The Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University, the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, and the University of Manchester in England proudly present “Rhyme and Reform” — a multi-site, digitally-networked symposium and series of events about Victorian portrayals of industrial labor in verse and narrative.

“Rhyme and Reform” marks the 175th anniversary of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem “The Cry of the Children,” which protested the abuse of child workers in British mines and factories. This symposium places Browning’s poem and representations of labor by Victorian working-class authors in critical conversation through presentations, performances of laboring-class balladry, interactive workshops, and a combination of physical and digital exhibitions.

Unlike other symposia, “Rhyme and Reform” experiments with a more sustainable form of conferencing and collaboration: it will digitally link two event centers across the Atlantic, use COVE to create a cooperative digital annotation of “Cry of the Children,” and invite participants around the world to access exhibitions and live-streamed presentations through this website.

We welcome you into this unique experience, invite you to register to participate at one of our conference sites (for those near to Baylor or Strathclyde), encourage you to explore the online exhibit and hope you will enjoy the contributions and conversations on this platform.

“Rhyme and Reform” is organized by the Armstrong Browning Library in conjunction with the University of Strathclyde, the University of Manchester, and the Scottish Centre for Victorian and Neo-Victorian Studies. The online exhibition for this event combines displays on “The Cry of the Children” at the Armstrong Browning Library with examples of working-class poetry from the “Piston, Pen & Press” AHRC project led by Strathclyde, Manchester, and the National Railway Museum (York, UK).