Consuming (the) Victorians

2016 Annual Conference of the British Association for Victorian Studies

Author: Megen (Page 1 of 4)

BAVS 2016 Conference Reports (Part Four)

'Scrooge's Third Visitor' from Charles Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol'. Illustration by John Leech, c1843.

‘Scrooge’s Third Visitor’ from Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. Illustration by John Leech, c1843.

Happy Holidays, Victorianists!

We hope you’ve enjoyed re-living BAVS 2016 through our coverage of the numerous conference reports. If you haven’t yet seen what our bursary bloggers have been up to, you can find parts one, two, and three of our reporting at the links. Before we begin a new year, and switch gears to BAVS 2017, we wanted to leave you with one final roundup.

In our last post, we shared Madeleine Emerald Thiele’s full conference report. This time around, she takes a deeper look at the conference theme, ‘Consuming (the) Victorians’, to analyse both academic life and Dante Gabriel Rossetti’s consumption of Sandro Botticelli:

Reception and revival are key tenets of the images I consume as part of my research. I labour my hours upon tiny small details which are like visual conversations between artists across time. I consume the gentle bend of a foot painted in John Roddam Spencer Stanhope’s, Love and the Maiden (1877, MFA, San Francisco), and I realised he too had also been a consumer: for when he admired the turn of Venus’ foot in Botticelli’s Venus and Mars (1485, National Gallery) he knew it sought a new life, and out from the tiniest detail bursts a new one. The chain is long and the details small but the meaning is often great.

For this final roundup we also have a fantastic series of vlogs (video blogs) for your holiday viewing pleasure. You may remember when Kirstin Mills interviewed international BAVS delegates for her first vlog. Now, you can watch her full video report, which includes footage from the Cardiff Castle and Arcade tours. Catch both videos below:

Beth Gaskell has also produced two fantastic vlogs for BAVS 2016, which are designed to help those new to the conference circuit. In ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Academic Conferences’, Gaskell offers useful how-to tips for navigating a major academic event. In ‘The Unexpected Conference’, she shows us why the best moments of a conference are the ones you can’t really prepare for:

Finally, Karita Kuusisto offers an insightful post on ‘how the mode of publication affected the way the author and the illustrator worked together’ in Victorian England, which expands on the workshop she offered at BAVS 2016:

The relationship between author and illustrator in the Victorian era is a complicated one – or that is the impression one gets when reading about it. Many of the author-illustrator teams seem to have arrived at a disagreement that brought an end to the collaboration. The relationships were further complicated, and perhaps intensified, by the particular publication process that the two were engaged with – by this I mean the original method of publication, be it the short story or serialized novel in a periodical, for example, with its strict deadlines and restrictions on image sizes and numbers. Sometimes the illustrator and author would work quite closely together.

As always, be sure to check the Victorianist to read more about the exciting research BAVS postgraduates are currently conducting.

BAVS 2016 Conference Reports (Part Three)

The Blind Fiddler, 1880s, Bethnal Green

The Blind Fiddler, 1880s, Bethnal Green

As a follow-up to part one and part two of the conference reports from our PG and ECR bursary winners, here are the latest BAVS 2016 updates from the Victorianist, the official British Association for Victorian Studies postgraduate blog.

Kicking this post off with a conclusion, Sophie Raine writes about the tail end of the conference, and her experiences as an attendee on the last day:

For the final panel, I attended ‘Modes of Production, Consumption and the Case of Christmas’ and felt that I had made an excellent choice as both papers were riveting and explored critical issues regarding consumption that was both interesting and helpful in terms of my own research. The first speaker, Elizabeth Ludlow (Anglia Ruskin University) gave a paper entitled ‘Storytelling at Christmas: Elizabeth Gaskell’s contributions to the “Extra Christmas” numbers of Household Words and All the Year Round‘ which analysed Elizabeth Gaskell’s contribution to Dickens’ collection of seasonal short stories, in relation to the representation of migration and exile.

Briony Wickes takes the opportunity to reflect on the conference theme, ‘Consuming (the) Victorians’, by asserting that ‘Things Still Matter’:

The title of this conference report refers to a 1998 collection of essays, edited by Daniel Miller, in which scholars in the field of material cultures made a case for “Why Some Things Matter”. In the introduction to this text, Miller described the study of materiality as being a ‘two stage process’: “The first phase came in the insistence that things matter and that to focus upon material worlds does not fetishize them since they are not some separate superstructure…[the second stage] demonstrates what is to be gained by focusing upon the diversity of material worlds”.[1] Almost two decades later, this year’s BAVS conference on the theme of ‘Consuming (the) Victorians’ could perhaps be seen as part of a third stage in the study of material and consumer cultures, with many of the papers extending scholarly focus beyond the strictly human realm, to consider the possibility of nonhuman agency within nineteenth-century consumer cultures.

‘Nicholay; Furs’, photograph by Hugh Owen and Claude-Marie Ferrier, 1851, Rijks Museum Collection

‘Nicholay; Furs’, photograph by Hugh Owen and Claude-Marie Ferrier, 1851, Rijks Museum Collection

Briony also contributed an enlightening and related post on ‘Consuming Furs at the 1851 Great Exhibition’:

As Jeanne Cannizzo has argued, the Great Exhibition can be compared to a “cultural text” that may be read in order to better understand “the underlying cultural assumptions that have informed its creation, selection, and display”.[5] As with many of the showcases at the 1851 Exhibition, Nicholay’s display of skins in the North-West Transept participates in that event’s broader ideological agenda. Showcasing animal skins sourced from all over the globe in the heart of fashionable London, the display articulates a narrative of colonial domination in keeping with the triumphant rhetoric of the Exhibition.

Finally, Madeleine Emerald Thiele’s conference report puts the reader on the ground with personal anecdotes and engaging illustrations:

whether you were interested in how Victorians consumed the poisoned apple (Joanna Crosby), the queer consumption of the dead child body (Jen Baker), or the authenticity of the Muppet’s rendition of Dickens (Holly Eckersley) there was plenty to think about and discuss over champagne at the conference reception in the city’s Impressionist Galleries. Hard life isn’t it?

As always, be sure to check the Victorianist for more reports on BAVS 2016, and to read more about the exciting research BAVS postgraduates are currently conducting.

BAVS 2016 Conference Reports (Part Two)

“Horror and Agony”, from a photograph by Guillaume Duchenne. Figure 21 from Darwin’s Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Picture in public domain.]

“Horror and Agony”, from a photograph by Guillaume Duchenne. Figure 21 from Darwin’s Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Picture in public domain.]

Following up on last month’s list of conference reports from our PG and ECR bursary winners, here are the latest BAVS 2016 updates from the Victorianist, the official British Association for Victorian Studies postgraduate blog.

Emily Turner writes about ‘Darwin, Photography, and the “Screaming Victorians” of Anthony Rhys’s Visual Biofiction or; Whose Biofiction is it Anyway?’:

If you attended the BAVS conference held in Cardiff earlier this year, you may have had time to explore the gallery of screaming Victorians adorning the walls of the registration room. If not, it is worth taking some time to get acquainted with the fascinating legion of howling, devastated, vindictive and enraged men, women and children that populate artist Anthony Rhys’s collection of work.

Lindsay Wells has penned a response to two BAVS 2016 conference papers by Camilla Adeane and Kumiko Tanabe, on John Everett Millais:

What I enjoyed most about both Dr. Tanabe and Adeane’s papers was the thoughtful insight they offered into the latter half of Millais’s professional life. The Boyhood of Raleigh, The North-West Passage, and Bubbles constitute an important facet of the artist’s career that, like his Pre-Raphaelite endeavors of the 1850s, is intellectually rich and innovative.  In their arguments, both Dr. Tanabe and Adeane called for a reexamination of our preconceived notions about Millais’s mature work.  They each offered a refreshingly perceptive interpretation of their selected paintings, all of which touch upon sentimental and aesthetic themes beyond their literal subject matter.

Flore Janssen’s conference report explores ‘Consuming Beings, Being Consumers: Consumption and Identity in the Victorian Period’:

In his introduction to The Oxford Handbook of the History of Consumption, Frank Trentmann described how, since the 1970s, scholars in the social sciences ‘have studied the creative, ambivalent nature of consumption and reclaimed it as a fertile ground for subcultures, hybridity, self-fashioning, and transgressive identity politics’.[1]In other words, consumption functions as an expression of identity, and studying habits of consumption can reveal a great deal about the ways in which people choose to present themselves. The theme of this year’s BAVS conference, ‘Consuming (the) Victorians’, provided a helpful way in to two major questions surrounding material culture in historical research: how did the Victorians build a sense of self through material culture and consumer goods, and how do these objects determine our understanding of the Victorians today?

Last but not least, Kirstin Mills recorded a video blog during the conference, in which she interviews a series of international delegates to find out where they’ve travelled from and why they decided to come to BAVS in Cardiff:

Be sure to check the Victorianist for more reports on BAVS 2016, and to read more about the exciting research BAVS postgraduates are currently conducting.

BAVS 2016 Conference Reports (Part One)

csth-yvvmaal0gw-jpg-largeIf you enjoyed Katie Bell’s reflection on BAVS 2016, be sure to stay tuned for more conference reports from our PG and ECR bursary winners. These will appear on the Victorianist, the official British Association for Victorian Studies postgraduate blog.

Earlier this week, ECR and (neo-)Victorianist Barbara Franchi reflected on the conference through an analysis of ITV’s hit miniseries Victoria (2016). She asks: ‘to what extent is the figure of Queen Victoria (and her representation in the show) Victorian, and therefore a later cultural construction?’

Below is an excerpt of the full post, which you can find over on the Victorianist:

In order to be neo-Victorian, a narrative notably ‘needs to be critically engaging with nineteenth-century fiction, culture and society’.[vi] With its intertextual references to literary classics, its serialised form and its self-reflexive tones on the epoch taking its name from the series’ protagonist, Victoria is a feast of nineteenth-century literature and culture brought to our screens. One could hardly find a more apt place to reflect on the contemporary fascination for the nineteenth-century past than the fictionalised story of the woman who, with her name alone, has made consuming the Victorians possible.

Read more at the link.

Image © ITV

Image © ITV

Hannah Greenstreet, a graduate researcher in theatre at the University of Oxford, gave an overview of the conference plenaries, as well as a more in-depth look at the music and theatre strand of panels.

Below is an excerpt of the full post, which you can find over on the Victorianist:

One of the things that surprised me as a BAVS novice was the interdisciplinary nature (and the sheer scale) of the conference, spanning literature, history, history of art, musicology and many others. It is sometimes easy to confine oneself to one’s discipline and forget that the nineteenth century was so much more than its literature. I found it immensely refreshing and exciting to have people with so many different perspectives and areas of expertise participating in the conversation.

Read more at the link.

Imitation or Homage?

img_4902University of Leicester PhD researcher Katie Bell has written a reflection on the Dickensian capsule exhibition and the ‘My Dickens Project’ panel that took place at BAVS 2016. She takes Dr Holly Furneaux’s argument that Dickens fan fiction (such as Dickensian) can function as literary criticism – since ‘[w]hat contributes to the memorable quality of his characters is that his works have been reimagined numerous times, and perhaps due to this, his characters can easily be extracted from their original works and viewed as part of our families’ – and unpacks it.

Below is an excerpt of the full post, which you can find over on Victorianist:

Charles Caleb Colton made the famous assertion ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, to which Oscar Wilde cunningly added, ‘…that mediocrity can pay to greatness’.  Wilde’s addition gives a new take on the term ‘reboot’ and he more than likely would have applied his addendum to the modern film market whose current muse appears to be the never ending superhero chronicles.  Do film and television adaptations cross the line from creatively exploring a new way of seeing a well-loved story, such as Colton surmised, or are they merely rehashing old plot lines as a way to avoid bringing a new story line to the market, as Wilde suggests?  Further, is this act of recycling truly creative or is it merely imitative; if the former, how far can we, as well-read writers, move from imitating those authors who truly inspire us?

Read more at the link.

Re-Live ‘Consuming (the) Victorians’ on Storify

IMG_6487It’s been almost a week since the 2016 British Association for Victorian Studies annual conference, ‘Consuming (the) Victorians’, officially closed at Cardiff University.

Whether you were able to join us in person or only online, now you can re-live the experience from the comfort of your own home. We have compiled some of our favourite memories into a Storify thread for each day of the conference, so you can re-live them along with us. BAVS Postgraduates representative Emma Butcher has also put one together for the PGR/ECR workshops on 31 August:

BAVS 2016 – PGR/ECR Workshops

BAVS 2016 – Day One (31 August, 2016)

BAVS 2016 – Day Two (1 September, 2016)

BAVS 2016 – Day Three (2 September, 2016)

BAVS 2016 – Aftermath

We couldn’t have achieved all this without our team of bursary tweeters, who volunteered their skills in exchange for a small subsidy (graciously provided by BAVS and Cardiff University). They produced around a third of the live tweets during the conference. One even put together a drawing of her experiences:

Image by @KeiWaiyee ('Marxist Baking'), BAVS 2016 delegate

Image by @KeiWaiyee (‘Marxist Baking’), BAVS 2016 delegate

We hope you all had a lovely time at BAVS 2016: ‘Consuming (the) Victorians’, and wish you all a wonderful year to come. See you again at BAVS 2017: ‘Victorians Unbound’!


Thank You!

FullSizeRender 6BAVS 2016 has officially wrapped!

We want to give a massive ‘Thank You’ to everyone who made this event possible, from the organisers and staff, to the team of Cardiff University volunteers, to the presenters, chairs, and delegates themselves. You have been a lovely, lively, witty group of people, who make us very glad to call ourselves Victorianists.

Thanks also to the many people following (and tweeting about) the conference! Stay tuned for the various conference reports and retrospectives that will be following in the coming weeks, and do take the opportunity to scroll back through the #BAVS2016 Twitter feed. On the first day of the conference our hashtag was trending among the top 50 topics in the UK!

We wish you all safe travels home, and a wonderful weekend. See you again at BAVS 2017: Victorians Unbound!

Programme Changes (Thursday, 1 September)

All changes are also reflected in the conference programme on this website.

4E: Music and Theatre strand (4): Consuming Spectacles, Sensations, and the Exotic on the Victorian Stage

Panel convened by Beth Palmer (University of Surrey)

Chair: Akira Suwa (Cardiff University)

  • Tiziana Morosetti (University of Oxford): ‘Consuming Uncle Tom on the Victorian stage’
  • Beth Palmer (University of Surrey): ‘Consuming “sensation” in the theatre of the 1860s’
  • Joanna Robinson (King’s College London and University of Surrey): ‘Miniature spectacles: Performing nations in toy theatres’

Please note change of chair.

5B: Self-Improvement

Chair: Ann Heilmann (Cardiff University)

  • David Rowland (The Open University): ‘Widening access to art music: Creating new audiences in Victorian Britain’
  • Melissa Score: ‘“Martha Makepeace” and the working woman’s household economy in Cassell’s Working Man’s Friend’
  • Paul Raphael Rooney (Trinity College Dublin): ‘Consuming autodidacticism: Improving reading, The Working Man’s Friend (1850-51) and the Victorian print culture’

Please note change of chair.

5E: Music and Theatre strand (5): Consuming Music: Private and Public

Chair: George Biddlecombe (Royal Academy of Music)

  • Wendy Stafford (University of Southampton): ‘Consuming passions? An investigation into a Victorian country house music collection’
  • Ian Maxwell (University of Cambridge): ‘The Chamber music clubs in the universities of Victorian Britain’

Due to unforeseen circumstances Erin Johnson Williams cannot attend.

5F: Visual Culture strand (4): Classicism and Aesthetics

Chair: Catherine Han (Cardiff University)

  • Jordan Kistler (Keele University): ‘Creation vs. consumption: Rethinking the ideal in art’
  • Madeleine Emerald Thiele (Aberystwyth University): ‘The Edwardian consumption of Victorian angels’

Ciarán Rua O’Neill’s paper has moved to 2F.


5G: Medicine, Science and Technology strand (4): Natural History

Chair: Helen Kingstone (Leeds Trinity University)

  • Matthew Wale (University of Leicester): ‘“A healthy four-penny-worth of [science] gossip”: Consuming natural history through 19th-century periodicals’’
  • Rose Roberto (National Museums Scotland and University of Reading): ‘(Un)natural selection in Chambers’s Encyclopaedias’

Due to unforeseen circumstances David Lowther has had to withdraw. 

6A: Sensation Fiction

Chair: Helen McKenzie (Cardiff University)

  • Suchitra Choudhury (University of Glasgow): ‘Consumerism and colonialism: The red Paisley shawl in Wilkie Collins’s Armadale
  • Anne-Louise Russell (Anglia Ruskin University): ‘Much more than simply “supply[ing] the cravings of a diseased appetite”: Florence Marryat and sensation fiction published in London Society’

Kate Mattacks has had to withdraw.

6G: The Ethics of Consumption: Political Economy, Periodical Journalism, Poetry 

Panel convened by Nora Plesske (TU Braunschweig, Germany)

Chair: Silvana Colella (Università di Macerata, Italy)

Nora Plesske (TU Braunschweig, Germany): ‘Celebrations of cheapness: Mass consumption and the wealth of the nation’

Joanna Rostek (University of Giessen, Germany): ‘A Feminist Economic Reading of Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley’

Please note that Joanna Rostek’s paper will be read out by Megen de Bruin-Molé and that Laurenz Volkmann’s paper has had to be cancelled.  

7B: Business, Brands and Betting

Chair: Sarah Bull (University of Cambridge)

  • Graham Harding (St Cross College, Oxford): ‘“Advertisements of every kind to bring their brand into notoriety”: Brand Innovation and “Brandolatry” in the nineteenth-century champagne trade’
  • Rohan McWilliam (Anglia Ruskin University): ‘The Gatti family and the Victorian West End: Food, theatre and entrepreneurship in the making of London’s pleasure district’
  • Stephen Tate (Blackburn College): ‘“What but greed, what but avarice, would induce a man . . . to carry on that business?” Coupon betting and the British sporting press c1900’

Please note revised title of Graham Harding’s paper.

7L: Spectacles of the Victorian Press

Chair: Ann Heilmann (Cardiff University)

  • Jock Macleod (Griffith University, Australia): ‘Incorporating readers: Consumption and Victorian histories of the press’
  • Alexandra Leonzini (Freie Universität Berlin/ Humboldt Universität zu Berlin): “The important squabble”, “an extraordinary scene”, or “a most disgraceful row”?: The Tamburini Riot as it appeared in British print media’
  • Matthew Bradley (University of Liverpool): ‘Consuming Victorian apocalypse: The end of the world and the Victorian press’

Please note change of chair due to Clare Horrocks speaking in 7C.  

8B: The Form and Facture of The Pleasure of that Obstinacy: J. Hillis Miller on Anthony Trollope, Reading and Technology

Please note that the chair of this session is Joanna Robinson (King’s College London and University of Surrey), not Simon Grennan (as indicated in the Abstracts booklet).

Panel organiser, speaker and commentator: Frederik Van Dam (University of Leuven, Belgium)

Screening of documentary and discussion


8G: Medicine, Science and Technology strand (6): Consuming Pre-Historic Beasts

Panel convened by Will Tattersdill (University of Birmingham)

Chair: Jordan Kistler (University of Birmingham)

  • Richard Fallon (University of Leicester / Centre for Arts and Humanities Research, Natural History Museum): ‘H. N. Hutchinson’s extinct monsters (1892): Making palaeontology palatable at the fin de siècle’
  • Will Tattersdill (University of Birmingham): ‘Becoming fossils: Adequated metaphors of the Victorian dinosaur in 20th-century popular culture

Katherine Ford’s paper has moved to IF

Programme Changes (Wednesday, 31 August)

All changes are also reflected in the conference programme on this website.

Conference welcome and keynote 1: please note the change of venue:

Julian Hodge (NOT Law LT)


Julian Hodge

LT 0.01

Conference Welcome

Damian Walford Davies, Head of School of English, Communication and Philosophy

Ann Heilmann, Chair of the Organising Committee


Julian Hodge

LT 0.01

Keynote 1

Chair: Ann Heilmann

Patricia Duncker (University of Manchester): ‘Imagining George Eliot’

1F: Visual Culture strand (1): Victorian Illustration

Chair: Rose Roberto (University of Reading)

  • Will Finley (University of Sheffield): ‘“Vehicles for pretty prints”: The consumption of image and text and the transformation of topography 1835-1850’
  • Bethan Stevens (University of Sussex): ‘Greedy rats: The business of Victorian wood engraving’

(Moved from 8G) Katherine Ford (Science Museum, London): ‘Demons, devils and dragons: Representations of pterosaurs in 19th-century science and culture’

1H: Consuming Otherness strand (1): Consuming 19th-century France

Panel convened by Kate Griffiths (Cardiff University)

Chair: Kathy Rees

  • Richard Leahy (University of Chester): ‘Frameworks of desire and mass consumption: Networked society in the works of Émile Zola’
  • Kate Griffiths (Cardiff University): ‘Translating Zola for 21st-century television: Audience, consumption, context and The Paradise (BBC, 2012)’
  • Andrew Watts (University of Birmingham): ‘Consumed by Spirit: Reincarnating Balzac in Charles d’Orino’s Tales from the Beyond (1904)’

Please note Andrew Watt’s change of title.

 1M: Consuming Christ: Ethics and Faith

Chair: Rosemary Mitchell (Leeds Trinity University)

  • Keri Cronin (Brock University, Canada) and Maria Power (University of Liverpool): ‘Christ in the laboratory: Religious ethics and the anti-vivisection movement in late Victorian Britain’
  • Melissa E. Buron (Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Birkbeck College): ‘Proselytizing or profiteering? James Tissot and the commercialization of the Bible’

Please note that due to unforeseen circumstances Nele Pollatschek is no longer able to attend.

 2F: Visual Culture strand (2): Behind the Scenes at an Exhibition

Chair: Kate Newey (Exeter University)

  • Helen Kingstone (Leeds Trinity University): ‘“First, climb to the roof”: Making contemporary history consumable’
  • (Moved from 5F) Ciarán Rua O’Neill (University of York): ‘Consuming Classical and Renaissance sculpture: The Caryatid in Victorian Britain’
  • Anthony Walker-Cook (Durham University): ‘The museum and its various metaphors in Victorian literature’. Please note that due to illness this paper will be read out by Ann Heilmann

2K: Digitisation strand (1): Roundtable: Digital Visualisation and Victorian Studies   

Convened by Christopher Donaldson (Lancaster University) and

Joanna Taylor (Lancaster University)

Chair: Anthony Mandal (Cardiff University)

  • Zoe Alker (University of Liverpool): ‘Building Bentham’s panopticon’
  • Christopher Donaldson (Lancaster University): ‘Deep mapping mobile geographies’
  • Les Roberts (University of Liverpool): ‘The Cestrian Book of the Dead: Digital necrogeography and spatial anthropology’
  • Matthew Sangster (University of Birmingham): ‘Accruing Romantic London’
  • Joanna Taylor (Lancaster University): ‘Walking, writing and mapping the English Lake District’

Zoe Alker has withdrawn.

Notes for Speakers and Chairs

Below are some notes for speakers and chairs at BAVS 2016.


Thank you for your contribution to this conference, which could not take place without you! Below is some technical information for your session.


There is bottled water for all the speakers by the computer in each room.  


Each room is equipped with a computer, a projector, and audio speakers. Controls for the projectors and speakers are located near the computers. It is also possible to connect an external computer (i.e. your laptop) to the projector using the VGA connection provided.

Speakers needing a VGA-to-Mac adaptor are advised to bring their own adaptors. (We are not stocked for the different models of Macbook.)

You are advised to bring your powerpoint on a USB stick.

If there is an issue with the equipment, please seek the advice of the helper assigned to your room, who will be able to contact the technicians on your behalf, or consult Ann (07980 401842). The technicians can be found in room 0.07.

How to log on

All the computers in the PTC will be logged on ready for use. When you close your powerpoint presentation down, please don’t log off to avoid delays with setting the computer up for the next speaker/session.

If a previous speaker accidentally logged off, the log-in details are:

Username: lecturer

Password: lecturer

Between each panel is either a 10-minute break or a refreshment break. We encourage you to use this time to set up for your session alongside the other speakers. 


Papers are capped at 20 minutes. This is to ensure that each speaker is given equal amounts of time and that there is an opportunity for discussion at the end. Please therefore make sure that your paper does not exceed the time limit. (If you are presenting as one of two speakers in a three-paper session, you have a little bit more leeway!) To make time-keeping easier, we have prepared reminder cards (2 minutes, 1 minute, STOP) that the chair may draw your attention to.

Enjoy your paper and your session!  


Thank you for volunteering your services and expertise as a panel chair – especially if this should be your first experience of chairing a session or if you are chairing several panels. Below you will find some information on the equipment and general tips.


There is bottled water for all the speakers and yourself by the computer in each room.


Some speakers may want to access the audiovisual equipment for their presentation. Each room is equipped with a computer, a projector, and audio speakers. Controls for the projectors and speakers are located near the computers. It is also possible to connect an external computer (i.e. the speaker’s laptop) to the projector using the VGA connection provided. Speakers needing a VGA-to-Mac adaptor are advised to bring their own adaptors. We have also asked that speakers bring their powerpoints on a USB stick. If there is an issue with the equipment, please seek the advice of the helper assigned to your room, who will be able to contact the technicians on your behalf, or consult Ann (07980 401842). The technicians can be found in room 0.07.

How to log on

All the computers in the PTC will be logged on for use. Please advise speakers not to log off at the end of their session. If the computer was accidentally logged off, the log-in details are:

Username: lecturer- Password: lecturer


Papers are capped at 20 minutes. Allowing time for a brief introduction of each speaker, could you keep track of time to ensure that speakers do not exceed 20 minutes so that there is space for discussion at the end. (If you chair a three-paper session with only two speakers, you will have a little more leeway.) To make your task easier, we have prepared timing cards: 2 minutes, 1 minute, STOP. Feel free to use some or all of these cards during the papers, as you and the speakers prefer.


Given the pressurized time schedule, and in order to encourage the audience to consider synergies between papers, we recommend that the discussion session comes at the end rather than after each paper.

Please introduce each speaker, giving their institutional affiliation and a brief indication of their work (PhD student, postdoctoral or independent scholar, Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Reader, Professor etc. working on … ). You will find each speaker’s biographical note in the section following their outline in the Abstracts booklet. We encourage you to keep the introduction short so as not to cut into the time for speakers and the discussion.

Please thank each speaker, encouraging applause for their contribution before moving on.


After all papers have been delivered and all speakers thanked for their contribution, invite responses/questions from the floor. Please try to ensure speakers get equal time and attention.

While listening to each paper, it may be useful to jot down at least one question for each speaker to get the discussion going, or in order to shift the attention between individual speakers to ensure that each of them is at least asked one question.

Please keep check of the time to ensure the session closes at the advertised time, ready for the next panel to be set up.

Before breaking up the session, please thank the speakers once again for their papers.

We are grateful for your support and hope that you enjoy the conference and your panel(s).

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