Dr. Erika Behrisch Elce presents “‘One of the bright objects that solace us in these regions’: Labour, Leisure, and the Arctic Shipboard Periodical, 1820-1852.”
McNeely Hall Great Room (Room 100) (Building 31 on St. Paul Campus Map)
Dr. Erika Behrisch Elce, Assistant Professor of English at Royal Military College of Canada, presents “‘One of the bright objects that solace us in these regions’: Labour, Leisure, and the Arctic Shipboard Periodical, 1820-1852.”
After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Royal Navy undertook a series of polar expeditions from 1818 to 1860. During the months sailors spent frozen in the polar ice, they alleviated their boredom by writing, editing, and printing shipboard magazines. In her engaging lecture, Professor Erika Behrisch Elce will discuss three polar periodicals: The Winter Chronicle, a weekly magazine published during Captain William Parry’s 1820 expedition; the Aurora Borealis, a monthly circulated aboard HMS Assistance in 1852; and the Queen’s Illuminated Magazine, a handwritten paper produced during Sir Edward Belcher’s 1852 polar expedition. For sailors, these papers represented an important cultural link to the home they left behind. Shipboard publishing also helped to maintain naval discipline by placing sailors’ leisure time under Admiralty control.
Erika Behrisch Elce is Assistant Professor of English at the Royal Military College of Canada. Her research interests lie mainly in nineteenth-century narratives of science and exploration as well as in the tensions between official mandates of expeditions and explorers’ lived experiences in the field. Her book As Affecting the Fate of My Absent Husband: Selected Letters of Lady Franklin Concerning the Search for the Lost Franklin Expedition, 1848-1860 was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2009. She has also published her work in Victorian Periodicals Review.