Victoria Research Web

Discussing the Nineteenth Century: Groups, Blogs, and Podcasts

At their best, electronic discussion groups function as informal, ongoing conferences, enabling scholars from around the world to exchange ideas and information about research, events, and teaching methods, or to engage in group readings of particular Victorian texts. Some of these work by distributing email from a central server (these are often called "lists"), while others use a bulletin-board format. Facebook now has a number of Victorian groups, including complementary Facebook sites for organizations like the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals and the British Associaton for Victorian Studies. And don't neglect Twitter! Many Victorianists and Victorian Studies societies and journals have a Twitter feed these days, and are a daily source of commentary, news, and links to new resources. Searching for words like "Victorian" in the upper-right corner of your Twitter homepage will turn up all sorts of interesting threads. Victorianists, then, have practically limitless opportunities to talk about the period and how they write, teach, and learn about it, from the largest and most inclusive email list--VICTORIA--to groups of various kinds devoted to particular authors, topics, and organizations.

Blogs by individual Victorianists (or groups of them) typically feature ongoing commentary--daily, weekly, or as the mood strikes--about literary, historical, and pedagogical issues associated with Victorian culture, together with news items and links to resources and other discussions. Yet blogs are notable for their variety: some wander far afield from the period, while others use the format as a way of publishing texts or essays of interest; some blogs are intensely personal, others are like a succession of short conference papers. A blog usually allows a certain degree of interactivity with its author through the "comments" section beneath each posting.

Discussion groups

VICTORIA: The Electronic Conference for Victorian Studies

Since 1993, VICTORIA has provided that beloved Victorian thing, a "cheap luxury," in the shape of a free electronic forum for the exchange of research ideas and queries, notices of recent books, conference listings, and lively discussion of a vast variety of issues, large and small, that bear on the study of "the long 19th century" (say, 1790 to 1914) in Britain. VICTORIA equally welcomes the contributions of students of literature, social history, politics, gender studies, publishing, art, and intellectual history.

To subscribe to VICTORIA, go to this address, click on the "Subscribe" tab at left, fill in your name and email address, and you're done.  You'll get a welcome note and a user's guide.

Frequently Asked Questions
Otherwise known as the VICTORIA User's Guide, this FAQ explains more about how the list works, including member protocol and etiquette, list commands, and how to retrieve postings.

Searching the VICTORIA Archives
The enormous archives of VICTORIA postings from its beginnings in 1993 to date are now searchable online. Comprising as they do the informal daily give-and-take of hundreds of scholars from all over the world on a myriad of Victorian subjects, these archives represent a unique scholarly resource for Victorianists. Remember that the copyright of each message posted belongs to its author and is not, therefore, in the public domain. If you would like to quote from or reproduce a posting in an article or monograph or anywhere else, please request permission from its author. Guides to citation of electronic sources can help with the format of this essential scholarly courtesy.

Finding Other Lists of Interest

There are literally thousands of discussion lists on every conceivable topic. The list of lists below connects you to some of the most helpful forums available to scholars interested in the 19th century. To subscribe to any of the Listserv(tm) lists, click on the address, leave the Subject line blank, and send a message of the form SUB listname, followed by your name. (Majordomo lists, as noted below, do not require you to add your name to the subscription command.) If a list has a webpage, it's a good idea to visit that page before subscribing, to find out more about how the list works and what topics are considered appropriate to it. With groups like Yahoo!Groups and Google Groups, you search for and subscribe to groups from the webpage.

AUSTEN-L (Jane Austen)

C18-L (18th-century studies)

GASKELL-L (Elizabeth Gaskell)

H-ALBION (British history)

H-WOMEN (Women's History)

Nineteenth-Century Literature

SHARP-L (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing)

Group Reading of Anthony Trollope

Trollope and His Contemporaries

VICTORIA (19th-century British history and culture)

Victorian Wars Forum (British Military Campaigns from 1837 to 1902)

WMST-L (Women's Studies)

WWI-L (Great War)

Blogs and Podcasts

Age of Victoria (Chris Fernandez-Packham)


Dickens Blog (Gina Dalfonzo)

The Digital Victorianist (Bob Nicholson)

The Floating Academy: A Victorian Studies Blog
The Gladstone Diaries (Rohan McWilliam)  (not quite as historical as the title makes it sound, but some fine Victorianist musings here)

The Hoarding (Andrew Stauffer)

In Our Time--Victorian podcasts
Journal of Victorian Culture Online: Editors' Blog

The Little Professor (Miriam Burstein)

Looking Glasses at Odd Corners (Amber Regis)

Charlotte Mathieson

Neo-Victorian Thoughts (Louisa Yates)

Novel Readings (Rohan Maitzen)

Of Victorian Interest (NAVSA)

Pax Victoriana (Sarah Ross)

Romantic Circles Blog

RSVP Blog (19th-c. periodicals research)

The V21 Collective: Victorian Studies for the 21st Century

The Victorian Commons (History of House of Commons Project, 1832-68)

The Victorian Era (Geerte Koeznbasje)

Victorian History (Bruce Rosen)

Victorian Review blog
Victorian Scribblers podcast
Yesterday's Papers (John Adcock, editor)

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