Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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Conference: Politics, Performance and Popular Culture in Nineteenth-Century Britain (4/19-20/2012)

Politics, Performance and Popular Culture
in Nineteenth-Century Britain
University of Birmingham, 19-20 April 2012

You are invited to join us for a two-day symposium in Birmingham, at which we will explore the relationship between politics, performance and popular culture in nineteenth-century Britain. Our speakers have been confirmed, but we welcome participants for roundtable discussions and other contributions.

In what ways might popular culture have defined politics?  How might 'performance' be addressed as a concept by which better to understand crowd behaviour, whether for example at hustings or in protest?  How did politicians and others conceptualise their audience?  If, as Patrick Joyce argues, the late-Victorian audience in a context of political reform were 'rightful heirs to the democracy of pleasure' (Visions of the People, 1994, p. 309), how can we define the relationship between audience, politics and pleasure? Can we identify a discursive relationship between political and performance culture?


  • Mike Sanders (Manchester): on Platforms, Correspondences and Theatrical Metaphor.
  • Jim Davis (Warwick): Victorian pantomime and the Politics of Gender Variance
  • Jane Pritchard (Victoria and Albert Museum): on Ballet, class and identity
  • Jill Sullivan (Independent): on The Irish question in regional pantomime
  • Marcus Morris (Lancaster): on Labour leaders, political rhetoric and performativity
  • Richard Gaunt (Nottingham): on Peel as actor-dramatist (parliament itself as theatrical institution)
  • Caroline Radcliffe (Birmingham): on Theatrical hierarchy and Cultural capital: East and West London
  • Anselm Heinrich (Glasgow): on Gladstone, national theatre and contested didactics of theatre.
  • Janice Norwood (Hertfordshire): on East End Socialism, performance techniques in protest/marches
  • Peter Yeandle (Lancaster): on Christian Socialism and performing arts: politics, theology and theatricality
Costs: £35 (£20 postgraduate). Further information about local accommodation upon request. For further information, please contact Peter Yeandle at p.yeandle(at)lancaster.ac.uk

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