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LCVS presents: Paraphernalia! a conference about Victorian Objects

Posted by. Leeds Trinity University
Posted on 17 April 2015



The Leeds Centre for Victorian Studies and the Northern Nineteenth-Century Network is pleased to announce 'Paraphernalia!' - a one-day colloquium to take place at Leeds Trinity University on Friday 17 April 2015.

‘Portable property!’ is the mantra of Great Expectations’ Wemmick. The centrality of objects to Victorian families, homes, and public culture, can be seen wherever you turn: the auction in Vanity Fair; the jewellery Dorothea denies herself in Middlemarch; the Great Exhibition. Even working-class homes take pride in their ‘bright green japanned tea-tray’, as Mary Barton emphasises, even if they only have six teacups and need extra visitors to bring their own.

Recent developments in material culture and thing theory have highlighted objects’ diverse practical as well as symbolic functions.

We want to extend these discussions by asking some persistent questions: why were Victorian homes so full of clutter? Do changing fashions – for example, the development of Steampunk – change the way we relate to this? Victorian objects, particularly buildings, still surround us today: do objects change their meaning in new contexts? Does this also apply to objects that came to Britain from around the world; and what about objects created in the industrial powerhouse of northern England to be exported worldwide?

The conference
Taking place at Leeds Trinity University on Friday 17 April, delegates will hear talks from Professor Rohan McWilliam, President of the British Association for Victorian Studies (Anglia Ruskin University) and Professor Valerie Sanders (University of Hull) as our keynote speakers.

For more information about the event, please visit the Paraphernalia! website