THE VICTORIANS INSTITUTE 2000 

‘This Strange Disease of Modern Life’: Victorian Illness, Health and Medicine 

University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 
Friday, October 6th & Saturday, October 7th, 2000 


hosted by
 
The University of South Carolina 
Liberal Arts * English * Women's Studies* Thomas Cooper Library 
with support from the 
South Carolina Humanities Council 
a state-level agency of the National Endowment for the Humanities

 

FRIDAY AFTERNOON: OCTOBER 6TH 
All Friday events are in Thomas Cooper Library, near the corner of Greene Street and Sumter Street. 
Registration in mezzanine exhibit area, from 12:30 pm.; nearest parking--Bull Street garage, lower level.

Session 1: Opening Plenary Presentations--Beverly Taylor on Elizabeth Barrett Browning; Maria Frawley on Ellen Chadwick, the Famous Manchester Invalid 
(Fri., 2:00-3:10 pm, Graniteville Room) 
Chair: William B. Thesing, U of South Carolina 
Welcome: Ina Rae Hark, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts, U of South Carolina 
Beverly Taylor, UNC-Chapel Hill, “Gender and the Politics of Illness in Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Poetry.” 
 --Beverly Taylor is Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her books include The Return of King Arthur (with Elisabeth Brewer, 1983), Arthurian Legend and Literature (with Edmund and L.H. Reiss, 1984), Francis Thompson (1987), and Gender and Discourse in Victorian Literature and Art (co-ed. with Antony H. Harrison, 1992).  With Mary Ellis Gibson, she has served as editor of the Victorians Institute Journal. 
Maria H. Frawley, U of Delaware, “Bedroom Prophet, Sickroom Saint: Ellen Chadwick, the Famous Manchester Invalid.” 
 --Maria Frawley, Associate Professor of English at the University of Delaware, has just concluded an NEH Fellowship, researching Victorian invalidism at the Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine and the British Library. Her earlier publications include A Wider Range: Travel Writing by Women in Victorian England (1994) and Ann Bronte(1996).  Alongside her larger project on the culture of invalidism, from which this presentation draws, she is also editing Harriet Martineau’s Life in the Sickroom for Broadview Press.

Break --Sodas available in the Graniteville Room, till 3.30 p.m.

Session 2A: Medicine, Sickness & Elizabeth Gaskell (Fri., 3:30-4:45 pm, Mezzanine Conference Room) 
Chair: Larry K. Uffelman, Mansfield U 
Amy Mae King, California Institute of Technology, “Taxonomical Cures: Herbalist Medicine and Gaskell’s Realism.” 
Pirjo Koivuvaara, U of Tampere, Finland, “Invalidism, Power, and Desire: Strategies of Emaciation in Gaskell’s The Moorland Cottage.” 
Carolyn Betensky, George Washington U, “Embodied Analogies: Sickness and Health in Gaskell’s North and  South.”

Session 2B: Illness & the Brontes (Fri,. 3:30-4:45 pm, Main Floor Conference Room) 
Chair: Mary Graf, U of South Carolina/Greenville 
Tamara Silvia Wagner, Churchill College, Cambridge, “Victorian aesthetics of affliction: the sick-room topos in Bronte’sVillette.” 
Michelle Whitney, U of South Carolina, “Chloroform, Midwifery, and Female Creativity in Ann Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.” 
Kate Brown, Emory U, “Naming the Epidemics: Jane Eyre, AIDS, and the Scandal of Death.”

Reception (Fri., 4:45-6:00 p.m., Graniteville Room) 
The reception is sponsored by the Thomas Cooper Society 
Official welcomes: Robert L. Felix, President, Thomas Cooper Society 
Robert D. Newman, Chair, Department of English, U of South Carolina 
Exhibits from two 19th century collections: selected items from the George H. Bunch Collection of Medical Books and the C. Warren Irvin, Jr. Collection of Charles Darwin & Darwiniana.

Note: there will be no formal Institute program on Friday evening.

SATURDAY MORNING: OCTOBER 7TH 
Saturday sessions are in the Gressette Room, Harper College (on the north side of the Horseshoe), or in Flinn Hall (just behind Harper, and also accessible from Pendleton Street). 
Registration, coffee & danishes in Flinn Hall lobby, from 8:15 a.m. Nearest parking: Pendleton St. garage.

Session 3A: Medicine and Poetry (Sat., 8:45-10:00 am, Gressette Room) 
Chair: Mark Reger, Johnson C. Smith U
Kirstie Blair, St. Anne’s C, Oxford, “‘When the blood creeps’: Victorian poetry and the pathology of the heart,  1830-1860.” 
Lee Erickson, Marshall U, “Taking a medical history: the Strange Case of Browning’s Karshish.” 
Daniel S. Kline, Ohio SU, “‘What suffering is there not seen’: Empedocles on Etna and Victorian Medicine.”

Session 3B: Alcoholism & Addiction (Sat., 8:45-10:00 am, Flinn 107) 
Chair:  Todd Richardson, U of South Carolina 
Gay Sibley, U of Hawaii at Manoa, “Rural Alcoholism in Adam Bede.” 
Marlene Tromp, Denison U, “‘Under the influence’: Women Spiritualists’ ‘Dreadful Addiction to Drink.” 
Mark Mossman, Bethany College, “Mr. Jasper’s Body: Addiction and Disability in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.”

Session 3C: Gendering Mal(e)aise: Illness & Masculinity (Sat., 8:45-10:00 am, Flinn 207) 
Chair: Beth Torgerson, U of Nebraska 
Robert Stalker, Emory U, “Swinburne’s Poems and Ballads and the ‘Language of Nerveless and Effeminate   Libertinage’.” 
Lee Anna Maynard, U of South Carolina, “Male malaise and gendered madness: Robert Audley in Lady Audley’s  Secret.” 
Henry A. Sandberg, Montgomery County College, “Representations of Deterioration: Simeon Solomon’s Sickly  Males.”

Session 3D: Victorians Institute Executive Board (Sat., 8:45 -9:15 am, Flinn 102) 
President: Patrick Scott, U of South Carolina; Vice-President: Gerald Farrar, James Madison U; Secretary: John Lamb, West Virginia U; Treasurer: Kathleen McCormack, Florida International U; Editor, VIJ: David Latane, Virginia Commonwealth U; Assoc. Editor: Elizabeth Gruner, U of Richmond; At-Large: Monika Brown, Pembroke SU; Susan Farnsworth, Trinity C.

Break--Coffee in Flinn Hall lobby

Session 4A: Dickens and Pathology--Social and Medical (Sat., 10:30-11:45 am, Gressette) 
Chair: Tony Giffone, SUNY Farmingdale 
Rebecca Stern, Ball SU, “Economic Ailments: the Market, the Ailing Body, and the Home in Dickens’s Little  Dorrit.” 
Nancy Aycock Metz, Virginia Polytechnic Inst. & SU, “Medicalizing Nostalgia: Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, and  the Lure of Home.” 
Kathleen Susan Frederickson, U of Chicago, “Pathologizing Senility in Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop.”

Session 4B: Envisioning Public Health (Sat., 10:30-11:45 am, Flinn 207) 
Chair: Hayden Ward, West Virginia U. 
Scott Dransfield, Gordon College, “Diagnosing the Disease of Revolution: Carlyle and the ‘Condition of   England’.” 
Larry K. Uffelman, Mansfield U,  “The Revd. Charles Kingsley and the Chemistry of Public Health.” 
Valerie Johnson, U of Kentucky, “Dirt, discovery and deprecation: the trauma of Victorian Sanitary Reform.”

Session 4C: Medical Professionalism I (Sat., 10:30-11:45 am, Flinn 107) 
Chair: Meegan Kennedy, Trinity College, CT 
Jen Hill, U of Nevado-Reno, “Examining Women: Charles Reade’s A Woman Hater, Lesbian Contagion, and the  Debate on Medical Education for Women.” 
Barbara Tilley, U of Florida, “Sarah Grand’s The Heavenly Twins: Doctoring the New Woman.” 
Kathryn Miele, U of Delaware, “Scientific medicine and the Abuse of the Body in Conan Doyle’s ‘Behind the  Times’.”

Session 4D: Victorian Illness and Female Authority (Sat., 10:30-11:45 am, Flinn 107) 
Chair: Suzanne Ozment, The Citadel 
Margaret M. Morlier, Reinhardt College, “Flawed Heroics: Uneasy Hero-Worship in Elizabeth Barrett’s sonnets  ‘To George Sand’.” 
Susannah Clements, U of South Carolina, “Thorns in the Flesh: Sickness, Providence, and  Religious Authority in  Charlotte Yonge’s Clever Woman of the Family.” 
Laura Fasick, Moorhead SU, “Strong Enough to Serve: Invalidism and the Victorian Ideal of Feminity.”

Luncheon: Space limited--pre-register by September 26th (Faculty House, Horseshoe, upstairs) 
Followed by Victorians Institute Business Meeting. 
Presiding: Patrick Scott, U of South Carolina 
Reports: Kathleen McCormack, Treasurer, Florida International U; David Latane, VIJ editor, Virginia Commonwealth U; Elections; Announcement for future Victorians Institutes: Gerald Farrar, in-coming president, James Madison U,and Beverly Taylor, UNC-Chapel Hill.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON: OCTOBER 7TH

Session 5A: Medical Professionalism II (Sat., 1:30-2:45 pm, Gressette) 
Chair: James McNally, Old Dominion U 
Patricia Marks, Valdosta SU, “The Architecture of Healing in W.B.Maxwell’s The Ragged Messenger.” 
Karen Odden, NYU, “‘Able and Intelligent Medical Men Meeting Together’: the Victorian Railway Crash, Medical  Jurisprudence, and the Rise of Medical Authority.” 
Louise Penner, Transylvania U,  “Lydgate’s Double Vision: Realism, Empiricism, and Medical Ethics in Middlemarch.”

Session 5B: Bodies & the Social Body (Sat., 1:30-2:45 pm, Flinn 207) 
Chair: David Latane, Virginia Commonwealth U 
Pamela K. Gilbert, U of Florida, “Mapping the Social Body: Victorian Medical Cartography.” 
Ellen Bayuk Rosenman, U of Kentucky, “Body Doubles: Surgeons and their Others.” 
Ed Madden, U of South Carolina, “Disease, deformity, and desire: Havelock Ellis and the deviant body.”

Session 5C: Politics & Illness (Sat., 1:30-2:45 pm, Flinn 107) 
Chair: Kathleen McCormack, Florida International U 
Melissa Schaub, Indiana-Purdue U, Fort Wayne,  “Satire and Sympathy: the Politics of Illness in Mary Barton andSybil.” 
Carolyn Jacobson, U of Pennsylvania, “Spreading the Word: Language and Fever in Martineau’s Deerbrook.” 
Deborah Logan, Western Kentucky U, “Martineau and the ‘True-hearted Englishwoman’: from the Sickroom to the War Office and Beyond.”

Session 5D: Illness and the Victorian Sage (Sat., 1:30-2:45 pm, Flinn 102) 
Chair: Leon Jackson, U of South Carolina 
Elizabeth Hale, Brandeis U, “Sickly scholars and healthy novels: Middlemarch and Robert Elsmere.” 
David Goslee, U of Tennessee, “Darwin’s Scapegoat: Evolution as Illness in Huxley’s Essays.” 
David J. Bradshaw, Warren Wilson College, “Self-alienation and fragmented personality in Gosse’s Father and  Son.”

Break--Sodas available in the Gressette Room.

Session 6A: Sickness and the Sensation Novel: Wilkie Collins (Sat., 3:00-4:15 pm, Gressette) 
Chair: Gerald Farrar, James Madison U 
Dennis Denisoff, Ryerson U, “The Wheelchair Hysterics of Masculine Vitality in Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the  Lady.” 
Nicholas Dames, Columbia U, “Sick Memories: Medical Developments, the Mental Pathology of Amnesia, and  Collins’sThe Moonstone.” 
Jolene Zigarovich, Claremont Graduate University, “‘We all say it’s on the nerves’: Invalidism, Class, and Modernization in Collins’s The Woman in White.”

Session 6B: Health & the New Woman (Sat., 3:00-4:15 pm, Flinn 207) 
Chair: Cynthia Davis, U of South Carolina 
Michael Blackie, U of Southern California, “Photographing the Rest Cure: Playfair and the S. Weir Mitchell Rest  Cure in England.” 
Cynthia Ellen Patton, Emporia State U, “‘That greatest of earthly blessings’: Health in the Correspondence   Columns ofThe Girl’s Own Paper.” 
Keaghan Kay, U of South Carolina, “Sick and Tired: the New Woman’s Disease in Ella Hepworth Dixon’s Story of a Modern Woman.

Session 6C: Sickness in Late Victorian Poetry (Sat., 3:00-4:15 pm, Flinn 102) 
Chair: Hallman Bryant, Clemson U
Joetta Harty, George Washington U, “‘The Land of Counterpane’: Robert Louis Stevenson and Writing Children’s  Verses to Counter Pain.” 
Brooke McLaughlin, U of South Carolina, “Illness, blame and the Highland Clearances in Mathilde Blind’s Heather on Fire.” 
Jessica Walsh, U of Iowa, “‘A creature maimed and marr’d/From very birth’: Depression and Despair in the poetry  of Amy Levy.”

Session 6D: Late Victorian Medical Fantasies (Sat., 3:00-4:15 pm, Flinn 107) 
Chair: Siobhan Craft Brownson, Winthrop U
Marcia Littenberg, SUNY Farmingdale, “Blood and water: evolutionary phantoms of female sexuality in late  Victorian literature.” 
Brenda Mann Hammack, Roanoke College, “Pregnancy and trauma in Holmes’s Elsie Venner and Marryat’s Blood of the Vampire.” 
Susan Cannon Harris, U of Notre Dame, “Pathological possibilities: contagion and empire in Conan Doyle’s  Sherlock Holmes Stories.”

Session 7: Concluding Plenary Keynote: Antony H. Harrison on Christina Rossetti and Victorian Illness 
(Sat. 4:30-5:15 pm, approx., Gressette Room). 
Presiding: Patrick Scott, U of South Carolina 
 Antony Harrison’s writings on Victorian poetry and culture include Swinburne’s Medievalism: A Study in Victorian Love Poetry (1987), Christina Rossetti in Context (1988), Victorian Poets and Romantic Poems: Intertextuality and Ideology (1990), and Victorian Poets and the Politics of Cultural Discourse (1998). He has also edited The Metaphysical Poets  in the Nineteenth Century (1985), Gender and Discourse in Victorian Literature and Art (with Beverly Taylor, 1992), and The Culture of Christina Rossetti: female poetics and Victorian contexts (with Mary Arseneau and Lorainne J. Kooistra, 1999). Professor Harrison is Professor of English at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. This fall will see publication of the third and final volume of his major editorial project, The Letters of Christina Rossetti (University Press of Virginia, vol. I 1997, vol. II, 1999). 

 

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