Myths and Icons in Victorian Britain - Université Bordeaux Montaigne

Myths and Icons in Victorian Britain

Crédits ECTS : 6.0

Volume horaire CM : 12.0

Volume horaire TD : 12.0

Effectif maximal : 25

Code ELP : MIA2Y24

Composante : UFR Langues et Civilisations

Période de l'année : Printemps

Formes d'enseignement : Non accessible à distance

Mobilité d'études : Oui


‘Victorian’ qualifies a particular set of values, perception and experiences reflected in the literature and culture of the nineteenth century. In a collective act of interactional storytelling, the Victorians communicated their values and experiences through narratives supported by emblematic images, which purported to explain ‘natural facts,’ while they naturalized their ideological visions. To fully appreciate the depth of associations which enriches the understanding and appreciation of Victorian texts and objects, an analysis of the man-made myths they embody is required.
The focus of the seminar will be on identifying key images in the Victorian imagination and analyzing the process through which these figures became loaded with meaning.
Throughout this seminar, we will be asking how, in an age of growing class conflict, gender (re)definition, technological progress, and scientific enquiry, symbolic figures aggregated hypotheses emanating from various fields of interest. Oral presentations will be supported by visual material and will explore the complexities and contradictions crystallized in iconic images considered in a Barthesian perspective as products of the Victorian cultural history.


AUERBACH, Nina. Woman and the Demon: The Life of a Victorian Myth, Harvard UP, 1982.
DIJKSTRA, Bram. Idols of Perversity: Fantasies of Feminine Evil in Fin-de-Siècle Culture, Oxford Paperbacks, 1988.
GALLAGHER Catherine & Stephen GREENBLATT, Practicing New Historicism, U. of Chicago Press, 2000.
PICKSTONE, John. Ways of Knowing, Manchester UP, 2000.
WARNER, Marina. Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale, Oxford UP, 2014.

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