“Strange New Today”: Victorians, Crisis and Response
Postgraduates in the University of Exeter’s Centre for Victorian Studies will be holding a one-day conference for postgraduates and early-career researchers on the 17th of September, 2011. The conference is in collaboration with the Reader Organisation and will take place in the historic setting of the Devon and Exeter Institution, which was founded in 1813 as a private library.
Professor Regenia Gagnier (University of Exeter)
Professor Philip Davis (University of Liverpool)
Plenary: “The Reading Cure”, presented by The Reader Organisation
Call for Papers:
In Past and Present, Thomas Carlyle conceives of modern crisis as a deadly riddle posed by the Sphinx – with a viable future or social collapse contingent upon the answer: “This English Nation, will it get to know the meaning of its strange newToday?”
This conference is intended to elicit papers that respond to the generative effects of the perception of crisis in the Victorian period. Awareness of crisis stimulated intellectual enquiry in new disciplinary directions: in history and historiography, archaeology and classicism, evolutionary biology, economic and social theory, in literary expressions of cultural critique, and in personal and psychological narratives. Such intellectual productivity – and the insistence upon circulating the new analyses of crisis within a public realm of discussion – constitutes a response that we might wish to draw upon in our own times of perceived crisis.
The commemorations of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and the returns to Marx for explanations of the current economic crisis exemplify a revival of interest in how thought from the Victorian period lives on in the contemporary world. This conference is an opportunity to investigate the productive and prolific nature of the Victorians’ response to the idea of cultural and personal crisis – as theorists or as writers whose literary works could help us grasp the meaning of our “strange newToday”.
Please send proposals (of approx. 250 words) for 15 – 20 minute papers to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday the 27th of May. Any queries regarding the conference can be directed to the same address.
For more information visit http://strangenewtoday.wordpress.com/