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Day 1: How Victorianists (Might) Talk about Race: An Interdisciplinary Symposium sponsored by the Rutgers British Studies Center and Berkeley’s Center for British Studies

Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 11:15am - 04:45pm

A Coloured Lady on a Race Course Jamaica by From a painting by Archibald Stevenson Forrest 1905. Coloured antique print 12.5 x 11.0cm 4.75 x 4.25 inches

To register click here.


“The Rutgers British Studies Center and Berkeley’s Center for British Studies are proud to present a two day event on Zoom, “How Victorianists (Might) Talk about Race: An Interdisciplinary Symposium.” To see the Day 2 schedule click here.

Recent years have witnessed renewed emphasis on the study of race in Victorian studies. The aim of this event is to sustain this important conversation by querying the specific connotations that “race” subtends in and through our study of what the field designates as “Victorian." The last several decades have seen groundbreaking work on topics involved in addressing this issue—often in conjunction with feminist studies, postcolonial studies, queer studies, critical race theory, studies of empire, and Indigenous studies, among other key areas of inquiry.  In order to refocus attention on the specificity of race in the nineteenth century, speakers will consider its workings along various registers: aesthetic, material, economic, and geopolitical.


DAY 1, Thursday February 17, 2022 


11:15am EST

Jonah Siegel (Co-Director Rutgers Center for British Studies), 


11:30am-12:50 pm EST

Moderator: Elizabeth Chang (English, U of Missouri)

CATHERINE HALL (Chair, Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery, UCL)

 “Edward Long, the History of Jamaica, and the Figure of ‘the African’ 

SARAH WINTER (English/Comparative Literature, Univ. of Connecticut, Storrs)

“The Jamaican Magistrate and the Canadian Refugee: Race, Jurisdiction, and Empire in the 1860s”  


1:30 - 3pm EST

Moderator: Belinda Edmondson (Chair of English, Rutgers-Newark)

SUMIT CHAKRABARTI (English, Presidency U, India) “Historicizing Race Through a Global Lens: Radical Recasting of Connected Geographies in the Writings of Akshay Kumar Datta”  

ALLAN E.S. LUMBA  (History, Virginia Tech), “Racial Capitalism and Colonial Currencies”

IRENE TUCKER (English, U of California, Irvine) “Medical Race: A History & Prehistory”


3:15 - 4:45pm EST

Moderator: Kent Puckett (English, U of California, Berkeley)

Sander Gilman (Emeritus Distinguished Professor of the Liberal Arts & Sciences/Psychiatry, Emory U)

Ronjaunee Chatterjee (English, Concordia U) 

Seth Koven (G.E. Lessing Distinguished Professor of History, Rutgers, New Brunswick)

Luz Elena Ramirez (English, Cal State Bernadino)

Adrian Wisnicki (English/Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, U of Nebraska. Lincoln)