Monday, August 31, 2009

CFP: NCSA Conference on Theatricality & Performativity in the Long 19thC

Call for Papers: Theatricality and the Performative in the Long Nineteenth Century

Submission deadline: September 15, 2009

31st Annual Conference of the Nineteenth Century Studies Association

The University of Tampa, March 11-13, 2010, Tampa, Florida

Keynote speaker: Michael Fried (Johns Hopkins University)

Plenary Event: Exhibition of Facing the Late Victorians: Portraits of Writers and Artists from the Mark Samuels Lasner Collection, with a roundtable discussion featuring Margaret D. Stetz (University of Delaware), curator and author of Facing the Late Victorians; Dennis Denisoff (Ryerson University), and Maria Gindhart (Georgia State University)

Dramatic expression and self-conscious performances marked almost every aspect of nineteenth century life and artistic culture, as theatrical turns and performative mindsets introduced in the 17th-18th centuries expanded in the 1780s through the beginning of World War One. We invite paper and panel proposals that explore these themes and subjects in the long Nineteenth Century (1780-1914). Papers might address the theatrical shows—whether serious drama, circus displays, vaudeville, operas, or Shakespearean revivals—that appeared in cities and towns on both sides of the Atlantic (as well as in more distant lands). Or they might investigate how politics, social events, military engagements, domestic affairs, public trials, crime reports, religious rituals, architectural spaces, sculptural moments, exhibition halls, artistic and musical compositions, and the early moving pictures of the cinema, assumed a theatrical sensibility. Welcome also are proposals for papers and panels that bring scholarly and theoretical interests in performativity to bear on concepts of identity, individuality, and audience in the given era.

Please submit abstracts of approximately 500 words along with a brief (one page) c.v. to the Program Co-Chairs, Janice Simon (U of Georgia) and Regina Hewitt (U of South Florida) at the conference address by Sept. 15, 2009. Speakers will be notified by or before Dec. 15.

Any graduate student whose proposal is accepted may at that point submit a full-length version of the paper in competition for a travel grant to help cover transportation and lodging expenses.

Conference sessions will be held at the University of Tampa , a campus with both a state-of-the-art conference center and the historic late-19th century Plant Hall, site of the Plant Museum where _Facing the Late Victorians_ will be exhibited and a reception will be held. Excursions to the Tampa Bay History Center and the historic neighborhood of Ybor City are also planned. Accommodations are available at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tampa, a short walk from campus. For further information, please visit the NCSA website or contact Elizabeth Winston, Local Arrangements Director (U of Tampa), at the conference address

CFP: BAVS conference on "Victorian Forms and Formations"

CFP: British Association for Victorian Studies 2010 Conference : ‘Victorian Forms and Formations,’ Sept. 2-4, 2010, U of Glasgow

The 2010 BAVS conference seeks to address the question of ‘form’, in all its varied meanings, in Victorian culture. We invite papers that address the topic of literary form, and that engage with current debates in the field over the return to form in literary criticism, but also wish to broaden the topic to encompass forms and formations in other disciplines, including but not limited to art history, science, architecture, politics, religion and history of the book. Papers might consider the role of different social and political groupings and institutions in the Victorian period, or the formation of a particular idea or discipline. They might deal with wide-ranging debates over varied attempts at reform in the nineteenth century, or could focus on the formation or reformation of the individual. Papers considering material forms, including the fashioning of the body in medical and other discourse, are welcome, as are papers on the physical features of the Victorian landscape: urban and rural spaces, natural forms and the built environment. We also invite papers that are concerned with the reworking of Victorian forms in twentieth and twenty-first century literature and culture.

Plenary speakers:
  • James Eli Adams
  • Matthew Campbell
  • Margaret Macdonald
  • Catherine Robson
A number of postgraduate bursaries will be available for postgraduate students presenting a paper at the conference or acting as a conference reporter. Please check this site in spring 2010 for details of how to apply.

Deadline for submission of abstract: 15 March 2010. Please send a 200-word abstract to

Suggested topics for consideration:
Poetic form* Narrative form* Generic formation* Neoformalism* Political formations* Social reform* Educational reform* Scientific formations* Geological forms* Religious formations* Imperial formations* Urban forms* Architectural form* Sculptural form* Domestic design* Intellectual formations* Forms of publication* Bodily formations* Gendered forms* Forms of conduct* Forming identities* Moral forms*Neovictorian forms*

The full CFP is online here.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Colby Book Prize: Nominations by 1 December 2009

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals is very pleased to award the annual Robert Colby Scholarly Book Prize for a scholarly book that most advances the understanding of the nineteenth-century British newspaper and/or periodical press. All books exploring periodicals of the period are eligible (including single-author monographs, edited collections, and editions) as long as they have a publication date of 2009. The winner will receive a plaque and a monetary award of up to $3,000, and will be invited to speak at the RSVP conference at Yale University in New Haven (September 10-11, 2010). The prize was made possible by a generous gift by Vineta Colby in honor of Robert Colby, a long and devoted member of RSVP and a major scholar in the field of Victorian periodicals.

Previous winners of the Colby Prize are:

Steampunk Exhibit

Lisa Hager forwards a link to the site devoted to an upcoming Steampunk exhibit at Oxford's The Museum of the History of Science.

You'll need to scroll a bit, but there are some fascinating images here.

(Steampunk aficionados might be interested in this interview I did with Ann and Jeff VanderMeer about their recent anthology.)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Victorian Search at the University of Toronto Mississauga


Applications are invited for a tenure-stream position, Assistant Professor, Department of English and Drama, University of Toronto Mississauga, University of Toronto. Qualifications: Ph.D. in English, with specialization in Victorian Literature. Applicants should be qualified to teach, supervise theses, and carry out research in that area, and have evidence of excellence in research and teaching. The successful candidate will also be a member of the tri-campus Graduate Department of English. Duties will consist of research; teaching undergraduate courses at the UTM campus and graduate courses at the St. George campus; supervision of graduate theses. Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

We strongly encourage you to submit your application online at

If you are unable to apply online, please mail your application to Professor Leslie Thomson, Chair, Department of English and Drama / Room 290A, North Building / University of Toronto Mississauga / 3359 Mississauga Road North / Mississauga, Ontario L5L 1C6, Canada. Applications should include a curriculum vitae and ONE writing sample of scholarly work of not more than 25 pages. Applicants should also arrange for three letters of reference (or dossier) and graduate transcripts to be sent directly to the departmental address above as soon as possible. Appointment commences 1 July 2010. The deadline for applications is 2 November 2009.

The University of Toronto offers the opportunity to teach, conduct research and live in one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan locations in the world. The University also offers opportunities to work in a range of collaborative programs. The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Friday, August 21, 2009

CFP: British Women Writers Conference

The 18th Annual 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Conference
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX

April 8-11, 2010

Call for Papers

This year's conference will explore the abundant varieties of journeys found in 18th- and 19th-century British women's writing. We encourage interdisciplinary considerations of topics such as migration, travel, exile, exploration, tourism, border crossing, religion, travel writing, art, fantasy, children's literature and more.

We are pleased to announce that our speakers will include Kate Flint, Felicity Nussbaum, Mary Fissell, Jillian Heydt-Stevenson, and Erika Rappaport.

Proposals for panels and individual papers might consider, but are not limited to, the following issues:

-Travel writing/art
-Biographical narratives
-Continental tours
-Colonialism and Empire
-Philosophical investigations
-Scientific inquiry
-Religious explorations
-Spiritual awakenings
-Transatlantic movement of persons, ideas, and/or goods
-Memory as travel
-Re-envisioning the past/future
-Mapping the body
-Rites of passage
-Crossing class boundaries
-Movement between private and public spheres
-Exile (Social, Political, Familial)
-Women and work

Individual proposals should be two pages: a cover sheet including name, presentation title, university affiliation, address, email address, phone number, and brief biographical paragraph; and a 500-word abstract. Please do not include any identifying information on the abstract.

Panel proposals should include a coversheet--containing panel title, presenters' names, presentation titles, university affiliations, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, brief biographical paragraphs, and the name of the moderator--followed by separate abstracts (500-word) that describe the significance of the panel topic and each presentation. Please do not include any identifying information on the abstracts.

Proposals must be submitted electronically as an attachment in .doc or .rtf format by October 15, 2009 to the conference email address:

For more information and updates, please visit our conference website:

Thank you!
Elizabeth Talafuse
BWWC 2010 Organizing Committee
Texas A&M University

Public Lecture at Loyola, Chicago

Public Lecture on Saturday, September 12, 2009
by Professor Simon Gatrell, University of Georgia
Public Lecture: “Sex, Sin, & Revision in Hardy’s Fiction”

Klarchek Information Commons 230, 216
Loyola University Chicago
Lake Shore Campus
Coffee 10:30 AM
Public Lecture 11:00 AM
Panel discussion 12:00 PM
Lunch 1:00 PM

Participation is free.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CFP: Oscar Wilde

Importance of Studying Oscar [Wilde]: Plays, Stories, Letters, and Lectures:

This panel to be held during the 41st NeMLA Convention, April 7th-11th, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec’s Hilton Bonaventure Hotel offers an opportunity to analyze the role Oscar Wilde has played and continues to play in literature, theater and other aspects of culture. Focus can be on his influential wit and wisdom and/or techniques used to present Oscar in the classroom. This topic calls for a diversity of approaches. Please send 200-400 word abstracts to Professor Annette Magid at Deadline for paper submissions is September 20th, 2009.

(from the VICTORIA mailing list)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Victorian Childhoods CFP

Victorian Childhoods
Keynote Speaker: Professor Colin Heywood, University of Nottingham

One Day Colloquium on 20 March 2010

Call for Papers
We welcome offers of papers on any of the following themes, or indeed any other aspects of Victorian childhood:

- the spaces of childhood: nursery, schoolroom, playground, the street, and the countryside
- children as angels, demons, invalids, observers, fairies, historical figures
- the cultural and material worlds of childhood: stories, songs, toys, games, clothes
- theories and constructions of childhood in both text and image
Please send a brief abstract of 250-300 words to Rosemary Mitchell at by 18 September 2009. Ideally, all papers will be published in a Leeds Working Papers volume in advance of the colloquium, and will need to be submitted by 2 January 2010.

Colloquium convenors: Karen Sayer, Susan Anderson, and Rosemary Mitchell.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

CFP: "Victorian Maenads" (special issue of The Michaelian)

The Michaelian is an academic, non-profit, peer-reviewed online journal dedicated to the study of Michael Field (Katharine Bradley and Edith Cooper) and their circle. The journal is published by Steven Halliwell and The Rivendale Press as one of the OSCHOLARS group of journals under the general editorship of D. C. Rose.

The inaugural edition of "The Michaelian" can be viewed at

The theme for the second issue (June 2010) is “Victorian Maenads.” In this issue, we seek to explore and contextualize late-Victorian writers' engagement with the classical past, specifically through the writings of Michael Field, but *also* in the writings and art of their friends and contemporaries and other women writers of the late-Victorian period. We encourage contributors to take an interdisciplinary approach to the theme.

Contributors may delve into the Fields’ dramatic and poetic canons, as well as their lifewritings. Additionally, papers may engage with the “Victorian Maenads” theme, more broadly addressing the work of other women writers, or female characters, subjects or lives. Contributors may address issues related to:

  • gender and Decadence/Aestheticism
  • women and higher education
  • women and travel
  • women and social disorder/rebellion
  • transgressive women
  • maenads as a figure of mobility/action
  • “The Woman Question”
  • appropriations of Greek and Roman figures such as Lucrece or other contemporary women writers and their use of the Greek and Roman past.

We also welcome articles that do not relate to the theme, but engage directly with the writings and lives of Michael Field and their circle. We welcome fictocritical responses, as well as book reviews and reports of events of interest to Michael Field scholars and those interested in late-Victorian literature and culture (i.e., announcements, exhibitions, conferences). Essays on teaching experiences related to the introduction of Michael Field and their canon to undergraduates are also of interest.

The journal seeks to unite advanced graduate students and scholars from many universities to create a unique forum for a wide-ranging discussion about all aspects of Michael Field scholarship, including literature and literary history, feminist and lesbian/queer perspectives, collaborative writing, life-writing, theatre history, publishing history and art history.

Please send all submissions electronically via email to Michelle Lee, by October 16.

Submissions should include the article in MS Word and a brief cv. While there is no set word limit, articles should ordinarily be about 5,000 words in length and double-spaced throughout. References should be parenthetical and follow the MLA style guide with endnotes rather than footnotes for additional information, and a Works Cited at the end.

Monday, August 03, 2009

CFP: Crossing the Line: Affiniities Before and After 1900

(Download this CFP as a PDF here.)

A Two-Day Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference

Thursday 28 January - Friday 29 January 2010

Keynote Speaker: Professor Regenia Gagnier (University of Exeter)

Publishing Workshop: 'The Future of Academic Publishing' with Paula Kennedy
(Palgrave Macmillan)

Plenary Lecture: 'Funding for Postgraduate Researchers', Dr Mark Llewellyn
(University of Liverpool

We live in a world that they [the Victorians] built for us, and though we may laugh at them, we should love them, too.
Times Literary Supplement (16 May 1918)

Crossing the Line is a student-led postgraduate conference that will explore and interrogate the multifarious affinities between Victorian and Modernist cultures. It focuses on the cross-currents of attraction and repulsion at the turn of the century. This event asks whether affinities exist innately in the body as psychological and emotional connections, and investigates those affinities which are cultural constructions. It questions whether affinities are permanent or can be eroded by the passage of time.

We invite research students from the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences to present papers considering affinities across the threshold of the Victorian and Modernist worlds.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Intellectual partnerships and borrowing
  • Historical/political affinities: Does history repeat itself?
  • Colonial/Post-colonial/Trans-cultural affinities
  • Alliances and conflicts within and between social classes
  • Sexual attractions and repulsions
  • Dealing with inheritances: the Victorian legacy and shaping of Modernism
  • Afterlives: rereading, rewriting, revisioning Victoriana

We welcome proposals for 20 minute papers that demonstrate a clear interdisciplinary focus. Please send abstracts of approximately 250 words to:

A selection of the best papers will be published in the AHRC funded Victorian Network journal.

Organising committee: Katharine Easterby, Kim Edwards, Jane Ford, Hana Leaper and Gemma Lucas.


(Download the CFP as a pdf here.)

The peace, that I deem`d no peace, is over and done.
Alfred Tennyson, 1855

Princeton University: April 16-18, 2010

NVSA website:

NVSA solicits submissions for its annual conference; the topic this year

The conference will feature a keynote panel including Anna Clark,
Elaine Hadley, and Alex Woloch, and visits to Special Collections at the
Firestone Library and the Princeton Art Museum.

This conference will take up the nature and significance of
Victorian fighting and disunion, from international warfare to
peevishness. What did the Victorians think was worth fighting about?
Is there a specifically Victorian culture of argument? In what ways did
the Victorians value disagreement and controversy? “The age of
equipoise” saw more than its fair share of dust-ups, imbroglios, scraps,
and battles. Rather than enumerating the varieties of Victorian
belligerence, we seek papers that will reflect upon the ways Victorians
experienced, valued, and represented fighting, disagreement, and other
modes of disunion. What forms of debate and disagreement did the
Victorian public sphere promote or exclude? What are the forms of
solidarity and separation not only imagined by British social,
political, and evolutionary theory, but also experienced as part of the
development of empire or national movements? What is the force of
dissension in artistic, literary or political rivalries and movements?
What are the sites, genres, and modes of Victorian fighting? What are
the forms of representation, visual or textual, most suited to
representing violence or controversy? Finally, how do we Victorianists
argue now? Do we argue now?

While specificity is welcome and encouraged, the program committee
is not looking simply for papers describing particular instances of
violence. We are especially eager to see presentations that make a
claim about the nature, conception, or representation of disunity or
violence in the period.

When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself.
Oscar Wilde, 1891

Arts of Combat
  • Fights in literature: the novel, poetry, drama
  • Warfare in the fine arts
  • Literary forms and social interventions; novel arguments
  • The emotions of Victorian disunion and fighting
  • The styles and affects of refusing to argue: peevishness, grudges, funks, the slow burn, the silent treatment, envy, ressentiment
  • Accommodation and appeasement
  • The belligerence of aesthetic movements
Does the boxer hit better for knowing that he has a flexor longus and a flexor brevis?
Carlyle, 1831

Thoughtful Belligerence

  • Cultures of Victorian argument
  • Styles of pugilism: bare knuckle, street fighting, boxing
  • Fighting words: diatribes and other rhetorics of disunion
  • Belligerent thoughts, belligerent thinkers
  • The genres of Victorian fighting: polemic, manifesto, dialogue, debate
  • The concept of struggle
  • Rules of engagement: the Queensberry rules, duels, fencing
  • Victorian fights and contemporary theories of struggle and debate

Say not the struggle nought availeth,
The labour and the wounds are vain.
Arthur Hugh Clough, 1855

What is Worth Fighting For? / What is Fighting Worth?

  • The Victorian public sphere: liberalism and the culture of argument
  • Forms of dialectic
  • Political fights: Chartism, Reform, Abolition
  • Class: identity and struggle
  • Religious schism: Dissent, The Oxford Movement, conversion
  • Solidarity and separation: forms of antisociality or social enmity, the transcendence of social bonds
  • Literary forms of solidarity and disunion: the novel and character space, lyric poetry and intersubjective tension
  • Dissension as style in the visual arts
  • Rivalries: literary, political, artistic, athletic
  • Disciplinary formation: competition among the faculties, literature versus science, word versus image
  • Fighting as a way of life: evolution as struggle, struggle and the field of culture
  • Break-ups: empire and disunion, divorce, romantic break-ups, fallings out
  • What do Victorianists argue about now? How do we argue?
. . . as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
Matthew Arnold, “Dover Beach” 1867

Fight Sites: Spaces of Disunion, Violence, Controversy_

  • More is less: one nation or two, Unionism and / or nationalism
  • Imperial violence
  • International warfare
  • Civil war
  • Memories and fantasies of war
  • Domestic violence: gender and the home
  • Venues of fighting and controversy: the periodical press, lecture halls, the university, the boxing ring, the streets

* * *

Proposals (no more than 500 words) by Oct. 15, 2009 (e-mail submissions
strongly encouraged):

Professor Gage McWeeny, Chair, NVSA Program Committee, ( )
English Department, Williams College, 85 Mission Park Drive, Williamstown, MA 01267

Please note: all submissions to NVSA are evaluated anonymously. Successful proposals will stay within the 500-word limit and make a compelling case for the talk and its relation to the conference topic.

Please do not send complete papers, and do not include your name on the proposal.

Please do include your name, institutional and email addresses, and proposal title in a cover letter. Papers should take 15 minutes (20 minutes maximum) so as to provide ample time for discussion.

The Coral Lansbury Travel Grant ($100.00) and George Ford Travel Grant ($100.00), given in memory of key founding members of NVSA, are awarded annually to the graduate student, adjunct instructor, or independent scholar who must travel the greatest distance to give a paper at our conference. Apply by indicating in your cover letter that you wish to be considered. Please indicate from where you will be traveling, and mention if you have other sources of funding.