THACKERAY IN TIME, 1811-2011 Call for Papers
Saturday 1st October 2011
Professor Judith Fisher (
Trinity University, ), author of Thackeray's Skeptical Narrative and the 'Perilous Trade’ of Authorship (2002) San Antonio, Texas
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dr Richard Salmon (email@example.com), by Monday 20th June 2011, as should any enquiries. Further information may be found at the conference website: http://victorianleeds.wordpress.com
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.