The 'Heart' and 'Science' of Wilkie Collins and his Contemporaries
Keynote: Dr. Tara MacDonald (University of Idaho) ' Wilkie Collins, Armadale, and Public Feeling.'
Tea and Coffee will be provided. However, we will not be providing lunch.
‘“Why can’t I look into your heart, and see what secrets it is keeping from me?”’
The protagonist of Wilkie Collins’s Heart and Science (1883), surgeon Ovid de Vere, laments the difficulty in deciphering hidden emotions and secrets. Yet, the language suggests his medical background, striking a note with the novel’s supposedly anti-vivisection message and highlighting contemporary debates into the nature of experimental medicine, observation and epistemology. What is the best way of uncovering secrets, and what part does knowledge of the body play in this? Can medical training benefit from a thorough understanding of emotion? And does gender play a part in this? Issues of ‘heart’ and ‘science’ reverberate across Collins’s work, from the Major’s collection of women’s hair in The Law and the Lady (1875) to Ezra Jenning’s solution to the crime of The Moonstone (1868). This conference takes as its focus the proliferation of “heart” and “science” throughout Collins’s work.
9.20-10.50 : Science in Society and Relationships
• Ceri Hunter (Mansfield College, Oxford): Cozening Cousins: Collins, Cousin Marriage and Sensation
• Helena Ifill (Sheffield): Prosaic and Pathological: Love and Friendship in Collins's Fiction'
• Anne Chapman (King's College, London):‘Keep your place, if you please’: order, privacy, and romance in ‘Miss or Mrs.?’
10.50-11.20am COFFEE BREAK
• Tara MacDonald (Idaho): Wilkie Collins, Armadale and Public Feeling
1.20-1.50pm Performance and Talk
- Jak Stringer (Rambles in Cornwall (http://bit.do/caXvp): The Influences and Relationships of Cornwall on the writings of Wilkie Collins
1.50-3.10pm: Differentiated and Troublesome Bodies
• Ryan Sweet (Exeter): “[O]ld outspoken wig[s]”: Representations of Old Age and Artificial Hair in the Novels of Wilkie Collins
• Clare Walker Gore (Selwyn College): Disability Pride and Disability Prejudice: Blindness and Blueness in Poor Miss Finch
• Christopher Pittard (Portsmouth): Dangerous Dogs: Wilkie Collins’s Mr Lady’s Money and the 1870s Rabies Panic
• Ann Loveridge (Canterbury Christ Church): Women and Scientific Ambition in Wilkie Collins’s Heart and Science and Florence Marryat’s An Angel of Pity
3.10- 3.30pm COFFEE BREAK
3.30-4.45-pm: Madness, Pathology and the Body : Interpreting the Pathologised Body
• James Green (Exeter): “Straight through those clear blue eyes into his soul”: Physiognomy, Physiology, and the Detective Gaze in M.E. Braddon’s The Trail of the Serpent
• Benjamin E. Noad (Sterling): “Mad-Speech” to infinity in Lady Audley’s Secret and Wilkie Collins’s Basil
• Martin Edwards (Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL): Myths and narratives of therapeutic bed rest