Thursday, December 29, 2011

Funded Doctoral Fellowship: History of the Interior, University of Bern (1/15/2012)

The University of Bern has announced generous funding for a doctoral student as part of a project on the History of the Interior. They have extended the deadline for applications until 15th January to allow more candidates to apply. The fellowship supports a student working with Professor Gramaccini on ideas of the Feminine Interior in the long 19th century. Applications from Europe, North America, or further afield are encouraged. For further details, please contact Prof. Norberto Gramaccinin at

University of Bern:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Deadline Extended: Charles Dickens and the Mid-Victorian Press (1/5-6/2012; 3/28-31/2012)

Deadline for this late March conference held open until Twelfth Night (5/6 January 2012) to encourage a few last submissions. Conference Proceedings due for publication in early Autumn! All details of call at

Submissions are invited, in three main areas relating to the conference theme:

  • Original close readings of one or more articles from Household Words and All the Year Round, or the work of an individual contributor. Many articles in the journals―whether by Dickens, a known contributor, or anonymous―repay close scrutiny, whether approached in stylistic, rhetorical, ideological, or historical terms. Yet the published literature in the field is small, and something that the conference seeks to redress.
  • Appraisals of the contribution made by either or both journals, more generally, to key areas of debate in the mid-Victorian press. Public health, social policy, science and technology, education, gender roles, the urban experience, imperial expansion, emigration and the law, are just some of these. Aesthetic and cultural analysis of the journals, as miscellanies, in terms of the dynamics of genre they present, or in terms of broad thematic or bibliographic concerns that the paper sets out to explore, will also be welcome.
  • Contrastive readings of other contemporary periodical publications―whether weekly, monthly or quarterly―in relation to Household Words and All the Year Round, that will assist us in positioning the latter in relation to the crowded mid-century marketplace. Such publications might include Chambers’s Journal, The Examiner, Punch, Bentley’s Miscellany, the Illustrated London News, The Cornhill Magazine, as well as political and literary reviews, and ‘penny bloods.’

 Submissions from graduate students and as yet unpublished scholars will be particularly welcome. 500-word proposals for 20-minute papers to reach by Friday 30 December 2011.

An edited selection of the Conference Proceedings, embracing the three main areas above, will be published by the University of Buckingham Press in 2012. A complimentary copy will be included with every conference booking.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Event: Dickens's World: A Free Online Conference (3/7-8/2012)

On the 7th and 8th of March 2012, Wiley-Blackwell will be hosting a free online conference to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Dickens.

Features include:
  • Video addresses by prominent Dickens scholars
  • Free scholarly papers with discussion forum for each
  • Reading Room with free articles and book chapters from Wiley-Blackwell

Join an international group of scholars to discuss the work of one of the world's most important authors. The emphasis is on illustrating the many ways in which Dickens influenced, and was influenced by, his contact with other countries. More broadly, we hope the conference will encourage online discussion about the social, cultural and technological milieu in which (and of which) Dickens wrote. Log on to the discussion whenever it suits your schedule, everyone is welcome to participate!

Find out more and register for free at

Lisa Evans
Senior Marketing Controller
Social Sciences and Humanities Journals
9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UK

Job Posting: Charles Dickens Museum: Education and Outreach Officer (12/30/2011)

£23,000 PA (Fixed Term Contract Until 31 December 2013)

The Charles Dickens Museum is recruiting an Education and Outreach officer to deliver a programme for 2012 and beyond. As part of a large-scale redevelopment of the museum, the role will involve developing a Museum strategy for audience development as well as delivering outreach and education activities.

The successful candidate will have experience of outreach and interpretation and a working knowledge of the heritage sector. Excellent communication skills and enthusiasm are also requisite.
Dowload Job Description here:   JD Learning&Outreach Officer

Closing date for applications is 10am on 30 December 2011.

Reminder: Browning, Before, Beyond (1/31/2012; 6/28-30/2012)

Reassessing the Dramatic Monologue in the 19th and 20th centuries:
Browning, Before, Beyond
Royal Holloway, University of London, 28-30 June 2012

Organised by the Browning Society in collaboration with Royal Holloway, University of London, the University of Westminster and the University of the West of England. Supported by the British Association of Victorian Studies (BAVS).

Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
Isobel Armstrong
Daniel Karlin
Tricia Lootens
Cornelia Pearsall

Over the past two centuries, Robert Browning has been hailed initially as the co-inventor of the dramatic monologue, and more recently, as earlier origins of the genre have been proposed, as its most prominent practitioner. To celebrate the Bicentenary of Browning’s birth, the Browning Society is hosting an international conference to reassess not only Browning’s work in what is arguably the defining genre of his oeuvre, but also the broader practice and theory of the dramatic monologue before, after and during his lifetime.

The conference remit of Browning, Before and Beyond proposes, in the first instance, to discuss the dramatic monologue in relation to Browning and other Victorian practitioners of the genre. The conference seeks to explore the reasons behind the rise of the genre during the Victorian era and the extent to which its formal and generic concerns with issues of performativity and spectacle, identity and subjectivity, text and truth – Browning introduced his Dramatic Lyrics of 1842 as 'so many utterances of so many imaginary persons, not mine’ – are illustrative of key concerns of the Victorian age.

Further, the conference hopes to extend critical discussion of the growth, profile, and generic nature of the dramatic monologue. The organisers welcome papers on pre-and post-Victorian poets and poems as a means of exploring the historical limits and reaches of the genre. Similarly, papers that explore the generic and disciplinary reaches of the form – its associations with drama, or connections to the Romantic lyric mode, for example – are warmly encouraged.

 20-minute papers are invited on any topic relating to the dramatic monologue. Submissions may include, but are not restricted to:

  • new approaches to defining the dramatic monologue and its significance
  • reassessments of established approaches to the genre
  • the origins/ predecessors of the genre
  • Victorian variants of the genre
  • issues of subjectivity and selfhood
  • Post-Romanticism and the dramatic monologue
  • the dramatic monologue and gender
  • the genre’s relation to history
  • hybrid versions of the genre
  • twentieth-century and twenty-first century uses of the genre
  • the dramatic monologue and performance poetry

Conference organizers: Dr Simon Avery, Dr Vicky Greenaway, Dr Britta Martens. Please submit 300-word abstracts to by 31 January 2012.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Registration: W.T. Stead: Centenary Conference for a Newspaper Revolutionary (3/31/2012; 4/16-17/2012)

W.T. Stead: Centenary Conference for a Newspaper Revolutionary
British Library, London
16-17 April 2012

Due to some problems with the British Library Box Office system, we have extended the early registration period for W.T. Stead: Centenary Conference for a Newspaper Revolutionary until 31 January 2012.  Registration closes on 31 March 2012 and the conference itself is 16-17 April 2012.

Registration is via the British Library Box Office.  Unfortunately, they are only able to take bookings by telephone or in person at the British Library at St Pancras.  We appreciate that this can cause inconvenience for those booking from overseas and we are continuing to investigate alternatives.  However, for now these are the only methods to register.


Job Opening: 19th-century British and Anglophone literatures/digital humanities (1/30/2012)

Washington State University
Opening for Assistant Professor of English
Applications due January 30, 2012 

Assistant Professor of English with specialty in 19th-century British and Anglophone literatures with additional specialization in digital humanities, tenure track, beginning August 2012.  Duties and responsibilities include teaching courses in literary studies and in the Digital Technology and Culture undergraduate degree program, as well as graduate courses in nineteenth-century Anglophone literatures and digital humanities (2-2 teaching load).  Successful candidate will maintain an active research agenda and participate in professional and university service. Ph.D. in English or related field required by July 1, 2012. Evidence of teaching effectiveness at the college level strongly preferred. Promise of scholarly potential in nineteenth-century British or Anglophone literatures, Victorian studies, digital humanities, archival theory and practice, or the electronic/digital remediation of printed texts strongly preferred. Other preferred areas of scholarship include comparative media studies, visual culture studies, or the study of literature and information technologies. Demonstrated ability to work in diverse communities highly desirable. Apply at Be prepared to upload a letter of application, curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, and a writing sample. Review of applications will begin on January 16, 2012. For full consideration applications must be received by January 30, 2012.  WSU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  Members of ethnic minorities, women, Vietnam-era or disabled veterans, persons of disability and/or persons age 40 or over are encouraged to apply.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Symposium: The Collection in Context: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood at Museo de Arte de Ponce (2/4/2012)

Museo de Arte de Ponce is pleased to announce its Pre-Raphaelite symposium, to be held on Saturday, February 4 from 10 am to 5:00 pm at the Salón Fundación Plaza del Caribe. This symposium, titled "The Collection in Context: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood at Museo de Arte de Ponce" will be one of the Museum’s main academic events in 2012. It will convene distinguished scholars and researchers in the field of Victorian culture, who will present papers on the creative practices of the young group of artists that founded in 1848 the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, recurring themes in this movement, the artistic and literary exchanges it yield, and the curatorial frameworks employed in exhibiting the Pre-Raphaelites since the 1980s.

The list of speakers includes Tim Barringer (Yale University), Sally Huxtable (Northumbria Unversity), Franny Moyle (autor and producer, BBC), Jason Rosenfeld (Marymount Manhattan College), Alison Smith (Tate Britain), and Madeleine Vala (University of Puerto Rico).

The British Collection of Museo de Arte de Ponce constitutes one of the main strengths of its permanent collection. Its core of Victorian works is considered one of the best outside of London. This symposium will be a landmark in the history of the Museum, as it will provide, for the first time, a context to understand these wonderful artworks outside their native context of Victorian England. By way of this international symposium, the Museum is happy to present this important group of works to a wider audience in the Americas and to continue highlighting its permanent collection as a subject for research and international dialogue.

The symposium will serve as a preamble to a bilingual catalogue edited by Cheryl Hartup (Chief Curator, Museo de Arte de Ponce) and Alison Smith on the museum’s British Collection, to be published later in 2012. This collection, which has traveled to Tate Britain, Museo Nacional del Prado, and the Belvedere Museum includes masterworks such as The Sleep of King Arthur in Avalon (1881-1898), by Sir Edward Burne Jones and Flaming June (c. 1895), by Frederic Lord Leighton. The catalogue of the British Collection will be the first of a multi-volume work on specific areas that make Museo de Arte de Ponce a museum with a world-class permanent collection.

The symposium will be held in English with simultaneous translation to Spanish. This academic program will be made possible thanks to the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. A number of travel grants of up to $600 for U.S. travelers and $900.00 for European travelers are available for graduate students specializing in Victorian art or literature.

To apply, please send a resumé and a cover letter explaining your interest in attending the symposium and how this program or the Museum’s British collection relates to your topic of research. Your cover letter should state your institutional affiliation and the year of acceptance into your M.A./Ph.D. program. Applications should be sent to with the subject heading TRAVEL GRANT APPLICATION. Applications must be received by Dec. 24, 2011.

For more information, please visit
Contact: Taína Caragol

CFP: Project Narrative Summer Institute (3/1/2012; 6/11-22/2012)

Project Narrative Summer Institute
June 11–June 22, 2012
Application deadline: March 1, 2012

The Project Narrative Summer Institute (PNSI) is a two-week program on the Columbus campus of the Ohio State University for faculty members and advanced graduate students who want to explore the usefulness of narrative theory to their research and teaching. Led by two Project Narrative core faculty members, the seminar meets in the mornings to discuss narrative and narrative-theoretical readings, and participants work in the afternoons on projects they bring to the Institute. A project may be an article, book chapter, presentation, or syllabus. PNSI members form a vibrant and collegial community for sharing ideas about scholarship, writing, and pedagogy.  

Tuition for PNSI is $1200. Participants also cover the cost of their own travel and housing. We encourage participants to seek institutional funding for this professional development opportunity. We can offer information for participants who want to share housing, house-sit, or stay in local bed-and-breakfasts.

The 2012 PNSI will be led by Project Narrative core faculty members Frederick Aldama and Sean O'Sullivan. In addition to theoretical readings, texts will be drawn from many narrative genres with an emphasis on comics, film, and television.

Storytelling, around since at least the Paleolithic, exists in many modes and is one of the most popular forms of entertainment all over the world. This omnipresence offers the opportunity to study it both in its universality and its particularity. That is, nowadays it is possible to study storytelling with the most rigorous research methods and means. These include a scientific aesthetics, socioneurobiology, and narratology.

To the extent that it is possible to accomplish this in two weeks, our aim is to examine central concepts pertaining to the study of narrative fiction as realized in its three primary modes: short stories, comics, and films (t.v. inclusive). These narrative fiction texts will offer various formal challenges and include varying degrees of multicultural content. The choice of primary texts and theory will allow us to focus on concepts and categories that can be empirically verified and logically argued, and therefore also teachable.

Such concepts and categories are meant to show how storytellers create blueprints that direct understanding and guide interpretation by readers and audiences. We shall see that authors, author/artists and filmmakers follow generic structures or recreate them anew as their stories unfold for their audiences to be both in familiar and unfamiliar territory. This will lead us to examine aesthetic categories of genre (tragedy, comedy, the grotesque) and distance (including habituation and enstrangement) as well as their concomitant emotions. And of course, this discussion will allow us to look more closely at the notion of the aesthetic itself, as a specific domain of human activity marked as a particular relational activity.

Questions we will ask ourselves include: What do we mean by the aesthetic relation, or what is the aesthetic relation? What is the aesthetic object as an organic whole? Why do the aesthetic genres, their combinations, and their concomitant emotions (the comic, the tragic, the grotesque) play a role in the creation of the artistic blueprint and also in its interpretation and understanding?

This will lead us to explore the concept of the blueprint as the specific form storytelling assumes: a set of minimal road signs that the skilled storyteller establishes for the skilled readers/audiences to follow in their understanding and interpretation of the work, be it a short story, a comic book, or a film. We will come to understand better how as the story unfolds and we interpret it in its parts and as a whole, following the signposts inscribed by the author in the making (writing, filming) of her/his blueprint (short story, comic book, film). Our secondary readings in the field of narratology along with the application of findings in socioneurobiology will enrich our understanding of the creative mind as it concerns authors and readers, filmmakers and audiences.  Such general and specific knowledge will take some of the enigma out of how these complex processes take place.

Stories possess an internal and external meaning. They are “about” something (the plot, the story) and they are a shape, a form, a particular way of having been told (what narratologists call “discourse”). Stories are understood in these two dimensions as they unfold, and both are equally the pillars of all storytelling. But “discourse” has the more dynamic role, for it acts as the prime shape-giving and generative operator. Thanks to “discourse” storytelling is potentially an ever creative activity, always new, always renewed.

If, as Jorge Luis Borges once suggested about metaphors, stories too are limited in number, their telling is limitless; it can always be fresh and new because humans possess a unique capacity to generate an infinite number of shapes or forms and are able to apply to stories that same infinite creativity. So a question arises: what is narrative in general? And this question poses several other ones: What is narrative fiction in particular? Why nonfiction narrative is governed by the rules of truth and empirical discovery? And why narrative fiction is governed exclusively by the rules of sovereign creativity and is the product not of discovery but of constructed, imagined, created ingredients.

We want to know in the clearest terms possible, what elements are comprised within the category of story and within the category of discourse.  In the first case, we will explore and come to understand what plot and theme are and what character and events are. In the second case, we will study carefully and come to understand concepts of form and shape-giving, such as ordering, sequentiality, flashback and flashforward, rhythm, frequency, space, focalization, visual and auditive narrators, intradiagetic and extradiegetic music, mise-en-scène, panel, framing, and so on.

In our allotted two week period we will examine concepts that are not only useful, but indispensible to the scientific understanding of the specific domain of aesthetic activity we call the creation and reception of what have becometoday the dominant three storytelling media.  We will learn and explore as many well defined and clear cut concepts or tools that are necessary for the analysis of works (multicultural and otherwise) at hand in the domain of short story, comic books, and films. 

With an eye toward texts (multicultural and otherwise) we might teach in the classroom, the Project Narrative Summer Institute 2012 will explore these themes in conjunction with a group of diverse multiple media fiction narratives—short story, comic books, and film (t.v inclusive)—to provide insight into essential elements of narrative fiction and narrative theory.

PNSI 2012 has an explicit pedagogical aim.  We will work step by step toward the final goal of the course: to develop courses that use the tools of  narratology and advances in the brain sciences to analyze comic books, films (t.v.), and/or short stories.  This is an opportunity to develop courses that are attuned and responsive to the ever more present needs and interests of students today in audiovisual storytelling media.  We will end the two weeks with each of you developing your ideal course with the tools and knowledge acquired.

For the list of primary and secondary texts, visit

For the schedule, visit:

CFP: The Stockholm 2012 Metaphor Festival (3/31/2012; 9/6-8/2012)

The Stockholm 2012 Metaphor Festival (SMF)
Thursday 6 to Saturday 8 September
Keynotes: Patrick Hanks and Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan
Deadline for abstract submission: 31 March 2012

The Stockholm Metaphor Festival is an annual conference on the use of figurative language and other modes of figurative expression, arranged by the Department of English at Stockholm University. It brings together researchers from a broad range of academic disciplines, working within different theoretical and methodological paradigms in a creative, internationally oriented, and friendly atmosphere. The importance of figurative language and figurative semiotics is now generally recognised, and the Festival offers an opportunity to present and learn about research findings concerning figurative uses in different types of human communication, and their cognitive, cultural, narrative, poetic, rhetorical, social, or textual functions.

Contributions to the Festival can address the linguistic and literary character and use of tropes – metaphor, metonymy, simile, oxymoron, hyperbole, litotes, punning, and irony – or the character and use of rhyme schemes and various types of parallelism, as well as the nature of figurative signs and devices in non-verbal communication.

 At the 2012 Festival we are also planning two workshops on Saturday 8 September, one on Linguistic and Conceptual Metaphors and their Relations, led by Gerard Steen, VU University Amsterdam, and another one on Dickens and Figurative Language, led by Leona Toker, the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
Each talk is allotted 30 minutes at the Festival, roughly 20 minutes for the presentation and 10 minutes for discussion. There is also a separate poster session that can be visited by all participants at the Festival.

Abstract guidelines: Abstracts should be written in English, and they are expected to be about 300 to 400 words long. The abstract should have a title, but the author’s name, academic affiliation, and email address should be indicated on a separate sheet, where it should also be specified whether the abstract is intended as a basis for a general session talk, a poster presentation, or a workshop presentation. Abstracts for the general sessions should be emailed to, while abstracts for the workshop on Linguistic and Conceptual Metaphors and their Relations should be emailed to The abstracts for the workshop on Dickens and Figurative Language should be emailed both to and Information about acceptances will be emailed by 15 May to all scholars submitting an abstract.

Conference fee: €80 for early registration, by 31 July; €100 from 1 August.

For further information about The Metaphor Festival, see our home page:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Event: Grand Orgue, The Nineteenth Century Explored (1/28/2012)

Grand Orgue, The Nineteenth Century Explored

Saturday 28 January 2012, from 2.00pm
Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church
235 Shaftesbury Ave, London WC2 8EP

Following the success of the Organists Online Open House on 29 January 2011, Music in Bloomsbury (Philip Luke) and Organists Online (Philip Norman) invite all organists and other musicians to an afternoon and early evening of recitals, displays, and presentations.

 The theme of the event, Grand Orgue, The Nineteenth Century Explored, gives a panoramic view of the symphonic organ and its music. Apart from the recitals, each taking a closer look at the music of England, France, and Germany, and the presentations filling in the background to the period, there will be ongoing refreshments, displays of relevant material and sales of CDs and books, and a substantial buffet.

 The two Philips look forward to seeing you, and sharing an afternoon of fine performances, interesting viewpoints, and tasty food.

 1.30     Light refreshments
 2.00     Recital 1 - Mo Wah Chan
 French music
 2.30     Presentation 1 - Will Fraser
 Capturing Cavaillé on DVD
 3.00     INTERVAL
 3.15     Recital 2 - Jonathan Hope
 English music
 3.45     Presentation 2 - The Rhinegold Singers
 Choral Music of the Period
 4.15     INTERVAL
 4.30     Recital 3 -Tim Wakerell
 German Music
 5.00     Presentation 3 - Gerard Brooks
 The background to his recital
 5.30     BUFFET
 6.00     Celebrity Recital - Gerard Brooks
 7.00     End

Monday, December 12, 2011

CFP: Desire, Literature, Culture (12/16/2011; 3/29-30/2012)

Desire, Literature, Culture
University of Malta Postgraduate Symposium
29-30 March, 2012

The present pleasure,
By revolution low’ring, thus become
The opposite of itself
                                                                                                - Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra

If, in the near future, all data, movies, etc., were to become instantly available, if the delay were to become minimal so that the very notion of "searching for" (a book, a film …) were to lose meaning, would this instant availability not suffocate desire?
                - Žižek

[d]o not give way on your desire
                - Lacan

Might desire be in decline? At first glance the suggestion seems almost preposterous: we live in an age in which near-instant gratification has, on many levels, never been so widely available, keenly desired or insistently promised. The past century has seen the development of a highly theorised understanding of desire as well as the emergence and astonishingly rapid growth of the various culture industries that sustain the ever increasingly complex economy of wish-fulfilment that structures our daily lives, reinforcing what seems to be the contemporary injunction par excellence, namely to ‘enjoy’ or ‘consume’. One might even be inclined to look back upon modernism as marking the emergence of the literary text, and the artwork more generally, as a self-absorbed exploration and cultivation of memory and desire, which is then taken to its self-reflexive, playfully autotelic and freely libidinal extreme by postmodernism. And yet there seems to be a pervading sense that desire is not what it used to be.

Could it be that we are quite literally spoilt for choice? That desire is either coming to be sated or is now in some sense vitiated or impoverished, and that, in any case, there is – and perhaps has always been – something unsatisfying about the satisfaction of desire? Moreover, if – and we ought not to take this for granted – the last century traces the undulating rise and fall of desire, how has this been reflected in literature, theory and culture? From the current crisis in global capitalism, to the academy’s critical default of post[]ist discourse, to a cursory glance at recent, notable publications – Living in the End Times, What Ever Happened to Modernism?, Theory after ‘Theory’, The Poetics of Disappointment, On Late Style, The Philosophy of Boredom – it is impossible to escape the pervading sense of an ending (to echo deliberately both the title of Julian Barnes’ 2011 Man Booker winner, and Frank Kermode’s influential study of literature and apocalypse).

Or might it be the case that desire is alive and well but simply elsewhere, constituting alternative sites of cultural and political expression? Might this, for instance, account for the popularity of grassroots politics – from Occupy Wall Street to the so-called Arab Spring – at a time when political apathy has supposedly never been greater? What, then, are the sites of desire today and how are they figured in literature and culture? How, in particular, are literature and culture negotiating the redirected flows of desire of the digital age?

If, however, our contemporary cultural reality is indeed marked by ‘vanishing desire’ (Lacan) or ‘the disappearance of desire’ (Žižek), then, at least on one reading, we live in the tension between fantasy and anxiety. How, in such a context, might both literature and culture be seen to be responding to Lacan’s imperative not to give way on one’s desire? This conference invites papers that respond to these issues and to the topic of desire, literature and culture more generally.

Papers may discuss, but need not be limited to, the following topics:

  • Waning/saturated desire in literature and culture
  • Desire in literature and literature in desire
  • Other desires – marginal, multiple, forbidden and deviant desires
  • Desire and modernism/postmodernism
  • Figures of desire in literature
  • Desire and power
  • Erotic desire
  • The poetics of desire
  • Desire and death
  • Desire and freedom
  • Desire and ideology
  • Cultural desires
  • Desire and cinema
  • Feminism and desire
  • Desire and censorship
  • Kristeva: desire in language
  • Desire in and for realism
  • Desire and the sense of an ending
  • Capitalism, individualism and desire
  • Theories of desire and the representation of the self in literature
  • Desire, promise and l’avenir
  • Recalculating proximities: psychoanalysis and desire
  • The aesthetics of desire and contemporary culture
  • Towards a stylistic understanding of desire
  • The economics of desire

Abstracts of no more than 300 words, accompanied by a brief biographical note, should be sent to by 16th December.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Registration open: Shared Visions (2/11/2012)

Plenary Speaker: Professor Shearer West, Head of Humanities Division, University of Oxford

Saturday 11th February 2012
9.30am to 6pm

School of Theatre, Performance and Cultural Policy Studies, Millburn House, Warwick University

This one-day conference, held in conjunction with Nineteenth Century Theatre and Film, will explore the connections between art, theatre, and visual culture in the nineteenth century. During this period, the 'art of seeing' challenged the traditional dominance of the written word. Vision, previously denigrated as deceptive, became considered as a universal language, accessible to all, and more authentic than text. Popular theatre, especially melodrama, led the way in exploring the possibilities of the new visuality. This conference will explore the visual culture of theatre and exchanges between theatre and the visual arts.

Panels will include: Stage Spectacle, History and Narrative, Dramatizing the Environment, Adaptation, The Image of the Actress, The Iconography of Dance, Religion and Ritual, and Violence.

Conference fee: £20 (£10 for postgraduate students)
Lunch, tea and coffee will be provided.

Registration is now open:

For further information on the conference, please contact Patricia Smyth:

Job Vacancy at the Florence Nightingale Museum (2/10/2012)

Collections Assistant
£20,000 pro rata, 3 days per week
Closing date: 10th February 2012
Interview date:  20th February 2012 at the Florence Nightingale Museum

The Florence Nightingale Museum celebrates the life and work of the best known figure in nursing history. Located within St Thomas' Hospital, the museum was opened in 1989 and now forms a key part of London's medical heritage. The collection consists of personal material associated with Florence Nightingale, items relating to the Crimean War and nursing artefacts. The museum archives include approximately 800 letters from Florence Nightingale and an important rare book collection of 284 titles. The museum is located in the grounds of St Thomas' Hospital, at the heart of the cultural re-generation taking place on the South Bank, and has 40,000 visitors a year.

The Collections Assistant must be a highly organised individual with past experience in working with collections, good documentation skills and an eye for detail. This post will involve basic curatorial duties as well as working with a wide range of people, including academic researchers and family historians

For application forms and further details please email Please telephone or email to request a hard copy application. The closing date for applications is 9am on 10th February 2012.

To apply:
Complete an application form and email or post to:
Natasha McEnroe (Director)

Postal address:
Florence Nightingale Museum
Gassiot House
2 Lambeth Palace Road

Natasha McEnroe, Director
The Florence Nightingale Museum
Gassiot House
2 Lambeth Palace Road
T:0207 620 0374

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

CFP: BWWC 2012 special session: "Landmarks in Nineteenth-Century Natural History: Texts and Landscapes" (1/15/2012; 6/7-10/2012)

Please find below a CFP for a special session at the 2012 British Women Writers Conference in Boulder, CO.

"Landmarks in Nineteenth-Century Natural History: Texts and Landscapes"
Over the course of the nineteenth century, a number of landmark works of natural history—which constitute what we might now call biological and geological sciences—dramatically altered how British society viewed the natural world. Natural “monuments” (as Georges Cuvier put it), such as geological strata or fossils, were increasingly interpreted as signifying marks on the face of the landscape that needed to be interpreted and understood. How did women writers engage with these frequently changing natural and textual landmarks? What implications do such landmarks hold for individuals’ and societies’ notions of self and of history, relationships to each other and to nature, and production of artistic and of scientific works? Charles Darwin’s writings have often been considered by literary scholars interested in how women writers reflected, negotiated, and participated in nineteenth-century scientific discourse, and papers exploring Darwin in light of the theme of this panel are welcome, but those focusing on other landmark Romantic or Victorian natural histories are particularly encouraged.

Please submit 500-word abstracts to both AND by January 15, stating your application to this special session.

For more information on the 2012 British Women Writers Conference, visit

Monday, December 05, 2011

CFP: ELN Special Issue: “Scriptural Margins: On the Boundaries of Sacred Texts” (3/15/2012)

ELN 50.2 (Fall/Winter 2012): “Scriptural Margins: On the Boundaries of Sacred Texts.”  
English Language Notes
Contact email:
Deadline: March 15, 2012

This special issue invites nontraditional examinations of sacred texts from major religious traditions, including those of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism.  We seek readings of scriptures that carve out an interpretive space between religious and secular modes of response.  Such readings may be informed by recent critical movements – queer theory, affect theory, ontotheology, biopolitics, etc..  They may investigate the usually complex and uncertain process by which a text moves from sacred to secular status (or from sacred back to secular).  They may engage the question of how traditional interpretations bend, mutate, or sustain themselves in the wake of cultural changes or political exigencies.  They may examine the dynamic and mutually transformative exchanges between religious hermeneutics and secular modes of interpretation (e.g. legal, literary, psychoanalytic).  Papers submitted for this issue may theorize on the relationship between commentaries, treatises and sacred texts - - on the ways, for example, that commentaries enter into the historical lives of scriptures, inscribing them with meanings that become naturalized.  Or they may explore the paths by which scripture flows into non-scriptural writings -- poetry, fiction, or song – and how such paths reconfigure or coexist with the division between a sacred and a non-sacred text.  Or they may track the fate of a sacred text as it moves across cultural and geographical boundaries, finding new communities of believers and generating new readings, whether as recognitions or misrecognitions of the readings adopted by preceding schools of believers.  In all cases, contributors will be motivated by a desire to operate outside the engrained opposition between religious and secular discourses and by the desire for a mode of reading that isn’t reducible to spiritual or anti-spiritual programs, to immediately recognizable acts of heterodoxy or piety. Consideration will be given to critical essays, creative writings, and to writings that are combinations of the two. We also welcome round-table discussions on particular sub-topics and reviews or review articles of recent books relevant to the issue’s theme.

Please send double-spaced, 12-point font contributions adhering to the Chicago-style endnote citation format in hard copy and on CD-ROM to the address below:

Special Issue Editor, “Scriptural Margins”
English Language Notes
University of Colorado at Boulder
226 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0226

Specific inquiries may be addressed to the issue editor, Sue Zemka, zemka@colorado.eduThe deadline for submissions for the first issue is March 15, 2012.

Request from the New York Times

Dear Victorianists,

I'd like to speak with Victorianists who have written biographies about 19th century subjects—and who happen to have read Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs. I am preparing a piece for the New York Times on the difficulties of writing deeply about the lives of contemporary figures—Steve Jobs, in particular.

I would guess that much, much richer biographies have been written about relatively unknown figures in Victorian England who lived, say, in the 1870s, than will ever be written about Jobs, even though he is the dominant business figure in our Information Age—a misnomer when it comes to biography. 

What is missing today, in the post-epistolary time in which Jobs grew up and built his career, are contemporaneous records of his thoughts, and those of his family members, friends, and colleagues. Without those, we cannot know much about Steve Jobs's interior life or of those around him. 

I seek the help of Victorianists who have written biographies and can show that inner lives were well-preserved in the Victorian period. I'd like also to look at Isaacson's biography from a Victorianist's perspective.

I write the Digital Domain column for the Sunday edition of the Times and have a day job as a professor of business at San Jose State University. In a former professional life, I was trained as a historian. This project is for an upcoming Times column.

If this piques your interest and you'd be willing to help, kindly send me an email. Thanks very much.


Randall Stross
Digital Domain columnist
New York Times

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Extended CFP: Taking Liberties: Sex, Pleasure, Coercion (12/31/2011; 6/15-17/2012)

Having received a significant number of requests for late submission of proposals we are extending the final deadline to 31 December 2011

Taking Liberties: Sex, Pleasure, Coercion
15-17 June 2012
Newcastle University

Helen Berry (Newcastle University) on Sex, Marriage and the Castrato
Joseph Bristow (UCLA) on Oscar Wilde’s Sexual Practices
Cora Kaplan (Queen Mary, University of London) on Rape, Representation and Slavery
Richard C. Sha (American University) on Romanticism and the Paradoxes of Free Love

From the publication of John Cleland’s Fanny Hill (1748) to D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover (1928), literature has imaginatively exploited the relationship between freedom, coercion and sexual pleasure, constantly pushing at the boundaries of what it is permissible to describe, represent and perform. At the same time, the history of print, film and theatre censorship has been told as a story of progressive unshackling from constraint. In this narrative, these ever-widening freedoms and challenges have been understood as positively beneficial to individuals and to societies. Yet the idea of sexual liberty as an unqualified good has increasingly come under scrutiny, giving way to the realization that freedom from sexual constraint can sometimes mean imprisonment in new and alternate structures of power, frustration and denial. This international, multidisciplinary conference seeks to complicate and enrich our understanding of the relation between sex, pleasure and coercion in a liberal context. It will explore the many ways in which literary and visual texts and performances can be understood to create, reinforce, question and/or dissolve these structures, as well as interrogate the complicity of publishing and the law in their framing and dismantling.

Key conference questions are:

  • How are the complex relations between sexual licence, pleasure and coercion understood, represented and negotiated during the long nineteenth century?
  • How did censorship and obscenity laws shape the literary/cinematic/theatrical landscape?
  • How were sexually controversial texts – from erotica to triple-decker novels, from peep-shows to West-End theatre – produced, circulated, preserved and consumed?

We are interested in literary and visual texts/performances from across the cultural spectrum. We welcome papers from English, Drama, Film & Visual Culture, History, Law, Modern Languages, Sociology and Geography.

Possible topics include:

  • Sex, Sexuality and the Law
  • Gender and the Law
  • Obscenity/Pornography
  • Censorship
  • Rakes/Dandies/Mollies
  • Prostitutes/Madams/Pimps
  • Rape/Sexual Violence
  • Sex on Stage/Screen
  • Sex Manuals/Diaries
  • ‘Lewd’ Behaviour
  • The Politics of Pleasure
  • Flirtation, Seduction, Exploitation
  • Corrupting the Innocent
  • Voyeurism/Striptease/Burlesque
  • ‘Dirty’ Books
  • Bowdlerization
  • Advertising Sex/Abortion/Contraception
  • Sexual Initiations
  • Sadomasochism/Masters and Slaves
  • Tyranny and Slavery

Proposals of up to 300 words should be emailed by 31 December 2011 to Other inquiries should be directed to Dr Ella Dzelzainis at

The conference is organized at Newcastle University by the Long Nineteenth Century Research Group (School of English), with the support of the Gender Research Group and the Newcastle Institute for the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities.

Friday, December 02, 2011

CFP: Perspective and Interior Spaces in Narrative before 1850 (3/1/2012; 1/3-6/2013)

Perspective and Interior Spaces in Narrative before 1850
Chair: Monika Fludernik and Suzanne Keen

This guaranteed ISSN panel for the 2013 Boston MLA Convention analyzes how interior spaces (rooms, houses, halls, prisons, offices, covered markets, etc.) are presented in narrative. It particularly examines (a) perspectivism in the description of interior spaces before 1850. Were these spaces presented perspectivally (or not) before the dominance of internal focalization? If a character's perceptions do not govern representation of the space he or she enters or moves in, what does? According to Franz Stanzel, eighteenth-century novels typically present interiors aperspectivally, mentioning a space and a few objects in it, but omitting any information of how these objects are arranged within the space. Is this true of earlier narratives, including verse romances? Perspectival rendering of space makes it possible for the reader to visualize objects in the building in relation to one another, even to map the room and its contents. The panel will contribute to the discussion of the recent spatial turn in literary studies, connect with theories about the poetics of space, and contextualize concepts of perspective with reference to literature, psychology, and the visual arts.

We invite 300 word abstracts of papers on narrative texts written between the Middle Ages and 1850, discussing what type of perspective, if at all, they use and what techniques they employ to evoke interiors. Please direct proposals and brief blurb-form vitas  to Monika Fludernik and Suzanne Keen by 1 March 2012

Presenters must be members of the MLA.

CFP: DJO Conference: Charles Dickens and the Mid-Victorian Press (12/30/2011; 3/28-31/2012)

In conjunction with the Victorian Studies Centre at the University of Leicester the School of Humanities is delighted to announce an international Dickens Bicentenary conference on 28-31 March 2012, featuring the launch of the Dickens Journals Online project, and an exhibition of archive materials curated by Antony Burton. Our list of invited speakers currently includes: Laurel Brake, John Drew, Louis James, Hazel Mackenzie, Robert Patten, Joanne Shattock, Michael Slater, John Sutherland, John Tulloch, Cathy Waters, Tony Williams, and Ben Winyard.

Household Words and All the Year Round are key mid-century weekly journals, showcasing the work of over 350 contributors as well as that of their illustrious founder and ‘Conductor.’ Critical analysis of their contents is an increasingly diverse and dynamic field, soon to be assisted by an open-access scholarly online edition based at the University of Buckingham. To celebrate the Bicentenary of Dickens’s birth, and the public launch of the website, you are warmly invited to an international conference that aims to position Household Words and All the Year Round within the broader context of nineteenth-century periodical culture, through invited papers and contributions from experts in these and a range of rival publications, and website workshops.

CfP: Charles Dickens and the mid-Victorian Press (1850-1870)
Submissions are invited, in three main areas relating to the conference theme:
  1. original close readings of one or more articles from Household Words and All the Year Round, or the work of an individual contributor. Many articles in the journals―whether by Dickens, a known contributor, or anonymous―repay close scrutiny, whether approached in stylistic, rhetorical, ideological, or historical terms. Yet the published literature in the field is small, and something that the conference seeks to redress.
  2. appraisals of the contribution made by either or both journals, more generally, to key areas of debate in the mid-Victorian press. Public health, social policy, science and technology, education, gender roles, the urban experience, imperial expansion, emigration and the law, are just some of these. Aesthetic and cultural analysis of the journals, as miscellanies, in terms of the dynamics of genre they present, or in terms of broad thematic or bibliographic concerns that the paper sets out to explore, will also be welcome.
  3. contrastive readings of other contemporary periodical publications―whether weekly, monthly or quarterly―in relation to Household Words and All the Year Round, that will assist us in positioning the latter in relation to the crowded mid-century marketplace. Such publications might include Chambers’s Journal, The Examiner, Punch, Bentley’s Miscellany, the Illustrated London News, The Cornhill Magazine, as well as political and literary reviews, and ‘penny bloods.’

Submissions from graduate students and as yet unpublished scholars will be particularly welcome. 500-word proposals for 20-minute papers to reach by Friday 30 December 2011.

An edited selection of the Conference Proceedings, embracing the three main areas above, will be published by the University of Buckingham Press in 2012. A complimentary copy will be included with every conference booking.

For information on Tickets and Accommodation, visit

CFP: INCS Essay Competition (1/15/2012)

Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Studies invites nominations and submissions for its annual essay prize.  The $500 prize recognizes excellence in interdisciplinary scholarship on any nineteenth-century topic or world region.  We encourage members of INCS to nominate an essay written by a current member of INCS or to submit their own work.  Articles published in a book or journal dated 2011 are eligible.  The winner will be announced at the 2012 conference (to be held at the University of Kentucky, March 22-25) and invited to put together a panel for the 2013 INCS Conference.  Please send three paper copies of the nominated essay to Professor Sharon Aronofsky Weltman, Department of English, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803 no later than January 15, 2012.

For more details about the essay competition, the conference, or the organization, we invite you to visit the INCS website at  

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Possible Victorian Studies Position (12/14/2011)

The English Department at Stony Brook hopes to search for a tenure-track assistant professor in Victorian studies.  This scholar will have particular expertise in literature in English of the British Empire, including regions where the Empire held sway, such as India, Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.  This search is subject to budgetary approval, but we invite inquiries now.

The Ph.D. must be in or at hand September 1, 2012.  The successful candidate would join a department in which research and teaching are innovative and interdisciplinary.  Our faculty and graduate students work closely with Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies, Women's Studies, Africana Studies, Philosophy, History, Art History, and other departments and programs.

Please have interested scholars send letters of inquiry, CV, letters of recommendation, and a writing sample by December 14, by email if possible (

Stephen Spector
Professor and Chairman,
Department of English,
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5350