Here is some news from our British and Postcolonial Studies Cluster, where some faculty have been publishing new research and forging exciting institutional connections in the US, UK, India and Ireland.
Jenny Green-Lewis is glad to say that her essay on Victorian photography and the novel, written for the new Oxford Handbook of the Victorian Novel, is finally out in England and will be available in the US in the next month or so. During her sabbatical last year, which she spent working on her book manuscript, Jenny was invited to contribute an essay to the catalog for the Getty Museum’s 2014 exhibition A Royal Passion, which explores Queen Victoria’s interest in and use of photographs throughout her reign. The other contributor, Sophie Gordon, is senior curator of photographs at Windsor Castle. Jenny was lucky enough to view the collection privately at the castle a couple of years ago, after a chance meeting with the curator of Royal miniatures at NAVSA (ask her about it if you’re curious). The Getty’s catalogue on Queen Victoria was edited (and the exhibition curated) by Annie Lyden, who has recently left the Getty and is now serving as International Curator of Photography at the Royal Galleries of Scotland. Jenny isn’t sure whether the exhibition will travel or not, but she says that it looks wonderful. Photographs have been drawn from holdings of the Royal Collection as well as the Getty, and the exhibition will include private portraits of the Royal Family as well as prints by photographers such as Henry Talbot, Roger Fenton, and Julia Margaret Cameron. It opens February 4, and the audio-tour will include Jenny’s recorded comments on a number of the objects and images.
Other essays by Jenny that should be out later this year include a chapter from her new book manuscript, forthcoming in the journal ELN under the title “Eye to Eye with the Trilobite: Time’s Texture and the Matter of Early Photography,” as well as an essay on photography and Victorian realism written for a book on critical debates in nineteenth-century studies (Routledge 2014). You can also catch her reviews of recent critical work on Victorian photography in upcoming or recent editions of Victorians’ Institute Journal, Victorian Studies, American Historical Review, and RaVon (Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net), as well as a piece by her on this spring’s exhibition at the National Gallery (on loan from the Met), “Faking It: Manipulated Photography before Photoshop,” for CAA Reviews.
Prof. Kavita Daiya has been working on her second book Peripheral Secularisms over the summer, which gained much shape from the Mellon Regional faculty Fellowship she held at the Penn Humanities Center at the University of Pennsylvania 2013-2014. She was delighted that, in Spring 2013, her first book Violent Belongings: Partition, Gender and National Culture in Postcolonial India was published in an Indian edition (2013) by Yoda Press; a recent review of this book called it ““one of the most exhaustive and brilliant works on Partition, gender and nation.” As an Associate Editor, Kavita is also helping put together a special issue on the Indian author Salman Rushdiefor the South Asian Review. In addition, her encyclopedia entry on “Partition” for the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and an article on the cultural representation of refugees in South Asia for an interdisciplinary essay collection (Routledge) are forthcoming early next year. Kavita continues to gather interviews with Partition survivors and their descendants for her Digital Humanities project.
Prof. Maria Frawley directs GW’s Honors Program, but has kept her vital scholarship ongoing: most recently, she will be writing for a new British Library site aimed at a providing contextual (historical, political, and social) information to augment understanding of key library holdings. The Romantics and Victorians site will digitize both literary sources (manuscripts, first editions, original monthly parts) and contextual material (newspapers, letters, chapbooks, pamphlets, broadsides, maps and other forms of ephemera). Bringing together high resolution images, interactives (such as maps and timelines), film, audio and interpretation provided by experts, the British Library hopes to create a cutting-edge site that can bring a unique contribution to the study of English literature. Her first contribution will be on serialization.
Prof. Daniel DeWispelare is delighted to be beginning his second year as an Assistant professor at GWU English and to be teaching a BPC graduate seminar this fall on the functions of the English language in facilitating the early history of British imperial expansion. He is currently at work one two manuscript projects. The first, which develops and departs from the work done in his doctoral dissertation, tries to sketch out the parameters of how a concept of emergent eighteenth-century anglophony, by which he means a transnational English linguistic sphere, contributed to the aesthetic developments with associate with cultural authenticity as it was construed and propagated by Romantic writers. His second manuscript project revolves around dialect writing and the construction and then adjudication of criminality during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Recently, Dr. DeWispelare won a substantial grant from the Columbia College Facilitating Fund for research on these two projects and for the creation of a digital database of dialect writing. Consequently, he spent the summer of 2013 in Dublin at work on the archival part of these projects.