Tara Giddens (@taragiddens), PhD candidate in the School of English, Irish and Communication attended the “The Body and the Page in Victorian Culture: An International Conference” at the University of Victoria, Canada this summer, funded by the Faculty of AHSS at UL. She writes about her experience here:
“The Body and the Page” conference was an immensely enjoyable, educational, and enlightening experience. I was able to attend fascinating talks from trailblazers in the field, including Joanne Shattock’s talk, “Journalists, Professionalism, and Professional Bodies” and Laurel Brake’s presentation on “The Critical Body: Walter Pater and his Voices in the Nineteenth-Century Press”.
Furthermore, I was able to network with numerous academics and PhD students from around the world and hear about exciting new research being done on periodicals and journalists. I also was able to attend a Hand-Press Printing Workshop by Amy Coté (University of Toronto) where she showed us how to use a printing machine to make bookmarks and also how to set type. Cote did a wonderful job with the workshop and also taught us where some common sayings came from, for example, “Mind your p’s and q’s” was created because people sorting letters would often get their p’s and q’s mixed together.
Finally, one of the most enjoyable parts of the conference was presenting my work in the panel titled, “Figuring Hibernia: Ireland in the Press.” My paper, “‘Kit of the Mail’: Kathleen Coleman’s Irish Performativity in the Nineteenth-Century Canadian Press,” discussed Coleman’s performance of her Irish identity to an Anglo-Canadian audience in order to attract readers, but also to show her authority as someone coming from Britain.
The two other women on my panel also had incredibly engaging topics. Nora Moroney from Trinity College Dublin discussed Emily Lawless and her journalism and nature articles and Dr. Elizabeth Tilley from NUI Galway discussed Irish women’s periodicals. I was honoured to be on the panel and excited to hear about the groundbreaking work occurring around Irish periodicals and Irish women writers in the nineteenth and twentieth century.
However, a huge thanks goes out to AHSS for their funding as I would not have been able to attend such an international conference without the financial assistance.