Friday, June 24, 2011

Registration Open: 2011 BAVS Conference, Composition and Decomposition (9/1-3/2011)

British Association for Victorian Studies
Annual Conference
Composition and Decomposition
University of Birmingham, 1-3 Sept. 2011

BAVS is pleased to announce registration for the 2011 BAVS conference, Composition and Decomposition, is now open.  Please follow this link for further information:

General Conference information can be found at:

If you have requests for specific types of accommodation or extending your stay, please contact Kate Newey directly at:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

CFP, Reminder: Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology (8/15/2011)

We are seeking contributors for a collection of critical essays on Steampunk. Steampunk remains an elusive topic even among its admirers and practitioners, but at its heart, it re-imagines the Victorian age (both in the future and the past), and re-works its technology, fashion, and values with a dose of anti-modernism. From sci-fi and fantasy to websites catering to a steampunk lifestyle, this multi-faceted genre demands greater scholarly analysis.

The editors of this anthology seek contributions in the following suggested subject areas (but we are not limited to these):
  • Steampunk Film Steampunk Literature (romance; historical fiction/sci fi, etc
  • Steampunk History Steampunk Fashion/dress history
  • Steampunk Technology Steampunk Fandom/fan culture
  • Steampunk Art & Design Steampunk as Culture/Lifestyle
  • Gender, Race, Class and Steampunk Critiques of existing analyses of s.p.

Submission Guidelines: Send a 1000 word abstract in Microsoft Word by email attachment on or before August 15, 2011; include a brief biography or vita. International submissions are welcomed and encouraged.

Abstracts chosen for inclusion in the anthology will be considered “conditional acceptances” – the editors will secure the submission in the volume, but the editors reserve the right to reject any full essay that does not meet the standards (of style/content, etc) agreed to between the editors and authors. Endnotes are mandatory; illustrations are encouraged and must be secured (along with permissions)by the author and submitted with the final draft.

Dr. Julie Anne Taddeo
History Dept., University of Maryland

Dr. Cynthia Miller
Institute for Liberal Arts, Emerson

Dr. Ken Dvorak
Northern New Mexico College

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

CFP: Victorian Review 2011 Hamilton Prize, deadline extended (7/15/2011)

Victorian Review's 2011 Hamilton Prize-Deadline Extension to 15 July 

Victorian Review invites submissions for the annual Hamilton Prize for the best graduate student essay in the field of Victorian Studies. The annual award honours the effort and achievements of Susan Hamilton, editor of Victorian Review from 2000 to 2006.

Essays should be 20-25 pages in length (not including Works Cited) and should not have been previously published. The winner will receive an award of $250 CAN and publication of the essay in the Spring 2012 issue of Victorian Review. The journal will also publish the names and essay titles of up to two runners-up in the Spring 2012 issue. The deadline for submissions for the 2011 competition has been extended to July 15, 2011.

The winning essay will be selected according to the following criteria: contribution to Victorian studies; quality and originality; and style and clarity. The award will be judged by a four-member panel of the journal's Advisory Board.

Please send entries to:
ATTN: Hamilton Prize

Registration open for Crime, Justice and the Modern State (Lyons, France, 9/8-10/2011)

The third in a series of international conferences on the theme of "Crime, Justice and the Modern State," organized by the SOLON criminal justice network, in collaboration with Lyon 2 University, France, will take place at two locations in the centre of Lyons over three days from 8-10 September. Although the conference covers several historical periods, many papers will be of interest to Victorian specialists, including:
  • Kate Bates (University of Keele), "'A Full and Particular Account': Representations of State Violence in Early 19th Century Broadsides"
  • Cécile Bertrand (Université Paris 7) "Managing Unruly Populations: Exclusion of Violent Classes from the Victorian Order in the 1830s"
  • Christine Kelly (Glasgow University), "Criminalisation of children in Scotland 1840-1910"
  • Adrian Ager (Oxford-Brookes University), "The Topography of Crime in the Medway Basin 1830-1890"

For further details and registration, please contact Neil Davie at:

Neil Davie
Professor of British History,
Department of English,
Lyon 2 University,
Lyons, France

CFP: NVSA 2012 "Victorian Clichés and Orthodoxies" (10/15/2011; 4/13-15/2012)

People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something  heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy.
-G. K. Chesterton

CFP: NVSA 2012
Victorian Clichés and Orthodoxies
Columbia University: April 13-15, 2012

NVSA solicits submissions for its annual conference; the topic this year is Victorian Clichés and Orthodoxies.  The conference will be held at Columbia University on April 13-15, 2012, and will feature a keynote panel including Nicholas Dames, Yopie Prins, and Jim Secord as well as a visit to the Columbia Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The text of the official CFP follows below. If you'd like a PDF copy of the call for papers emailed to you in order to post it in your department, please contact this year's program committee chair, David Kurnick, at

The Northeast Victorian Studies Association calls for papers on cliché and orthodoxy in and about the Victorian period. We encourage papers that reflect on Victorian conceptions of conventional thinking, practice, and expression as well as on the critical orthodoxies that govern contemporary approaches to the period. How did the Victorians understand cliché—a term that comes into its current use only in the 1890s—in literary culture, or in aesthetics (art, music and theater) more generally? What orthodoxies organized scientific inquiry, and what was science's relation to religious orthodoxy? How do we understand the marriage of heterodoxy and orthodoxy in religious movements as various as the Oxford movement and low-church revivalism? How did orthodoxy regulate education and domestic life? While the supposed political stability, liberalism, and realistic aesthetics of the Victorian period have often been contrasted with the social and artistic experimentation of Romanticism and modernism, such features of the period have been both vigorously debunked and vigorously defended as more dynamic than previously thought. We invite papers that reflect on the status of those critical shibboleths (and on the catch-phrases used to express them: “age of equipoise,” “the marriage plot,” “the gospel of work”) as well as on the literary touchstones that the nineteenth century seems to have produced in higher volume than any other. We also invite reconsiderations of older and newer critical texts—from The Victorian Frame of Mind to Culture and Imperialism and beyond—that have set the terms of debate for generations of scholars.

Topics for consideration:

Form and Cliché
-  Victorian melodramas and tearjerkers
-   ideology and form
-  “normal literature” and extraordinary texts
-  the invention of genre fiction
-  readers’ pleasures in repetition and recognition
-  canonicity as critical orthodoxy
-  poetic and prosodic orthodoxies
-  parody as ridicule of literary convention

Religious and Scientific Orthodoxies
-  religious authenticity and belief
-  religious orthodoxy as an adventure
-  Christian orthodoxy and its opponents (atheism, agnosticism, free thinking, spiritualism, etc.)
-  revivalism and the Oxford movement
-  scientific naturalism’s attack on orthodoxy
-  science as orthodoxy
-  scientific orthodoxies

Victorian Cliché
-  “We are not amused”
-  “Spare the rod, spoil the child”
-  “The angel in the house”
-  “The dismal science”
-  “Lie back and think of England”
-  clichés in Victorian advertising
-  cliché and mass media (cliché as a function of printing technology)
-  the history of clichés; how do innovations become clichés?
-  ready-made phrases, generic expressions

 Victorian Social and Cultural Orthodoxies
-  political and economic orthodoxies
-  were the Victorians sexually orthodox?
-  unspoken orthodoxies; what goes without saying in the Victorian period?
-  orthodoxy as truth and as convention: did the valence of orthodoxy change in the period?
-  orthodoxy and authority
-  conduct manuals, self-help, etiquette guides
-  educational orthodoxies

Our Critical Orthodoxies
-  separate spheres
-  “Always historicize!”
-  prudery and repression
-  the marriage plot
-  the ideology of progress
-  liberalism and individualism
-  the hermeneutics of suspicion
-  modernist clichés about the Victorian period
-  angel/whore view of women
-  round vs. flat characters
-  the Bildungsroman

Critical Stock Phrases
-  “the crisis of faith”
-  “the gospel of work”
-  “the age of equipoise”
-  “the age of doubt”
-  “the age of compromise”
-  “the Victorian sage”
-   “the two nations”

Canonical Critical Texts
-  Buckley’s Victorian Temper
-  Armstrong’s Victorian Poetry
-  Langbaum’s Poetry of Experience
-  Trilling’s Sincerity and Authenticity
-  Marcus’s Other Victorians
-  Gilbert and Gubar’s Madwoman in the Attic
-  Williams’s Culture and Society
-  Houghton’s Victorian Frame of Mind
-  J. Hillis Miller’s Disappearance of God
-  Levine’s Realistic Imagination
-  D. A. Miller’s Novel and the Police
-  Sedgwick’s Between Men
-  Said’s Culture and Imperialism

Literary Touchstones
-  “Reader, I married him.”
-  “Theirs not to reason why,/ Theirs but to do and die.”
-  “Why always Dorothea?”
-  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
-  “The Everlasting Yea/Everlasting No”
-   “nature red in tooth and claw”
-  “sweetness and light”
-  “How do I love thee?”
-   the “Dickensian” and Dickens’s characters’ tag-lines
-   Trollope’s titles

Deadline: Proposals (no more than 500 words) by Oct. 15, 2011 (e-mail submissions strongly encouraged, in Word format):
Professor David Kurnick, Chair, NVSA Program Committee (
English Department, Rutgers University, 510 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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 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.

Travel Grants: 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. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

CFP: Picturing the Nineteenth Century (10/17/2011; 3/22-25/2012)

INCS 2012
Picturing the Nineteenth Century

March 22-25
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY

Though its title foregrounds art and visual culture, this conference will treat "picturing" in all its many senses: imagining, representing, framing, mapping. We invite papers and panels that consider how the nineteenth century represented itself to itself – through depictions of subjectivity, history, and culture; through emerging technologies and disciplines; through self-conscious "meta" attempts to understand methods of representation – and how our own technologies and disciplines create multiple pictures of "the nineteenth century." Interdisciplinary papers and panels are especially welcome.

Featured speakers include Nancy Armstrong (English Department, Duke University),  Julie Codell (Art History Department, Arizona State University), and Shawn Michelle Smith (Visual & Critical Studies, Art Institute of Chicago).

Themes include but are not limited to

  •  "The visual turn" and its technologies
  • Canons, institutions, and practices of art and literature
  • The materiality of the literary: illustrations, cover designs, advertising, publication
  • Display, exhibition, and spectatorship
  • Cartographies, real and imagined
  •  Urban geographies and ethnographies; mapping and tracking people
  • Imperialism as visual practice; global mappings and re-mappings
  • Representations of  selves and bodies; life writing
  • Modes of representation: narrative, image, statistics, chronology
  • Archives, libraries, and their histories
  • Digitizing the nineteenth century
  • Teaching the nineteenth century  

Deadline: October 17, 2011. For individual papers, send a 250-word proposals;  for panels,  send individual 250-word proposals for each paper plus a 250-word panel description. Please include your name, affiliation, and e-mail address on the proposals.

Contact for more information.

Monday, June 20, 2011

CFP: Dickens and the Visual Imagination (9/30/2011; 7/9-10/2012)

Dickens and the Visual Imagination: an international two-day conference to celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Dickens in 2012

9-10 July 2012

This conference, hosted by the Paul Mellon Centre in London and the University of Surrey in Guildford, will explore the interfaces between art history and textual scholarship through the work of Charles Dickens.

Plenary speaker: Professor Kate Flint (Rutgers University). Other speakers to be confirmed.

Dickens is renowned for the richness of his visual imagination and his publications encouraged readers to interpret his words with and through their accompanying illustrations. Not only was Dickens deeply engaged with ideas of the visual in his writing, but his work has also provoked responses from artists across multiple disciplines within the Victorian period and beyond. The conference seeks to build on recent interdisciplinary work (such as that of Kate Flint and Isobel Armstrong) that illuminates nineteenth-century understandings of visual culture. By focussing the conference through a writer whose work is embedded in the visual imagination, Dickens will provide a test case for examining and theorising the connection between text and image across two hundred years of cultural history.

We invite proposals for panels and individual papers from scholars across disciplines. Topics might include, but are not limited to:

• Dickens and illustration
• The visual arts in Dickens’s work
• Responses to Dickens in the visual arts
• Dickens and performance
• Dickens in the press
• Dickens and new media
• Sciences of vision
• Dickens and commodification
• Dickens and aesthetics
• Observation and spying
• Perspective
• Blindness and the difficulties of representation
Please submit proposals (of up to 250 words) by Friday 30 September 2011 to:

Friday, June 17, 2011

CFP: "Global Hardy," cluster/special issue of Literature Compass (7/1/2012)

Literature Compass CfP: Global Hardy 

The point of cross-cultural comparison is not to reify the reassuring opposition between two distinct identities but to force each side to ask: could we understand ourselves otherwise in the other’s terms?” (908). Hon Lam, Ling and Dahlia Porter. “Hybrid Commodities, Gendered Aesthetics, and the Challenge of Cross-Cultural Comparison: A Response to Moretti’s ‘The Novel: History and Theory’” 7.9 (2010)

Literature Compass invites submissions of articles of 5,000 words (excluding notes and bibliography) to a cluster/special issue on Global Hardy. Submissions will be peer reviewed through Literature Compass’s normal scholarly channels. The issue will develop a historical perspective and, in keeping with the Global Circulation Project (, it will focus on areas outside Europe and North America. Exploring the reception and circulation of Hardy it will look at ways in which Hardy's ideas have been received, and circulated, globally - Japan, for example, has a Hardy society older than Britain's - asking why Hardy has been, or is, so popular outside Europe and North America. 

Submissions should be sent to Dr Angelique Richardson at by 1st July 2012, for final submission in December 2012.

The Global Circulation Project is a global map and dialogue on how key Anglophone works, authors, genres, and literary movements have been translated, received, imitated/mimicked, adapted, or syncretised outside Britain, Europe, and North America, and, conversely, how key works from outside these areas have been translated, received, imitated/mimicked, adapted, or syncretised within Anglophone literary traditions. It asks, what forms of intertextuality, reception, etc. are generated through cultural contact? Guo Ting's article on Byron in China  ( for a copy if you are not at a subscribing institution) offers an example of the scope of the Global Circulation project.

All submissions must include full scholarly apparatus for notes (we follow MLA style, with in-text references and a Works Cited). We apologize in advance to the scholarly community that at this time we are only able to consider submissions and responses in English; this may change as the dialogue and network grow.

Because our intellectual priority is to promote a global circulation of ideas in the present as well as to study such circulations in the past, we ask our readers to read differently, to welcome the difficulty of reading unfamiliar inflections and entering unfamiliar critical frames. For, even as articles are published in English, we practice an editorial policy flexible enough to foster communication across languages and scholarly traditions. Our goal is to allow differences in style and approach to be heard, as much as is possible, across linguistic and cultural differences, so as to generate new international dialogues.

More information on Literature Compass can be found here: 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

CFP: Victorian Review Special Issue: Digital Victorians (8/31/2011)

Call for Papers:
The Editors invite proposals for a special issue on the topic of Digital Victorians.

Topics might include digital archives, indexes, editing, analysis, mark-up, journals, publishing; patterns and tendencies in digitizing Victorian texts; vulnerability of print resources; technical challenges; collaborative possibilities.

Please submit title and abstract by August 31, 2011 to Lisa Surridge, Editor,

About the Journal:
Victorian Review: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Victorian Studies welcomes submissions in all areas of Victorian studies. Our mandate is to publish the best original international research in this interdisciplinary field, as well as to provide critical reviews of new books in Victorian studies by experts from around the world. Finally, our regular Victorian Review forum provides a unique venue in which diverse scholarly voices may address a topic from multiple points of view.

The journal, which began publication in 1972, is published twice annually by the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada and edited in the Department of English, University of Victoria, Canada. Members of the editorial team belong to the Canadian Association of Learned Journals and the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
For more information visit

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

CFP: "Fixing Foods in Literary Modernity," NeMLA Panel (9/30/2011; 3/15-18/2012)

Call for Papers: Fixing Foods in Literary Modernity

Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 15-18, 2012--Rochester, New York

For better and for worse, modernity has surely left its mark on the food we daily eat.  Two hundred years ago in 1812, Bryan Donkin purchased from a London broker the patent for canning food items inside tin containers. Within the next decade canned goods were widespread in Britain and France (Robertson 123). One hundred and fifty years ago in the spring of 1862, Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard’s experiments with heating liquids
eventually led to pasteurized drinks—first wine and beer and then, later, milk (Greene, Guzel-Seydim, and Seydim 88).

This panel explores how literature has addressed the last two hundred years of rapidly modernizing food—a path involving hybridization, preservation, pasteurization, synthesizing, and genetic manipulation.  If Brillat-Savarin’s aphorism is still telling today (“Tell me what you eat, and I shall tell you what you are”), what does literature tell us about the modern alimentary subject consuming and or pondering the foods altered by modernity?  Always already integrated into our lives on multiple levels, food could not be modernized without other far reaching implications.  When discussing food marked by modernity, what larger social or cultural preoccupations does literature engage?  How do different authors, historical periods, literary movements, or genres posit the “the mark of modernity” on food?  How might literary explorations of modernity and food inform our own contemporary food concerns?

Please send 300-500 word abstracts and a brief bio to Michael D. Becker,, with “NeMLA 2012” as the subject.  Please include your name, affiliation, email address, and A/V requirements ($10 fee with registration). Deadline:  September 30, 2011

The 43rd annual convention will be held March 15-18th in Rochester, New York at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown, located minutes away from convenient air, bus, and train transportation options for attendees. St. John Fisher College will serve as the host college, and the diverse array of area institutions are coordinating with conference organizers to sponsor various activities, such as celebrated keynote speakers, local events, and fiction

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.

Greene, Annel K., Zeynep B. Guzel-Seydim, and Atif Can Seydim. “The Safety of Ready-to-Eat Diary Products.” Ready-to-Eat Foods: Microbial Concerns and Control Measures. Ed. Andy Hwang and Lihan Huang. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, 2010. 81-123. Print.

Roberts, Gordon L.  Food Packaging: Principles and Practice.  Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis, 2006. Print.

Friday, June 10, 2011

CFP: Thackeray in time, 1811-2011 (6/20/2011; 10/1/2011)

THACKERAY IN TIME, 1811-2011 Call for Papers
School of English, University of Leeds
Saturday 1st October 2011

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS:                             

Professor Judith Fisher (Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas), author of Thackeray's Skeptical Narrative and the 'Perilous Trade’ of Authorship (2002)

Professor Richard Pearson (National University of Ireland, Galway), author of W.M. Thackeray and the Mediated Text (2000)

2011 marks the bicentenary of the birth of William Makepeace Thackeray. This conference offers an opportunity to reassess Thackeray's place in Victorian culture and in the history of novel, as well as the development of his critical reputation over the past two centuries. The conference will examine both Thackeray's position within time and the importance of time - including questions of temporality, history, and modernity - within his writings. The concept of ‘time’ proposes a focus – with numerous permutations – for enquiry into Thackeray’s works and cultural status. By interpreting the relationship between Thackeray and time in different ways, we anticipate that scholars will be able to consider his writing in challenging and exciting ways, to reposition Thackeray on the map of Victorian studies, and to build on the existing body of scholarship.

We welcome papers from established scholars and postgraduate students on any aspect of the conference theme. Possible topics for papers include the following:

  • Thackeray and the historical novel – the relationship between the Victorian period and the eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries
  • Temporality in Thackeray's writing - memory, nostalgia, the past and present
  • Thackeray and modern culture - cultural forms of modernity, such as theatre/pantomime, fashion, journalism, serialization, photography, advertising
  • Thackeray and the bildungsroman – representations of the self through time
  • The development of Thackeray's place in literary history – his critical or popular status
  • Histories of class and gender in his writing - the gentleman, dandyism, the snob, the shopkeeper, etc.
  • The broader Thackeray family - the work of those associated with his domestic  or professional life, such as his daughter Anne Thackeray Richie, or the physician Dr John Elliotson
  • Thackeray and contemporary debates  – literary exchange between Thackeray and other writers such as Dickens, Carlyle, or Bulwer Lytton
  • Thackeray and his publishers, reviewers or illustrators – the materiality and immediacy of his books and magazine contributions
  • Thackeray and means of marking time – his Christmas books, the Literary Annuals, Travel writing, Thackeray and evolutionary theory

Proposals of 300-500 words should be sent to BOTH of the conference organisers, Dr Alice Crossley ( and Dr Richard Salmon (, by Monday 20th June 2011, as should any enquiries. Further information may be found at the conference website:

The organisers intend to provide a postgraduate conference grant to one or two postgraduate students presenting a paper at the conference, to the amount of £80. Applications for the award ought to be sent at the same time as paper proposals, and should outline (in no more than 500 words) the significance of the conference in relation to the research of the applicant.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

CFP: “Strange New Today”: Victorians, Crisis and Response, updated deadline (7/15/2011; 9/17/2011)

“Strange New Today”: Victorians, Crisis and Response
Postgraduates in the University of Exeter’s Centre for Victorian Studies will be holding a one-day interdisciplinary 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.

Keynote speakers:
Professor Regenia Gagnier (University of Exeter)
Professor Philip Davis (University of Liverpool)

Plenary: “The Reader Cure”, hosted by the Reader Organisation of the University of Liverpool

Call for Papers:
In Past and Present (1843), the author and social commentator, Thomas Carlyle, perceived modern crisis as an impossible riddle and posed the question: “This English Nation, will it get to know the meaning of its strange new today?” Nineteenth-century perceptions of crisis were informed and shaped by unprecedented change in the social and economic climate of Victorian England.  Awareness of crisis stimulated intellectual enquiry in new disciplinary directions: in history and geology, archaeology and classicism, evolutionary biology, economic and social theory, in literature and culture, and in personal and psychological narratives.  Professor Philip Davis in The Victorians identifies the realist novel as a ‘holding ground’ for the complex emotional and psychological concerns which emerged from rapid industrial and
social change.  Through literature, and the public nature of the periodical press, authors and thinkers found a new medium of expression – reading and writing became remedial aids in times of difficulty. Such intellectual productivity, coupled with the desire to explore new emotional, social and psychological territories, caused these dramas of discovery to be played out in the very hearts and homes of the public.

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 nineteenth century lives on in the contemporary world.   Victorian literature continues to enrich and comfort the lives of people today as shown by the success of the bibliotherapy outreach work of the Reader Organisation of the University of Liverpool.  The status and future of Victorian Studies has been identified by Professor Regenia Gagnier, in her address ‘Whither Victorian Studies’, to be giving rise to emergent formalisms, and  new collaborative projects with strong interdisciplinary focus and international involvement (Victoriographies 2011).

This conference explores the significance of crisis in how we read and interpret Victorian literature, and what that might mean for the future of Victorian Studies.  How did Victorians perceive the state and future of society, and in what ways did different disciplines seek to respond to these questions?  How might contemporary scholarship, itself experiencing uncertain times, learn from or emulate Victorian responses?  What forms of advice or consolation can Victorian literature offer to the contemporary reader?  How might Victorian Studies – in their wide embracement of interdisciplinary concerns - help us grasp “the meaning of our strange new Today”?

Possible topics might include, but are by no means limited to:
  • Crisis and resolve
  • Crisis in scientific thought and theory
  • Crises in history and the interpretation of history
  • Crisis in the understanding of time, space or place
  • Crisis in Victorian Studies
  • Individual and society
  • Literature and change
  • Personal, family and psychological crisis
  • Public and private selves
  • Social or cultural crisis
  • The realist novel
  • Religious crisis
  • The role of the public forum in Victorian literature and culture
  • Therapeutic responses
  • Victorian literature as aid

Postgraduates and early career researchers are invited to send proposals (of approx. 250 words) for 15 – 20 minute papers to no later than July 15th.  Any queries regarding the conference can be directed to the same address.

This event is held in collaboration with the Reader Organisation – a bibliotherapy outreach initiative that has brought about an international ‘Reading Revolution’. The organisation will contribute to the conference by highlighting the significance of Victorian literature as both informative and remedial for working through social, cultural, and psychological crises.

The Southwest Victorianists team
University of Exeter
Conference web page:

Monday, June 06, 2011

CFP: History and Humour – 1800 to Present (10/15/2011; 7/6-7/2012)

CfP: History and Humour – 1800 to Present
International Conference at Freiburg University, 6-7 July 2012

One tends to associate history with serious modes of presentation (academic, heroic, tragic) rather than with humorous ones. Yet Clio also smiles and laughs out loud: Comic renderings of historical events and figures have made a significant contribution to ‘popular’ history since around 1800. We find them in all European cultures and in a wide range of texts, images and performances, in styles both coarse and refined. History has been the subject of caricature, satire, the cartoon and comic book, stage and television/film comedy, and the parody history textbook as exemplified in the British classic, 1066 and All That. There are special national
traditions which the conference seeks to explore and compare. But it will also address questions of a more general nature. Theories of humour are diverse but agree in a number of elements: On the intellectual level, laughter seems to be an elementary reaction to incompatible or contradictory frames of reference and interpretation. On the emotional level, laughter releases apprehension and tension, and it discharges feelings of aggression and contempt. It is aroused by the deformed and unfamiliar, it exposes and punishes the unsocial, and it deflates the grand. To what purpose have such elements been employed in the humorous presentation of history? From what contexts do humorous presentations arise? At what audiences are they directed, and how have they been received? We invite participants who would like to explore these and other questions with reference to specific case studies from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. 300-word proposals in English should be sent to the organisers (Barbara Korte, English Department and Elisabeth Cheauré, Slavic Department) by 15 October 2011:

For information on our research group Historische Lebenswelten please see

Friday, June 03, 2011

CFP: 2012 NeMLA panel "Approaches to Adventure in the Late 19th Century " (8/1/2011; 3/15-18/2012)

NEMLA:  March 15-18, 2012.  (Rochester, NY) 
Call for papers – Approaches to Adventure in the Late 19th Century
Panel Organizer:  Rebekah Greene/University of Rhode Island (

This panel examines the burgeoning interest in adventure during the years 1880-1901. Joseph A. Kestner in his recent Masculinities in British Adventure Fiction, 1880-1915 has suggested that adventure texts are filled with ‘codes’ such as ‘rescue, heroism, survival, courage, duty, isolation, voyaging’ for audiences to ‘live up to’ (1). Papers that scrutinize late Victorian literary treatments of these codes, in addition to tropes such as travel, sailing, mountain climbing, and camping are warmly welcomed. What is the cultural or historical significance of this attention to adventure and why should it be celebrated? Why are the codes of adventure important, for both the individual and for the state? How do Victorian authors of adventure texts use their works to problematize empire? Can adventure texts function as pedagogical tools for younger readers, colonial administrators, or emigrants? Do adventure texts function at different levels for colonizing or colonized audiences? How do female authors treat the codes of adventure? And what does this intense engagement with adventure reveal?

Please submit 250-500 word abstracts (as an MS Word attachment, please) to Rebekah Greene,, with NEMLA 2012 as the subject heading by August 1st, 2011.

Information for the convention can be found at

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

CFP: NeMLA 2012: "Of Queen's Gardens": Victorian Ecofeminism panel (9/30/2011; 3/15-18/2012)

Call for Papers:  “Of Queen’s Gardens”: Victorian Ecofeminism
This panel invites ecofeminist readings of Victorian literature (novels, poetry, prose), wherein women are frequently given “natural” traits or are associated with the earth.  Ecofeminist interpretations may highlight the damaging consequences of this link, or celebrate women’s potential to reform cultural/environmental attitudes because of it.  In what ways does the woman/nature link function in Victorian literature?  What do these interpretations reveal about Victorian attitudes about gender and the environment, and the treatment of each? 

Please e-mail abstracts of 300-500 words to Margaret Kennedy,

Deadline:  September 30, 2011
Please include with your abstract:
Name and Affiliation
Email address
Postal address
Telephone number
A/V requirements (if any; $10 handling fee with registration)

43nd Annual Convention, Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA)
March 15-18, 2012 Rochester, New York – Hyatt Rochester Host
Institution:  St. John Fisher College 
Keynote speaker:  Jennifer Egan, 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner, A Visit from the Goon Squad

340 sessions in all areas of modern language scholarship and teaching are now accepting abstracts: -

The 43rd annual convention will be held March 15-18th in Rochester,New York at the Hyatt Regency Hotel downtown, located minutes away from convenient air, bus, and train transportation options for attendees. St. John Fisher College will serve as the host college, and the diverse array of area institutions are coordinating with conference organizers to sponsor various activities, such as celebrated keynote speakers, local events, and fiction readings.

Building upon the excellence of past NeMLA conferences, the association continues to grow as a vibrant community of scholars, thanks to the wide array of intellectual and cultural opportunities at every venue. Compact yet diverse, Rochester also boasts important historical connections; it is the site of the home, publication operations, and orations of Frederick Douglass, where he edited the North Star, as well as his eponymous periodical, and delivered the speech, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?". Visitors can explore the houses of abolitionist, suffragette, and reformer Susan B. Anthony and the inventor of devices popularizing photography, George Eastman, as well as shopping and eateries; attendees will also be within reach of the beautiful Finger Lakes region, known for its local wineries.

Interested participants may submit abstracts to more than one NeMLA session; however, panelists can only present one paper (panel or seminar). Convention participants may present a paper at a panel and also present at a creative session or participate in a roundtable.