I’m a historian-in-training, interested in the intellectual and cultural history of nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Britain and in tracing a particular transnational but Anglocentric republic of letters in that period. I’ve written about the lives and times of lesser-known Victorian intellectuals and academics like John Addington Symonds and Arthur Sidgwick (Henry’s brother, a classics teacher) and what they can tell us about ideas, gender, politics, interpersonal relations, professions, and more in the period. I’m also interested in talking, walking, cooking, university communities and committees, and having a social life, both on- and offline.
I began to keep this blog in the spring semester of my first year of university, and since then I have erratically posted long personal essays about what I’m doing with my life. To a reader, they might often seem unnecessarily self-absorbed. But I think there’s a certain value to thinking through in the public sphere one’s reasons for living as one does, and that many of us don’t acknowledge as much as we perhaps should how much of the human condition is irrational and emotional, and how much of our supposedly dispassionate academic work comes from something impulsive and vulnerable within us. If this blog is about anything, it’s about why the communitarian and self-bettering ideals of liberal-arts education matter, what they have taught me about myself, and why I believe enough in their social good to occupy my life with doing what I can to help them endure and flourish.
Comments, questions, criticisms, corrections, greetings, or queries about B-list Victorians? Contact me.