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English Ed Major Angel Baker reviews Dr. Mann's Work

December 8, 2017

This is one of an occasional series in which majors read and report on recent academic work by professors in ETFL. Doing so allows students to explore professional opportunties and possibilities, as well as gain a better understanding of the work their professors do outside of the classroom

Nineteenth-Century Contexts: An Interdisciplinary Journal, is a free-standing journal associated with the organization Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies, also known as INCS. Each year it publishes selected papers from its annual conference : the 2017 conference was hosted by Muhlenberg College in Philadelphia that revolved around theme of “Odd Bodies.” 

For Volume 39, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke’s very own Dr. Abigail Mann co-edited the articles: "‘Mingling tides’: Affect, Irish Studies, and Romanticism" by Colleen English; "Embodying Ecopoetry: Victor Hugo, Love, and Landscape" by Karen F. Quandt; "Composing Decomposition: In Memoriam and the Ecocritical Undertaking" by John MacNeil Miller; and "Navigating Chance: Statistics, Empire, and Agency in R.L. Stevenson’s Treasure Island" by Matthew John Phillips. Dr. Abigail Mann also co-authored the "Preface: INCS 2017 Odd Bodies" with Dr. Jennifer Camden of the University of Indianapolis. In the Preface, the question “What is an odd body in the nineteenth-century context?” is answered through numerous outcomes of the variety of disciplines presented. The editors add that Philadelphia was the perfect place to host a conference themed “odd bodies” because it gave the participants of the conference the opportunity “to examine slave bodies, immigrant bodies, and bodies caught up in international currents” (340). While the editors appreciate the influence Philadelphia has on “odd bodies” not all articles were based on this influence. They describe what the different authors and articles produced.

These authors produced a wide range of diversity and thought processes using a variety of different literary theories. However, even with these many differences, “each of these essays, albeit through very different lenses, queries the interactions between bodies and their environments” (342). After giving a brief analysis of each article in the journal, they conclude the introduction of “Nineteenth-Century Contexts An Interdisciplinary Journal” by briefly showing the differences of interpretations and ideas of “odd bodies”, but all the while bringing them together as “new approaches and ways of knowing, and doing in so in rich bursts of meaning” (345).

Dr. Abigail Mann’s passion for 19th century literature has provided her with multiple opportunities to work with others, just like in the co-editing of this journal. She states that this working with others was the most enjoyable aspect of this adventure. However, the most difficult challenge of this editing expenditure was getting the writers to meet deadlines and adhering to the changes of the MLA format. But even dealing with these difficulties it is evident that Dr. Mann truly enjoyed being tasked with editing volume 39 of Nineteenth-Century Context An Interdisciplinary Journal.