On July 5th, 2012, my wife and I welcomed our son into the world. He has completely changed the way we live our lives, but some old habits die hard. In particular, I’ve found myself scrutinizing his every movement, expression, and utterance for signs of stuttering. I’ve been reading and writing about Victorian narratives of stuttering for a few years now, and I’m continually fascinated by how many of the Victorian’s ideas about language development persist in our culture today, and in ways not always welcome in my own thinking about stuttering. Continue reading
The Northeastern Victorian Studies Association’s annual conference next year (in Boston, currently scheduled to overlap with the home opener of the Red Sox) is proposing something unusual, departing from the conventional thematic approach and opting instead simply for “1874.” You can read the full call by clicking here
While I’m sure most who read this blog will find the NVSA call along the usual channels, I’m devoting a post to this one because I’m really not sure how I feel about their decision. I’m genuinely interested to see how it will turn out.
The reason I’m so interested stems from the way NVSA decides its annual conference topic. Every year they devote one lunchtime session of the current conference to a lively (read: collegially snarky) debate about the next year’s topic. Suggestions are taken from the floor; proponents have a minute or two to pitch their idea; and the floor then votes, Highlander-style, for favourites. Basically, it’s a hybrid of an Athenian democracy and a reality television shows like Survivor. It’s a pretty fair process–as often as not, the winning idea comes from a grad student or a junior scholar. Continue reading