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NAVSA Virtual Series

March 19 (9a.m. HKT)/18 (9 p.m. EDT) ‧

April 15 (9 p.m./a.m.) ‧ May 14 (9 p.m./a.m.)  

Contact person: Dr Jessica Valdez at  


Following from the recent call to “undiscipline” Victorian studies, this series of virtual events asks how scholars can move beyond the framework of metropole/periphery in thinking about the relationship between nineteenth-century Asia and Britain. Recent scholarship challenges the vision of Asia as periphery, writing of competing empires (Ross Forman, Grace Lavery) and its imbrication in the “intimacies” of global exchange and violence (Laura Doyle, Kendall Johnson, Lisa Lowe), yet Asia and the Pacific remain on the fringes of scholarship in Victorian studies.

This roundtable brings together scholars whose research challenges binary approaches to Britain and the world, instead considering the triangulations, intersections, exchanges, and (un)making involved in these encounters. In what ways can an attention to scholarship on/in Asia help to “undiscipline” and “unmake” Victorian studies and scholarly fields more broadly? The virtual event will be hosted in Hong Kong, a city shaped by the expansion of empires, trade, war, and migrations of the nineteenth century, and where current events reflect the enduring legacies of this fraught past.  

Victorian Studies, Asia, and the Pacific

Telegraphic Wire Map of the Entire World (1877) by Mitchell, S. Augustus

“Treaty Port(al): Wuhan in Three Acts”

“Opium-intoxication, progressive liberalism, and Charles Gutzlaff’s Voyages”

“Victorian women writers and Japan as Britain’s Asian Ally”

Panel 1​: Intersections, Networks, and Exchanges:

New Models for Victorian Studies

HKT March 19, 9-10:30 a.m.; EDT March 18, 9-10:30 p.m. 


Jacqueline Jean Barrios                 


Victor Monnin          

University of Strasbourg                         

Menglu Gao     

Northwestern University 

Tomoe Kumojima

Nara Women’s University  

Hunting the Moa: Paleontology, Cannibalism and Deep Time Politics between New-Zealand, Great Britain and Madagascar (1840-1890)

Recording now available

Speakers & timestamps

5:40 - Jacqueline Jean Barrios 

19:26 - Victor Monnin 

31:09 - Menglu Gao 

44:09 - Tomoe Kumojima 

55:10 - Q&A + Discussion

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Images from a 1885 travelogue & 1936 featuring the Victorian Harbor in Hong Kong

Recording now available

“Robert Louis Stevenson, Albert Wendt and the Romance of ‘Tusitala’: Resituating critical indigenous thought within Victorian studies”

“Neo-Victorian Fashion in Singapore: Race and Empire(s)”

“The Making of the Theatre of Empire: The Colonial Public and the Parsi Stage (1853-1893)”

Panel 2​: Colonial Pasts and Presents:

Food, Fashion, Literature

HKT April 15, 9-10:30 p.m.; EDT April 15, 9-10:30 a.m. 

Fariha Shaikh      

University of Birmingham

Chloe Osborne

Royal Holloway

University of London

Waiyee Loh

Kanagawa University

Rashna Darius Nicholson

University of Hong Kong

“Consuming Food, Consuming Opium: Crises Converged in Timothy Mo and Amitav Ghosh”


Speakers & timestamps

4:46 Dr. Fariha Shaikh  

17:15 Dr. Chloe Osborne

30:32 Dr. Waiyee Loh

44:25 Dr. Rashna Darius Nicholson

54:10 Q&A + Discussion

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"The Japanese Fan" (circa. 1865)

by Gustave Léonard de Jonghe

Recording now available

“How Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi Shaped Mary Coleridge’s Poetry and Feminist Literary Criticism”

“‘The Truer Artists’: Japanese Screen Painting at Ichi Ban Studios, San Francisco”

“On the Relationship between Victorian Fiction and Chinese Literary Revolution”

“Intersecting Visions of China and America in Victorian Fiction”

Panel 3​: Mobile Forms, Objects, Genres 

HKT May 14, 9-10:30 p.m.; EDT May 14 9-10:30 a.m.  


Kasey Bass

University of Houston

Nina Blomfield

Bryn Mawr College

Rae X. Yan 

University of Florida   


Jessica R. Valdez

University of Hong Kong

Designed by Shellie Audsley 


Speakers & timestamps

3:07 - Dr. Kasey Bass

16:10 -Dr. Nina Blomfield

26:49 - Dr. Rae X. Yan

38:00 - Dr. Jessica R. Valdez

50:00 - Q&A + Discussion

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