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Virtual Talk: Love Me, Love Me Not: Emotion and Identity in 19th-Century Valentines, Library Company of Philadelphia

Love Me, Love Me Not: Emotion and Identity in 19th-Century Valentines
Talk by Dr. Alice Crossley

February 7, 2024
1:30pm ET
Virtual Event | Free

Sponsored by the Visual Culture Program

Nineteenth-century valentines are typically recognized as pretty tokens of love and affection, prized for their intricate, decorative designs. The comic variant of the valentine, however, communicated very different sentiments indeed. Gaining popularity by the mid-1800s, and notable for their surprisingly malicious humor, comic valentines deployed strategies akin to 21st-century “trolling.” Rather than expressing fond regard, they were satirical, mocking, and rude, revealing the valentine’s subversive potential.

Dr. Alice Crossley is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Lincoln, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and Secretary of the British Association for Victorian Studies. She has published on valentines and is currently working on a book examining them through the lenses of material and visual cultures, affect/emotion, and identity construction. Dr. Crossley is the Library Company 2023–24 William H. Helfand Fellow in American Visual Culture.

For more information and to register:
Relevant research areas: 19th Century

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