21st C Victorians

I’ve been talking with my students this semester about both the emancipatory potential of Victorian middle-class life and its limits in Liberal thought. A few classes ago, I felt somewhat bad about how critical I was of liberal beliefs in social media today. I tried my best to be as even-keeled as possible, but then I came across this essay, which Dr. Jan Schroeder at Carleton University shared with me on Facebook (of all places). Suddenly, I’m feeling up at arms again at the state of middle-class practices and experiences today.

Students, please have a look at the ways in which this essay draws comparisons and contrasts between the Victorians and ourselves. We’ve already discussed some of the ideas in this essay in our classroom discussions this semester. I’m very curious to hear your thoughts about us 21st C Victorians.

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