Category Archives: "victorian literature

De-Sensitizing the Operating Room: Normalizing the “Unnatural” in The Island of Dr. Moreau

I say I became habituated to the Beast People, that a thousand things that had seemed unnatural and repulsive speedily became natural and ordinary to me. (The Island of Dr. Moreau, End of Chapter 15) I used to consider myself a very squeamish person. T… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, 19th Century, 20th Century, biomedicine, biopolitics, disillusion, dystopia, ethics, Ethics of science, H.G. Wells, history of science, role of scientists, Science Fiction, technology, The Island of Dr. Moreau, Visuality | Comments Off on De-Sensitizing the Operating Room: Normalizing the “Unnatural” in The Island of Dr. Moreau

Caged in Desire, or How to Read an Unreliable Narrator: Anxiety, Projection, and Crushes in Henry James’s In the Cage

I’d like to open this post with some mood music: There we go.  That sets the stage nicely. In other words, In the Cage is a stomach-turning read for any fantasy-prone person (re: most of us) who has ever had an unrequited crush.  Let’s th… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, 19th Century, disillusion, Freud, Gender studies, Henry James, humanities, In the Cage, mechanical servant, narrative, narrative structure, Novelists, subjectivity | Comments Off on Caged in Desire, or How to Read an Unreliable Narrator: Anxiety, Projection, and Crushes in Henry James’s In the Cage

If We Could Go Back In Time…

Text by A.A. BENJAMIN, Game Demo by JO KIM, Characters by SPARLING Our fictional Once Upon A Time Machine video game proposal (<–see our powerpoint presentation here) had one obvious blunder. We had a cool game demo but treated our presentation as separate from the demo. As we talk about hyper-meditation in this English New Media course, […] Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, Arcade, Class Related, collaboration, competitive gaming, console games, game design, Gaming, H.G. Wells, Harry Potter, literary criticism, movies, Play, Science Fiction, Star Wars, Steampunk | Comments Off on If We Could Go Back In Time…

The End of Reason and (Un)natural Selection in The Time Machine

It’s hard to imagine a more quintessentially post-Darwinian work of fiction than H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine (1895). To say the least, the protagonist of the story is a believer in Darwinian theory. It is as if Wells had envisioned placing Darwin… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, Darwin, Eloi, H.G. Wells, Morlock, natural selection, Pre-Raphaelites, Rossetti, The Bower Meadow, The Time Machine | Comments Off on The End of Reason and (Un)natural Selection in The Time Machine

Cyborgs, Stagnation, and Queer Darwinism in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Sign of Four”

“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation.” -Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four As Deann’s most recent blog post requested, last week’s class discussion engaged the question of sexual and homosocial dynamics in She and the Victorian liter… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, arthur conan doyle, charles darwin, queer, queerness, sherlock holmes, the sign of four | Comments Off on Cyborgs, Stagnation, and Queer Darwinism in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Sign of Four”

Is Happiness Boring?: The Failure of Utopia and Why Agent Smith Might Be Right About Us.

The problems of a perfect world seem to be a favorite subject with authors of science fiction, and even works styling themselves as utopian seem unable to resist veering toward the dark side of a peaceful society.  Somehow or other, perfection in thes… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, Ana, Baron Lytton, biopolitics, dystopia, Hegel, Novelists, Robot War, Samuel Butler, The Matrix, TV Tropes, utopia | Comments Off on Is Happiness Boring?: The Failure of Utopia and Why Agent Smith Might Be Right About Us.

The Moonstone: A Mashup. Wilkie Collins vs. Delueze vs. Derrida (VU Remix)

“So the years pass, and repeat each other; so the same events revolve in the cycles of time. What will be the next adventures of the Moonstone? Who can tell?” Thus concludes Wilkie Collins’ novel, The Moonstone: A Romance. A detective novel told… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, Delueze, Derrida, detective novel, Freud, mashup, rhizome, The Moonstone, Time, Wilkie Collins | Comments Off on The Moonstone: A Mashup. Wilkie Collins vs. Delueze vs. Derrida (VU Remix)

Webs, Ethics, and the Darwinian Chains that Bind

Upon meeting Clara Talboys, Mary Elizabeth Braddon’s Robert Audley muses on the “essentially accidental” nature of happiness. Likening such chance to the irregular migration patterns of a bird, he chooses marriage as the central subject of this u… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, charles darwin, ethics, lady audley's secret, marriage, mary elizabeth braddon, the origin of species | Comments Off on Webs, Ethics, and the Darwinian Chains that Bind

Study Released: Children’s Literature May Not Be Sending the Right Message

There is a certain pleasure to be had in reading books like Kingsley’s The Water-Babies, if only because it is always funny to see so many blistering and well-aimed zingers in one place. You just have to admire the craft, especially when it’s done… Continue reading

Posted in "victorian literature, bedtime stories, biopolitics, Charles Kingsley, Children's Literature, Darwin, Hypocrisy, Kingsley, Charles, natural selection, popular science, role of scientists, Satire, snark, The Onion, Water-Babies | Comments Off on Study Released: Children’s Literature May Not Be Sending the Right Message

Minding Your Own Beeswax and the Middlemarch Twitterverse

“News is often dispersed as thoughtlessly and effectively as that pollen which the bees carry off (having no idea how powdery they are) when they are buzzing in search of their particular nectar.”  -George Eliot, Middlemarch, Book VI, Chap… Continue reading

Posted in " pollination, "social media, "victorian literature, 19th Century, bees, bioculture, biopolitics, culture, ecosystems, eliot, Eliot, George, Inception, Middlemarch, pollen, popular science, twitter | Comments Off on Minding Your Own Beeswax and the Middlemarch Twitterverse