Conference Report: Gender Stereotypes in the Long 19th Century

By Matthew Sangster

Many thanks to Erin Farley for writing the report below on the ‘Gender Stereotypes in the Long 19th Century’ symposium held at Stirling in April. BARS provided a subvention to help support this event.

On Saturday 30th April 2016, the University of Stirling hosted a one-day symposium, organised by Barbara Leonardi, on ‘Gender Stereotypes in the Long 19th Century.’ The symposium aimed to examine the effects of gender stereotypes and of challenges to them as the Romantic period shifted into the Victorian, as well as considering identify threads leading into 20th century culture. Furthermore, it explored the intersections between gender, class and race over the period in question– an approach which more than one delegate remarked was still disconcertingly rare in studies of this period.

Holly Furneaux’s engaging opening keynote “Kind-hearted Gunmen? An emotional history of the Victorian military Man of Feeling” examined the ways in which military violence was written out of accounts of war, replaced by the image of the soldier as a kind, loving figure, seen in novels such as Vanity Fair – the ‘domesticated English lion’. Furneaux also identified the legacy of this imagery in contemporary culture – for example, the popularity of ‘Returning Soldier’ videos …read more