The Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies was founded in 1996 to foster the unique research environment in the long nineteenth century (ca. 1790-1914) at Birkbeck and beyond through innovative research projects, conferences, seminar series and exhibitions. We are an interdisciplinary group of academic and student researchers drawn from diverse intellectual fields including English and humanities, history, the history of art, psychology, and digital humanities.
Our research explores material culture, exhibition and curatorial culture; nineteenth-century senses (especially the cultural production of sight and touch); empathy, sympathy and the sentimental; empire and natural history; the invention of new disciplines and critical disciplinarity; material texts, print culture, and the history of the book and print ephemera; nineteenth-century visual technologies, including Victorian photography; nineteenth-century London; transport and urban culture. These dynamic fields of enquiry nourish a vibrant research environment that fosters collaboration and discussion through collaborative projects, conferences, workshops, and forum panels to shape the debate in nineteenth-century studies, its cultural history and its connection to the contemporary moment, and to share our research with diverse audiences.
The Centre also supports innovative work in digital humanities and open access publishing. Our pioneering open access online journal 19: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Long Nineteenth Century was founded in 2005. Since its inception, it has promoted the very best work in the field of interdisciplinary nineteenth-century studies through issues exploring critical disciplinarity; the nineteenth-century material and tactile imagination; cultural histories of science, psychology and technology, and the digital nineteenth-century archive.
We have a strong emphasis on research-led teaching, and are proud to be home to a large and active postgraduate community, comprising students taking our esteemed MA in Victorian Studies, as well as PhD students undertaking a number of exciting interdisciplinary thesis projects. There are many opportunities for postgraduate students to get involved in Centre activities, through reading groups, forums, symposia, and internships.
We are also actively involved in collaborative research projects with a range of partners, including non-academic institutions, and we welcome suggestions for future projects and events.