Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CFP: "A God-Intoxicated Man": Romantic and Victorian Representations of Spinoza (3/15/2012; 1/3-6/2013)

MLA 2013: Special Session 
Boston, 3-6 January 2013

This session invites papers examining the diverse literary and philosophical representations of Spinoza and "Spinozism" within Romantic and Victorian writing. 250-300 word abstracts by 15 March 2012; Jared McGeough (

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reminder: Orality and Literacy, London C19 Studies Seminar (12/2/2011; 3/17/2012)

The theme for the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar in the Spring term 2012 will be Orality and Literacy, marking the thirtieth anniversary of the appearance of Walter Ong's influential book. Over
three days in January, February, and March, speakers will explore a range of issues relating to the interactions between voice and text in the Anglo-American long nineteenth century: philology and acoustic nostalgia, melody and poetic form, laughter, and more.

We are soliciting 20-minute papers on the Seminar theme to form a panel discussion on the extended final day of the Seminar programme, Saturday 17 March 2012.

Please send 300-word proposals to the convenors, James Emmott (Birkbeck) <> and Tom F. Wright (UEA) <>

Deadline: Friday 2 December 2011

Seminar Programme
14 January, 11:00-13:00
Herbert Tucker (Virginia)
William Abberley (Exeter)

25 February, 11:00-13:00
Matthew Bevis (Oxford)
Louise Lee (KCL)

17 March, 11:00-17:00
Sandra M. Gustafson (Notre Dame)
Jason Camlot (Concordia)
Panel discussion
James Mussell (Birmingham)

About the London Nineteenth-Century Studies Seminar
Inaugurated by Birkbeck's Centre for Nineteenth-Century Studies in 1987, the Seminar is being organised now by a committee made up of nineteenth century specialists from the English Departments of the colleges of the University of London. Responsibility for each season of seminars is passed around the group. The Seminar meets at the Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of

Monday, November 28, 2011

PhD Project: Narratives and depictions of slaves and former slaves in Canada: 1800 - 1900 (2/3/2012)

British Library Scholarship PhD Project
Narratives and depictions of slaves and former slaves in Canada: 1800 - 1900

Supervisors: Dr Jane Hodson (School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics) and Dr Philip Hatfield (British Library)

The British Library Scholarships arise from the special relationship the University has with the British Library. They support projects that draw significantly on both the holdings and expertise of the British Library.

Project description
The aim of this research project is to explore narratives which describe experiences of slavery which took place in Canada. Canada has a positive popular reputation regarding slavery, being seen as one of the safest end points of a journey via the ‘underground railroad’. However, it also has a darker history, having witnessed both the enslavement of many Native Americans and the use of African origin slaves prior to abolition. A significant body of nineteenth-century literature by and about slaves and former slaves in Canada exists but it has been poorly researched, not least because it has often been overshadowed by American slave narratives (Clarke, 2005).

This project will work from the British Library collections to develop a database of Canadian slave narratives. The database will record information about the authoring, editing and publication of the narratives, plus a brief description and classification of the contents. Particular attention will be paid to the way in which the slave's voice, experience and perspective are handled.

The database will then be used to explore both what might be specifically Canadian about these narratives, and how these narratives relate to wider social, literary and political networks. This is of particular significance as it seems that some Caribbean narratives, such as that of Mary Prince, were sponsored and edited by prominent Canadian literary figures, in Prince’s case Susanna Moodie.
The project aims to address some of the following questions:
  • To what extent do Canadian slave narratives constitute a specifically Canadian experience/depiction of slavery?
  • How do these Canadian narratives connect to other nineteenth century discourses about slavery?
  • In particular, how do these Canadian narratives align with key American and Caribbean narratives such as The History of Mary Prince (1831)?

 Relevant Library Holdings
The British Library provides a uniquely centralised resource for considering the representation of slaves, former slaves and their narratives in Canada. The British Library collections hold the vast majority of texts published in North America which bear reference to African slave experiences. Materials published in Canada are extensively present in either original form (some of which are very rare) or reproductions. Further, and very significantly, the Library holds an extensive collection of newspapers from eastern Canada running from the mid 18th century. It has been noted that the majority of slave narratives (especially early ones) published in Canada would have been in these papers, as opposed to in monographs, and that this area requires more critical attention (Clarke, 2005).

Award details
The scholarship will cover the cost of UK/EU tuition fees and provides an annual, tax-free maintenance stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£13,590 in 2011-12). The recipient will also receive a Research Training Support Grant of £500 per year. International applicants will need to pay the difference between the UK/EU and Overseas tuition fees.

  • Academic requirements – applicants should have, or expect to achieve, a first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK in an appropriate area of study.
  • Allowed study options – applicants should be registering on their first year of study with the University for 2012-13.
  • Residency restrictions – awards are open to UK, EU and international applicants.

 How to apply

Applicants may be asked to attend an interview.
Closing date 3 February 2012.

For further information, please contact Jane Hodson.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CFP: Victorian Poetry Special Issue: Victorian Periodical Poetry (4/30/2013)

Victorian Poetry Special Issue: 
Victorian Periodical Poetry
Spring 2014

Edited by Alison Chapman and Caley Ehnes
University of Victoria, Canada

Until recently, poetry published in Victorian periodicals was simply ignored. Dismissed as “filler”, devalued as sentimental, and denigrated as popular verse, periodical poetry languished behind serial fiction and the more respectable poems published in single-authored collections and anthologies.

But the fortunes of periodical poetry have swiftly and dramatically changed. With the consolidation of the periodical as a central component of Victorian studies, renewed attention has been given to the place of the poem in the periodical.

Kathryn Ledbetter’s Tennyson and Victorian Periodicals: Commodities in Context (Ashgate, 2007), for example, powerfully argues that Tennyson’s contributions to periodicals were critical to his career, in that they were part of the circulation, marketing and advertising of Tennyson’s status as a poet. In addition, they were very lucrative. Tennyson’s own complaints about publishing in periodicals may have contributed to that venue’s scholarly neglect, but Ledbetter shows how many Victorian poets were profoundly conflicted about the necessity of periodical publishing: on the one hand, periodicals offered a wide readership (at a time when publishers were shy of committing to volumes of original poetry) and often paid handsomely, but on the other the periodicals themselves were seen as ephemeral, feminised, and were associated with low-brow popularity. Thus, integral to periodical poetry are questions of value, taste and aesthetics. Ledbetter’s follow-up study, British Victorian Women’s Periodicals: Beauty, Poetry and Civilization (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), argues that periodicals empowered women poets and enabled them to contribute to debates about affect, taste and education.

Another key intervention is Linda K. Hughes’s 2007 article for Victorian Periodical Review, “What the Wellesley Index Left Out: Why Poetry Matters to Periodical Studies”, which is a compelling call to embrace poetry’s engagement with serial print culture. Hughes argues that periodicals mattered not just to poets, but that “the more pressing questions, in my view, are why original poetry mattered to Victorian editors and readers and what poetry can tell us about Victorian periodicals as a whole” (p. 91). In this special issue, we wish to broaden and deepen this fundamental point, so powerfully put by Hughes, and ask for contributions not only on why poetry matters to Victorian periodicals, but why Victorian periodicals matter to Victorian poetry.

In addition to the formative studies by Ledbetter and Hughes, there are a host of other critics working on Victorian periodical poetry, such as Eileen Curran (on the poetry published in Bentley’s Miscellany), Florence Boos (on working-class poetry), and Michael Sanders (on Chartist periodical poetry). But there to date there is no collection of articles or chapters engaged with the topic, and we feel a special issue will be timely in not just offering new primary and critical material on periodical poetry, but also on reflecting what periodical poetry tells us about Victorian poetry as a whole. Central questions will include: whether and to what extent Victorian periodical poetry challenges the conventional account of Victorian poetics, prosody and genre; the relation between periodical poetry and serial fiction; and what new or revised models of poetry readership are suggested by periodical poetry. Thus, the special issue will welcome articles uncovering and assessing the importance of neglected periodical poetry, but also asking probing questions about what challenges and revisions Victorian periodicals bring to the understanding of poetry. These issues are particularly pressing with several digital initiatives that will increase the accessibility of periodical poetry (including our own Victorian Periodical Poetry Database [as part of the Victorian Poetry Network], the project of adding poetry to the Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals, as well as the Yellow Nineties), but also with the huge amount of periodical poetry recently made available through such ventures as the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition and 19th Century UK Periodicals databases. In this light, the special issue will also address questions of digitizing Victorian periodical poetry.

Some topics that a special issue on Victorian Periodical Poetry will address:

  • Periodical poetry, illustration and the issues of materiality (e.g. layout, margins)
  • The poetics of periodical poetry
  • The relation of periodical poetry to questions of time and periodicity
  • The relation of periodical poetry to serial fiction
  • Sentimentality, sensibility and taste
  • Lyric, narrative and the periodical poem
  • Popular verses high-brow poetry; acculturation
  • Education, gender and issues of readership
  • Digitising and indexing periodical poetry
  • Newspaper poetry and journalism
  • The representation of poetry in the periodical press: reviews, advertisements, etc.

We invite the submission of essays of 20-25 manuscript pages by 30 April 2013, for publication in Victorian Poetry (Spring 2014). Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition. Early expressions of interest and proposals of topics are also welcome; please contact the editors: and

Saturday, November 19, 2011

CFP: VISAWUS 2012 - Victorian Transnationalism: The Atlantic Legacy in the Long 19th Century (3/5/2012; 10/11-13/2012)

VISAWUS 2012 Conference “Victorian Transnationalism: The Atlantic Legacy in the Long 19th Century”

The Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association of the Western United States (VISAWUS) announces its 17th annual conference to be held Oct. 11-13,  2012, during the height of the fall foliage season, on the campus of SUNY Plattsburgh in Plattsburgh, NY, which is situated on beautiful Lake Champlain (across from Burlington, VT), and an hour south of Montreal.

The focus of this year's conference is Victorian Transnationalism, with particular emphasis on the Atlantic legacy in the long 19th century.  As the site of a decisive American victory in the War of 1812, Plattsburgh is a testament to the fraught history of the “special relationships” between Britain and her neighbors across the pond. The town is home to an annual re-enactment of the Battle of Plattsburgh as well as historical sites relevant for scholars of the nineteenth century. We encourage papers across all disciplines exploring various aspects of the relations among and between the UK, Canada, the US, and other nations and regions across the Americas. Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Intertextuality across national boundaries
  • Transnational influences in art
  • Concert tours and musical influences
  • Theatrical trends and tours
  • Transnational friendships, famous and infamous
  • Periodical press and public relations
  • Sports and amusements, competitions and crazes
  • Fashion and fads 
  • Celebrity authors and book tours
  • Literary and other piracies
  • Transnational science—synergies and squabbles
  • Expeditions and exploration
  • Migration of religious and spiritual movements
  • The Imperial project in Britain and the Americas
  • Legacies of war (Revolutionary, Napoleonic, War of 1812)
  • Transnational relations during the American Civil War
  • Race, racism, and slavery
  • Transatlantic social reform movements and actors
  • International affiliations and antipathies
  • Transportation, tourism, and travel
  • Expatriots: immigration and emigration
  • Communication technologies (telegraph, e.g.)
  • Transatlantic commerce and commodities
  • Nautical technologies, marine life, aquaria
  • Fishing and whaling
  • Indigenous peoples, real and imagined
  • Wilderness and civilization
  • National symbols, stereotypes, and slurs
  • National identities and ideals
  • Clashing national manners and customs
  • Transnational gender-role differences
  • Ways of speaking: accents in English
  • National tastes in food and drink
  • Cosmopolitanism and provincialism
  • Definitions of class difference and labor issues
  • Contagion and containment, infectious diseases and epidemiology
  • Contact zones, ethnographies, and autoethnographies

By March 5, 2012, email 300-word abstracts and a 1-page CV (name on BOTH) to Genie Babb at For further information on the conference, visit

Conference Hotel: Best Western Inn at Smithfield. To make reservations please call the hotel directly at 518-561-7750, dial extension 2 to reach the front desk and ask for the Victorian Interdisciplinary Studies Association to receive the group rate. There is a cut off date of 09/10/2012; rooms will need to be booked on or by this date to receive the group rate. (Group rates available 10/10 through 10/13/2012.)

CFP: Special Issue of Women’s Writing on Nineteenth-Century Australian and New Zealand Girls’ Culture (9/1/2012)

Colonial girls’ culture is receiving growing critical attention, prompting us to rethink its significance for women’s writing. The journal Women’s Writing invites original papers for a special issue dedicated to the colonial girl and her literature in nineteenth-century Australia.

What was it like to be a girl at “the antipodes” in the nineteenth century? How was the colonial girl constructed, both “back home” and throughout the British Empire, and how did she view and represent herself? Was there a distinctly “antipodal,” Australian, or New Zealand girls’ culture and in what ways did it parallel, overlap with, influence, and in turn, become influenced by constructions of girlhood in other parts of the Empire? How did antipodal girls’ culture harness and redefine imperialist ideologies and their malleable relationship to domesticity? In what ways did their literary representation not only mould imperialist representations, but help to shape nineteenth-century literature in English in general, including children’s and especially popular girls’ fiction, which was emerging as a distinct genre in the course of the century? These are some of the questions that individual articles will be addressing. The colonial girl’s changing depiction in Victorian culture at the same time raises larger issues about the representation of the antipodes in British and colonial texts. A new look at colonial girlhood constructively draws into question the still dominating discourses on male mateship, for example. In addition, it helps us to reassess the wide range of genres that constituted nineteenth-century Australian and New Zealand literature and read them in tandem with similar cultural formations.

This special issue aims to create a forum for a more encompassing approach to nineteenth-century Australian literature, inviting comparative work on British and colonial texts, while providing new detailed insight into Australian girls’ literature.

Topics may include but are not limited to:
Colonial girlhood and its literary representation
The construction of colonial girls’ culture
Australian girls’ magazines and periodicals
“The antipodes” in both British and colonial girls’ publications
Colonial children’s literature and writing for girls
Individual authors and their works
Comparative approaches

Please submit papers for consideration between 4000-7000 words to Tamara S. Wagner at, by 1 September 2012.

Contributors should follow the journal’s house style details of which are to be found on the Women’s Writing website This is the new MLA. Please note that instead of footnotes, we use endnotes with NO bibliography. All bibliographical information is included in the endnotes. For example, we require place of publication, publisher and date of publication in brackets after a book is cited for the first time.

Please also include an abstract, a brief biographical blurb (approximately 100 words), and a key of 6 words suitable for indexing and abstracting services.

CFP: “G. B. Shaw: Back in Town,” a Shaw Conference (1/27/2012; 5/20-6/1/2012)

Dublin Shaw Conference at UCD, May 20-June 1, 2012
Deadline: January 27, 2012

“G. B. Shaw: Back in Town,” a Shaw Conference at University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland is  co-sponsored by University College Dublin & the International Shaw Society.  Deadline for abstracts & Travel Grant applications: January 27, 2012.

This conference is focused on Shaw’s return to Dublin, so to speak, to revisit his Irish identity, and papers discussing his Irish qualities, interrelationships with other Irish, and contributions to Ireland would be welcomed, along with testimony to his stature in and influence on world drama, and other topics as well.

If you choose to write on Irish themes, the following summary may be useful.

Dubliner Bernard Shaw was a personal friend of a long list of Irish writers, the most important of whom were Oscar Wilde, W.B. Yeats, Augusta Gregory, George Russell ("AE"), and Sean O'Casey. With his Irish wife, Charlotte Payne-Townshend, they sought to encourage younger Irish writers, particularly playwrights, including Norreys Connell ("Conal O'Riordan"), James Hannay ("George Birmingham"), Lennox Robinson, St. John Ervine, and Dennis Johnston. Shaw was closely involved with the Abbey Theatre through Yeats and Gregory right from 1904 through the late 1920s; he was president of the Irish Academy of Letters during the 1930s. Through his friendship with Horace Plunkett, the founder of the Irish Co-Operative movement, Shaw worked hard behind the scenes during the 1917 Irish Convention to produce a constitutional basis for an independent Ireland. Also through Plunkett and A.E. he was a major supporter (both in terms of writing and finance) of the major cultural journal in the new Irish Free State during the 1920s, the Irish Statesman. He supported James Connolly and the Dublin workers during the 1913 Dublin Lock-Out; he worked for the defense of Roger Caement in 1916; he met Michael Collins; he corresponded with Eamon de Valera (about establishing an Irish film industry in the 1940s among other matters). And he left one third of his fortune to the National Gallery of Ireland.

Papers (maximum of twenty minutes per talk) may be written from any critical perspective. Abstracts of approximately 300 words should be submitted to for consideration, along with a c.v and brief letter of introduction.

For a form and instructions about travel grant applications, see  For details on registration, accommodations, schedules, etc. (as they become available), see or the conference link from

CFP: 9th Annual Summer Shaw Symposium (5/1/2012; 7/27-29/2012)

The 9th Annual Summer Shaw Symposium, July 27-29, 2012
Deadline: May 1, 2012

Sponsored by The Academy of the Shaw Festival and the International Shaw Society, the 9th Annual Summer Shaw Symposium at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario will take place on July 27-28-29, 2012 at the Festival Theater, centered around the two Shaw plays in the 2012 repertory. For details about Bryden Scholarships/ISS travel grants, registration, accommodations, schedules, etc., please go to For the full repertory season, see

Proposals for papers (of 20 minutes maximum and focused as much as possible on Bernard Shaw’s  Misalliance and/or The Millionairess, or on comparisons between them and other plays or between Shaw and other playwrights in the Festival repertory) should be sent to Dr. Brad Kent, preferably as an attachment to an email (to, or by mail to 
Professor Brad Kent, Département des littératures, Pavillon Charles De Koninck, bureau 3307, Université Laval, Québec, QC G1V 0A6, CANADA. Include a 300-500 word abstract and, if you’re new to him, a brief letter of introduction and a c.v.  Those applying for scholarships/grants should submit additional information (see website for a form and instructions). Deadline for both abstracts and scholarship/grant applications is May 1, 2012.

Updated CFP: NCSA Emerging Scholars Award (12/5/2011)

The Nineteenth Century Studies Association (NCSA) is pleased to announce the 2011 Emerging Scholars Award. The work of emerging scholars represents the promise and long-term future of interdisciplinary scholarship in 19th-century studies. In recognition of the excellent publications of this constituency of emerging scholars, this award recognizes an outstanding article or essay published within five years of the author's doctorate. Entries can be from any discipline focusing on any aspect of the long 19th century (the French Revolution to World War I), must be published in English or be accompanied by an English translation, and must be by a single author. Submission of essays that are interdisciplinary is especially encouraged.

Entrants must be within five years of having received a doctorate or other terminal professional degree, and must have less than seven years of experience either in an academic career, or as a post-terminal-degree independent scholar or practicing professional.

Only articles physically published between September 1, 2010 and August 31, 2011 (even if the citation date of the journal is different) are eligible for the 2011 Emerging Scholar Award. Articles published in any scholarly journal, including on-line journals, or in edited volumes of essays are eligible and may be submitted either by the author or the publisher of a journal, anthology, or volume containing independent essays. In any given year, an applicant may submit more than one article for this award.

The winning article will be selected by a committee of nineteenth-century scholars representing diverse disciplines. Articles submitted to the NCSA Article Prize competition are ineligible for the Emerging Scholars Award.

The winner will receive $500 to be presented at the annual NCSA Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, March 22-24, 2012. Prize recipients need not be members of the NCSA but are encouraged to attend the conference to receive the award.

Deadline for submission is December 5, 2011.

Send three off-prints or photocopies of published articles/essays to the committee chair: Thomas Prasch, Dept. of History, Washburn University, 1700 SW College, Topeka KS 66621. (Electronic submissions will not be accepted.) Address all questions to Please note that applicants must verify date of actual publication for eligibility and provide an email address so that receipt of their submissions may be acknowledged.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CFP: The Other Dickens: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Contexts (11/30/2011; 7/8-9/2012)

The Other Dickens: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Contexts
International Conference: 6-8 July 2012
Centre for Studies in Literature, University of Portsmouth

Keynote Speakers: Professor Jay Clayton (Vanderbilt University), Professor Ann Heilmann (University of Hull), Professor Cora Kaplan (Queen Mary, University of London), Professor Lillian Nayder (Bates College) and Professor Gail Turley-Houston (University of New Mexico)

‘The Other Dickens: Victorian and Neo-Victorian Contexts’ is an interdisciplinary conference which will form part of Portsmouth’s bicentenary celebrations of Dickens’s birth in the city on 7 February 1812. We invite scholars working in the fields of literature, film, history, cultural and media studies to consider the other Dickens – those aspects of Dickens (both of his life and work) that remain relatively unexplored, or require re-evaluation. Our objective is to foster interaction between Victorian and contemporary scholars in order to re-examine Dickens in his Victorian context; to assess his continuing importance in contemporary culture, in film and television adaptations, on the internet, and as a character in neo-Victorian fiction; and to explore the rising interest in Dickens’s family members and associated figures (e.g. Ellen Ternan, Catherine Dickens, née Hogarth) in biography and biofiction. Conference participants will be invited to challenge popular perceptions of Victorian Dickens and to explore his cultural impact on new genres and technologies. Papers will be selected with these criteria in mind and possible topics may include:

  • Dickens and journalism
  • Dickens and performance
  • Dickens and the internet
  • Dickens and adaptation
  • Dickens and biography
  • Dickens and biofiction
  • Neo-Victorian Dickens
  • Dickens as a character in fiction, film and TV
  • Postcolonial Dickens
  • Dickens’s family in fiction and biography

Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words, together with a brief biographical note listing your affiliation, to: The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2011.                 

CFP: “The Ends of History,” Special Issue of Victorian Studies (9/15/2012)

“The Ends of History,” Special Issue of Victorian Studies

In the 1980s and 1990s, literary critics and historians occupied a relatively integrated conceptual space through the rise of cultural studies and the “new historicism.” If this interdisciplinary framework was never seamless, “historicization” nonetheless represented a critical project equally palpable to history and literary criticism. The last decade or so, however, has found many critics seeking the revival of form as a key axis for literary study as against a perceived overemphasis on (or reduction to) historical context or ideological content. An early catalyst, MLQ’s 2000 special issue on the topic found Susan Wolfson attempting to “rehabilitate formalist criticism” without simply “cross-dressing it as a version of historicist criticism.” More recently, Sharon Marcus and Stephen Best’s 2010 special issue in Representations questioned the Jamesonian “political unconscious” while opposing the reading of “surfaces” to that of “symptoms,” thus inviting a rigorous rethinking of the mandate to “always historicize.” In a more polemical vein, Rita Felski’s essay “After Suspicion” and her lecture “Context Stinks!” appear to equate historicism with suspicious reading and to find both irreconcilable with the need to “respect . . . what is in plain view.” Still other critics urge “distant reading”: methods like Franco Moretti’s turn to graphs, maps, trees, and (more recently) network theory; or Heather Love’s Latour-inspired “descriptive turn.” Latour’s critiques of “suspicious” reading and “context” have exercised enormous influence across the fields of social-scientific and historical studies (for example, Tim Mitchell, Rule of Experts, and Tom Bender and Igancio Farias, eds., Urban Assemblages). This “descriptive turn” has its own advocates in the historical social sciences which may also provoke questions about what kind of historical analysis befits the formalist exploration of texts (literary and otherwise) and vice versa.

While defenders of suspicion have already come forward (for example, John Kucich, “Unfinished”), this special issue invites essays that take a somewhat different tack. Rather than positions for or against neoformalist, “surface,” and “descriptive” critical practices, the essays we seek will ask what these discussions portend for Victorianist historicism. We ask: Need the turn toward form be a turn away from history and, if so, what does it mean to pursue “Victorian” studies ahistorically or posthistorically? What is the legacy of the “new historicism” and is it incompatible with “what is in plain view”? Do historical writings embed their own hermeneutic instructions independently of critics’ distinctions between depth and surface, close and distant reading? What does history tell us about formalism and what does form tell us about history and historicism? In what new relation to each other are literary studies and history to stand in the wake of a formalist turn?

The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2012. Essays of not more than 8,000 words (including endnotes) should be prepared in MLA Style. We encourage submissions not only from literary scholars and historians, but from those in any field (including, for instance, the history of art or of science) whose work engages with relevant questions and issues. Submissions and inquiries should be sent directly to both of the issue’s guest editors by email attachment.
Lauren M. E. Goodlad, University of Illinois,
Andrew Sartori, New York University,

Works Cited

Best, Stephen, and Sharon Marcus. “Surface Reading: An Introduction.” Representations108.1 (2009): 1-21.

Farfas, Ignacio, and Thomas Bender, eds. Urban Assemblages: How Actor-Network Theory Changes Urban Studies. New York: Routledge, 2009.

Felski, Rita. “After Suspicion.” Profession (2009): 28-35.

—. “Context Stinks!” Portland Center for Public Humanities at Portland State University. Portland, Oregon. November, 2011. Lecture.

Goswami, Manu. “Rethinking the Modular Nation Form: Toward a Sociohistorical Conception of Nationalism.” Comparative Studies in Society and History 44.4 (2002): 770-99.

Kucich, John. “The Unfinished Historicist Project: In Praise of Suspicion.” Victoriographies 1.1 (2011): 58-78.

Latour, Bruno. “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern.” Critical Inquiry 30.2 (2004): 225-48.

Love, Heather. “Close but not Deep: Literary Ethics and the Descriptive Turn.” New Literary History 41.2 (2010): 371-91.

Mitchell, Timothy. Rule of Experts: Egypt, Techno-Politics, Modernity. Berkley: U of California P, 2002.

Moretti, Franco. Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History. New York: Verso, 2005.

—. “Network Theory, Plot Analysis.” New Left Review 68 (2011): 80-102.

Wolfson, Susan J. “Reading for Form.” Modern Language Quarterly 61.1 (2000): 1-21.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Final Call: The News of the World in History (11/15/2011; 2/24/2012)

The News of the World in History
King’s College London
24 February 2012

Founded in 1843, The News of the World was one of the UK’s longest-running Sunday newspapers when it came to its inauspicious end in the summer of 2011. Gone, but not forgotten, the NOTW continues to be of interest as the full ‘story’ of the hacking scandal is revealed in the wake of parliamentary and other investigations. The NOTW will continue to make the news for some time to come.

Initially a broadsheet transformed into a tabloid by News International only in 1984, the NOTW  has always been one of the most read newspapers in Britain. During the Victorian period, it had one of the largest circulations, catering in particular for the working classes, and at the time of its closing, it was the highest selling newspaper of any kind in the UK. Its history has always been lively and controversial, with sensational and investigative journalism a mainstay of its news. As one media historian has claimed, the NOTW always had something of the ‘saucy seaside postcard’ about it, and as such, it may have had a unique place within British news culture.

Throughout media coverage of the paper’s demise in 2011, there were surprisingly few discussions that took a historical view or sought to understand the title within the framework of media history. This day conference seeks to redress that, while considering a range of issues related specifically to the title, since the mid-19th century.

We seek papers that take a historically informed view of any relevant topic, including the following:

  • The closing of the NOTW
  • ‘Sensation’ journalism
  • Sunday papers, in the 19th, 20th or 21st century
  • Illustration/graphics in NOTW
  • Investigative journalism
  • The history of ‘hacking’
  • Circulation and mass readership
  • Proprietors, press barons and corporate power
  • Globalization and media structures
  • Celebrities, now and then
  • Newspapers and the law (libel etc?)

Other topics are welcome.

The conference is organized by Laurel Brake (Birkbeck) and Mark W. Turner (King’s College London), in conjunction with the journals Media History and Victorian Periodicals Review.

Please send proposals (not more than 250 words) for papers to Mark W. Turner by 15 November 2011:

CFP: Situating and Interpreting States of Mind 1700-2000: An Interdisciplinary Conference (1/31/2012; 6/14-16/2012)

Situating and Interpreting States of Mind 1700-2000: An Interdisciplinary Conference
Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK
14-16 June 2012

Keynote Speakers
Professor Joel P. Eigen (Charles A. Dana Professor of Sociology, Franklin and Marshall College, Pennsylvania)
Professor Melinda A. Rabb (Professor of English, Brown University, Rhode Island)
Dr. Judith A. Tucker (Lecturer in the School of Design, Leeds University)

This cross-period and interdisciplinary conference seeks to situate and interpret states of mind from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first questioning how the space, place and historical context in which mental states are experienced shaped the narratives produced by individuals. Interweaving perspectives from across such disciplines as literature, history, philosophy, art history, creative writing, psychology and sociology, the conference will explore accounts of states of mind including mental illness, dreams, sleep-walking, imaginative states and self-awareness. The conference seeks to assess how these varying
states of consciousness are expressed and how such narratives are influenced by historical change, continuity or the reconfiguration of these forms of expression.

We invite abstracts for papers from across disciplines on the theme of the conference, particularly related, but not limited, to the following key strands:

Experience and Representation of Mental Illness
  • the gap between individual experience and interpretations by medical and legal practitioners
  • the relationship between mental distress, agency, literature and cognition
  • representations of mental derangement and criminal responsibility

Liminal States of Mind
  • representations of liminal states of consciousness
  • the relationship between experiences and representations of dreams and sleepwalking
  • categorisation of imaginative states in cognitive science and philosophy
  • concepts of interiority, selfhood and imaginative processing of real or fictional worlds

Self-awareness and Place
  • relationship between self and place, particularly regarding the past, decay and dilapidation
  • artistic expressions of situating self-awareness
  • creative representations of landscape as a geographic metaphor

Abstracts of 300 words for 20-minute papers should be submitted no later than 31 January 2012 to the conference organisers: or Please see for details.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Deadline Extended: Violent Women in 19th-Century England (12/15/2012)

Deadline Extended for the CFP on Violent Women in 19th-Century England
New Deadline: 15th December 2011

The number of women who are victims of crime has always been higher than the number of women partaking as offenders. However, women were very often involved with crime- not always petty in nature. Previous research in women and crime in 19th-century England has focused attention on the lives of women who committed crimes such as infanticide, or the social and economic situations that led to their working in the sex industry, and in doing so have explored the lives and times of women in 19th-century England. This collection aims to write more women back into the criminal record by focusing on those women who committed violent crimes during this period. This collection asks what narratives were created about these women (and possibly their femininity), what were societal and cultural responses to these women and crimes, and what methodologies are employed by scholars to reveal the stories about women who have, until now, been ignored or overlooked?

Possible topics (but by no means limited to this list):

  • Treatment of violent women by the courts early, mid- and late nineteenth century (changes to the punishment of violent offenders, perceptions in the courtroom of violent offenders)
  • New methodologies by which we could study violent female criminals in the nineteenth century
  • Possible crimes these violent women partook in: women who were part of street gangs; women involved in violent robberies; women who murdered for commission, revenge or jealousy; women who were involved in abductions, blackmail or extortion; women who were serial killers
  • Violent women from the working vs middle or upper classes (outside of the traditional Madeline Smith; Constance Kent and Florence Maybrick cases): representations, responses to them
  • Narratives from the offenders themselves and how they saw their place in English society, the significance of their crime, how they saw themselves as women etc.
  • Newspaper narrative creation about violent female offenders
  • Social changes that women’s crimes were in answer to

Entries to this collection will be in the range of 7,000-9,000 words due in early June 2012.

Currently am in talks with Routledge series editors about publication of this collection

Please send abstracts (250 words) and short bio by 15th December 2011 to vicnagy AT OR

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Reminder: Sentiment and Sensation in Victorian Periodicals (2/1/2012; 9/14-15/2012)

2nd Call for Papers:
Sentiment and Sensation in Victorian Periodicals
Research Society for Victorian Periodicals Annual Conference
September 14-15, 2012

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) will hold its annual conference at the University of Texas at Austin, September 14-15, 2012. While papers addressing any aspect of Victorian periodicals will be considered, RSVP particularly welcomes proposals for papers on the discourse of sentiment and sensation in the newspaper and periodical press that variously promoted or targeted readerships, established journalistic networks or brands, and shaped, responded to, and/or addressed cultural and ideological concerns.

Suggested themes include but are not limited to:
  • The serialization of sensation fiction
  • Sentimental or sensational illustration
  • Major scandals, legal cases, crimes, or controversies
  • Affect, cognition, and readerly sensations
  • Sentimental poetry or fiction in periodicals
  • The rhetoric of sentiment/sentimentality
  • Sport or theatrical sensations
  • Gender and periodical genres
  • Entrepreneurialism and fame
  • Sensational formatting and headlines
  • The feeling of print or the materiality of periodicals
  • Physiology and psychology in the press

Please e-mail two-page (maximum) proposals for individual presentations or panels of three to  Please include a one-page C.V. with relevant publications, teaching, and/or coursework. The deadline for submission of proposals is Feb. 1, 2012. Final papers should take 15 minutes (20 minutes maximum) to present. The program will also include a plenary speech named in honor of Michael Wolff, a presentation by the winner of the 2012 Robert and Vineta Colby Scholarly Book Prize, and workshops devoted to digital resources and to methods of teaching periodicals.

RSVP will announce travel grants for a few graduate students presenting papers closer to the time of registration. Graduate students interested in applying for travel grants should include a cover letter explaining how their conference proposal fits into their long-term research plans as well as any other special considerations. Recipients will be notified in the spring of 2012.

For information about local arrangements, check the RSVP conference website,, or contact Conference Chair Kathryn Ledbetter,

Department Chairs: call for applications to NINES/NEH Summer Institute 2012 on Evaluating Digital Scholarship (12/15/2011; 6/19-22/2012)

Call for Applications: Chairs of Departments
NINES / NEH Summer Institute: Evaluating Digital Scholarship
June 19 – June 22, 2012
University of Virginia
Hosted by NINES

In 2012, NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-century Electronic Scholarship) at the University of Virginia will be hosting the second of two NEH Summer Institutes in Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities. The topic is “Evaluating Digital Scholarship," and we are specifically inviting current and incoming Department Chairs in English, Foreign Languages, and Classics to participate.

We are planning to gather Department Chairs from a range of colleges and universities to address these issues specifically at the level of departmental leadership.  Starting from documents produced last year, we aim to produce collaborative working papers that could help guide the activities of language and literature departments as scholarship moves into digital forms.

Last summer’s Institute brought together scholars and administrators for a series of conversations about scholarly values and the opportunities and challenges of the digital.  Information and documents generated at the 2011 Institute can be found at our website. (

The 2012 Institute will be focused on five categories of departmental activity, with attention to the specifics of literary studies and the digital humanities:

  • Promotion and tenure
  • Hiring and retention
  • Graduate training
  • Curriculum and teaching
  • Departmental culture

The NINES / NEH Institute will begin on the morning of June 20 and continue through the evening of June 22, 2012.   Participants will be reimbursed for their travel expenses and hotel costs and given a modest honorarium.

Applications should consist of a *c.v. and a brief narrative* (not to exceed 800 words) describing your background/perspective, your reasons for wanting to be part of the Institute, and your thoughts on departmental activities in reference to the changing nature of scholarship in a digital age.

Please send applications by December 15, 2011 to

You may direct questions to the organizers: Andrew Stauffer at the University of Virginia (, Laura Mandell at Texas A&M (, or Susan Schreibman at Trinity College Dublin (

CFP: Victorian Thresholds: Between Literature and Anthropology (1/28/2012; 4/28/2012)

VSAO 45th Annual Conference, 28 April 2012, York University
"Victorian Thresholds: Between Literature and Anthropology"

Plenary adresses by Kathy Psomiades and Audrey Jaffe.

The Victorian Studies Assoc. of Ontario executive invites abstracts of 20-minute papers papers to be presented at this year's conference.  The theme will be "Victorian Thresholds: Between Literature and Anthropology" and the conference date is April 28 2012. Please send electronic copies of proposals (300-500 words) and a brief biographical statement to Matthew Rowlinson ( by 28 January 2012. Alternatively, hard copies can be sent by mail to Matthew Rowlinson, Department of English , University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada  N6A 3K7.

Monday, November 07, 2011

CFP: NAVSA 2012 Victorian Networks (3/1/2012; 9/27-30/2012)

The North American Victorian Studies Association Conference for 2012, in Madison, Wisconsin, September 27-30, invites papers on the theme of networks. NAVSA itself is a network, a hub of activity that fosters connections among scholars, among disciplines, and among institutions. We invite conferees to attend a networking lunch, where they can cross paths with others interested in shared themes, such as transatlanticism, visual culture, or serialization; and we aim to provide ample and rich opportunities for contact across specializations and new approaches including digital networks. Keynotes include Amanda Anderson, Adam Phillips, and a visual networks panel with Caroline Arscott, Tim Barringer, Julie Codell, and Mary Roberts. Participants will also be able to sign up for networks seminars of 15 presenters of precirculated 5-page position papers on the topic. More information to follow.

Proposals for individual papers or panels should be submitted electronically by March 1, 2012. Proposals for individual papers should be no more than 500 words; panel proposals should include 500-word abstracts for each paper and a 250-word panel description. Applicants should submit a one-page cv. All documents should be submitted in .pdf format through the online form linked to the conference website.

Conference threads might include:

  • Networks of artists, critics, consumers, scholars
  • Networks of print (books, chapbooks, newspapers, magazines, letters, pamphlets), including relations among publishers, printers, editors, writers, readers
  • Commodity culture networks and the circulation of things and bodies
  • Networks of discourse (such as science, religion, nature, politics)
  • The science of networks, then and now
  • Textual networks (characters, plot, language, intertextuality)
  • Networks of influence, production, reception
  • Networks of display or exhibition
  • Fashioning networks among otherwise unconnected authors and historical figures
  • Transnational and other migrations: geographic, cultural, ideological, rhetorical
  • Borders and “borders” — theorizing cultural connection, separation, entanglement
  • Diasporic networks: cosmopolitanism, wandering, exile
  • Clandestine networks such as spies, secret agents, and detection
  • Networking technologies (transportation systems, postal or other communication systems like telephone, telegraph, cable)
  • Network arts
  • Social networks including leisure clubs and professional societies
  • Family and kinship networks
  • Victorian cities: streets, arcades, parks, or other networks of urban space
  • Imperial networks
  • Network forms: gossip, blackmail, suspense, serials, series, periodicals, epistolary or other genres
  • Psychic and supernatural networks: seances, spiritualism, mediums
  • Digital networks: twenty-first century reading practices, or Victorian culture and Facebook, Twitterature, Wikipedia
  • Networked periodization: romantic/victorian/modernist
  • Networks of resistance: feminist, ecological, queer
  • Networks of iteration and translation (between image, text, adaptation)