Southampton Centre for Nineteenth Century Research Seminars

We are delighted to invite you to our seminar series for semester one.

Both talks will take place on Wednesday at 4pm (UK Time) online via Teams (registration links via Eventbrite below):

11th November 2020 4pm-6pm 

Dr OsKar Cox Jensen 

University of East Anglia 

When London Cried: Life on the street and how to write about it. 

If one of the nineteenth century’s great narratives was the working class finding its voice, one of its legacies has been the continued ventriloquisation and (mis)representation of its urban ‘underclass’. The history of London lowlife in particular, storied and saddled with literary heavyweights such as Egan, Mayhew, and Dickens, is still packaged for the public in trade histories that differ little from the originals, while academics innovate in the social history of institutions or materials, or further nuance our appreciation of top-down cultural representations. This talk is about my quixotic struggle, in this context, to find and to frame the voices and experiences of the street itself. Engaging with issues in life-writing then and now from a historian’s perspective, and with the disconnect between the academy and popular history, I try to find a responsible way of writing the history of the street from below.  

SCNR Seminar – Oskar Cox Jensen Part of the 2020/21 seminar series organised by SCNR.

2nd December 2020 4pm-6pm 

Dr Zoe Hope Bulaitis 

University of Birmingham 

On the Value of the Humanities and Our Victorian Inheritances: Working Against and Within the Narrative of Economic Crisis

Even in a global pandemic, the economic value of a university degree still makes front-page news. Dr Zoe Hope Bulaitis’ recent book Value and the Humanities: The Neoliberal University and Our Victorian Inheritance (Palgrave Studies in Literature, Culture, and Economics, 2020) intervenes in this current political debate by expanding the question of ‘value-for-money’ and the econometric assessment of education across a kaleidoscopic range of values. Instead of taking the traditional defensive stance, Bulaitis uses humanities-oriented tactics of close reading, theoretical reflection, historical nuance, and an ability to clearly articulate in order to demonstrate the levels of entanglement between university education, cultural institutions, policymaking agendas, and artistic work. 

Given that this talk is for Southampton’s Centre for Nineteenth-Century Research, Bulaitis will specifically reflect on how tracing the shift from liberal to neoliberal education from the nineteenth century to the present day opens up rich and previously underdeveloped narratives of value in higher education in England. 

Value and the Humanities: The Neoliberal University and Our Victorian Inheritance is an open-access publication and can be downloaded in full, free of charge, here:

SCNR Seminar – Dr Zoe Hope Bulaitis Part of the 2020/21 seminar series organised by SCNR.

All welcome

This post has been re-published by permission from the BAVS Postgraduates Blog. Please see the original post at