Zoom Series 2022-23: Victorian Promises

Victorian Promises: The Promise of the Cosmos

Friday, January 27, 2023 11:00 AM Pacific Time


download flyer (PDF)

This panel explores fundamental questions of what the world beyond the earth—taken broadly to mean the Sun, planets and satellites of the solar system, as well as the distant stars and nebulae beyond the solar system—enabled Victorian artists, scientists, or historians to think about, know, and imagine. What styles and rhetorics developed around how the Victorians discussed, represented, and studied the world outside of earth, including the sublime and also transcending it? 


Robert Smith, University of Alberta

“An Astronomical Promise: The Planet Neptune and the Greatest Discovery of Nineteenth Century Science”

Anne Sullivan, University of California, Riverside

“‘A power beyond even that of sight’: John Herschel and the Promise of Astrophotography”

Neil Hultgren, California State University, Long Beach

“William Hope Hodgson’s Dark Nebula, or, Stars—They’re Just Like Us!”

thumbnail of poster for January 27th presentation


The Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States (VISAWUS) is a non-profit scholarly association founded in 1995 by Kathleen Peck to promote Victorian interdisciplinary studies. Our aim is to bring together scholars from across the disciplines with an interest in the Victorian period. Members include graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars with interests in Victorian literature, history, music, art, science, and medicine. We place a strong emphasis on mentoring junior faculty and graduate students.

Our annual conference invites faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars working on the long nineteenth century in Britain and within a broader transnational context to showcase the innovative work being performed in the field. The conference is known as a particularly generous site for networking and collaboration. The conference includes themed pedagogy roundtables where participants have the opportunity to discuss pedagogy with new and seasoned instructors and to get feedback on some aspect of their teaching (an assignment, an approach to the text, or a classroom activity).

Each year we award an exemplary graduate student presenter with the William H. Scheuerle Graduate Student Paper Award.

Information on our next conference is forthcoming.

Membership in VISAWUS is open to all who share an interest in its scholarship and goals. Membership includes a one-year subscription to Victorian Review.

The VISAWUS Constitution (PDF, 2016)