Wednesday, July 06, 2011

CFP: “Hard Times” or “Great Expectations”? How the Victorians Saw Themselves (11/1/2011; 4/20-22/2012)

Midwest Victorian Studies Association Annual Conference
Bloomington, Indiana, April 20-22, 2012

In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Dickens’s birth, we invited papers on his writings and influence, but the conference will also consider issues of Victorian reflexivity and self-representation. Among topics to be considered might be: Victorian ideas of progress and degeneration; social commentators, ethnologists and journalists; parliamentary reports and reform movements; mirrors, disguises, and masquerades; visions of heaven and hell; utopias/dystopias; photography and portraiture; autobiographies, biographies and histories; museums and exhibitions; and Victorian psychology and theories of identity.  The conference will include a panel on teaching the Victorians, and proposals for topics and speakers are also invited.

Our keynote speaker will be John R. Reed, whose many academic publications include Dickens and Hyperreality (2011), Victorian Conventions (1975), The Natural History of H. G. Wells (1982), Decadent Style (1985), Victorian Will (1989), and Dickens and Thackeray: Punishment and Forgiveness (1995).

Held on the beautiful campus of Indiana University, the conference will include unique evening entertainment honoring Dickens, including a special film screening of the 1917 A Tale of Two Cities with live piano accompaniment, and a “Charles Dickens Variety Show” including music and magic lanterns.  Accommodations will be on campus in the Indiana Memorial Union.

Please submit an abstract!  Papers or full panels are welcome, and should include 500-word abstracts and 1-page (only) vitas by November 1, 2011 to

For more information, see our website