The Department of English, Jadavpur University, has always been very strong in Nineteenth Century Literature Studies (one of the thrust areas of the UGC-CAS programme) and particularly in the specialized field of Victorian Studies, with Professors Jasodhara Bagchi, Sajni Mukherji and Sheila Lahiri Choudhury leading the way. These illustrious Professors are now retired, but the present members of the department who specialize in the field would like to carry on their legacy and make the Centre for Victorian Studies, set up in 2010 by Professor Shanta Dutta, a meeting place for fruitful research in the area. The Centre has collaborated with the ‘Victorian Studies Centre’ of the University of Leicester (UK) whose members have expressed a keen interest to work with the faculty of Jadavpur University. The Centre has an interdisciplinary approach to research and has worked in collaboration with the sister departments of the Arts Faculty of Jadavpur University, like Comparative Literature, History and Bengali. We hope to make it function as a nodal centre for all researchers/ college teachers working in the area in other Colleges and Universities of West Bengal as well.

The Confidential Clerk, broadly concerned with scholarship and new research in nineteenth century literary history and theory, is an online journal to be published annually by the Centre for Victorian Studies, Jadavpur University. Interdisciplinary, international and innovative, the journal is committed to provide a forum for original and unpublished research papers from students, young researchers and established authors. Articles will not only explore and integrate theories and methods of various fields of inquiry —gender, art, history, music, anthropology, psychology, military studies, urbanism, literary criticism, religious studies, social history, economics, popular culture studies, and the history of science, among others — but also test and open up the very limits of disciplinary boundaries. Very narrowly focused essays, providing an intense study of a single work of art or literature—are acceptable only if they also offer scope for a broader interdisciplinary interest. Successful submissions will tend to be deeply researched in their particular fields and sufficiently wide-ranging to engage readers whose main research interests lie in other areas.

The journal will not publish fiction, poetry, plays or their translations and will not carry notes, letters and reviews. The editors may, however, invite and publish any material deemed appropriate for any issue. Contributions will go through a meticulous process of referral, conducted independently by experts of our Advisory Board. The text of the article to be submitted (preferably in editable MS Word 97), including all quotations, should be double-spaced. Endnotes, as brief as possible, should also be double-spaced and presented on a separate sheet in the manuscript. Contributors are advised to adhere to strict academic ethics in acknowledging original ideas borrowed from others. The editors will not be responsible for any lapse on the part of the contributor for disputes arising out of the same. All submissions and enquiries should be addressed to cvs.journal@gmail.com.

We are happy to present the first issue of The Confidential Clerk, which is based entirely on academic articles in Victorian Studies contributed by postgraduate students enrolled in M.A./M.Phil/PhD programmes at Jadavpur University. Subsequent issues will be devoted to publishing original articles by college and university teachers. A list of abstracts of the articles in this issue is appended later on.

We sincerely thank our esteemed and distinguished members of the Centre for Victorian Studies for their invaluable advice, active cooperation and unhesitant support towards this nascent venture. We are also grateful to the University authorities for their assistance and financial support. Finally, our heartfelt thanks to all the contributors for their well-researched academic papers. We would like to invite comments and observations on the articles and hope the readers find the issue interesting as well as beneficial for their own research.

The first issue of The Confidential Clerk is dedicated to the memory of Professor Jasodhara Bagchi, our adviser and benefactor, who passed away even as the editing was in progress.

Saswati Halder
Dr Chandreyee Niyogi
Rudrani Gangopadhyay
Indrasena Mukhopadhyay




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