Victorian Cryptozoology and the Search for Strange Beasts

Posted on Posted in Symposium Session

Along with new zoological discoveries in the Victorian era came the search for —and sometimes creation of— new and amazing species. Presented at Symposium 2019 by Dr. Renea Frey and Robert Dorsey Along with discoveries of fossils and new species—such as mammoths, dinosaurs, and the confusing platypus of Australia—came the belief that perhaps anything was […]

Science as Spectacle: Monsters, Magic, and the Supernatural

Posted on Posted in Symposium Session

Galvinism, ghosts, mesermism, and mediums — Victorian audiences were enthralled with discoveries that blurred the lines between science and magic, life and death. Presented at Symposium 2019 by Dr. Renea Frey Public demonstrations of scientific discoveries and supernatural wonders were both popular entertainment in the nineteenth century, which sometimes made it difficult to tell the […]

Eminent Pigeon Fanciers: How Everyday Victorians Contributed to Science

Posted on Posted in Symposium Session

Learn how pigeon breeders, fern collectors, butterfly enthusiasts, and more contributed to scientific knowledge in the nineteenth century and how you can follow in their footsteps. Presented at Symposium 2019 by Dr. Renea Frey The study of Natural History was a popular past time in the Victorian era, inspiring everyday people to explore, collect, and […]

Elocution and Parlor Rhetoric: The Power of Conversation

In the Victorian era, speaking, reading aloud, and conversing were considered imperative social arts for both men and women. Because public and group readings were popular forms of entertainment, elocution was taught to everyone, whereas parlor rhetoric was especially important for women to learn, since they were viewed as responsible for guests and entertaining in […]

Dressed to Kill: The Role of Women’s Dress in Gender, Performance, and Power

It is easy to look back on Victorian dress in admiration and enjoy copying the fashions from the past today. However, women’s dress has always in some way been political, reflecting norms, constraints, and idealizations of women from the time. This presentation will include a brief history of women’s dressing trends in the nineteenth-century with […]