We just finished up this quarter’s Steampunk first-year seminar. I thought I’d share a screenshot of the class’s SmartSite folder of external links and pictures to give a taste of what the students examined.
As you can see, we read articles from the New York Times and Beyond Victoriana, along with essays on real-life figures such as Verne’s hero Nadar and morality cop Anthony Comstock (who was to 1890s sci-fi dime novels what Fred Wertham was to 1950s comic books).
More fun were the video links.
The clip from Fu Manchu contextualizes “The Doctor” from League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. There’s only a shortened version of it on YouTube now, with steampunk laboratory. The original clip went on to show him brag to his captives about his multiple doctorates from various Western universities (hence, he preferred to be called “Doctor”).
Similarly, the clips of Dr. Jekyll’s transformations to Hyde by John Barrymore (c. 1920) and Fredric March (c. 1931) were fun, esp. since the only transformation in Stevenson’s original is the reverse–Hyde turns back to Jekyll.
The clips from Portlandia and Sir Reginald Pikedevant are good for a laugh. And we also watched a bit of the first episode of Wild Wild West from the 1960s before watching the 1999’s dismal film adaptation.
These weren’t the only online sources we consulted. In fact, students brought in their own frequently. There’s just a ton of steampunk stuff out there.