Crossing Borders in the 19th Century

Chair: Professor Ann Heilmann, Cardiff University


Dr Michael John Goodman, Cardiff University – The Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive: Crossing Disciplinary Boundaries

Katherine Mansfield, Cardiff University – Sensationalising Marital Violence in Mona Caird’s Wing of Azrael (1889)

Anne Mahler – Outcast turns Killer: How Interpersonal Rejection Changes Behaviours of Romantic and Postmodern Protagonists

This panel seeks to examine various intersections and tensions of 19th century fiction to question existing literary expectations and propose new connections that, at times, stretch beyond the boundaries of the century. The three papers consider differing borders to position the 19th century within a large socio-political and literary context.

Goodman’s paper will focus on his Victorian Illustrated Shakespeare Archive (‘’) to probe the intersection between Shakespeare Studies, Victorian Studies, Art History and the Digital Humanities to argue that the boundaries we set for ourselves in the humanities are not only arbitrary but also, in certain respects, restricting what research can and cannot be done.

Mansfield will use Lisa Hager’s argument that ‘the key crises of New Woman texts are marked by sensational language that strives to communicate the intensity of the heroine’s inner struggles’ (2013: 236) to explore Mona Caird’s use of the language of Sensation, not to narrative female desire, but as a way to define women’s experience of marital violence in her New Woman novel, Wing of Azrael (1889).
Finally, Mahler’s paper seeks to analyse the connections between interpersonal rejection and violence in literary outcasts. Crossing the border from Mary Shelley’s Romantic classic Frankenstein (1818) to Richard Bachman’s postmodern work Rage (1977), Mahler will argue that even though they were written over 150 years apart, parallels can be drawn between Frankenstein’s creature and Charlie Decker, Bachman’s literary representation of a school shooter.

Friday 7th July, 3.30