Master Classes

The BWWC will offer three Master Classes during the conference, each capped at 30 participants. We have designed these classes to be participatory and more like seminars with discussion; they are not lectures. Participants will need to complete the reading ahead of time and be prepared for an interactive and exciting class. Individual Master Class teachers may request further information from their participants once enrollment has been determined.

To enroll: email the enrollment contact for the specific class you are interested in. Include: (1) your full name,  (2) institution affiliation, (3) brief 1-paragraph explanation for the teacher of your current research interests as they pertain to the Master Class you’re enrolling in.
Classes will be filled on a first-come/first-serve basis, and since space is so limited, we ask that you please choose just ONE class you’d especially like to attend.  When courses  and waitlists fill, we will post a “CLOSED” sign here on this page.

MASTER CLASS OVERVIEW (see below for full descriptions and reading lists):
6/7 (Thurs.): “Reframing the New Woman” (Mary Jean Corbett, Miami U)
- Email to enroll

6/8 (Fri.): “Romantic-Era Women Dramatists and the Enactment of Social Transformation: Joanna Baillie’s Constantine Paleologus (Greg Kucich, Notre Dame)
- Email to enroll

6/9 (Sat.): “Playing Around with Digital Humanities” (Katherine D. Harris, San Jose State)
- Email to enroll

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Thursday, June 7, 10:00-11:30am

“Reframing the New Woman”
Mary Jean Corbett, John W. Steube Professor of English
Department of English, Miami University

To enroll, email Nicole McManus

Class description:
Even as important recovery work on the literary and cultural production of “the New Woman” continues, the relationship of this landmark figure for women’s social and sexual emancipation to her times is still a matter of critical dispute.  Sally Ledger once asked, “Who was the New Woman?”  But we might now also find ourselves asking, “When was the New Woman?”  The master class will consider the relationship between this multivalent media construction and the women (and some men) writing in the time of her emergence from a variety of scholarly and historical vantage points.  We shall try to position the New Woman in relation to contemporary writing of the period and to the explosion of print culture that gave her life and visibility.  We will also discuss short fiction by three important turn-of the-century women writers—Vernon Lee, George Egerton, and Virginia Woolf—whose works and lives can be read, to some extent, through a New Woman lens.  In the process, we will sample some critical models for rethinking the relations between and among aesthetes, decadents, and feminists at the fin-de-siècle.

Reading list for this Master Class:

Primary texts:
- Vernon Lee, “A Worldly Woman” (in Vanitas, 1892)
- George Egerton, “A Cross Line” (in Keynotes, 1893) – download as PDF
- Virginia Woolf, “Phyllis and Rosamund” (in The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf, 1906) – download as PDF

Secondary texts:
- Linda Dowling, “The Decadent and the New Woman in the 1890′s,” Nineteenth-Century Fiction 33 (1979): 434-453. – download as PDF
- Michelle Elizabeth Tusan, “Inventing the New Woman: Print Culture and Identity Politics during the Fin-de-Siecle,” Victorian Periodicals Review 31 (1998): 169-182. – download as PDF
- Regenia Gagnier, “New Women, Female Aesthetes, and Socialist Individualists: The Literature of Separateness and Solubility.” In Individualism, Decadence and Globalization: On the Relationship of Part to Whole, 1859-1920 (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) 61-86. – download as PDF

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Friday, June 8, 12:30 – 2:00pm

“Romantic-Era Women Dramatists and the Enactment of Social Transformation: Joanna Baillie’s Constantine Paleologus
Greg P. Kucich, Professor
Department of English, University of Notre Dame

To enroll, email Peter Remien

Class description:
This Master Class will address on a broad level the issue of women dramatists’ performance strategies for enacting social transformation during the romantic era. In recognition of the 250th anniversary of Joanna Baillie’s birth and the significant upsurge of recent critical attention to her stagecraft, we will focus in a sustained way on her theater theory and its implementation in her 1804 historical play on the fall of Constantinople, Constantine Paleologus. Discussion will be free flowing in a workshop mode, but the following salient points of attention can serve as a useful outline and incentive for conversation:

  • Baillie’s theories of performance and social amelioration in Introductory Discourse;
  • the functions of historical representation on Baillie’s stage;
  • her particular engagement with the politics of imperial history, gender relations, and women’s social conditions;
  • her various performative methods for enacting social reform in relation to these political concerns; and
  • the possibilities and limitations for such political engagement in Baillie’s theater and, more generally, throughout the stages of women romantic-era dramatists.

Special consideration will also center on modes of teaching Baillie and romantic-era drama, so bring your acting shoes!

Reading list for this Master Class
-Baillie, Joanna. Introductory Discourse  to A series of plays : in which it is attempted to delineate the stronger passions of the mind
-Baillie, Joanna. Constantine Paleologus (free Google Book available here)
-Friedman-Romell, Beth H.  “Staging the State: Joanna Baillie’s Constantine Paleologus.”  Women and Playwriting in Nineteenth-Century Britain. Ed. Tracy C. Davis and Ellen Donkin. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1994. 151-73. – Dowload the PDF
-Kucich, Greg. “Joanna Baillie and the Re-Staging of Gender and History.” Joanna Baiullie, Romantic Dramatist: Critical Essays. Ed. Thomas Crochunis. London: Routledge, 2004. 108-29. – Dowload the PDF

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Saturday, June 9, 1:00-2:30pm

“Playing Around with Digital Humanities”
Katherine D. Harris, Tenured Assistant Professor
Department of English, San Jose State University

To enroll, email Krystal McMillen

Class description:
For this workshop, we will briefly explore the definition of Digital Humanities as it relates to 18th and 19th-century literature before moving into examples of Ramsay’s “Screwmeneutical Imperative” in Digital Humanities scholarship and research. After a discussion of the humanistic inquiry inherent to all Digital Humanities studies, we will either move towards discussing scholarly implications of Digital Humanities or its pedagogical uses in higher education – depending upon participants’ needs. Please bring scholarly research questions or pedagogical materials. At the conclusion of the seminar, participants should leave with a sense of how Digital Humanities can impact their teaching and research.

This workshop is open to all levels of the digi-curious. Please see the below reading list for an introduction to Digital Humanities, its debates, and the resulting digital pedagogy sub-field (with Kirschenbaum and Debates in the Digital Humanities being the first place to begin your explorations).

(This is an abbreviated course description. For the full course description and a list of suggested further reading, please visit Prof. Harris’ blog post. )

Reading list for this Master Class:
- A Companion to Digital Humanities. Eds. Susan Schreibman, Ray Siemens, John Unsworth. Oxford: Blackwell, 2004.
- A Companion to Digital Literary Studies. Eds. Ray Siemens, Susan Schreibman. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008.
- Debates in the Digital Humanities. Ed. Matthew K. Gold. Minneapolis: U Minnesota P, 2012.
- Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “What is Digital Humanities and What’s It Doing in English Departments?ADE Bulletin 150 (2010): 55-61.
- Ramsay, Stephen. “Chapter X. The Hermeneutics of Screwing Around, Or What You Do with a Million Books.” 2010.

For Further Reading:
- “Digital Pedagogy: License to Screw Around” Forthcoming in online version of Debates in the Digital Humanities. (This forthcoming article is saved in a locked PDF; the password will be distributed only to those registered for this Master Class.)
- Journal of Digital Humanities 1:1 (Winter 2011). [Read through/listen to entire edition]
- Blackwell, Christopher and Thomas R. Martin. “Technology, Collaboration, and Undergraduate Research.” Digital Humanities Quarterly 3:1 (2009 Winter) <>.  7 Feb 2012.
-Digital Humanities and the Undergraduate. (2011 April) <>. 7 Feb 2012.
-Frost Davis, Rebecca. “Yes, But How Do You Teach Collaboration?” nation. Association of American Colleges and Universities. 1 Feb 2012. <>. 9 Feb 2012.
- Student-Driven Project: BeardStair (
- NITLE Digital Pedagogy Seminar (
- Buried in the Archives (
- The Accidental Digital Archivist (
- Doing the Risky Thing with a Gothic Critical Archive (
- Big Data, DH, Gender: Silence in the Archives? (
- Living Outside the Institution but Inside DH (

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