Changing the Victorian Subject
The essays in this collection examine how both colonial and British authors engage with Victorian subjects and subjectivities in their work. Some essays explore the emergence of a key trope within colonial texts: the negotiation of Victorian and settler-subject positions. Others argue for new readings of key metropolitan texts and their repositioning within literary history. These essays work to recognise the plurality of the rubric of the 'Victorian' and to expand how the category of Victorian studies can be understood.
'The Victorian subject has been considered in this collection to be a permeable, dynamic, expanding category. This is in distinction to a unitary, static, rational self. However, it is not the Victorian alone that the editors are interested in. Changing the Victorian Subject is as much about changing the Victorian subject as it is about changing the Australian subject, the South African subject, the English subject, the colonial subject, the Aboriginal subject, the subject itself. The subject is considered here as something akin to the self as well as to an academic discipline. The editorial juxtaposition of diverse authors strengthens this claim, rather than diminishes it, and read together the essays throw light on each other in ways they might not have if read alone.'
R.D. Wood, University of Western Australia, JASAL: Journal of the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, Vol 14, No 5 (2014)