Boundaries: A UNC-KCL Collaboration

On September 7, 2015, as part of the 19th century studies partnership between UNC and King’s College, London, seven graduate students and three faculty members traveled to London to participate in a three-day conference. This transatlantic conference was the most recent event bringing the two departments together for a series of stimulating presentations, roundtables, and keynote addresses. Beginning in 2013, Professors Eliza Richards (UNC) and Jo McDonagh (KCL) imagined a partnership between UNC and KCL that would foster graduate student professional development in the field of 19th century studies. A year later, graduate students and faculty of both institutions gathered in Chapel Hill for the UNCommon conference, and one year after that, six graduate students and three faculty members from KCL visited UNC once again for a colloquium to plan the September conference in London.

The conference was organized around the theme of Boundaries. The first day's sessions, held at KCL’s Strand campus, explored the sub-theme of Spatiality; day two, at the British Library, focused on disciplinary and pedagogical topics; and the third day, hosted at the Museum of London, covered boundaries of the body. There were a variety of presentation styles: graduate students Emma Calabrese and Robin Smith, along with Professor Richards, presented works-in-progress; Kym Weed, Leslie McAbee, and Professor Matt Taylor served as respondents to keynote speakers; Christina Lee presented a syllabus that she co-wrote with a KCL graduate student; and Sarah Kuczynski, Mallory Findlay, and Professor Jane Thrailkill experimented with Pecha Kucha presentations.

The 19th Century Studies Collaborative is currently planning an October 2016 conference at UNC that will host KCL graduate students and faculty. If you are interested in being a part of this exciting initiative, please reach out to any of your colleagues mentioned here.