‘Emigration’ and ‘Surveillance’ in the 1820s: New SouthHem Publication

Porscha Fermanis has recently published two keyword essays on ‘Emigration’ and ‘Surveillance’ in the collection Remediating the 1820s, edited by Jon Mee and Matthew Sangster (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2022). On the southern hemisphere, see also Lara Atkin’s chapter ‘(Re)settling Poetry: The Culture of Reprinting and the Poetics of Emigration in the 1820s Southern Settler Colonies’.


The collection more generally reconsiders the 1820s as an unjustly neglected, highly self-conscious decade defined by anxiety-inducing cultural transformations:

‘The 1820s has commonly been overlooked in literary and cultural studies, seen as a barren interregnum between the achievements of Romanticism and the Victorian era proper, or, at best, as a time of transition bridging two major periods of cultural production. This volume contends that the innovations, fears and experiments of the 1820s are both of considerable interest in themselves and vital for comprehending how Victorian and Romantic culture wrote and visioned one another into being. Remediating the 1820s explores the decade’s own sense of itself as a period of expansion in terms of the projection of British power and knowledge, but also its tremendous uncertainty about where this left traditional identities and moral values. In doing so, the collection articulates how specific novelties, transformations and anxieties of the time remediated and remade culture and society in manners that continue powerfully to resonate.’

Jon Mee and Matthew Sangster

Chronology of the 1820s

Truth, Fiction and Breaking News: Theodore Hook and the Poyais Speculation
Angela Esterhammer
The Surfaces of History: Scott’s Turn, 1820 
Ian Duncan
Keyword: Power
Jon Mee
Keyword: Diffusion
Matthew Sangster
Feeding the 1820s: Bread, Beer and Anxiety
Lindsay Middleton 
Light and Darkness: The Magic Lantern at the Dawn of Media
Phillip Roberts
Keyword: Performance
Jon Mee
Keyword: Surveillance
Porscha Fermanis
Paul Pry and Elizabeth Fry: Inspection and Spectatorship in the Social Theatre of the 1820s
Sara Lodge
Regional News in ‘Peacetime’: The Dumfries and Galloway Courier in the 1820s
Gerard Lee McKeever
Keyword: Liberal
John Gardner
Keyword: Emigration
Porscha Fermanis
(Re)settling Poetry: The Culture of Reprinting and the Poetics of Emigration in the 1820s Southern Settler Colonies
Lara Atkin
‘Innovation and Irregularity’: Religion, Poetry and Song in the 1820s
James Grande
Keyword: March of Intellect
Matthew Sangster
Keyword: Doubt
David Stewart
The Decade of the Dialogue
Tim Fulford
Butterfly Books and Gilded Flies: Poetry and the Annual
Clara Dawson
‘Still but an Essayist’: Carlyle’s Early Essays and Late-Romantic Periodical Culture
Tom Toremans

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