The “Victorian Literary Languages” network studies the multilingualism of nineteenth-century literature, examining the connections between the literary and linguistic histories of Victorian Britain and Ireland. How might critical perspectives on nineteenth-century literature and its canons change when we take full account of the four nations, their numerous languages, and their richly diverse dialect cultures? How did nineteenth-century contests over national identity – and related debates about linguistic purity, diversity, and change – influence literary style and drive formal innovation? And how can methods of close and distant reading work collaboratively to generate new understandings of literary languages? To answer these questions, the network brings together scholars from a range of backgrounds and disciplines (including literature, linguistics, and history), who, by sharing their diverse expertise and perspectives, are developing an innovative, multilingual approach to the study of nineteenth-century literature and culture.
The network’s third workshop, to be held at Bangor University on 12-13 January 2023, will consider how new practices of travel and communication between and beyond the four nations prompted interactions between different languages and dialects, and how literary texts registered the impact of this growth in connectivity. The heightened mobility of the Victorians, and of their texts, enabled the wider …read more