Posts Tagged Victorian Review

Victorian Review Site Preview: Interviews

22 January 2014

At the annual VSAWC conference last year, the team at Victorian Review interviewed upcoming and established scholars about their research. We previewed four of these interviews over the holiday break, and more will soon follow on the redesigned Victorian Review website. For now, catch up on what you might have missed.

Interview with Sarah Bull

Interview with Monica Flegel

Interview with Paisley Mann

Interview with Keridiana Chez

– Caley

 

 

Victorian Review Site Preview: Interview with Keridiana Chez (VSAWC 2013)

19 January 2014

Image from Mostly Movies

Keridiana Chez met with us to discuss her article from the Victorian Review 37.1, the Spring 2012 issue, “You Can’t Trust Wolves No More Nor Women”: Canines, Women, and Deceptive Docility in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Ms. Chez’s article addresses the “problematic husband-wife and master-pet relations” (89) in the novel.  She examines English women and their affection for their pets, in relation to its effect on marital life. “The structural positioning of women and dogs is surprisingly similar,” she notes, “and the treatment of rabid dogs mimics the way that men were supposed to treat the women that they loved as well.” English women and their “chiens de luxe” are cast in the same light, suggesting that domesticated women, like domesticated dogs, are public and private hazards. As she asserts in the Victorian Review, idle women are spoiled, useless, and “deceptively docile household member[s]” (77). Furthermore, in Dracula the rabid pet wolf Bersicker, and other pets, are presented as being highly susceptible to rabies, and women, as keepers of these luxurious pets, are more likely than men to be bitten and infected with rabies, or worse, vampirism.

Keridiana Chez 

Keridiana Chez is a PhD candidate working on her dissertation “The Affective Uses of Dogs: Pet-Keeping in Nineteenth-Century England and America” at City University of New York Graduate Center. She is an alumnus of New York University School of Law and State University of New York at Binghamton.

– Sabrina Schoch, Constance Crompton, and Ruth Knechtel

For previous entries in this series, see our interview with Sarah Bull, Monica Flegel, and Paisley Mann.

 

Victorian Review Site Preview: An Interview with Paisley Mann (VSAWC 2013)

6 January 2014

Paisley Mann’s article “Memory as ‘Shifting Sand’: The Subversive Power of Illustration in George Du Maurier’s Peter Ibbetson” explores the unreliability of memory in Du Maurier’s novel, which follows the life of its eponymous hero Peter Ibbetson. In this autobiographical fiction, Ibbetson claims and attempts to prove that he can telepathically communicate with The Duchess of Towers, also known as his childhood friend Mimsey, through dreams. Mann’s research examines Du Maurier’s accompanying illustrations, supposedly provided by Ibbetson, through the lens of the unreliable narrator. Multiple illustrations are provided for each memory, initially at the time of first remembrance, and then again when Ibbetson and Mimsey travel through their memories together. These illustrations do not match and these irregularities, Mann claims, “suggest a connection that Peter fails to recognize” (177). Mann gives historical context for her interpretation, reminding her readers that Frances Power Cobbe insisted that the mind and, by association, memory is merely “safe for an hour from obliteration or modification, after being formed” (162). The narrative loses almost all stability, Ibbetson suffers a mental break after he is charged with murder and sentenced to death.

It was her work with DuMaurier’s Trilby that brought Ms. Mann to her current work on verbal and visual representations of Paris:

 

Paisley Mann

Paisley Mann received her Bachelor and Master of arts in English at the University of Victoria. She now attends the University of British Columbia where she is working on her Doctorate in English. Her current dissertation examines Paris and its representation in the culture and literature of the Victorian Age. Ms. Mann’s “Memory as ‘Shifting Sand’” can be found in the Victorian Review‘s Spring 2011, issue 37.1.

– Sabrina Schoch and Constance Crompton

For previous entries in this series, see our interview with Sarah Bull and Monica Flegel

Victorian Review Site Preview: An Interview with Monica Flegel (VSAWC 2013)

27 December 2013

Cat Ladies from "The Curious Brain"

We sat down to talk with Monica Flegel about animal studies at VSAWC 2013. Her paper at the conference, “Becoming Crazy Cat Lady: Victorian Spinsters and their Furry Kin,” builds on her work on Victorian animal and children’s rights, with a particular focus on the construction of the spinster and her cat as a type of family.

We asked Dr. Flegel to describe the nature of her research. She noted that, in general, people are under the impression that children acquired rights before animals and thus animals had fewer rights than children, which isn’t the case. Dr. Flegel argues that “children’s rights were about making children less like humans and more like animals at the end of the century.”

She briefly discussed the difference between pets and wild animals, specifically the domestication hierarchy. Dr. Flegel argues that pets are outside the default human-animal relationship. She suggests that domesticated animals do not represent nor symbolise the “true” animal, that the comparison is too simplistic. Pets, she says, “have a place in human culture, and can trouble concepts of the nuclear family.” On a controversial topic, we asked about her stance on the concept of humans and other animals, and “nonhuman animals.” Dr. Flegel contends that the term “nonhuman animals” suggests a speciesist approach. “Materially we do not live in the way that animals do,” she argues, “as Derrida said there is an abyss between us and other animals,” but pointing out the divide between animals and humans is not meant to suggest that humans are “better, and other, and higher” than animals, but that our alterity cannot be bridged “by saying that we are animals too.” Moreover, we can still have “ethical relations with animals without [suggesting] that we are all animals together.”

Monica Flegel

Monica Flegel is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Her research interests include Victorian Studies, Cultural Studies and children and animals. Dr. Flegel holds a Bachelor of Arts in Honours English from the University of Saskatchewan, a Masters degree in English from Dalhousie University, and a PhD of English from the University of Alberta. Her current research on Victorian pets is funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council.

– Sabrina Schoch, Constance Crompton, and Ruth Knechtel

For previous entries in this series, see our interview with Sarah Bull.