This time last year we were getting ready for a VPFA Study Day on fashion in Victorian fiction and periodicals. As ever, I will always take the opportunity to include a Victorian animal or two. I was delighted to find this image of a cat in a 19th century fashion plate (very rare), which was the example for close analysis during the hands-on part of the Study Day.
This year, on Saturday November 18, the subject is Victorian Animals for a VPFA Study Day organised by Dr. Joanne Knowles from LJMU and Dr. Chris Pittard from University of Portsmouth. A second event on this theme will be held in the South next spring.
LJMU Special Collections and Archives will be offering another hands-on session using the Victorian Periodicals Collection and looking at the distinction in representation of animals within different genres of fiction and popular periodicals. All of this will be tailored to the proposals for papers to be presented during the day. There will also be an exhibition of Victorian animal imagery curated by our two student interns. So far Harrison Weir and Edwin Landseer are winning out but the range of representations from working, to sentimental, to dramatic is much more varied than one would expect.
We are very fortunate that within this collection amongst all the serial fiction we have many examples of S.W. Partridge’s publications, which are particularly interested in animals, interactions between humans and animals, and the variety of British wildlife from which uplifting lessons can be learned.
During the year there have been lots of publications, conferences and initiatives investigating animals, both real and imaginary, therefore I hope that from this scholarship there will be interest in the Victorian Animal and hope that you will take a good look at the CFP:
Nickianne Moody, Media and Cultural Studies, LJMU