Friday, January 21, 2011

CFP: Manipulation: Victorian Variations on Hands, Handling, and Underhanded Behaviour (1/28, 4/30/2011)

Victorian Studies Association of Ontario 44th Annual Conference
30 April 2011
Glendon Campus, York University

We are seeking papers that explore Victorian variations on manipulation, hands, and handling. In what ways did manipulation resonate in the Victorian period? In what ways did hands resonate in the Victorian period? Papers may focus on any of the following topics on their own or in combination:

  • Literal hands (working, drawing, writing, growing things, playing music)
  • Tricks of the hand (magic, shadow theatre)
  • Handicrafts (arts and crafts, textiles, pottery)
  • The etiquette of the hand (handshakes, greetings, gloves, rings)
  • Hidden hands (masturbation, strangulation, prosthetics, "the dead hand")
  • Gendered hands (fighting, being brought up by hand)
  • Reading the hand (fortune telling, class, signing)
  • Manipulating hands ("by another's hand," "having a hand in," "bad hands")
  • Economics and the hand (industrialization and hands," work by hand, injuries to the hand)
  • Handwriting (forgery, deceit, shorthand); etc.
We welcome papers on any dimension of the hand, handling and/or manipulation in the Victorian period.

The VSAO (Victorian Studies Association of Ontario) will hold its 44th annual conference at the beautiful Glendon Campus of York University, Toronto on 30 April 2011. This one-day event includes a morning panel of three speakers, followed by lunch, the VSAO business meeting, and two plenary speakers in the afternoon. Plenary Speakers are James Eli Adams (Columbia University), "The Dead Hand: George Eliot and the Uses of Inheritance," and Lorraine Janzen Kooistra (Ryerson University), "The Dyer's Hand and What it Works in: Laurence Housman and the Book Arts."

In keeping with this year's theme, Manipulation: Victorian Variations on Hands, Handling, and Underhanded Behaviour, the VSAO executive invites abstracts for papers to be presented at our morning panel. Please send electronic copies of proposals (300-500 words) and a brief biographical statement to Barbara Leckie ( by 28 January 2011. Alternatively, hard copies can be sent by mail to Barbara Leckie / Department of English / Carleton University / 1125 Colonel By Drive / Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6.

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