CNCS Postgraduate Conference – The Nineteenth Century Now: Reassessing the Continued Role and Relevance of the Long Nineteenth Century

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Date / time: 26 April, 9:15 am - 4:15 pm

Room 201, Sandyford Building


The Nineteenth Century Now: Reassessing the Continued Role and Relevance of the Long Nineteenth Century

CNCS is delighted to announce that registrations are now open for its annual postgraduate conference (for details of programme see below). Please note that there is no registration fee to attend this event. Registration for this one-day conference can be made via Eventbrite:

The nineteenth century was a crucial period in the development of new ideas, transnational connections and the widespread professionalisation of disciplines ranging from history to the natural sciences. The Humanities as a whole face new challenges with increasing emphasis on societal impacts from research. Yet, these challenges also present opportunities for nineteenth-century studies to reassess and reshape themselves in new ways, incorporating developments such as the rise of digital humanities and interdisciplinary research methods.

This conference will explore these developments, from nineteenth-century artefacts and texts to reflections on the place of nineteenth-century studies as a discipline, as it considers the ongoing relevance of the nineteenth century, including:

  • How does the nineteenth century define itself across disciplines in a contemporary research context? What are the challenges that emerge within and across disciplines?
  • How might nineteenth-century studies respond to recent projects such as decolonisation of the curriculum? And what does it mean to study the nineteenth century now?
  • How and why do legacies of the long nineteenth century remain important to current society and culture?

Conference Programme:

09:15 – 09:30 | Welcome and Housekeeping

9:30 – 10:30 | Panel 1: (Re)Encountering Femininities | Chair: Eloise Scott (Northumbria University)

‘Why is everyone trying to persuade us to remain feminine?’: Valentina Serova and the Women’s Liberation Movement in Russia | Nicholas Ong (University of Cambridge)

Unhinged’ Women: Gender and Violence in Rachilde’s La Marquise de Sade (1887) and Eliza Clark’s Boy Parts (2020) | Marie Martine (University of Oxford)

Towards a History of Feminist Counter-Language: Insights and Legacies from the Long Nineteenth Century | Martina Guzzetti (Università degli Studi di Milano)

10:30 – 11:00 | Coffee and Tea

11:00 – 11:45 | Panel 2: ‘Cleansing’ the Nineteenth Century | Chair: Margaret Gray (Newcastle University)

To Conquer the Filth: Street Cleaners and the Public Space in Nineteenth Century French Art | Amit Kestenbaum (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)

Escaping the Anthropocene: Weird Eco-Utopianism in William HenryHudson’s A Crystal Age | Charlie Toogood (Newcastle University)

Health Care in the Armies of Nineteenth Century British India: Lessons for the Present Day | David J. Gawkrodger (University of Oxford)

12:00 – 13:00 | Lunch

13:00 – 14:30 | Panel 3: Transnational Legacies of Empire | Chair: Keerthi Vasishta (Durham University)

A Re-examination of the Nineteenth-Century Roots of the ‘Ulster Problem’ | Patrick Duffy (Trinity College, Dublin)

The Female Scot Quebecer in Nineteenth-Century Lower Canada: The Lasting Influence of the Dalhousies and Campbells on Quebec Science/Society | Kimberly M. Glassman (Queen Mary University of London)

Who was King Philip IV? — A Comparative Study of TransculturalSoundscapes in Shanghai Concession through Musical Iconographyin the late 19th Century | Teng Chen (University of Southampton)

Sheffield and Atlantic Slavery in the Long Nineteenth Century:Charting the Economy, Society and Culture of a British Industrial City | Toby Gardner (University of Sheffield)

14:30-15:00 | Tea and Coffee

15:00-16:00 | Keynote | Chair: Annabel Storr (Durham University)

Reexamining Science, Religion, and, Race through AfricanCollections: British Museums and Colonial Erasure in the Long 19th Century | Dr Nathan Bossoh (Science Museum)

16:00-16:10 | Closing Remarks

For any questions or further information about the conference please contact Annabel Storr at or contact us on Twitter @DurhamCNCS.