Victorian Bodies and Body Parts

The Summer 2015 issue of Victorian Network, entitled “Victorian Bodies and Body Parts” and guest edited by Professor Pamela K. Gilbert (University of Florida), is now available here.

This issue follows the enormously successful conference on the same theme, held at Bart’s Pathology Museum in London.

Volume 6, Number 1 (Summer 2015)

The Body

Pamela K. Gilbert, Albert Brick Professor of English
(University of Florida)

The body: a surface on which events are inscribed [… ] Genealogy, as an analysis of where things come from is thus situated at the point of articulation of the body and history. Its task is to show a body totally imprinted with history, and history destroying the body. —Michel Foucault

Gender is always a doing[.] —Judith Butler

I am honoured to introduce this issue of Victorian Network, which directs our attention to one of the most durable areas of inquiry in contemporary scholarship on Victorian literature and culture: the body. The late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries are the period in which the body as we understand it is elaborated: modern medical models of the body are developed, modern political relations to the body are instantiated, and modern identities relations to class, race and gender are being inscribed.

The body is a bountiful topic. Over the last decades, study of the body that began with gender and bio-politics continued into explorations of materialism and ergonomic/economical concerns, evolution and industrialism, disease and health, sexuality, cyborgs, medical and legal history, and the new “neuro-humanities.” Of the many areas of research showing unabated vitality, two of the most fecund continue to be the earliest. Michel Foucault casts a long and justified shadow over the last several decades of scholarship on the body. Foucault’s explorations of the relation of power and surveillance to both representations and the lived experience of bodies in the modern period have been foundational for subsequent studies.

Table of Contents


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The Body Abstract PDF
Pamela K. Gilbert (University of Florida)
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Biopower: Bodies, Minds and Biographical Subjection in Victorian Lives of the Poets Abstract PDF
James Whitehead (Liverpool John Moores University)
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Now You See It: Concealing and Revealing Pregnant Bodies in Wuthering Heights and The Clever Woman of the Family Abstract PDF
Livia Arndal Woods (CUNY Graduate Center)
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“This Little Action”: The Feminine Manner of Touching in Elizabeth Gaskell’s Wives and Daughters Abstract PDF
Molly Livingstone (Georgia State University, Atlanta)
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Melting Bodies: The Dissolution of Bodily Boundaries in Milton and Swinburne Abstract PDF
Laura Fox Gill (University of Sussex)
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The Farming Body in Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd Abstract PDF
Sanghee Lee (Binghamton University, State University of New York)
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Leaky Bodies: Masculinity, Narrative and Imperial Decay in Richard Marsh’s The Beetle Abstract PDF
Leslie Allin (University of Guelph)
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Articulating Victorian Body Parts: The Conference Abstract PDF
Beatrice Bazell, Emma Curry (Birkbeck College, University of London)


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