4.30 – 4.45 Coffee

4.45 – 6.00 Keynote 2: Claire Connolly and James Smith (University College Cork)

6.00 – 7.00 Breakout rooms stay open for socialising

Friday 3rd September

9.15 – 9.30 Opening remarks

9.30 – 10.45 Keynote 3: Nicola Kirkby (Royal Holloway)

10.45 – 11.00 Coffee

11.00 – 12.30 Panel 4: Infrastructures of/and Visual and Popular Culture

Sara Dominici (University of Westminster), “Networked Darkrooms: Processing Photographs and Reframing Touring in Britain, 1880s-1900s”

Ann Wilson (Munster Technological University, Cork), “Picture Postcard culture in Edwardian Ireland”

Matthew L. Reznicek (Creighton University), “Revolutionary Networks: Operatic Infrastructures, the Belgian Revolution, and the Romantic Novel”

Caroline Sumpter (Queen’s University, Belfast), “Periodical Infrastructures and Gissing’s ‘struggle for existence among books’”

12.30 – 1.30 Lunch

1.30 – 3.00 Panel 5: Navigating International Networks

Susan Zieger (University of California, Riverside), “Perishables: The Cold Chain and Dracula’s Logistical Network”

Eleanor Hopkins (University of Exeter and the University of Southampton), “Postal Time and Fractured Imperialisms in Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days (1872)”

Alicia Barnes (University of Surrey), “‘So, then, invasion had come at last’: Railways, Disjointed Mobility and the Threat of Invasion in the British Imaginary”

Muireann O’Cinneide (NUI Galway), “Rudyard Kipling’s Songs of Steam: Rupturing the Nineteenth-Century Steam Ship”

3.00 – 3.15 Coffee

3.15 – 4.45 Keynote 4: Ruth Livesey (Royal Holloway)

4.45 – 5.00 Closing remarks

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