19th Century Word and Image Studies Panel: Deborah Nord, Rachel Teukolsky, and Jonah Siegel

Event time: 
Friday, November 15, 2019 - 4:00pm
LC 101 See map
Event description: 

Deborah Epstein Nord graduated from Barnard College, studied for an M.A. at the Victorian Studies Center at the University of Leicester, and earned a PhD from Columbia University.  She joined the Princeton faculty in 1989 after teaching at the University of Connecticut and Harvard University. Her fields of interest include Victorian literature and culture; gender studies; women’s writing; literature of the city; autobiography; non-fiction prose; social criticism; ethnicity and race in 19th-century writing; and American Jewish writers.  She is the author of The Apprenticeship of Beatrice Webb (1985), Walking the Victorian Streets: Women, Representation, and the City (1995), Gypsies and the British Imagination, 1807-1930 (2006), and, with Maria DiBattista, At Home in the World: Women Writers and Public Life, from Austen to the Present (2017; winner of the 2018 PROSE Award in Literature, Association of American Publishers; shortlisted for the 2018 Christian Gauss Award, Phi Beta Kappa Society), and the editor of John Ruskin’s Sesame and Lilies (2002).  She is currently working on a project about the relationship between 19th-century fiction and the visual arts, the first part of which was published as “George Eliot and John Everett Millais: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Realism” in the Spring 2018 issue of Victorian Studies. Her articles have appeared in Victorian Studies, Signs, Victorian Literature and Culture, Nineteenth-Century Studies, and in various volumes of collected essays.  She has received grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, and Princeton University. Professor Nord served as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English in 1991-92, 1994-95, and from 2009 to 2012 and as Director of the Program in the Study of Women and Gender from 1996 to 2003.  She received the President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in June 2013 and was appointed Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature in 2015.

Prof. Rachel Teukolsky (Vanderbilt) studies aesthetics, art writing, visual culture, and media history in nineteenth-century Britain. She is the author of The Literate Eye: Victorian Art Writing and Modernist Aesthetics (Oxford UP, 2009), awarded the Sonya Rudikoff Prize in 2010. The book examines the profusion of Victorian essays and criticism addressed to the visual arts. Though scholars usually locate a break between aesthetic values of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, especially by contrasting the realist novel with later experimental art, The Literate Eye reveals a continuity between Victorian art writing and the ensuing modernist fascination with form, abstraction, and avant-gardism.

Her second project also bridges the disciplines of literary and visual studies. Picture World: Image, Aesthetics, and Victorian New Media is forthcoming from Oxford UP in 2020. The book studies the new visual media of the nineteenth century, from mass photography to pictorial journalism to illustrated Bibles. Though these objects have often been categorized as disposable ephemera, Picture World shows how their ubiquitous visual codes helped to form essential notions in Victorian aesthetics—keywords such as illustration, the picturesque, realism, and sensation.

Jonah Siegel is Professor of English and Co-Director of the British Studies Center at Rutgers University. Aside from numerous articles on literature and the fine arts, he is the author of two books, Desire & Excess: The Nineteenth-Century Culture of Art (2000) and Haunted Museum: Longing, Travel, and the Art-Romance Tradition (2005), and the editor of The Emergence of the Modern Museum: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century Sources (2007). A new monograph, Material Inspirations: The Interest of the Art Object in the Nineteenth Century and After is forthcoming from Oxford University Press in Fall 2020. His current book project is entitled Beauty and Damage: Essays on Display and Loss.

This event is made possible by the support of the Edward J. and Dorothy Clarke Kempf Fund at Yale University.