Global Humanities Junior Fellow at Freie Universitaet Berlin
July – November
Representation and Advocation of Respectable Culture in Late Victorian Advice Literature
The research project is a study of the presence and impacts of Victorian respectable culture in late Victorian (the 1870s to 1901) advice literature published in Britain. Using books, pamphlets and advice columns in newspapers as primary sources, the project investigates how, through advice literature, the idea of "respectability" was communicated and advocated to the middle class and the working class in Britain. It also expects to understand how respectability was relevant in the construction of class and gender identity for both the Victorian middle and working class. The project aims at examining the role media, in the form of advice literature, played in representing and advocating the idea of respectability, and to what extent this idea was used as a form of social control. Given that the imperialist expansion of the British Empire was also at its height in the late 1800s, this research project also attempts to investigate if similar advice literature was in existence in the empire and if so, for whom and what purposes it was written.
Christy Hiu-tung Tse is a Ph.D. student at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in History and English Studies. In 2014, she obtained her M.Phil. from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, completing a thesis titled "Not Quite the Angel: Representation of Middle-Class Victorian Women in Early to Mid-Victorian Advice Literature." Her current thesis is a study of the representations in and influence of advice literature in late Victorian Britain. Her research interests include 19th century cultural history in Britain and the British Empire.