Science and Storytelling Roundtable

charcotWe are launching our new research theme with a public roundtable discussion of Science and Storytelling at the University of Reading’s London Road campus (LO22, Lecture Room G01) on Wednesday 6 November at 6.30 p.m., preceded by a wine reception from 5.30 at the Museum of English Rural Life.

The speakers are the hospital doctor, medical journalist and science-writer Druin Burch; Sally Shuttleworth, authority on psychology, science and fiction in Victorian England, and Professor of English Literature at St Anne’s College, Oxford; the biographer, novelist and historian of evolution Rebecca Stott, Professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia; and the climate change expert and advisor to the Department for International Development Tim Wheeler, Professor of Crop Science here at Reading.

Entry to the reception and the roundtable is free. We hope you will be able to join us to hear our speakers’ thoughts on the importance of storytelling and narrative in science, and vice versa, and to join in what promises to be a very lively and stimulating discussion.

Wilkie Collins Study Day

Wilkie Collins

The Victorian Popular Fiction Association is pleased to announce a Study Day devoted to the work of Wilkie Collins. 


Welcome (Janice Allan and Joanne Ella Parsons)


Keynote by William Baker (Northern Illinois University): “Wilkie Collins: Scholarship and Criticism Past, Present and Future”

11:15-11:30: COFFEE


Tabitha Sparks (McGill University), “Wilkie Collins’s The Law and the Lady and Feminine Reason: ‘Quite incredible, and nevertheless quite true’”

Meredith Miller (Falmouth University), “Popular Interiority and Political Address: The New Magdalen and The Law and the Lady

Tara MacDonald (University of Amsterdam), “Sympathetic Doubles in Collins’s Fiction”

12:45-2:00 LUNCH


Catherine Delafield (Independent Scholar) “‘The patience of cats,… the ferocity of tigers’: Competitive Editing and the Serialization of The Moonstone.”

Caroline Radcliffe (University of Birmingham), “The Lighthouse by Wilkie Collins: ‘situations dramatique non encore exploitees’”

Jessica Cox (Brunel University) “Women in White: Neo-Victorianism and Wilkie Collins’s Literary Descendants”


3:15-3:30 COFFEE


Anne-Marie Beller (Loughborough University), “‘I want a husband to vex, or a child to beat’: Sensation and Emotion as Redemption in Armadale

Joanne Ella Parsons (Bath Spa University), “Fosco’s Fat: Bodily Control and Transgressive Consumption in The Woman in White


Roundtable discussion on No Name Reading Project

Pete Orford (Buckingham University), Anne-Marie Beller (University of Loughborough), Hazel Mackenzie (Buckingham) and Joanne Shattock (Leicester).


If you wish to be kept informed of events organised by the Victorian Popular Fiction Association (VPFA) then a membership form for our association can be downloaded from the website.


Please note that lunch will not be provided

The IRHS blog is up and running!

The Big Bang

The Big Bang

Welcome to the IRHS’s blog. It is here that we intend to bring news and updates on events and research activities taking place within the University of Reading on the intersections between the Arts, Humanities and Science. We are also hoping to encourage discussion from within the faculty and outside of it, so we would like to hear from you!

We are currently in the process of setting up a webpage, and will be announcing an exciting series of events to take place in 2013/14.

Watch this space!