Victorian Poetry Network "much to do with Victorian poetry"

What We’re Working On
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We’re fortunate at VPN to have on the team three talented, hard working and enthusiastic students at different stages of their university careers. This post is their answer to the question: “What are you working on now”? A project like VPN and the Victorian Periodical Poetry Database only exists because of the dedication of these wonderful UVic students. Thank you, Caley, Chelsea and Sarah!

Caley Ehnes, final-year PhD student and R.A. for VPN:

I recently attended VISAWUS in Houston where I gave a paper on the periodical poetry of Good Words. In light of that paper (and the supportive feedback I received), I want to go back to Good Words to see how (and if) the periodical aligns itself to the liturgical calendar. While I am revisiting Good Words, I plan on scanning images of the periodical’s poetry for the VPN database.

Currently, I am in the process of researching the fourth and final chapter of my dissertation, which focuses on the Argosy. I haven’t gotten too far, but I find the sensational and sentimental nature of the periodical’s poetry a fascinating contrast to the poems published in its competitors (the Cornhill, Once a Week, and Good Words). I look forward to spending the remainder of my term working with all the material I’ve gathered from archived volumes of the Argosy.

Chelsea Falconer, undergraduate and work study student for VPN:

I recently finished indexing The Yellow Book into the VPN database and was struck by how beautiful the journals are; the quality of engravings on the covers and collections of artwork in the journals are breathtaking. Currently, I am working on indexing the Pageant for the VPN database and will soon be moving into scanning the images of the poetry from the Pageant, The Yellow Book and the Dark Blue.

I am currently taking Contemporary fiction classes in both American and Canadian Literature and am fascinated by the polarities between the novels from each class. I amazed at the differences between Canadian and American ideologies as I was expecting more homogeneity between the classes. I am also studying Queer Theory that is challenging and expanding my feminist perspective and also deepening my literary analysis in English Literature classes.

Sarah Milligan, M.A. student and R.A. for VPN:

The first semester of my Master’s at UVic has been a pretty busy one and there is still a month to go. I’m taking two and a half courses, including a course on Victorian Literature and Disability with Dr. Lisa Surridge. In addition to this, I am working as a Teaching Assistant for a first-year English class on Literary Traditions and Transformations. Leading a tutorial every week has been a valuable experience. Although at times it is difficult and I feel out of my depth, I enjoy teaching and communicating my love of literature to first year students in the hopes that some of them might also catch the bug.

On top of all this, I have of course been working as a Research Assistant for the VPN. This has also been a rewarding position and connected with my disability studies class with Dr. Surridge in many unexpected ways, leading to a paper on Richard H. Horne’s “Household Christmas Carols” (1850). My RA work so far has included paging through Charles Dickens’ Household Words, entering and scanning each poem into the VPN database. I am hoping to be halfway through the periodical’s run (1850-1859) by Christmas.




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