Collaboration between UNC and KCL’s nineteenth-century studies began with Professors Eliza Richards (English and Comparative Literature, UNC) and Jo McDonagh (Nineteenth-Century Literature, KCL), who imagined a partnership between KCL and UNC scholars of the nineteenth century. In May 2013, Professor Richards traveled to KCL to further discuss possibilities for transatlantic professional development, and based on her conversations with KCL faculty and graduate students, it was decided that a conference would serve as a formal occasion to build professional relationships. In Spring 2014, UNC graduate students planned UNCommon, an interdisciplinary nineteenth-century studies conference that hosted KCL faculty and graduate students. UNC and KCL students presented papers on panels, while KCL faculty led a discussion session focused on an artifact and served on a panel concerning alternative academic careers and academic jobs outside the U.S. This conference served as a springboard for future collaborations, and led to the creation of this webspace to facilitate the planning of future workshops, colloquiums and conferences.

The goal of the KCL/UNC 19th Century Collaboration is to foster a transatlantic conversation among scholars engaged in nineteenth-century literary and cultural studies at both institutions. This partnership will allow UNC and KCL graduate students to better understand how the shared disciplines of American Studies, English and Comparative Literature are constituted in different countries. Due to varied theoretical and methodological approaches shared between the two institutions, collaboration will enable graduate students to exchange valuable scholarly perspectives. We hope that these collaborations will represent the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership between 19th century scholars at UNC and KCL that will include an annual transatlantic conference, inter-institutional workshops, and regular exchange, discussion and collaboration on the web.

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