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Western Conference on British Studies

22-23 September 2023

University of Texas at Arlington
University Center
300 W. First St.
Arlington, TX 76019
Friday 22 September


Registration: 8:15am-11:15am in Rio Grande A

Continental Breakfast: 9:00am–10:00am in Rio Grande A


Session 1: 9:30am–10:45am

Panel A:                      Traveling Women: 18th Century Strides for Women
Room:                          Perdenales

Chair:                           Ashley Bender (Texas Women’s University)


  • Susan Spencer (University of Central Oklahoma)

    • Teaching Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s Turkish Embassy Letters in the 21st-Century Classroom

  • Tom Prasch (Washburn University)

    • My Countrywomen would Rather Hear...”: Hester Piozzi’s Regendering of the Grand Tour

  • Dona Cady (Middlesex Community College) 

    • Mary Somerville’s Italian Brush and Pen: “To See a World in a Grain of Sand...”

Panel B:                      South Asia and the British Empire

Room:                          Neches

Chair:                           Tarquin Schwartz (Pittsburg State University)

  • Andrew R. Muldoon (Metropolitan State University of Denver)

    • Remembering to be Forgotten: Veterans and the British Commemoration of the Second World War in Asia


Session 2: 11:00am–12:15pm

Panel A:                      Empire: Espionage and Rebellion
Room:                          Neches

Chair:                           David Baillargeon (University of Texas at Arlington)


  • Padraic Kennedy (York College of Pennsylvania)

    • “To hist th’ queen an’ th’ Rooshian cza-ar without th’ aid iv th’ elevator:” The Tynan Plot and the British Secret Service 1896–7

  • Derek Blakeley (McNeese State University)

    • Britain, India, and the Suppression of the ‘Boxer Rebellion,’ 1900–1901

  • Jay Coyt Ransom (University of Texas at Arlington)

    • From Archaeology to Espionage: T.E. Lawrence and his Social Network, 1909–1914


Panel B:                       Early Modern
Room:                          Perdenales

Chair:                           Robin Hermann (University of Louisiana-Lafayette)


  • J. Suzanne Farmer (Northeastern State University)

    • “The Accomplish’d lady’s delight:” Women’s Receipt Books and the Fomenting of an Aspirational Culture in Early Modern England

  • Catherine Lila Chou (Grinnell College)

    • Catholic Experiments with Parliament in Elizabethan England and Jacobean Scotland

  • Noah Fore (Texas Tech University)

    • Buried Histories: Uncovering the Marginalization of Pirates in the Early Modern British Atlantic


Lunch Break: 12:30pm–1:30pm

Session 3: 1:45pm–3:00pm

Panel A:                      The Body in Literature and History
Room:                          Neches

Chair:                           Catherine Lila Chou (Grinnell College)


  • Paul Child (Sam Houston State University)

    • The Dean Disordered: Jonathan Swift and the Humoral Body

  • Ashley Umphenour (University of Texas at Arlington)

    • Mrs. Hobart’s Breasts and Lady Archer’s Face: British Satirical Representations of “Misbehaving” Women in the Late Eighteenth Century

  • Kaylah Lewis (Pittsburg State University)

    • Ableist Perceptions: Misconstrued Characterization in Wuthering Heights


Panel B:                      Modern Labor
Room:                          Perdenales

Chair:                           Jamie Bronstein (New Mexico State University)


  • Marissa Knaak (Michigan State University)

    • In the Shadows of Window Displays: Department Store Employees and Class Boundaries in Late Victorian Sheffield

  • Elizabeth Stice (Palm Beach Atlantic University)

    • Muddy Trenches or Motor Pool? Other Experiences of the First World War

  • Chris Frank (University of Manitoba)

    • Organized Labour and British Entry into the European Economic Community, 1969–1973


Session 4: 3:15pm–4:30pm

Panel A:                     Cultural and Literary History
Room:                          Neches

Chair:                           J. Suzanne Farmer (Northeastern State University)


  • Jennifer M. Barnett (Pittsburg State University)

    • Changing the Identity of Witches Through Literature

  • Jeremy Meyer (Arizona State University)

    • Cricket and Literature, Literature and Cricket: Intersections Between Cricket and British Literature from the 16th to 21st Centuries


Panel B:                      Africa and the Empire
Room:                          Perdenales

Chair:                           Kyle Thompson (Pittsburg State University)


  • William Meier (Texas Christian University)

    • Colonial Curiosities: The Chamberlain Family’s Collections at Highbury

  • Tarquin Schwartz (Pittsburg State University)

    • Men on the Margins: Masculinity and Street Fighting in post-Abolition South Africa


WCBS Reception: 4:30pm–6:00pm 

Hors d’oeuvres in Rio Grande A

Saturday 23 September


Continental Breakfast: 8:45am–9:45am in Rio Grande A


Session 5: 9:20am–10:15am

Panel A:                     Working the Margins: Transgression, Peril & Resistance in Britain
Room:                          Neches

Chair:                           Arunima Datta (University of North Texas)


  • Robin Hermann (University of Louisiana-Lafayette)

    • Women Writers, Reasonable Appetites, and the Danger of Witchcraft: Making Trouble in the Early Modern Kitchen

  • Laura Tabili (University of Arizona)

    • Protest, Passing, Mimicry and Subterfuge: How Colonized Subjects Resisted Exclusion and Subordination in Interwar Britain


Session 6: 10:30am–11:25am

Panel A:                     War and the Empire
Room:                          Neches

Chair:                           Laura Tabili (University of Arizona)


  • David Baillargeon (University of Texas at Arlington)

    • Mining the Empire: Metalliferous Ores and the British Empire in the Inter-War Years

  • Kaityln N. Ross (Texas A&M University)

    • “They Can’t Have Their Cake and Eat It”: The British Military, Women, and the Legacy of World War I Service


Panel B:                     Victorian Politics
Room:                          Perdenales

Chair:                           Padraic Kennedy (York College of Pennsylvania)


  • Andrew Walsh (University of Oxford)

    • Looking East: Public discourses on the Eastern Question in the Victorian Era

  • Kyle Thompson (Pittsburg State University)

    • The Struggle for the Future of Liberalism: Chamberlain vs. Goschen


Lunch Break: 11:30am–12:30pm

Keynote Address: 12:45pm–1:45pm

Room:                          Rio Grande A

  • Jamie Bronstein (New Mexico State University)

    • "Methodologies for the History of the Emotions"



Session 7: 2:00pm–2:55pm

Panel A:                      Early Modern and Modern Families
Room:                          Neches

Chair:                           Lynn MacKay (Brandon University)


  • Angela Austin (University of Texas at Arlington)

    • Child Servitude and the Exploitation of Underprivileged Populations in Early Modern Britain and Ireland

  • Samantha Lack (Texas Tech University)

    • Petitions from Tender Children: Petitions written by convicted youths between 1824-39​​


Session 8: 3:10pm–4:05pm

Panel A:                     Traveling Women in the 19th Century: To and From the Metropole
Room:                          Neches

Chair:                           Michael Springer (University of Central Oklahoma)


  • Marilyn Button (Lincoln University)

    • “Flying Visit” to Final Home: Mrs. Trollope in Italy

  • Arunima Datta (University of North Texas)

    • Travelling Ayahs and Ayahs’ Homes: Humanitarianism, Evangelism, and Profit in the Metropole

  • Jessica A. Sheetz-Nguyen (University of Maryland Global Campus)

    • Josephine Butler’s Dissertation: St. Catherine of Sienna​

WCBS Business Meeting: 4:15pm–5:15pm in Perdenales

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