Tuesday, March 16, 2010

CFP: Stead2012

W. T. Stead: Centenary Conference of a Newspaper Revolutionary

British Library, London, 16 & 17 April 2012

When William Stead died on the maiden voyage of the Titanic in April 1912, he was the most famous Englishman on board. He was one of the inventors of the modern tabloid. His advocacy of ‘government by journalism’ helped launch military campaigns. His exposé of child prostitution raised the age of consent to sixteen, yet his investigative journalism got him thrown in jail. A mass of contradictions and a crucial figure in the history of the British press, Stead was a towering presence in the cultural life of late Victorian and Edwardian society.

This conference marks the centenary of his death. We aim to recover Stead’s extraordinary influence on modern English culture and to mark a major moment in the history of journalism. In 2012 the British Library will open its state of the art newspaper reading rooms. In Stead’s spirit we will also investigate our own revolution in newspapers and print journalism in the age of digital news.

With Stead as a focal point, we will use aspects of his career to develop multiple avenues into the history of his time and ours. This is not a narrowly focused specialist conference, but one that aims to adopt wide cultural perspectives.

This is a call for expressions of interest. Please send proposals for papers (500 words) or any other suggestions for the conference to stead2010@googlemail.com by the end of July 2010. A full call for proposals will follow in 2011. Further details are here: https://sites.google.com/site/stead2012/

We welcome proposals on the following, in respect of Stead and/or related topics:
  • Stead’s ‘New Journalism’. The Pall Mall Gazette, Review of Reviews and other journals were crucial in the emergence of the modern day broadsheet and tabloid press. Stead provides the opportunity to re-assess some of the key phases in the influence and structures of the press in modern Britain.
  • Stead and technology. Stead was one of the best recorders of the second industrial revolution of the late Victorian period, when telegraphs, gramophones, microphones, telephones, Kodak cameras, wireless telegraphy, horseless carriages, typewriters and new printing technologies transformed everyday life.
  • Stead and the New Imperialism. Stead’s support for English colonies was part of his advocacy for a white commonwealth that would be united through journalism and new communication technologies. We welcome papers on specific elements of Stead’s imperialism, from the support for General Gordon, his opposition to the South African War, to his friendship with Cecil Rhodes.
  • Stead and the Titanic. Rumours about Stead’s manly self-sacrifice and Christian acceptance of death in the last hours of the boat were still being repeated as late as the film A Night to Remember (1958). How was Stead’s death reported? What was his cultural significance in 1912? We also particularly welcome papers on any aspect of the Titanic, especially on the role of newspapers in securing the mythic place the sinking has in our culture.
  • Stead and the occult. Stead tended to report Spiritualism favourably, as part of the non-conformist world of religion. He became active in the movement in the 1880s and tried to foster support for the Society for Psychical Research. He ran the journal Borderland from 1893-7, which reported on ghosts, psychical experiments, hypnotic rapports, astral doubles and messages from the dead.
  • Stead and religion. We aim to trace his early non-conformity, conversion to secular Evangelicism, and his advocacy of a National Church through investigative annuals, such as If Christ Came to Chicago. We also hope to examine his alliance to William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, whom he helped compose In Darkest England and the Way Out in 1890.
  • Stead and women’s rights. Stead employed women journalists and writers and championed their role in public life. Typically conflicted, this support derived in part from a Christian sense of women’s benign influence on public purity (so that he was disturbed by the overtly sexual New Woman literature of the 1890s). Stead is an exemplary figure to explore the anxieties and contradictions of the gender and sexual liberations of the late 19C.
  • Stead’s ‘invention’ of the tabloid moral campaign. Through his famous campaigns (‘The Maiden Tribute of Modern Babylon’, the relief of General Gordon, British re-armament) Stead interceded into contemporary political and social debates and pioneered this major journalistic genre.
  • Stead and politics. Stead’s political radicalism put him at the centre of events in the 1880s, including the ‘Bloody Sunday’ riots of 1887 and the Match Girl Strike in 1889. He was also a notable campaigner for world peace, speaking at international gatherings in the United States and Russia.
  • Stead and the industry of print. As journalist, editor, publisher, proprietor, with a career that includes regional as well as metropolitan dailies, various monthly magazines, annuals, and a stream of serialised works in part issue, including his ‘Penny Poets’, Stead is a rich node for new research.
  • Stead’s non-conformist, Northern origins. Stead’s career, which includes the editorship of the daily Northern Echo in Darlington for eight years in the 1870s offers an opportunity to investigate the provincial press in the late 19C and today.
  • The continuing newspaper revolution. 2012 is the date when the British Library Newspaper Library moves from Colindale to new, state of the art reading rooms. What will the new digital archive mean for historical research? And what will be the future of print journalism?
Conference Organisers:

Professor Laurel Brake (Birkbeck College)
Ed King (British Library): Head of Newspaper Collections.
Professor Roger Luckhurst (Birkbeck College)
Dr James Mussell (University of Birmingham)

For more information, contact Jim Mussell

CFP: Special Issue of Victorian Poetry on the Globalization of Victorian Meters

Stressing English: The Globalization of Victorian Meters

A special issue of Victorian Poetry (Winter 2011) edited by Max Cavitch, University of Pennsylvania

Thanks to some superb recent conferences and publications in Britain and the U.S., the study of the proliferation of old and new metrical forms in 19th-century poetry in English has shown itself to be anything but ahistorical formalism--not least by emphasizing the historicity of meter's mediation of voices and conditioning of ears. And we can see and hear more clearly now that the metrical history of English poetry is, among other things, an intersectional history of English-speaking nations and regions. Indeed, the last few years have brought major advances in the dialectical framing of the transatlantic "traffic in poems" between Britain and the U.S. Yet the Anglo-American binary continues to predominate, and the more broadly transnational, transformational circulation of 19th-century poetry in English remains largely to be charted. For this special issue of Victorian Poetry, we invite articles that extend this work throughout the Atlantic world and beyond: for example, to the Caribbean and North Africa; to South Asia and Australasia; to Canada and Hawaii; to sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. We would welcome submissions on the dispersal of Victorian meters into British provinces from Wales to Bengal; on poetry and the global rise of English; on "world literature" and the global constitution of the sounds of English poetry; on ethnographies of rhythm; on poetic meter and the rhythms of labor and migration; on the metrical dimension of translating poetry from and into English; on the poetry of pidgins and creoles; on the dissemination of English hymnody and other verse forms; on the racialization and deracination of rhythms; on comparativism and the institutionalization of the study of poetry; on prosody and colonialism; on pedagogical uses of meter; on metrical notation, transcription, and recording; on performance, syncretism, and acculturation.
Initial proposals and inquiries, which are welcome but not required, may be sent to the editor at cavitch@english.upenn.edu. Article submissions of five to seven thousand words, prepared in accordance with The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed., will be due November 1, 2010, and should also be sent to cavitch@english.upenn.edu.

Deadline EXTENDED: Museum Artworks in the 19thC

This CFP is for a session that Laurence Roussillon and Stephen Wildman will be chairing at the IAWIS conference at Belfast this June 4-6:

Revisiting the Canon: famous museum artworks in the hands and eyes of writers and artists in the nineteenth century

Stephen Wildman, Lancaster University, UK &
Laurence Roussillon-Constanty, Université Toulouse 3, France
In his introduction to Le musée Imaginaire, André Malraux notes that every museum goer knows that even the greatest museums such as the Louvre, the Tate Gallery or the Prado cannot encompass every work of art in the world. However, the very selection they offer calls up a myriad of other art works that are just as worthy of admiration. In a similar way, one can suggest that the artist (whether he/she be a painter, sculptor, writer or poet) who pays a tribute to a famous (and recognizable) piece of art translates his/her reception of the piece of art into another object that is either clearly identifiable - in a classical ekphrastic gesture - or bears a more subtle relation to the original piece of art so that it becomes other. In the margins of the museum canon or as a reaction to it, the transaction from word to image or from image to word thus allows modern artists to write a history of their own that, in the expression found on the Ulster Museum webpage, 'unravels the past to reveal the future'. This session will explore the word-image relation in cases where famous European artworks found themselves as a subject for new creation from the mid-nineteenth century onward.
Full details of the conference can be found at: http://www.adbe.ulster.ac.uk/dwi

All submissions welcome.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Mediums, Media, Mediation: Visual Culture & Haunted Modernities (3/26-27/2010)

The 2010 Mellon Symposium at Haverford College brings together scholars from the fields of art history, media studies, and literature to consider the terms “medium,” “media,” and “mediation” in nineteenth- and twentieth-century culture. Speakers will consider perceptions of modern media as haunted, the figure of the Spiritualist medium, and the centrality of mediation to modern theories of representation.

Speakers include Isobel Armstrong, David Peters Corbett, Jill Galvan, Tom Gunning, Dana Luciano, and Pamela Thurschwell.

The symposium is organized by Haverford’s 2008-10 Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow Rachel Oberter.

Haverford College is located in a suburb of Philadelphia, accessible by SEPTA Regional Rail and Amtrak.

This symposium is free and open to the public; registration is not required.

For a full schedule, speaker bios, and directions, see the symposium website: http://www.haverford.edu/hauntedmodernities.

For more information, please contact
James Weissinger
Associate Director
John B. Hurford ’60 Humanities Center
Haverford College
370 Lancaster Ave.
Haverford, PA 19041
Phone: 610-795-6518
Email: jweissin@haverford.edu