Northeast Conference on British Studies

November 16-17, 2001

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, Massachusetts


Friday, November 16

Registration 3:30 - 6:00 p.m., WPI Campus Center (Mid-Century Room)


4:00 - 5:30 p.m. Plenary Roundtable: The Future of Victorian Studies (Campus Center, Odeum A)

Chair: Michael Wolff, University of Massachusetts


James Buzard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Margaret Homans, Yale University

James Eli Adams, Cornell University

Patricia Cline Cohen, University of California, Santa Barbara


5:30 - 6:30 p.m. Reception: American Antiquarian Society Library

6:30 p.m. Dinner and Welcome -- Peter Weiler, President, NECBS, Campus Center, Odeum B

8:00 p.m. Plenary Address: Campus Center, Odeum B

Leonore Davidoff, University of Essex 

'A Double Singleness': Sibling Incest Among the Late 18th and early 19th
Century English Middle Classes


Saturday, November 17

8:15 - 9:30 a.m. Registration and Coffee, Campus Center (Mid-Century Room)


PANELS: 9:00 - 10:30 a.m.

I.  Imagining War: Propaganda and Popular Culture during the World Wars (Odeum A)

Chair: James Cronin, Boston College

Marion Girard, Yale University, "Beyond the Battlefield: The Power of Poison Gas Imagery on the British Homefront during World War I."

Martin Francis, Royal Holloway, University of London, "In Love and War: The RAF Officer in Popular Romantic Narratives of the 1940s and 1950s."

Comment: Janet Watson, University of Connecticut at Storrs


II. Listening to Piety: Three Perspectives on Religion from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century (Hagglund Room)

Chair: Margaret Hunt, Amherst College

Jennifer M. Lloyd, SUNY at Brockport, " 'Maiden Preacher, Wife and Mother': The Life of Mary O'Bryan Thorne."

John Money, University of Victoria, "Religio Laici: John Cannon and the Church of England, 1684-1743."

Richard Bell, Harvard University, " 'Our People Die Well': Death-bed Scenes in Methodist Magazines in Eighteenth-Century Britain."

Comment: Margaret Hunt, Amherst College


III. Mapping the Empire: Geography and Travel Across the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-Century World (Odeum B)

Chair: Timothy Alborn, Lehman College

Lindsay Frederick Braun, Rutgers University, "Official Geography Across Colonial Frontiers: The Case of British Geodesy in South, Central, and East Africa, 1882-1939."

Brian C. Shipley, Dalhousie University, "The Role of Colonial Geological Surveys in the British Empire: The Case of Mid-Nineteenth-Century Canada."

Michele Strong-Irwin, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, "Under the Aegis of the Poly Flag: The Polytechnic Co-Operative Educational Tours and the Cultural Construction of the British Citizen."

Comment: Matthew Edney, University of Southern Maine


PANELS 10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Saturday, November 17

  1. Transatlantic Encounters: British Imperialism in the Caribbean, New England, and Africa in the Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries (Hagglund Room)

Chair: Susan Amussen, The Union Institute

Nicholas Rogers, York University, "The Lore and Lure of the Mosquito Coast in the Eighteenth Century."

Mark Power Robison, Brandeis University, "The New England Contours of British Imperial Chauvinism."

Wayne Ackerson, Salisbury State University, " 'Provided We Will But Save Them the Trouble of Thinking': The African Institution of London and British Involvement in Sierra Leone, 1807-1823."

Comment: David Armitage, Columbia University


V. Profits and Interests: Reconsidering the Economic in British History (Mid-Century Room) 

Chair: Keith Wrightson, Yale University

Jill Bradbury, Brown University, "Economic Thought and Imperialist Ideologies: Britain versus Ireland."

Andrea Finkelstein, Bronx Community College, CUNY, "Proper and Improper Profit: A Socio-Analytical Paradox in Sixteenth and Seventeenth-Century England."

Matthew Kadane, Brown University, "The Watchful Industrialist: The Diary of Joseph Ryder."

Comment: Deborah Valenze, Barnard College


  1. Cross-Cultural Victorianism: Rethinking Masculinity and Femininity in a Global Context (Odeum A)

Chair: Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Jeremy H. Neill, Northeastern University, "Popular Concepts of Masculinity and Adventure in Anglo-American Society at the turn of the Century: Gender, Popular Culture and the Frontiers of Imperialism, 1880-1918."

Joseph Sramek, CUNY Graduate Center, "Creating the 'Feminine India': Racialized Images of Indian Male Bodies in Pre-Mutiny British Travelogues."

Henry Sandberg, Montgomery County College, "Disease, Degeneration, and the Late Victorian Fear of Homosexuality."

Comment: Randolph Trumbach, Baruch College


  1. Piecing Together Modern Times: The Constituent Parts of Popular Culture (Odeum B) 

Chair: Peter Weiler, Boston College

N. Amanda Crocker, York University, "Dr. Walford Bodie M.D., 'The Famous Bloodless Surgeon' and the Dramatic Disruption of Music Hall Medicine,1909-1910."

Andrew Horrall, National Archives of Canada, "Charlie Chaplin and the First World War."

Howard L. Malchow, Tufts University, " 'Johnny Go Home!': Images of the Runaway in 1970s London."

Comment: Susan Pennybacker, Trinity College



12:30 - 1:45 p.m. Lunch and NECBS Business Meeting (Odeum C)


PANELS 2:00 - 3:30 p.m., Saturday, November 17


VIII. The Art of Good Taste: Patronage, Politics, and Class from the Restoration to the Early Nineteenth Century (Odeum B)

Chair: Fred Leventhal, Boston University

Brian Cowan, Yale University, "An Open Elite: The Peculiarities of Virtuoso Connoisseurship in Early Modern England."

Kathleen H. Szpila, Temple University, "Sarah Jenyns Churchill: Politics and Landscape Design at Blenheim Palace."

Lynn F. Schibeci, University of New Mexico, "(Jewelry Owners Come and Go, But) Diamonds Sell Forever: Madame la Comtesse du Barry's Jewelry Auction."

Comment: Melanie Hall, Boston University.


IX. Contesting the Limits of Religion in 16th and 17th-Century England (Hagglund Room) 

Chair: Tim Harris, Brown University

Sarah Covington, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, " 'For I Will Not Be a Patron Unto Heretics': The 1538 Trial of John Lambert."

Melanie Gustin, Brown University, "Atheism Fears in Context: Examining Anti-Atheist Material in England, 1600-1750."

Comment: Joyce Malcolm, Bentley College


X. Peak Experiences: Natural Terrain and the Gendering of Identities (Odeum A)

Chair: L.P. Curtis, Brown University

Carol A. Osborne, Lancaster University, "Representative Men, Exceptional Women? Gender and the Writing of Climbing History."

Valerie Burton, Memorial University of Newfoundland, "Bringing Gender and Class Home in the Bawdy Tales of Nineteenth-Century Merchant Sailors"

Karen M. Morin, Bucknell University, "(Troubling) Spaces of Mountains and Men: New Zealand's Mount Cook and Hermitage Lodge."

Comment: Peter Hansen, Worcester Polytechnic Institute


3:30 - 5:00 p.m. Reception and Coffee, Mid-Century Room


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